Theologians and the faithful have a
duty in conscience
to voice their disagreement when the Teaching Authority fails
There is a tendency for those in authority to imagine that they need not listen to the advice of others. This has been a frequent cause of serious mistakes in the past.
The Church has made it clear that all the faithful, and in particular theologians, have a duty to voice their objections in matters in which they have knowledge or experience.
“In accord with the knowledge, competence and preeminence which they possess, the Christian faithful have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church.
“Freedom of speech is a normal factor in the growth of public opinion which expresses the ideas and reactions of the more influential circles in a society” (§ 25).
The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars’ declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.
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