Farewell Avery Cardinal Dulles, stalwart defender of the faith

dulles

It is a sad day.  Cardinal Dulles, the only Catholic convert among his leading American family, he was a formidable pioneer of Catholic orthodoxy through an era of theological and liturgical chaos.  Among his Jesuit confreres, he was an unflinching defender of the faith in every way the spirit of the age challenged her. 

It is presumptuous to say, but in my heart I can imagine the Lord saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Still, I will pray for his immortal soul as should we all as an act of charity doing for him what we will surely need others to do for us.

Catholics owe Cardinal Dulles and all such men an immense debt of gratitude for persevering in the faith especially when it was unpopular to do so.  How many times in history has the faith been challenged by an evil age to such a degree that she held on by but a thread?  Too many to count.  The good Cardinal was just such a thread, a steely one at that.

Thank you, Cardinal, and may God grant you speed…Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus nunc et in  hora mortis nostris. Amen.

Here is an except from the NYT:

Cardinal Avery Dulles, a scion of diplomats and Presbyterians who converted to Roman Catholicism, rose to pre-eminence in Catholic theology and became the only American theologian ever appointed to the College of Cardinals, died today died Friday morning at Fordham University in the Bronx. He was 90. His death, at the Jesuit infirmary at the university, was confirmed by the New York Province of the Society of Jesus in Manhattan.

Cardinal Dulles, a professor of religion at Fordham University for the last 20 years, was a prolific author and lecturer and an elder statesman of Catholic theology in America. He was also the son of John Foster Dulles, the secretary of state under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the nephew of Allen Dulles, who guided European espionage during World War II and later directed the Central Intelligence Agency.

A conservative theologian in an era of liturgical reforms and rising secularism, Cardinal Dulles wrote 27 books and 800 articles, mostly on theology; advised the Vatican and America’s bishops, and staunchly defended the pope and his church against demands for change on abortion, artificial birth control, priestly celibacy, the ordination of women and other issues.

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