Requiesce in pacem "Herr Professor"!

I have only just read in Zenit of the death of Avery Cardinal Dulles, the man whom Pope Benedict called “Herr Professor”.

His wisdom and guidance has been a gift to the Church, recognised by Pope John Paul II in making him a cardinal of the Church of Rome.

As Zenit reports, Robert Imbelli, associate professor of theology at Boston College, wrote that:

“Unlike other theologians of the 1970s and 1980s, Dulles never neglected the fact that the mystery of the Church always refers to the greater mystery: Jesus Christ himself, who alone is the light of the world.

“In a time when some theologians seemed to stress one-sidedly the horizontal and this-worldly dimension, Dulles insisted that we must not lose the radical sense of God’s transcendence.”

As the good book says: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth. They rest from their labours, for their deeds follow them!” (Rev 14:13). Cardinal Dulles’ “labours” will remain a treasury for us long after his passing. If you are unfamiliar with his works, it is not too late to become familiar with them. You can start here.

Rest in peace, good and faithful servant.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Requiesce in pacem "Herr Professor"!

  1. Joshua

    Forgive me, David:

    “Requiescas in pace” would perhaps be better…

  2. Past Elder

    Indeed. Imbelli’s words are quite right, and even one who is less than impressed, shall we say, with what became of what he served cannot but say he served it well.

    His farewell address at Fordham earlier this year illustrates Imbelli’s summary well, even to his last act.

    As to getting Catholic stuff right, a persistent problem in the post-conciliar RCC, the traditional phrase, and source of the abbreviation RIP, is:

    Requiescat in pace.

    The verb can be modified to address the departed directly, however “in” takes the ablative regardless.

    The Cardinal would recognise this which could be well said of him:

    Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.

  3. Schütz

    I was trying to use the singular imperative: as in “Rest now, old boy, your labours are over”. Did I get it right? My Latin is poor despite three years of it at University!

    Josh, you are right if I were wanting to say “MAY you rest now, dear fellow” – but that wasn’t quite what I meant.

  4. Joshua

    Oh, OK: in which situation “Requiesce in pace” would be right I think. (I misread you as having written requiescere.)