Just a note (from the heartland) to thank you for publishing three careful and doucmented views on whether the Catholic Theological Society of America is a “wasteland” (“How Catholic is the CTSA?” March 27).

In any healthy family, school, university, or human association serious, thoughtful dialogue ought to be admired and encouraged. Thank you for helping us do that, vis-à-vis the CTSA, as we try to balance our God-given rationality and our respect for the magisterium of our beloved church.

James P. Shannon
Wayzata, Minn.



Congratulations to Commonweal for providing what the 1997 CTSA Convention conspicuously failed to provide: a robust and critical exchange of theological views.

The responses to the major papers were little more than résumés or endorsements that merely reinforced the direction that Peter Steinfels rightly characterizes as being “away from positions taken from Trent through Vatican II and toward positions much more congenial to the Reformers and in general to their liberal and low-church descendants.”


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