Georgetown Theologian under Investigation by Vatican

John Allen on Peter Phan.

Among the most serious charges in the CDF observations are that Phan’s book can be read to suggest that:

  • Non-Christian religions have a positive role in salvation history in their own right, and are not merely a preparation for the Christian Gospel;
  • It makes little sense to try to convert non-Christians to Christianity;
  • It would be better to avoid terms such as “unique,” “absolute” and “universal” for the saving role of Christ;
  • The Holy Spirit operates in a saving way in non-Christian religions independently of the Logos (meaning Christ as the Word of God);
  • The Catholic Church cannot be identified with the church of Christ;
  • God’s covenant with the Jewish people does not find its completion in Jesus Christ.

The observations also assert that Phan’s book “presents a mistaken conception of the nature and authority of the church’s magisterium and in fact does not give it the proper consideration.”

Finally, the observations say that there is a “gnostic tenor running through the book.”