Fernández Outlines His Distorted Vision as the Vatican’s New Doctrinal Chief

In an extensive new interview published Thursday, Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández has outlined his vision as prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, one that places an emphasis on engaging contemporary culture and real-life experiences, and stressing the importance of charity in both moral theology and theological reflection.

Speaking to La Civilta Cattolica’s outgoing director Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, the Argentine theologian and Cardinal-elect made a number of bold statements, accusing some Churchmen who profess to guard the faith as being only concerned about power, not reason, and that morality should “absolutely not” be reduced to mere fulfillment of the Ten Commandments.

Archbishop Fernández also said the Lord’s mercy “must not be denied by theological reasoning” and reiterated what he said in earlier interviews: that rather than condemn erring theologians, he wants to try to understand them, be enriched by their thinking, and accompany them.

As for more practical concerns, he said the dicastery will no longer be giving “quick answers in a standard format” to complex issues, and that he plans to “inculturate the Gospel” by meeting theologians and visiting episcopal doctrinal commissions “in various regions of the world” if means and resources permit.

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