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The author considers Pope John Paul II's 1998 encyclical, Fides et ratio, as bringing into view new horizons for Catholic philosophical theology by virtue of its endorsement of a constrained philosophical pluralism. Through a retrospective examination of the history of magisterial interventions as depicted in the encyclical, the author notes how a progressive openness to philosophical pluralism relates to the changed status of Thomism within magisterial teaching on the practice of Catholic philosophical theology. Fides et ratio describes an evolution in magisterial emphasis from proscription to prescription, which corresponds to change in the status of Thomism from an absolute to an exemplary norm. Attention to this decisive shift in the normative status of Thomism, as implied within the encyclical itself, provides both new illumination on the Pope's general intentions and new clarity with regard to some contested interpretive issues. Finally, the author highlights several new challenges that are implied by this development in magisterial teaching.