Avery Dulles, theologian and cardinal, dies at 90

Worked against polarization in the church
Cardinal Avery Dulles, who left a prominent Protestant pedigree to become one of the nation’s most distinguished theologians and a prince of the Catholic Church, died December 12 at the age of 90.

One of the oldest men to be named a cardinal, at age 82, by Pope John Paul II in 2001, Dulles died at the Jesuit infirmary at Fordham University in New York, where he had held an endowed chair since 1988.

When he was named a cardinal, Dulles was the oldest of the 44 clerics elevated to the College of Cardinals, and the only one who walked up the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica with a cane. He was also the first U.S. Jesuit—and the first American theologian who was not already a bishop—to be honored with a cardinal’s red hat.

 

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