Jesuits in Spain distance themselves from controversial moral theologian

.- In response to controversial statements on sexual morality, bioethics and official Church teaching by Jesuit theologian Father Juan Masia, the provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in Spain, Father Elias Royon Lara, announced this week his “disagreement with the content of such opinions and with the way in which some of them have been expressed.”

A statement issued on Tuesday by the Jesuit provincial office of Spain noted that the Comillas Pontifical University had revoked Father Masia’s position as professor of bioethics and that despite his extensive intellectual and pastoral tenure, both in Japan and in Spain, “the Society of Jesus, with sorrow but in keeping with its responsibility of service to the Church, believes it necessary to publicly manifest its disagreement with the content of such opinions and with the way in which some of them have been expressed.”

Father Masia was removed from his position as head of bioethics at the Comillas Pontifical University in Madrid in January because of his writings and statements supporting condom use and the manipulation of human embryos.  

His opinions were published in a book that, according to the Jesuit provincial, did not carry “proper ecclesiastical licenses” or “the authorization of his superiors.”

While Father Masia’s positions could not be supported, Father Royon said the Jesuits, “who have always been at the crossroads of the dialogue between faith and culture,” desire to continue contributing to serious reflection in these areas.

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