Friday, December 12, 2008

Avery RIP

Word from New York brings the sad news that Avery Dulles SJ -- the celebrated convert, teacher, prolific author, first American theologian and US Jesuit elevated to the College of Cardinals, the dean of American theologians and a giant of the age -- passed to his reward overnight.

Having suffered from a crippling post-polio syndrome in recent years, the Harvard man and scion of a Washington dynasty was 90. Yet even in the face of the illness' physical toll, the ever hard-charging Navy vet -- who usually traveled alone even into his late 80s -- was still working away on a 32nd book in his last weeks.

More as it comes in... may his brilliant soul rest in the peace of the One in whom he believed.

SVILUPPO: At 9.30, a statement from the Jesuits' New York province formally announced Dulles' passing; the cardinal died at 6.30 this morning in his room at the Jesuit infirmary at Fordham University.

Funeral arrangments are to be announced shortly, and later today will see the release of the customary telegram of condolence from the Pope, whose respect for Dulles was especially significant.

SVILUPPO 2: For those clicking into this post from outside, several updates are up: more tributes, links and developments; the funeral arrangements; papal telegram of condolence and the appreciation piece run in Sunday's edition of the Vatican daily L'Osservatore Romano.