The National Catholic Review

This morning, we received this announcement from the New York Province of the Society of Jesus:

"This is to inform you that Avery Cardinal Dulles died this morning at about 6:30 at Murray-Weigel Hall.  Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly. May he rest in peace."  [Murray-Weigel Hall is the Jesuit infirmary, located at Fordham University, in Bronx, New York.]

Cardinal Dulles, the first American Jesuit ever to be named a cardinal, was widely considered to be the dean of American Catholic theologians.  An archive of articles by, and an interview with Cardinal Dulles, a longtime and beloved contributor to America magazine, for the past 40 years is here

We mourn the loss of a great man, a learned scholar, a compassionate priest, a model Jesuit, and a dear friend of the editors here. 

James Martin, SJ

Show Comments (17)

Comments (hide)

Anonymous | 12/16/2008 - 11:02pm
Cardinal Avery Dulles is one of my favourite theologians especially in ecclesiology. I read some of his books and made use of them as my references in writing my term papers and homilies. He's indeed a great scholar; a gift to the church; an exemplary icon of humility and commitment to his priesthood. His redeeming words freed me to crave for knowledge in the context of service. He's a hero for me; a great mentor to those who follow the call of discipleship and to those who want to be nourished with the knowledge of faith. Hail to you our dear Cardinal Avery Dulles! Your legacy to the church will be treasured forever. May you now rest in peace. Au revoir!
Anonymous | 12/14/2008 - 12:52am
I attended a couple of Cardinal Dulles' public lectures and had a brief, warm, private chat with him at Newark Airport a while back. We were coincidentally booked on the same flight to Rome and bumped into each other in the waiting area at the gate. He was flying over for one of the synods and, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, told me he really didn't feel much like going at all but since he was expected he wouldn't want people to talk so off he was. Apart from that, he was genuinely interested in the person of his captivated fellow traveler. We boarded the plane and wished each other a safe trip. I never saw him again after that but I was left with the solid impression of having met a very good man and a great priest, kind, compassionate, humorous, humble, a heart filled with caritas, holy in the fullest and finest meaning of the term. Rest in Peace, Father!
Anonymous | 12/20/2008 - 5:41pm
Depart, good and faithful servant ...
Anonymous | 12/13/2008 - 1:44pm
My wife and I had the privilege of attending the 2001 consistory at which Pope John Paul II gave him the red hat. Among the prelates, Cardinal Dulles was the sentimental favorite among all those present for those memorable liturgies in Rome.
Anonymous | 12/13/2008 - 8:35am
I never met or so much as corresponded with Cardinal Dulles. I read his works in old issues of FIRST THINGS when I could lay my hands on them. And yet, I hear ths news of his death with profound sorrow and tears in my eyes. And I believe, with all my heart, that he has heard the words 'Well done, good and faithful servant.' May his life of service to God, and to His Church inspire us to use all our gifts, of nature and grace, as this humble priest did. Cardinal Dulles, may the angels receive you into the Kingdom of the King you served so long and so well. Santhosh Ebroo. Bangalore, India.
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 4:08pm
It was a high point and blessing in my young intellect's life to know Avery Dulles first during my ''Six Weeks a Jesuit'' in New York in the summer of 1996, and then several times after that. On these several occasions he welcomed me whenever I was visiting the Bronx, wanting to know how I was doing in life. Among my prized possessions are a number of books that he wrote and that he autographed for me, and a book ''The Priestly Office'', which he sent me when I graduated from Yale in 1997. What an intellect we have lost! I can see Avery debating Aquinas, de Lubac, Augustine and Chesterton (during office hours and after). The thought that he won't be around anymore is saddening (and I was planning to send him a Christmas card this year), and I know I will never look on his like again. I celebrate knowing him and celebrate his life today. God bless him and the legacy he has left the Church and American Catholicism
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 3:45pm
My sincere and heartfelt condolences are extended to the members of the New England Province of Jesuits on the passing of their brother, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. I never had the privilege of meeting the man. He does not know me. But I have been so blessed to have had the privilege of reading his many theological writings. Cardinal Dulles was a prolific, gifted, and graced follower of Jesus Christ and a faithful servant of the Church. His deep reflections and Christian spirit were evident to me through the power of ink on paper and the Internet. My own very personal decision to transition from Protestantism to Catholicism was due in no small measure to the influence of the profound writings of Cdl. Dulles. He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed. May the Lord embrace and welcome this faithful servant into the Light of His Presence. David A. Pendleton Kailua, Hawaii
