FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Ralph McInerny, a Neoconservative, Co-Founder of Crisis Magazine is dead, RIP
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
By Phil Lawler | January 29, 2010 5:57 PM


Ralph McInerny, one of the most memorable figures on the American Catholic scene, died this morning in South Bend at the age of 80, after a long illness. He will be sorely missed.

For more than 50 years he taught philosophy at Notre Dame, and he ranked among the world's leading Thomists. (It is fitting that he was able to celebrate the feast of St. Thomas, to whom he was so devoted, once last time on the day before his death.) But anyone who expected Ralph to be a dry, detached, ivory-tower scholar was due for a surprise upon meeting him. He was friendly, urbane, and gracious. He moved easily across international boundaries, spending vacations in Italy and giving speeches all across Europe. And he moved with equal ease into the spheres of politics and polemics, literature and the arts. A genuine renaissance man.

My own personal acquaintance with Ralph began in the 1980s, during the heated debate about the US bishops' "peace pastoral." I was immediately impressed by his calm confidence in dealing with the media frenzy in Washington, his keen analysis of both public issues and public responses, and above all his quick wit. Not long thereafter he joined with Michael Novak to found Crisis magazine-- showing more than a little expertise in fundraising, too. When they hired me as the first full-time editor, I had the opportunity to see Ralph regularly in his native habitat, at the Medieval Institute in Notre Dame.

In his home in South Bend, Ralph showed me the little basement office where he had faithfully spent an hour a day writing for years, churning out fiction-- both for fun and to generate extra income to support his family. Therein lies another surprise: the world-class Thomist was also a famous author of mystery stories. The Father Dowling series made him financially secure; other novels gave him greater literary satisfaction.

After the death of his beloved Connie (whom he usually introduced as "my first wife"), Ralph seemed to age quickly. His written output was still prolific, but his work expressed an uneasiness: an elegaic quality, yearning for more lasting peace. I pray that he has found it now.

http://www.catholicculture.org/commentar...cfm?id=605
RIP.  Pray
A man died.  His name should have appeared first in the tagline, not his purported ideological bent. 
(01-30-2010, 04:42 PM)Bonifacius Wrote: [ -> ]A man died.  His name should have appeared first in the tagline, not his purported ideological bent. 

Purported nothing, that's what he was, RIP.
(01-30-2010, 04:49 PM)Augstine Baker Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-30-2010, 04:42 PM)Bonifacius Wrote: [ -> ]A man died.  His name should have appeared first in the tagline, not his purported ideological bent. 

Purported nothing, that's what he was, RIP.

I said "purported" because I didn't know that he was a neoconservative and don't really care enough to find out or not.  I don't even really care who he was.  So I had only your word to go on, which merits a "purported."  I just don't think it appropriate to start off a headline that way. 
Pray

He was a great philosophy professor and loved the Church, even if I did disagree with him on a lot of topics.  He will be missed.