One of the constant features of Catholic Intellectual Life is the tension--a creative and critical tension--that exists between those who exercise the authority of oversight and those who exercise the authority that comes from prophecy. The charism of governance and the charism of teaching can be in conflict, and that is both good and necessary because truth emerges out of the contestation of ideas, the struggle between the preservative role and the innovative role of ecclesial leadership.
There are numerous examples in Catholic history that underscore this fact, including the condemnation of St. Thomas Aquinas by the Archbishop of Paris, the summoning to court (3 times, no less) of Ignatius Loyola by the Inquisition in Salamanca, the suppression of the writings of the mystic-scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the silencing of the voice of the contemplative-poet Thomas Merton on matters of peace and nuclear war.
On many occasions, the magisterium, although acting in earnest and keenly protective of its function to ensure pastoral solicitude in passing its sanctions, failed to see that the core insights and teachings of the thinkers under judgment were in fact profoundly faithful to the Catholic tradition and the Gospel.
And then begins the process--often subtle and very rarely penitential--of rehabilitating the reputation of those hitherto censured, exiled, or suspended.
In addition, of course, there are intellectual probers and spiritual luminaries whose work is genuinely suspect, stillborn, or irreconcilable with the Tradition. All the more reason, then, that any corrective be found in the free and often fierce exchange of ideas--unfetterred and respectful--that can be found in the kind of public forum, sanctuary for the pursuit of truth, that is best provided by a university.
What works against that is the culture of delation, the manic vigilantism that is sustained by misplaced zealotry.