Six Contemporary Versions of Catholic Communion Ecclesiology

Dennis M. Doyle, Communion Ecclesiology: Vision and Versions (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2000): 19.

  1. ”A CDF [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] version, notable for its emphasis on the priority of the Church universal and the importance of certain visible church structures.

  2. A Rahnerian version, notable for its emphasis on the sacramentality of the world and on the communion with God that exists within all humankind.

  3. A Balthasarian version, notable for its emphasis on the uniqueness of Christian revelation and its aesthetic character.

  4. A liberation version, notable for its emphasis on the option for the poor and on the political implications of communion.

  5. A contextual version, notable for its emphasis on gender, ethnicity, and social location as the context for appreciating relationality.

  6. A reforming version, notable for its emphasis on the need for Roman Catholics to challenge radically their own ecclesiological presuppositions in the interest of ecumenical progress.
Doyle expresses the belief that “Any ecclesiological approach that would systematically exclude one of these versions would be less than ‘Catholic’” (ibid), and that “Every one of the above six schools of thought contributes something important to a Catholic vision” (20).


Very interesting. Are you going to post your thoughts on the book later? I'd be interested to hear what you think, WTM.
Wasn't planning on it. Contemporary RC ecclesiology is not an area that I know well.
Unknown said…
What, the Reformed theologian that you are, lover of Calvin and Barth, does not know well Roman Catholic ecclesiology? I'm shocked. :-)
At least I admit it and am making excuses into it. :-P

I know Congar on it fairly well.
Alex Abecina said…
thanks! very helpful
Luke said…
Does the author say if any of that version can go against the others until almost make them disappear?
For instance can the first 1 go against the 4th one?

No. He seems to think they all have important aspects and claims on being a Catholic position, such that none of them can be done away with.
Luke said…
I guess this would be the case. However, reality says other things. If not, you can ask what happened in South America with the liberation theology...

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