When giants advised the Vatican

The International Theological Commission is composed of theologians from all over the world who advise the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. A new group of theologians has been appointed to the commission, including five women.

The sad truth is that the current commission is not an impressive group. For example, none of the American appointees are prominent members of the Catholic Theological Society of America.

The current commission especially suffers from comparison with the original commission appointed in 1969. True they are all male, but they were giants:

Fr. Barnabas Ahern, C.P.
Rev. Hans Urs von Balthasar
Fr. Louis Bouyer, dO
Fr. Walter Burghardt, S.I.
H.E. Msgr. Carlo Colombo
Fr. Yves Congar, O.P.
Msgr. Philippe Delhaye
Rev. Johannes Feiner
Fr. André Feuillet, P.S.S.
Rev. Lucio Gera
Rev. Olegario Gonzalez de Cardedal
Fr. Ignace Abdo Khalifé, S.I.
Fr. Franz Lakner, S.I.
Fr. Marie-Joseph Le Guillou, O.P.
Fr. Joseph Lescrauwaet, M.S.C.
Fr. Bernard Lonergan, S.I.
Fr. Henri de Lubac, S.I.
Fr. Andreas H. Maltha, O.P.
Msgr. Jorge Medina Estevez
Fr. Peter Nemehegyi, S.I.
Msgr. Stanislaw Olejnik
Msgr. Gerard Philips
Fr. Karl Rahner, S.I.
Rev. Joseph Ratzinger
Msgr. Roberto Mascarenhas Roxo
Fr. Tomislaw Sagi-Bunic, O.F.M.Cap.
Msgr. Rudolf Schnakenburg
Rev. Heinz Schürmann
H.E. Msgr. Tharcisius Tshimbangu
Fr. Cipriano Vagaggini, O.S.B.

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Appointments of May 1, 1969; cf. L’Osservatore Romano, May 1, 1969, 1.

[Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese is a senior analyst for NCR and author of Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church. His email address is treesesj@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @ThomasReeseSJ.]

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