The Vatican took a stand in February with its “notification” on Roger Haight's Jesus Symbol of God prohibiting him from teaching Catholic theology. Then in May it was reported that the Vatican influenced Thomas Reese's resignation as editor of America. In these two situations, as with other recent controversies in the church and American public life, the question was posed to the College Theology Society, “Where do we stand?”
This is not answered easily. The appropriateness of entertaining the question is itself problematic given the specific ways the CTS constitution defines our mission as an academic society. Has the CTS, its Board or its members at the annual convention any business at all taking stands on controversies in the church or American public life? What would justify this? And to what sort of issues would this apply? And when? How is this decided? And by whom? For whom does the Board speak? Or for whom does a majority at an annual convention speak? And to whom? And to what end?
Nor is the question of where we stand dodged without significant cost. Much is at stake for the specific pedagogical mission of the CTS both in the issues regarding Haight and Reese and in the questions of principle about taking stands. Both are part of a larger and consequential controversy about what place convictions should have in the interactions of the church, academy, and society.