Posted by: rbbadger | December 20, 2008

Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. (+RIP)

One of the great figures in American Catholicism passed away not along ago.  Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., a Jesuit priest, cardinal, and theologian ranks as one of the most important intellectuals that the Church in America has produced.  And he was someone I dearly would have loved to have met. 

Cardinal Dulles hailed from one of America’s most notable families.  His father, John Foster Dulles, once served as Secretary of State.  Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC is named for the good Cardinal’s father.  He was raised a Presbyterian, went through a period of agnosticism, was later baptised a Catholic, entered the Society of Jesus, and became a priest.  He also became a very great theologian along the way.

Cardinal Dulles spent a long and productive career teaching at Fordham University in New York City.  Towards the end of his life, he was named a Cardinal despite the fact that he was never ordained a bishop.  Ordinarily, cardinals must be ordained bishops, but the Pope made an exception for Cardinal Dulles who like Cardinal Newman never was ordained one either.  And like Cardinal Danielou in Paris, he could often be spotted taking the subway to some place or another.

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