Rorate Caeli

The "punishment" of Fr. Costadoat: a slap on the wrist?
An important clarification from Chile

At the beginning of Holy Week, Rorate posted about the action of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati SDB in refusing to renew the mandatum of the liberal Jesuit theologian Jorge Costadoat SJ: For the record: Cardinal Ezzati's letter announcing the removal of a dissident Jesuit theologian from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

Shortly afterwards, Rorate received the following clarification from an academic in the Pontifical University of Chile. For prudential reasons we can neither reveal his name nor his teaching position in the University. The clarification has also been slightly edited for this posting.

The situation regarding Jorge Costadoat is far more complicated than it appears. The academic authorities have declared that Costadoat is and will continue to be a member of the PUC of Chile, as researcher and in other academic capacities (including the so-called "extension", which are the activities in which we give lectures, seminars, etc., to the general public), but simply will not teach theology; and that his name can be proposed for the mandatum "in the future" (according to the Dean of Theology) or "within a year" (according to the Rector). So he has not been removed or dismissed. And this has been confirmed by the Cardinal.

So the move appears hard in the eyes of Roman authorities, but amounts to almost nothing regarding the capacity of the professor (Fr. Costadoat) to spread error within and from the PUC. And the progressivists within the PUC have become enormously strengthened despite appearances. 

There are even more complexities in the case. 

See this link in the official website of PUC about the University Rector's stance on the situation: Rector Sánchez se refirió a la situación del profesor Costadoat

In the linked statement, the Rector mouths the usual platitudes about the Pontifical University's respect for "academic freedom" and "the rights of the individual and the community within the truth and the common good". He expresses "adhesion" to and "respect" for the Cardinal's decision not to renew the Jesuit's mandatum but also stresses that Costadoat has not been fired, but remains "part of the University community in other tasks such as research, extension and the works of the academic life."