New biography of Avery Cardinal Dulles

Thursday, December 9, AD 2010

As if one didn’t have enough books to read already. From Paulist Press, a new biography of Avery Cardinal Dulles, America’s most distinguished Catholic theologian, who passed away in December 2008. (And at 736 pages, it sounds like quite a read).

Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ: A Model Theologian, 1918-2008
by Patrick W. Carey. Paulist Press. 736p.

Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, is the foremost American Catholic theologian of the post-Vatican II era. This book is a religious and intellectual biography that focuses on his contributions to the development of American Catholic theology and to the larger arena of American Catholic life. The book traces his life and thought from his childhood in a prominent American Presbyterian and political family to his days as a student at Harvard where he converted to Catholicism, to his World War II experience in the Navy, to his ordination as a Jesuit, and then to his career as a theologian in the post-Vatican II era. In the entire twentieth century, no other theologian, with the possible exception of John Courtney Murray, SJ, has had as important an impact upon American Catholic thought. Dulles, though, is unmatched in the twentieth century because of his prolific publications and the wide distribution and reading of his published theology. More bishops, priests, and religious, as well as large numbers of laity, have been influenced by his writings and by any other single American theologian. This book will put his contributions to theology within the wider context of his religious life and the cultural and religious transformations in the United States during the last half of the twentieth century.

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Jesuitical 5: Obama as "the Spirit of Vatican II" President

Thursday, June 4, AD 2009

John O'Malley

The fifth installment of my series pointing out the follies of some Jesuits in this country.  Father John O’Malley, SJ, of  the theology department of Georgetown has a piece in America, where else?, in which he hails Obama as a President who embodies something called “the Spirit of Vatican II”.  Actually I think Obama really embodies “the Spirit of Jesuits Trapped in ’68”.    Father Z does the necessary fisking of the article here.  Carl Olsen has some pointed comments on the same subject here.  Rich Leonardi of Ten Reasons points us to thoughts about the meaning of Vatican II by the late, and very great, Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, which appeared in America in 2003.

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12 Responses to Jesuitical 5: Obama as "the Spirit of Vatican II" President

  • This is amusing, while the article is based on “style” as substance in which there are legitimate comparisons between the Council language Obama’s rhetoric at times, it wholly ignores Obama’s rhetoric at other times which is entirely different.

    While Obama gives some speeches that are “civil” he gives many others in which he demonizes the opposition in sometimes insidious but often openly contempt fashion. That is not civility. To speak one way about pro-lifers in a Catholic college, but in an opposite way at a DNC rally, or even to the mainstream media, that is the height of contempt, not only for the opposition, but for everyone, treating us as the proles of Communist countries were.

  • No institution is doing a better job of spreading the post-Christian virus than GTown. No Catholic religious order is more zealous in this mission than our Society of Jesus. Thus the Theology Dept. of this once fine institution is a host body. As I value my daily time only the fisking from Mr. Olsen was worth my view and a worthy one it is. Confirms my belief that when folks unhinge themselves to One True God, they hook up with other gods, the most popular one being Gummint. As O’Malley chooses to make a strange god of Dear Leader, he only expresses what many of his D.C.-based libs believe in their heart of hearts. But perhaps his words of worship are already stale. This past weekend, read something from noted lib Ted Rall already calling for Dear Leader to step down from the throne. Gitmo Angst and other stuff made him unhinged. Perhaps Theology Professor O’Malley should read this essay and update his theories. False gods often have limited shelf-lives.

  • Today the Commonweal blog is casting Obama as St. Francis of Assisi. Better than making him Jesus, I guess. But these people have a sad awakening coming.

  • This article was the most silly thing I have read ever in America magazine. WHich is saying a lot

    These line floored me

    “Is it not ironic that not a bishop but the President of the United States should today be the most effective spokesperson for that spirit”

    Breathtaking just Breathraking. Can one imagine the yelling and wailing if a conservative journal implied that Bush was a better spokeman for American Catholic than the U.S. Bishops

  • “But these people have a sad awakening coming.”

    Quite true Ron. No politician could possibly live up to the type of adulation that has been bestowed on Obama.

  • Isn’t “The Spirit of Vatican II” that anti-orthodox priest in Japan?

  • Yes, foxfier, that would be Fr. O’Leary. (An “O'” usually denotes the bearer of a fine Irish name, but I’m beginning to be wary of “O’s” with an S. J. after their Celtic monikers.)The last I saw of O’Leary, aka “The Spirit of VII,” he was telling the VN posters that abortion, including late-term abortion, is justifiable in some circumstances. He got that pearl of wisdom from Andrew Sullivan’s blog. O’Leary, like O’Malley, delights in telling us we should really forget all that stodgy old Vatican stuff and just get cool with the progressive program.

  • In August 2004 I saw first hand modern Jesuit thinking and its hideous anti Catholicism. Taking my daughter to freshman orientation at the University of San Francisco, the openning convocation was full of self (false) praise of the value of Jesuit education. What it lacked was single prayer for hope, encouragement, or thanks to our Lord. As I told the assistant Dean of Students while leaving, that I a lay person and the product of a good Marian education would have gladly offered one if the Jesuits were too embarassed to offer even one. But the next days Mass for students and family was even more hurtfull by these non-catholic humanists. During the homily, a young woman just graduated actually gave a speech on how she lost her faith and possibly her eternal happiness with Jesus as she was inspired by her Jesuitg education to convert from Catholicism to Islam. I am not afraid of the truth, those are facts and that is what is tolerated in the Jesuit community under the guise of being secular and seeking justice.
    I always thought that seeking Jesus, the way, the truth, and the light was what we humans were about.

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Avery Cardinal Dulles, R.I.P.

Friday, December 12, AD 2008

“I was irresistibly prompted to go out into the open air … The slush of melting snow formed a deep mud along the banks of the River Charles, which I followed down toward Boston … As I wandered aimlessly, something impelled me to look contemplatively at a young tree. On its frail, supple branches were young buds … While my eye rested on them, the thought came to me suddenly, with all the strength and novelty of a revelation, that these little buds in their innocence and meekness followed a rule, a law of which I as yet knew nothing … That night, for the first time in years, I prayed.”

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