By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Jesuit-run Fordham University has bestowed honors on Sister Elizabeth Johnson, the feminist theologian whose book, Quest of the Living God, was censured by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
According to the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization dedicated to restoring the Catholic identity in the nation’s Catholic colleges and universities, is reporting that Sr. Johnson was recently awarded the Bene Merenti medal in recognition of her two decades of teaching.
In a statement praising Sr. Johnson, the University said “She brings honor and joy to our University while always remaining truly our sister as she works for the greater glory of She Who Is.”
This statement also appears on the website of Sr. Johnson’s order, the Sisters of St. Joseph.
The USCCB censured a textbook being used at Fordham to teach theology, saying that it contained “misrepresentations, ambiguities and errors” that do “not accord with authentic Catholic teaching on essential points.” The doctrine committee determined that her work “completely undermines the Gospel and the faith of those who believe in the Gospel” when it addresses the doctrine of the Trinity.
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1. If God has both masculine and feminine traits, why can’t we refer to Him in the feminine sense? (See Catechism No. 2779)
2. Even though many feminists contend that addressing God as Father in the Bible is the result of the misogyny prevalent in the culture at the time, the Church teaches that there is actually a much more profound meaning to the title “Father”. (See the Catechism No. 238-242)
3. Being male or female is not what makes us in the image and likeness of God; otherwise, we could say that animals, who are male and female, are also made in the image and likeness of God. What three qualities does man possess that make him in the image of his Creator? (See the Catechism Nos. 1701-1705)
4. This blog contains a more indepth look at how feminist theologians are spreading a distorted concept of God as a woman in today’s culture.
5. How has your idea of God been influenced by worldly thought?