Sunday, January 27, 2013

ASIA : SRI LANKA : CONTROVERSIAL THEOLOGIAN FR. BALASSURIYA DIES

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT
Sri Lankan theologian Fr Tissa Balasuriya laid to rest | Fr Tissa Balassuriya

Fr Tissa Balassuriya OMI
Hundreds of people of all faiths bid farewell to the controversial Sri Lankan theologian, Fr Tissa Balasuriya, who died aged 89, after a long illness on 17 January. His funeral was held on 19 January at Fatima Church in Borella, a Colombo neighbourhood, with people from all sorts of backgrounds - from civil society groups to ministers, Catholic priests to Buddhist monks. After the service, his body was laid to rest in the church cemetery.
Known for his commitment to interfaith dialogue, the Oblate of Mary Immaculate, who was known as Fr Bala, came into conflict with the Church over a book he published in 1990. Titled Mary and Human Liberation, the work combines ideas drawn from Latin American liberation theology with an Asian vision of religious integration.
In 1994, Sri Lankan bishops issued a warning against the book. That same year, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) asked Father Balasuriya to retract certain arguments he advanced in the book, a request he declined.
Vatican criticism centred on some of his statements on doctrinal issues like original sin, the Immaculate Conception, and the irreplaceable role of Jesus in the work of salvation. When the CDF asked him to sign a statement of faith, again Fr Balasuriya declined. In view of his refusal, the Congregation formally announced his excommunication in January 1997.
Father Balasuriya eventually agreed to sign a statement of faith, and his excommunication was lifted in January 1998.
"Let us bury only the bones and the flesh of Fr Balasuriya," said Mgr Norbert Andradi, Oblate of Mary Immaculate and Bishop of Anuradhapura, "but let us also keep his words and deeds with us".
To read an extract from Fr Bala's 1984 book Planetary Theology, see: http://liberationtheology.org/people-organizations/tissa-balasuriya/
Source: AsiaNews/Fides
SHARED FROM IND. CATH. NEWS

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