The Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies mourns the loss of Father Edward H. Flannery, a pioneer in Christian-Jewish relations and collaborator with its founder Msgr. John M. Oesterreicher. He lived at Seton Hall University from 1965-1970, during which time his book, The Anguish of the Jews became the first in the Quest series sponsored by the Institute.
Father Flannery, past master of the written word, became the first spokesman of the Catholic Bishops of the United States on Catholic-Jewish relations (1967-1977). In this capacity he spoke in hundreds of churches, synagogues and other settings to promote an understanding of the work of the Second Vatican Council and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops concerning the Church's bond with the Jewish people. He also continued his exposure of the vicious virus labeled "anti-semitism" and defended the State of Israel and the Jewish people against attacks on the local, national and international levels.
He continued this work as President of the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel, a Consultor to the Holy See's Secretariat of Inter-religious Affairs, Director of the Continuing Education of the Clergy for the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island. Father Flannery was awarded honorary doctorates from several institutions, including Hebrew Union College/ Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati and Seton Hall University. He received the prestigious Nicholas and Hedy Munk International Brotherhood Award of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews and many other signs of esteem from Christian and Jewish Organizations.
Father Flannery's voice and pen have been stilled, but we can still nurture our appreciation of the triumphs and sufferings of the Jewish people by turning to his works. May many others take up the cause of truth in amity that characterized this priest of Providence, Rhode Island! As a good and faithful servant, we pray that he will be eternally uplifted by Providence divine!
Rev. Lawrence Frizzell
Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies