Sad news today: Fr. Andrew Greeley, titan of the U.S. Catholic Church, has died, five years after he fell in a terrible accident that caused major brain trauma. He was eighty-five.
His family released the following statement:
Our lives have been tremendously enriched by having the presence of Fr. Andrew Greeley in our family. First and foremost as a loving uncle who was always there for us with unfailing support or with a gentle nudge, who shared with us both the little things and the big moments of family life.
But we were specially graced that this man was also an amazing priest who recently celebrated the 59th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He served the Church all those years with a prophetic voice and with unfailing dedication, and the Church he and our parents taught us to love is a better place because of him. Our hearts are heavy with grief, but we find hope in the promise of Heaven that our uncle spent his life proclaiming to us, his friends, his parishioners and his many fans. He resides now with the Lord of the Dance, and that dance will go on.
The Chicago Trbune obituary recalls a quote he gave the paper in 1992 that nicely captures the man he was:
“I'm a priest, pure and simple,” Greeley told the Tribune in 1992. “The other things I do — sociological research, my newspaper columns, the novels I write — are just my way of being a priest. I decided I wanted to be one when I was a kid growing up on the West Side. I've never wavered or wanted to be anything but.”
Requiescat in pace.
I'll be updating this post with links to Greeley's Commonweal aritcles, after the jump, so check back often.
His final Commonweal article was published days before his tragic accident in November 2008: "Signs of Life: A Sociologist Looks Ahead."
Here's his review of David Gibson's book, The Rule of Benedict: "The Puzzling Pope."
Here he asks, "Can Catholics Think for Themselves?"