"Christian Identity Comes from the Holy Spirit, Not 'Theology Degrees'"--Pope Francis

see www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/christian-identity-comes-from-holy-spirit-not-theology-degrees-69469,
A person might have five theology degrees but not the Holy Spirit, the Pope said. Perhaps you will be a great theologian, but you are not a Christian… We often encounter simple people, perhaps old ladies that never finished primary school, who have a greater knowledge of theology than others because they have the Spirit of Christ.



And Yes a person can be very very holy and not be very educated. The most simple person - who prays and follows Christ - can be a star of holiness far beyond any theologian.

What is most important is being a Christian - following Christ as his disciple!

*Being in Christ. Walking in the Holy Spirit. *

Our Lady did not have* any* degrees in Theology.

But I would note too that he does not mean that good theology - a good theological formation is not very good for a rightly ordered spiritual life.

“Knowledge of the Sacred Doctrine has a peculiar tendency of its own to shorten and render safer the spiritual journey”

~ Jacques and Raissa Maritain (Prayer and Intelligence - Sheed and Ward 1928)

A good theology background (even the study of the Catechism alongside the Scriptures) - if lived as a Christian - that is if the person follow Jesus of Nazareth - if the person “walks by the Spirit” as St. Paul put it - can be a way of holiness.

The Pope is not urging one towards anti-intellectualism or away from the study of theology etc. He would agree with the various thing Pope Benedict XVI noted in this regards. One must follow Christ - and to do theology on ones knees as it where.

Perhaps I’m just a natural skeptic, but I read this as an indirect attack on Theologians who don’t promote official Catholic Doctrine, they’re less christian (or not christian at all) compared to those who just obey the party line. Quite an innovative way to make sure nobody questions what gets said.

Just my two cents; some of these speeches the popes give are so wonderfully vague. They need an accompanying interpretation to get the message and even then one can read several others.


Such would be to mistake the Teaching of Christ -of his Church and orthodox Theology as being of the sort that came forth from Lenin and Marx.

There is no “party line”.

If a Theologian does not Teach Theology - he is not acting as a Theologian.

Just as if a Math professor was teaching 2+2 =5 and 2 divined by 1 = 6 is not acting as a Math Professor.

Hans Kung is still a Catholic Priest in good standing holding regular mass, and is glorified in the protestant world as the greatest leading liberal theologian of the age.

Hans Kung is clearly a Theologian, and a Catholic it seems. But most of his teachings are a far cry from official Catholic ones. I was referring to divides like that.

I don’t see the Pope’s statement as an attack on specific theologians, but rather, all who promote a Catholic ego-identity, without faith.

Humility is the back bone of holiness, whether one has a PHD in theology or barely made it out of the eighth grade.


yeah. I am envious at times by the simple faith of some christians…and the simple love of none christians or non-religious people…I see Jesus in them:)

Your mistaken. He was stripped of his faculties to teach Catholic Theology decades ago.

And when a Math Professor continues to insist that 2+2= 5 they too ought to no longer be permitted to teach math.

Correct. The gauntlet came down on him when he wrote against the doctrine of Papal Infallibility.

Ironically, Cardinal Ratzinger remained friends with him and quotes him in various writings.

Intellectuals usually maintain a deep respect for each other, even when they disagree.


He was barred from teaching in the Catholic Theological School, at Tumbingen university (Where he remains), but not from the Theology department (This Catholic university has two separate bodies oddly enough, but that is how it is). So in practice he does still teach Catholic Theology, the only difference is he can’t advertise it as supported by Rome.

Fr. Kung also remains an active priest, still preforms mass and the sacraments and has yet to be stripped of his Priestly faculties.


His faculties to teach theology were removed. Period. Such is from the Church. What he does now with his pen and voice since then - well is something he will have to account for before God - we all will have to give an account.

But really this is off topic so I do not desire to continue to discuss him.