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THE SOCIAL EDGE INTERVIEW: AUTHOR ROBERT BLAIR KAISER

by Gerry McCarthy

book cover - church in search

Robert Blair Kaiser spent ten years in the Society of Jesus before leaving to pursue a career in journalism. He has been a religious reporter for The New York Times, Time, and CBS.

     Currently, Kaiser is editor of JustGoodCompany.com, a journal of religion and culture. He’s also a contributing editor in Rome for Newsweek.

     Kaiser has published 10 books including: Clerical Error, The Politics of Sex and Religion, and Pope, Council, and World. His new book A Church in Search of Itself: Benedict XVI and the Battle for the Future of the Church was recently published by Knopf. I reached Kaiser in Phoenix, Arizona.

Gerry McCarthy: In A Church in Search of Itself you write about the silencing of liberation theologian and priest Leonardo Boff. You explain that: "Boff argued that a ‘clerical aristocracy’ had expropriated from the people of God the means of religious production, and hence had misappropriated their right to make their own decisions. This sounded like Marxist jargon, but all Boff meant was the Church didn’t want people to grow up." Another theologian that was singled out by the Church was Charles Curran. In 1986, he was deemed not "suitable" or "eligible" to teach Catholic theology by the Vatican, but he wasn’t saying anything different than Richard McBrien of Notre Dame. He was made an example of by Rome wasn’t he?

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