VATICAN CITY, JAN 4, 1997 (VIS) - The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith today released an English-language "Notification concerning the Text 'Mary and Human Liberation' by Father Tissa Balasuriya, O.M.I.," in which the author's erroneous statements are explained and the congregation's actions in his regard are outlined. Fr. Balasuriya "has incurred excommunication 'latae sententiae'."

The Notification's Introduction illustrates the actions taken by the congregation, by the Order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and by the author himself since June 5, 1994, when "the Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka publicly declared that (this) publication ... contained statements manifestly incompatible with the faith of the Church regarding the doctrine of revelation and its transmission, Christology, soteriology and mariology."

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith "forwarded the text of a profession of faith" to Fr. Balasuriya's Order in November 1995, asking the author to sign it. He signed a different text, and was asked again in June 1996 "to sign the text of the profession of faith already given to him."

The Notification states: "Given the clear refusal of Father Balasuriya to publicly and unequivocally profess his adherence to the faith of the Church, on 22 July 1996, the Congregation, at a meeting with the Superior General and Procurator General of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, communicated that such a situation could not be allowed to continue and that, therefore, a 'Notification' would be published in his regard."

On December 7, 1996, Fr. Balasuriya was informed of the publication of a Notification, should he not sign the profession of faith. On December 27 Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano wrote to him that "the Pope had personally followed the various phases of the procedure used by the Congregation ... and had expressly approved the 'Notification' of the Congregation."

The congregation affirms: "In publishing this Notification, the Congregation is obliged also to declare that Father Balasuriya has deviated from the integrity of the truth of the Catholic faith and, therefore, cannot be considered a Catholic theologian; moreover, he has incurred excommunication 'latae sententiae'."

In the "Evaluation of the text 'Mary and Human Liberation'," the congregation lays out the "series of grave errors" which "to different degrees, are distortions of truths of dogma and are, therefore, incompatible with the faith. Fr. Balasuriya does not recognize the supernatural, unique and irrepeatable character of the revelation of Jesus Christ. ... (He) assumes, moreover, a discontinuity in the economy of revelation. In fact, he distinguishes between 'the faith due in Christianity to what Jesus teaches and to what the Churches have subsequently developed as interpretations of his teaching'. ... This position involves the denial of the nature of Catholic dogma and, as a consequence, the relativizing of the revealed truths contained in them."

"In the first place, the author relativizes christological dogma: Jesus is presented simply as a 'supreme teacher.' ... The ecclesiological errors of the text follow from this vision. ... Fr. Balasuriya ... denies the necessity of baptism. A fundamental aspect of the thought of Father Balasuriya is the denial of the dogma of original sin."

"On the basis of these positions, the author arrives at the point of denying, in particular, the marian dogmas. Mary's divine motherhood, her Immaculate Conception and virginity, as well as her bodily Assumption into heaven, are not recognized as truths belonging to the Word of God."

"Finally, it must be noted that Father Balasuriya, denying and relativizing some statements of both the extraordinary Magisterium and the ordinary universal Magisterium, reveals that he does not recognize the existence of an infallibility of the Roman Pontiff and of the College of Bishops 'cum et sub Petro'."

Excommunication is a canonical penalty incurred either automatically ("latae sententiae"), or imposed by the Church "ferendae sententiae"), for certain offenses whereby the person committing the offense is excluded from the life of the Church.

Canon 1331 of the Code of Canon Law (Title IV, Penalties and Other Punishments, Chapter I, Censures), para 1 states: "An excommunicated person is forbidden: 1. to have any ministerial participation in celebrating the Eucharistic Sacrifice or in any other ceremonies whatsoever of public worship; 2. to celebrate the sacraments and sacramentals and to receive the sacraments; 3. to discharge any ecclesial offices, ministries or functions whatsoever, or to place acts of governance."

av Webmaster publisert 31.03.2006, sist endret 10.03.2011 - 02:38