15 November 2017
The grace of change: on his ninetieth birthday, an Irish theologian looks back at tumultuous change in the Church
Looking back over my theological life has been a thought-provoking and sometimes humbling experience. At the conclusion of my primary studies for the priesthood in the late 1940s and early 1950s, I was regrettably incurious about what was going on in the wider theological world – beyond the then mandatory narrow and legalistic scholasticism. I recall standing in St Peter’s Square in Rome in 1950 listening to Pope Pius XII define the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. At the time, I was riveted by the thought that I was present at the declaration of an infallible statement – a tribute to my teachers, if a disconcerting reflection on my state of mind at that time.
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