Friday, April 4, 2008
Avery Cardinal Dulles is, of course, a giant. Here's a story about his final McGinley Lecture at Fordham. Were any MOJ-folks there? Any reports? Here's a taste:
In his lectures, which have always been well attended, the cardinal has defended Catholic orthodoxy and explored oft-debated topics.
He said his principal aim in his lectures was "to present and classify the existing opinions" and "to criticize views that are inadequate."
He always tried "to incorporate the valid insights of all parties to the discussion, rather than perpetuate a one-sided view that is partial and incomplete," he said.
"I think of myself as a moderate trying to make peace between (opposing) schools of thought. While doing so, however, I insist on logical consistency. Unlike certain relativists of our time, I abhor mixtures of contradiction," Cardinal Dulles said. . . .
"Western thought," he said, "followed in the path of cognitive realism for many centuries before the revival of agnosticism in the Renaissance." The cardinal repeated Pope John Paul II's admonition that philosophy should seek to "resume its original quest for eternal truth and wisdom."
"Science, we all know, does not rest on a treasury of revealed knowledge handed down in authoritative tradition," the cardinal said. "Science has wonderfully increased our powers to make and to destroy, but it does not tell us what we ought to do and why.
"It does not tell us where the universe came from, or why we exist, or what our final destination is. And yet some scientists speak as though their discipline were the only kind of valid knowledge," he said. . . .
"The most important thing about my career, and many of yours, I feel sure, is the discovery of the pearl of great price, the treasure hidden in the field -- the Lord Jesus himself," he said. . . .