USCCB News Release
December 12, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
President of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Expresses Sadness over Death of Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ
WASHINGTON—The death of Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, "brings home to God a great theologian and a totally dedicated servant of the Church," Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said of the cardinal who died December 12 at Fordham University at the age of 90.
"His wise counsel will be missed; his personal witness to the pursuit of holiness of life as a priest, a Jesuit and a Cardinal of the Church will be remembered and will encourage the Church to remain ever faithful to her Lord and his mission," Cardinal George said.
"I am deeply saddened at the loss of a personal friend; but I rejoice in the hope that now he sees clearly what he explored so well in his studies on revelation, on grace and on the nature of the Church and the papal office. May he rest in peace."
Cardinal Dulles, who served as a professor of systematic theology at The Catholic University of America and later as the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham, assisted the USCCB as a key contributor to the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue and to the committee on doctrine.
"For a generation of priests, scholars and faithful, Cardinal Avery Dulles has been a reliable and faithful interpreter of the Second Vatican Council. A number of his books have become classics in theological education, such as Models of the Church," said Father James Massa, executive director of the Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the USCCB and a student of Cardinal Dulles. "In some ways, his life bears comparison with another great cardinal-theologian, John Henry Newman, on whose birthday, 200 years later, Avery Dulles was created a cardinal of the Catholic Church." The first U.S. theologian and U.S. Jesuit to be elevated to the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Dulles was, at his own request, not consecrated a bishop, a rare distinction for a cardinal.Pope Benedict XVI met with Cardinal Dulles in a private audience on April 19, during the pope's pastoral visit to the United States, bringing together two leading Catholic theologians of the post-Vatican II era.