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Vatican investigating Indian Jesuit's work, but has not silenced him
Catholic News Service


VATICAN CITY  — A leading Indian Jesuit theologian specializing in mission, dialogue and inculturation, has been engaged in a dialogue with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but has not been censured or silenced by the Vatican.

Jesuit Father Michael Amaladoss, 77, is director of the Institute for Dialogue with Cultures and Religions at the Jesuit-run Loyola College in Chennai, India.

Jesuit Father Joe Antony, acting provincial of the Madurai province to which Father Amaladoss belongs, told Catholic News Service May 14: "There has been no condemnation or censure, but for nearly two years there has been a dialogue between Father Amaladoss and the doctrinal congregation."

In April, Father Amaladoss was scheduled to lecture at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Advising people that the lecture was canceled, the seminary's website said, "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Vatican has forbidden Dr. Amaladoss from speaking and publishing until a process of examining his thought has been successfully completed."

However, Father Antony told CNS by telephone from India, Father Amaladoss "himself wants to be quiet in order to reflect during this period. But he was not ordered to do so."

The unique and essential role of Christ in salvation and approaches to interreligious dialogue are at the center of the congregation's discussions with Father Amaladoss, Father Antony confirmed.

From 1983 to 1995, Father Amaladoss served in Rome as a special assistant to the then-superior general of the Jesuits, Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach. Father Amaladoss has special responsibility for matters dealing with evangelization, inculturation and ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.

Since 1999, he has been at the institute in Chennai. Previously Father Amaladoss studied under and then worked with Belgian Jesuit Father Jacques Dupuis, whose book, "Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism," had been the subject of a doctrinal congregation investigation.

Father Dupuis died in 2004. After three years of investigation, in 2001 the congregation backed away from its initial finding of "serious doctrinal error" in the book, but said there were "ambiguities and difficulties on important points which could lead a reader to erroneous or harmful opinions."

Father Amaladoss is author of more than 20 books, the best known being "The Asian Jesus," which uses traditional images from Asian religions and culture -- including from Hinduism and Buddhism -- to look at aspects of Jesus' identity from an Asian perspective.





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