BY STAFF REPORTER
CARDINAL Avery Dulles was hailed this week as "one of the great defenders of the Second Vatican Council".
Cardinal Dulles, a convert from Presbyterianism, scion of a prominent political family, was a respected academic, and an adviser on the Diocese of Lancaster's widely praised document Fit for Mission? Church.
Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue of Lancaster expressed his sorrow at the cardinal's death.
He said: "In his many publications he sought to promote a critical. while at the same time loyal. reception of the documents of the Council Fathers. He showed that being orthodox and obedient to the Magisterium doesn't mean abandoning hard questions or creative engagement with the Deposit of Faith."
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired Washington archbishop. and a fellow member of the 2001 class of cardinals, described the Jesuit scholar he first met 60 years ago as even then being -an imposing personality with his twang, his razor-sharp intellect and, perhaps more than anything else, his obviously profound dedication to his faith".
"He was one of the truly great American theologians, constantly renewing and deepening his commitment to the truth," said Cardinal McCarrick.
Benedict XVI offered his condolences to the Jesuit community and Cardinal Dulles's friends and family. He remarked on the cardinal's "deep learning, serene judgment and unfailing love of the Lord and his Church which marked his entire priestly ministry and his long years of teaching and theological research."
The Pope said he was praying that Cardinal Dulles's "convincing personal testimony to the harmony of faith and reason will continue to bear fruit for the conversion of minds and hearts and the progress of the Gospel for many years to come."
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said Cardinal Dulles' "wise counsel ill be missed," and that "his personal aness to the pursuit of holiness of life as a priest, a Jesuit and a cardinal of the Church will be remembered".