Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Man Of Mercy And Truth

I have to draw your attention to this article by Dame Joanna Bogle concerning Cardinal Jean Danielou. The Cardinal, a saintly man, was one of the architects of the Second Vatican Council. He was a member of the Ressourcement movement - those theologians, including Joseph Ratzinger, who wanted the Church to go back to her theological roots - the Church Fathers, in her process of reform; a process  which is part of what we now call the hermeneutic of continuity. Cardinal Danielou was a Jesuit, but found himself at odds with the way the Jesuits were going following the Council.  He spent the last years of his life having to defend the Council from those who misinterpreted it while defending religious life. When he stood faithfully by Blessed Paul VI following the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, this great theologian was ostracized and shared in the Pope's suffering - for this reason Blessed Paul made him a cardinal.

The good cardinal died suddenly when he was out on a mission of mercy - bringing alms to a woman who in desperation had turned to prostitution. The cardinal brought money so she would not have to sell her body for an income. He collapsed and died in her arms. For years rumours circulated that he was availing of her services, and though the truth was known, the circumstances of his death were easily investigated, it was hidden and so the rumours gained the presumption of truth and the reputation of a holy man was destroyed. 

I agree with Dame Joanna, I think the Cause of this great theologian should be opened. He was a man who was not just a great mind, but a great soul, a man of charity who was well known to reach out to the poor, a man of mercy and a man who endured the suffering of the cross for the sake of truth.

Here is another excellent article from Crisis Magazine, on the Cardinal, his life and his death.


  1. Agreed. Sick tongues may wag, but the truth will prevail. Bl. Fr. Francis C. Seelos, C.Ss.R. also took flak for going to administer last rites to a woman, not realizing until being told later that it was a house of prostitution that he had entered. His response? "Oh well! I saved a soul."

    When love calls, Saints answer, no matter the personal cost. God sees and knows. The truth will prevail. I say go forth. God never lets His Saints down.

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