Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope John Paul II put a halt to that. But with the cancellation of these two great popes of sanity and orthodoxy and a return to the ever and always spirit of constantly reforming the Church a la 1970’s mentality, will Pope Francis rehabilitate Father Schillebeeckx and his 1960’s “visionary” spirit of Vatican II theology and change doctrine to accommodate it?
Leading Dutch Theologian Given Vatican Warning
The Washington Post
By Marjorie Hyer September 25, 1986
The Vatican, in its continuing drive to stamp out dissent, has warned Dutch theologian Edward Schillebeeckx that he is in conflict with church teaching that only ordained priests can consecrate bread and wine for the eucharist.
The rebuke to Schillebeeckx, 71, which was published Tuesday on the front page of the Vatican daily newspaper L'Osservatore Romano and broadcast by Vatican radio, involves no sanctions against the internationally known theologian. But a Vatican official who asked not to be identified told The Associated Press that it was intended as a warning that the Vatican found some of the theologian's views "erroneous." The directive, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that the "concept of the ministry as set forth by Professor Schillebeeckx remains in discord with the teaching of the church on important points."
Schillebeeckx, a Dominican priest whose writings are widely used in theological education, wrote in a 1980 book, "Ministry, the Case for Change," that in extraordinary circumstances where an ordained priest is not available, a lay person could preside at the eucharist, or holy communion.
In a 1985 letter, the Vatican ordered Schillebeeckx to acknowledge publicly the official church teaching that only ordained priests can consecrate the bread and wine, which Catholics believe become the body and blood of Christ.
The theologian replied that his next book would respond to criticisms and not conflict with church teachings.
In "A Case for People in the Church: Christian Identity and Offices in the Church," published in 1985, he sidestepped the issue by stating neither his view nor the official teaching.
It was his failure to make a formal public retraction in the 1985 work that drew the warning from Ratzinger, who last month rescinded the teaching credentials of Catholic University theologian Charles E. Curran.
In 1979, Schillebeeckx was summoned by Ratzinger to the Vatican for secret hearings on his understanding of Christ's divinity. He was formally cleared of doctrinal error in that case in 1981, but three years later the questions about his doctrine of the priesthood were raised.
The Rev. David Power, who said he uses some of Schillebeeckx's writings in his classes at Catholic University, characterized the conflict as a difference in frames of reference.