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Deaths of theologians.

Edinburgh--On January 28, 1999, Charles Davis, professor of Religion at Concordia College, Montreal, for 21 years, died from complications of Parkinson's disease. He was 75.

In the 1960's, Father Davis was a well-known Catholic theologian in England, especially as an interpreter of modern European trends in Catholic theology. But in 1966, one year after the close of Vatican II, he abandoned his priesthood and the Church, declaring that the present Catholic Church was "no longer a credible embodiment of Christian faith, hope and love." She has, he said, "become a zone of untruth" (A Question of Conscience, p. 62). His departure created quite a stir.

After his marriage, Davis came to Canada, first to Edmonton, then to Montreal. He and his wife, while not belonging to any church themselves, brought up their two children as Catholics. Davis continued to denigrate the institution of the Catholic Church, which was reflected in many books and articles of increasing obscurity. By the time he retired from teaching in 1991, he had faded from the Catholic scene.

Toronto--Father Ian Knox, a member of the Spiritans (formerly Congregation of the Holy Ghost), died at age 72. Born from Irish parents in Trinidad, he came to Toronto in 1970 and from the late 70s onwards taught religious education to teachers.

His 1994 book Theology for Teachers was severely criticized in Catholic Insight for the many omissions of Catholic doctrine ("Bad theology from Fr. Knox," July/August 1996). The critique was forwarded to local authorities as well as to the Superior of the Spiritans in Rome, but nothing further was heard from either quarter. However, a long obituary notice in the Toronto Star, March 9, 1999, noted that the book "is being revised for a second publication."

Pickering, ON--On March 5th Father Edward Sheridan, S.J., died at age 88. He had been a member of the Society of Jesus for 67 years. From 1948 on, he taught moral theology at Regis College in Toronto. Later on he served his community in other capacities as well.

In 1968, Father Sheridan disagreed with Pope Paul's encyclical Humanae vitae prohibiting contraception, as did so many other moral theologians in Canada and elsewhere. As an advisor to the Canadian bishops in Winnipeg in September 1968, he counselled accordingly. He also reported Canadian resistance to the encyclical in the New York Jesuit weekly America, at the time one of the most influential media in Catholic North America.

Thus at a crucial time in the battle against hedonism he helped weaken Catholic resistance to the contraceptive mentality.

We recommend all three deceased to your prayers.

Let us remember the words of St. Paul: "If we sin willfully after receiving the truth, there remains for us no further sacrifice for sin--only a fearful expectation of judgement and a flaming fire to consume the adversaries of God" (Hebrews 10:26-27).
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Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:May 1, 1999
Previous Article:Confession.
Next Article:Things you probably didn't know.

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