Thomism and hermeneutic violence: five Dominicans respond to Adriano Oliva

A few weeks ago on one of our contributors, Tom Osborne, shared some brief thoughts on Adriano Oliva's new book Amours. Oliva, a Dominican, is the president of the Leonine Commission. In Amours he argues for a number of controversial theses, including the moral goodness of some homosexual acts and the permissibility of the reception of communion by divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. He enlists Aquinas in making these arguments.

Prior to Osborne's negative evaluation there was also a highly critical review by Thibaud Collin in La Croix, which you can find here. One of Collin's criticisms has to do with Oliva's reading -- or radical misreading, rather -- of ST, Ia-IIae, q. 31, a. 7. His comments are sharp:

Une telle argumentation repose sur des contresens qu’il convient de manifester. Il semble y avoir ici une lecture sélective du texte de saint Thomas. On rompt la cohérence interne de la doctrine thomasienne pour mieux ensuite piocher ce dont on a besoin afin de reconstruire sa propre théorie, plus proche de celle de Michel Foucault que celle du saint dominicain.

Now, five Dominicans -- Bernhard Blankenhorn, Catherine Joseph Droste, Efrem Jindráček, Dominic Legge, and Thomas Joseph White -- have responded to Oliva at First Things. Like Collin, they also charge Oliva with a radical misreading of Aquinas (among other things). You can find their comments here. I can only (not without sadness) concur with their judgments.