by Joanna Moorhead THE leading organisation of British theologians has expressed its "disquiet" at the introduction of a new oath of fidelity to be taken by those taking up office in the Church.
A statement from the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britian said its members expressed their disquiet at "the introduction into the Church, without consulting the Bishops of the Church, of a revised Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity".
The association has written to the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, and to the Scottish bishops, calling on them to enter into consultation with the association on the subject.
Fr John McDade, secretary to the association, said a vast majority of the organisation's 200 members had agreed with the statement.
At their annual meeting last week, he said, members had been concerned at the way in which the oath was being brought into the Church. "This oath has been introduced without consultation with the bishops and the feeling of many people is that in a post-Vatican II Church an innovative measure like this one should be
brought in through consultation with bishops rather than at the instigation of a Vatican congregation," said Fr McDade.
But he said there was also concern over the wording of the oath, particularly the exact interpretation of the Latin "Obsequio". This could mean anything from respect to unqualified acceptance.