The Pope on "Herr Professor"
And so, at Joseph Ratzinger's explicit request, Avery Dulles was brought to St Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie for a special private audience before Benedict emerged to address the 30,000 youth gathered on the grounds.
Bound to be moving however it shook out, the last encounter between the two longtime friends and heavyweights of the discipline -- the Jesuit once called the Bavarian "one of the ablest living theologians" -- was made all the more poignant when the Pope switched his salutation from the Italian ecclesiastical "Eminenza" to "Herr Professor," the affectionate honorific of the German classroom.
Believed to have played a role in Dulles' historic elevation to the College of Cardinals in 2001, earlier this morning B16 -- who drew upon the American dean's counsel and expertise in his days as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- sent the following telegram on the cardinal's death at 90 yesterday to Cardinal Edward Egan, the archbishop of New York.
HAVING LEARNED WITH SADNESS OF THE DEATH OF CARDINAL AVERY DULLES, I OFFER YOU MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES, WHICH I ASK YOU KINDLY TO CONVEY TO HIS FAMILY, HIS CONFRERES IN THE SOCIETY OF JESUS AND THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY OF FORDHAM UNIVERSITY. I JOIN YOU IN COMMENDING THE LATE CARDINAL’S NOBLE SOUL TO GOD, THE FATHER OF MERCIES, WITH IMMENSE GRATITUDE FOR THE DEEP LEARNING, SERENE JUDGMENT AND UNFAILING LOVE OF THE LORD AND HIS CHURCH WHICH MARKED HIS ENTIRE PRIESTLY MINISTRY AND HIS LONG YEARS OF TEACHING AND THEOLOGICAL RESEARCH. AT THE SAME TIME I PRAY THAT HIS CONVINCING PERSONAL TESTIMONY TO THE HARMONY OF FAITH AND REASON WILL CONTINUE TO BEAR FRUIT FOR THE CONVERSION OF MINDS AND HEARTS AND THE PROGRESS OF THE GOSPEL FOR MANY YEARS TO COME. TO ALL WHO MOURN HIM IN THE HOPE OF THE RESURRECTION I CORDIALLY IMPART MY APOSTOLIC BLESSING AS A PLEDGE OF CONSOLATION AND PEACE IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.BENEDICTUS PP. XVI