The news is that the only American priest ever to have been made a cardinal without being elevated to the ranks of the episcopate will turn 90 on the 24th of August. This is the man whom the Holy Father himself greeted with the simple and honourable title “Herr Professor”. This is a man who is still penning the most insightful essays and speeches despite being confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak.
I would expect that most readers of SCE have at some time read something written by Father (now Cardinal) Avery Dulles. I have always been impressed by the simplicity of his style as he clarifies and analyses various aspects of the Christian faith. And in case you fail to have a proper appreciation for this man’s output, take a look at his CV here.
But what really impresses me about this great and humble man is his faithfulness to the dictum of the founder of his order: “Sentire Cum Ecclesia”. Here is how he himself puts it:
“I have never tried to create a system of my own, an individual theology. What is specific, if you want to call it that, is that I simply want to think in communion with the faith of the church, and that means above all to think in communion with the great thinkers of the faith. The aim is not an isolated theology that I draw out of myself but one that opens as widely as possible into the common intellectual pathways of the faith.”
Brian Coyne keeps asking for a commentary on the dictum “Sentire Cum Ecclesia”. Well, that’s about as good as it gets.