A journal of academic theology

Richard R. Gaillardetz

Synodality and the Francis Pontificate: A Fresh Reception of Vatican II

The ten-year Francis pontificate represents a fresh reception of the Second Vatican Council. The full dimensions of this reception can be apprehended through the lens of synodality, the leitmotif of the Francis papacy. This article will consider four features of synodality exhibited in the papal magisterium of Pope Francis that help us appreciate the ways

The Chimera of a “Deinstitutionalized Church”: Social Structure Analysis as a Path to Institutional Church Reform

Anger over long-standing systemic dysfunction in the Roman Catholic Church has led to a disenchantment with the church’s institutional reality. However, for those committed to church reform, a more productive way forward lies with ecclesiology’s constructive engagement with sociology. This article defends the legitimacy of a critical appropriation of sociology in ecclesiology, then proposes the critical realist school of social analysis as particularly well suited to assisting ecclesiology in the development of a concrete program for institutional reform.

Humanae Vitae and Its Ecclesial Consequences

This article explores the ecclesial consequences of Humanae Vitae in relation to four seminal contributions of Vatican II: (1) a renewed appreciation for the sensus fidelium; (2) the theological recontextualization of doctrine; (3) episcopal collegiality and ecclesial subsidiarity; (4) the revitalization of the church’s pastoral mission. The article argues first, that Humanae Vitae, directly or indirectly, impeded the full reception and implementation of these four contributions; and second, that the pontificate of Pope Francis has helped rehabilitate precisely those conciliar contributions that were most affected by the controversies associated with Humanae Vitae.


The Groupe des Dombes is a unique gathering of French-speaking ecumenists who, over almost 70 years, have provided a distinguished corpus of ecumenical documents addressing a wide range of issues. This article outlines the Groupe’s history and distinctive methodology, then summarizes its document on doctrinal teaching authority, “‘Un seul maıˆtre’: L’autorite´ doctrinale dans l’e´glise.” Finally

The Ordinary Universal Magisterium: Unresolved Questions

[The conviction that the common teaching of the bishops was a sure guide for Christian faith goes back to the earliest centuries. In the decades since Vatican II, appeals to this category of common episcopal teaching, now referred to under the rubric “ordinary universal magisterium,” have grown dramatically. The author here documents the expanded appeals

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