The unjust punishment of a scholarly papal critic

What happens if you challenge a dictator pope:

This week John Rist, who had been conducting scholarly research at the Patristic Institute Augustinianum, learned that he had suddenly become persona non grata at the venerable Roman institution. He was given neither warning nor formal notice; he learned of his new status only when he was unable to gain access to the parking lot.

John Rist is a world-class scholar, noted for decades of outstanding contributions to the history of philosophy. Among his academic credentials are an honorary doctorate from the Pontifical Institute of the Holy Cross and a chaired professorship at the Catholic University of America. He had been, until this week, a visiting professor at the Augustinianum.

What did Rist do, to prompt the Augustinianum to banish him? He signed the open letter charging the Pope with heresy.

The writer concludes:

The crude treatment of John Rist—which the professor rightly described as “grotesque discourtesy”—highlights a disturbing trend in Rome. Call it the new ultramontanism: the aggressive attitude of the Pope’s overeager defenders, who treat criticism of the Pontiff as a far more serious offense than attacks on the Catholic faith.

All the pope’s men do this.

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