Avery Cardinal Dulles SJ and Sentire Cum Ecclesia

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.

Read more about this remarkable man here on Whispers in the Loggia and here on the First Things blog.

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4 Responses to Avery Cardinal Dulles SJ and Sentire Cum Ecclesia

  1. William Weedon says:

    What I find odd (though very prevalent) is the worship of sex – the thought that a life that ends without enjoying the marriage bed is somehow a life unfulfilled. Granted that the marriage bed is the norm, our blessed Lord Himself and His apostle both extolled the gift of celibacy and if our Lord is the only “fully human” specimen out there yet (though the saints approach this fullness through their participation in Him), then manifestly the bed (marriage or as is more likely these days, unmarriage) is not the “tree of life” that people try to make it in this culture.

  2. Schütz says:

    Umm. Were you thinking of somthing else, Pastor Bill, while reading this entry on Cardinal Dulles???

    Perhaps you meant this comment to be attached to the blog below…?

  3. William Weedon says:

    LOL!!! Yes, the one below.

  4. Joshua says:

    Despite the Freudian slip (ROTFL), I think PW raises a serious issue.

    How often on vacuous TV shows and other forms of mass propaganda are people portrayed as being in imminent danger of death and – repenting? praying? No! – the ‘joke’ is that they are portrayed as therefore attempting frenzied copulation.

    What moral bankruptcy.

    With no supernatural outlook, and the thought that everything ends in the grave, society turns to increasingly immoral hedonism.

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