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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Remembering Avery Cardinal Dulles

Fr. James Martin reminisces and offers a fine tribute to our recently deceased brother, Cardinal Avery Dulles:

Given his lightheartedness, it seemed appropriate that, in 2001, during the Vatican ceremony when he was made a cardinal, Pope John Paul II placed the customary red biretta on Avery's head, and it toppled into the pope's lap. No one enjoyed telling that story more than the new cardinal. And he enjoyed recounting a tale from his Navy days, when as officer of the watch, he ordered his ship to fire on a German U-Boat in the Caribbean. When dawn came, Ensign Dulles realized that had bombarded a coral reef.

read the whole thing here.

I ran into Avery Dulles shortly after he was made a cardinal. There had been a piece on him in the New York Times magazine earlier that week. I told him I enjoyed the piece. He laughed, as he often did, and then became a bit indignant. "That last part about the subway token. It never happened," he said. "The reporter just made it up." As usual, he had found a way not to be too impressed with himself.