Sunday, January 31, 2010

Perennially Valid

  Dr. Ralph McInerny

Doctor Ralph McInerny was a professor of philosophy and the Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He died on January 29th, 2010, at the age of 80. An unabashed Thomist, Professor McInerny never hid his love and commitment to the philosophy often referred to in Church documents as being PERENNIALLY VALID. Thomism is more than the personal thoughts of Saint Thomas Aquinas. It is the entire perspective of moderate realism based on the Aristotelian principle that reality can and must be objectively known. The rational intellect abstracts via the senses from individual objects universal ideas that are known and knowable only to the rational mind.

Former President of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, Dr. McInerny debated vigorously attempts to 'modernize' Thomism by adapting it to Kantian philosophy (aka, Transcendental Thomism). He preferred a more pure presentation and application of the Angelic Doctor's philosophy in the tradition of Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson.

Author of the "Father Dowling Mysteries", he also wrote commentaries on how the so-called 'spirit of Vatican II' was used by some modernists to distort the real spirit found in the actual text sixteen documents of the Council.

He will be sorely missed and was a beacon of hope at Notre Dame showing that one still can be orthodox and a devout Catholic, loyal to the Magisterium and Roman Pontiff while teaching at that infamous institution.



Sandy said...

He was a wonderful man and such a marvelous example of a true Catholic! May he rest in peace and pray for our Church. God bless you, Father.

Padre Giovanni Trigilio said...

I had the honor and privilege of meeting Dr. McInerny as a seminarian. Fr. Bob Levis, president emeritus of the CCC, often invited the renown Thomist to speak at the annual convocation for the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. Before ordination, I would help Fr. Bob as a seminarian by picking up speakers at the airport and taking them here and there, as well as being able to listen to their erudite lectures. As a college seminarian, I remember listening to a Thomas Aquinas symposium sponsored by the Gannon University Philosophy Dept. in which Dr. McInerny was keynote speaker.

Like the Angelic Doctor himself, McInerny was well read on a plethora of subjects. While a true expert in Philosophy, he was also quite competent in theology, church history, liturgy, etc.

Above all else, Ralph was a FAITHFUL SON OF THE CHURCH. He earned his mandatum the old fashioned way. He taught orthodox doctrine and he defended it. He also, like Aquinas, showed that only SOLID philosophy could be the worthy handmaiden of theology. Anything less was intellectual prostitution.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Are there any professors who have taken up his mantle?

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