Vatican spokesman confirmed reports that Benedict will meet with Cardinal Avery Dulles this afternoon before (I believe) the youth event at St. Joseph’s Seminary. That is close to the Fordham campus where Dulles, whose health has grown precarious in recent months, is living. It is likely to be a poignant moment between two renowned theologians. Dulles has difficulty speaking now, due to complications from childhood polio.This post to be updated as I find further confirmation -- what a blessing to Cardinal Dulles for his years of service to the Church!
Pope makes time to pay homage to U.S. theologian Cardinal Dulles, by Chaz Muth. Catholic News Service. April 21, 2008:
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- During his whirlwind April 15-20 U.S. visit, Pope Benedict XVI took a few moments out of his demanding schedule for a private meeting with one of America's pre-eminent theologians, the ailing, 89-year-old Cardinal Avery Dulles.
The wheelchair-bound Jesuit scholar traveled from his residence at Jesuit-run Fordham University's Rose Hill campus in the Bronx to St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y., April 19, for a prearranged, 15-minute private meeting with the pope, just after the pontiff met with disabled youths.
"It was a lovely meeting," said Dominican Sister Anne-Marie Kirmse, the cardinal's executive assistant for the past 20 years. She was present to help facilitate the get-together, held in a suite of offices at the seminary.
"The pope literally bounded into the room with a big smile on his face," she told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview April 21. "He went directly to where Cardinal Dulles was sitting, saying, 'Eminenza, Eminenza, Eminenza, I recall the work you did for the International Theological Commission in the 1990s.'"
The pope and cardinal's meeting was also attended by Jesuit Father Thomas R. Marciniak of the Fordham Jesuit community, who served as Cardinal Dulles's priest-chaplain, and Francine Messiah and Oslyn Fergus, health care workers who help the cardinal.
"This meeting is significant because these are two of the leading Catholic theologians who interpreted Vatican II for a generation," said Father James Massa, executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. "It was a meeting of two great Catholic intellectuals."