Archbishop Wuerl on the Death of Cardinal Avery Dulles

December 12, 2008

Cardinal Avery Dulles was the United States’ preeminent theologian and his death is a great loss for the Church in our country but also for the Church Universal. His elevation to the College of Cardinals was a sign of the particular esteem in which he was held. In his writings, lectures, conferences and talks, he presented an authentic Catholic theology that was deeply rooted in the Church’s intellectual heritage and in the American experience of that tradition. He was our theologian of the Second Vatican Council and we shall miss his clarity of insight and breadth of understanding.

Personally, I shall always cherish the opportunities I had both as a priest and later as a bishop to work with him on various projects over a 40 year period. He was always insightful and ever kind. He had a way of making complicated and sometimes opaque issues clear and intelligible. But he also always had time to listen to others who did not have his level of theological mastery and to welcome their contribution. As much as he was an exceptional theologian, he was also a great gentleman.

May God grant him a place at the heavenly table with so many with whom he would be comfortable, including Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Robert Bellarmine.

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