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 12:54pm
A great light has gone out. My sincere sympathy to the members of the New England Province of Jesuits on the loss of their brother, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. I was so blessed to have had Cardinal Dulles as a professor during my graduate degree program at Boston College in the mid-1980s.
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 12:18pm
During my undergraduate and graduate work, I looked to Cdl. Dulles for so many papers and presentations. I have a whole shelf of dogeared books full of notes and citations from Cdl. Dulles. The academic theologian and the magisterial theologian have lost a great advocate and magnificent theologian who truly was a 'Man for Others.' AMDG
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 2:07pm
Cardinal Dulles always provided a solid lesson in erudition and clarity of thought. He is a great loss to the theological community. His commitment to religious life will be a model for future generations.
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 1:06pm
When I spoke to Cardinal Dulles in Rome as he was giving his first blessings as a 'Prince of the Church,' I mentioned to him that I spent a whole semester in one theology class at Fordham studying 'Models of the Church.' He laughed and said, Good God, man! Who would do such a thing to you?' When I told which of the Fordham Jesuits it was, he said, 'It figures.' We both chuckled. I had the pleasure of dining and speaking with Cardinal Dulles on another occasion, and shared a story with him related to his days at the Jesuit novitiate at St. Andrew's-on-the-Hudson. My late father was a policeman and one of his close friends was a state trooper assigned to VIPs who visited the area. That trooper, who also died this year, had told me how he knew the location of a hidden key to the novitiate and used it on a couple of occasions to sneak John Foster Dulles in after hours to visit his son. He gave me a sly wink. Truly a great mind and someone with whom you could sit and chat for hours. May he rest in peace and may we all celebrate his extraordinary life and contributions to the faith.
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 12:43pm
Amidst the sadness of the Cardinal's passing, I am reminded of the many moments of exhileration I experienced in his company. Not merely a diligent professor and active scholar, steeped in learning, he was to me a model Christian. An anecdote: during his time as a visiting professor at Yale Divinity School, where I was a student, I was tasked with shepherding him from one appointment to the next. Earlier in the day he told me that he needed a little time to say the Divine Office, so I left him alone in the YDS library. When I returned for him, he looked up from his breviary, and I saw a face that beemed satisfaction. After his last lecture with George Lindbeck, during which the two graciously sparred on the importance of justification in St. Thomas, I had the pleasure of returning my professor to Fordham. We crept along the Merritt Parkway in a blinding storm. To pass the time we sang the Stabat Mater (he knew it by heart). Sometimes people ask why I became interested in theology. It was fueled in part because of of the holiest men I've ever known.
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 12:41pm
May the Lord welcome this holy Jesuit priest into eternal life. I am so grateful that Pope Benedict made a special effort to visit with Cardinal Dulles when the Pope visted United States.
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 12:18pm
I paid a lot of money to send two kids to Fordham. Cardinal Dulles is one of the main reasons why I thought it was money well spent.
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 11:45am
I never met him, but wish I did. I admired how he used the intellegence God gave him by teaching us how to understand our faith in a better and more simple way.
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 11:21am
Oh, that is sad and unexpected. He, his family, and the Jesuit community will remain in my prayers. He was a beautiful man and a gifted theologian. He will be missed.
Anonymous | 12/12/2008 - 10:21am
This man was an example of a good christian and a great Jesuit.Always faithful to the Church and striving to uncover the wisdom of her teaching and so never (or at least to my knowledge )falling prey like so many Americans to the winds of ideology be it left or right.A model of erudition and happy to serve.The college of cardinals was blessed to receive such a humble Priest and one who could never be accused of ladder-climbing. I hope that all of the Jesuits working at America hold fast his memory and feel it was a grace from God to work with a man such as Father Dulles. Rest in peace. David Power