Catholic Theological Society of America

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The Catholic Theological Society of America is a professional association mostly in the United States and Canada. It is a Catholic organization that was founded in 1946 to promote studies and research in theology within the Catholic tradition. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas relating to theology, problems, and how to develop a more effective educational approach.

Role and activities[edit]

The Society also tries to foster within the Christian community a better understanding of their faith. It advances its work through annual June conventions, scholarly publications and committees that work throughout the year.

The John Courtney Murray Award is the highest honour bestowed by the Catholic Theological Society of America, named after a theologian known for his work on religious liberty.


Several members of the Society have been criticized by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or US Bishops' Conference Committee on Doctrine, including Roger Haight,[1] Richard McBrien,[2] Elizabeth Johnson,[3] Peter Phan,[4] Margaret Farley.[5] and Charles Curran.[6]

In response to Ordinatio sacerdotalis, the Catholic Theological Society of America set up a Task Force to study the question. The Task Force produced a report: "Tradition and the Ordination of Women", which concluded that Ordinatio sacerdotalis is mistaken with regard to its claims on the authority of this teaching and its grounds in Tradition.[7]

An internal report of the Society, dated May 15, 2013, and released in October of that year, stated:

The self-conception of many members that the CTSA is open to all Catholic theologians is faulty and self-deceptive. As one of our members put it, the CTSA is a group of liberal theologians and "this permeates virtually everything". Because the CTSA does not aspire to be a partisan group, both attitudes and practices will have to shift if the CTSA is to become the place where all perspectives within Catholic theology in North America are welcome.[8]

Presidents of the CTSA[edit]


  1. ^ NCR article
  2. ^ Review of Fr. McBrien's Catholicism
  3. ^ Bishops’ Doctrine Committee Faults Book by Fordham Professor Archived 2012-06-08 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Why is Fr. Peter Phan under investigation?
  5. ^ Vatican Denounces Nun Over Book on Sexuality
  6. ^ Letter to Father Charles Curran
  7. ^ "Theologians Assess 'Ordinatio Sacerdotalis'". Archived from the original on 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  8. ^ Joshua J. McElwee, "Report: CTSA excludes conservative views" in National Catholic Reporter (21 October 2013)
  9. ^ "Presidents" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2012-06-04.

External links[edit]