From the Editor's Desk
Fahey, Michael A., Theological Studies
Paraphrasing the lament of one of Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas, I am sometimes tempted to hum "An editor's job is not a happy one." Work load includes drudgery (proof reading), worries (statistics on subscriptions), dread (writing non-acceptance letters), and tensions (meeting deadlines). Fortunately, that is not the whole picture. I also experience notable satisfactions: seeing theology go forward, publishing research of young theologians for the first time, seeing forgotten concepts restored, and helping to unearth hidden treasures.
I rarely read a submission to the journal that does not teach me something new, and copy-editing manuscripts for this issue was no exception. Elizabeth Groppe's study on Yves Congar alerted me to the famous ecclesiologist's remarkable diary written between the ages of ten to fourteen about his experiences in World War I, now published (including his own pen sketches!) as Journal de la guerre 1914-1918. Gordon Rixon's account of Lonergan's unpublished materials on prayer increased my admiration for the integrity of his insights. The commentary and translation of Evagrius by William Harmless and Raymond Fitzgerald provided me respect for the achievement of the Desert Fathers. Felix Asiedu's account about Anselm of Canterbury's convictions regarding the status of believers who are neither Christians nor Jews elucidated for me a topic much discussed in present-day theology. Mark Massa's description of anti-Catholicism in America helped me contextualize the polemics of Paul Blanshard and other nativist thinkers. And from Robert Masson's article on analogy I felt my brain being stretched to rethink ideas first grappled with in the 1950s.
But the contribution that this time has had the most powerful personal impact on me is the "note" by Bernard Doering, emeritus professor of French literature at Notre Dame, drawn from the published correspondence between Jacques Maritain and Charles Journet. I was editing Doering's manuscript immediately following the June convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America, at which the issue of the requirement of a mandatum for American theologians was a repeated topic of conversation. The French exchange of letters seemed to have described something akin to what today some theologians are describing as the dangers of a rigid application of the mandatum procedure.
Doering combed through the frank exchange of letters dating from 1920 to 1949 by those two devoted Catholic theologians that record their pain and difficulty in accepting certain aspects of the teaching on human sexuality in marriage, especially as outlined in Pius XI's encyclical Casti connubii (1930). …