Rumor: Servais Pinckaers, OP passes

Rumor: Servais Pinckaers, OP passes April 7, 2008

I have not been able to confirm the rumor, but there is some information going around that the great Dominican moral theologian, Servais Pinckaers, has passed away. If anyone has any (accurate) information, please leave a comment.

For those not familiar with Pinckaers’ work, he was involved in the drafting of Part III of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (“Life in Christ”) and was part of a preparatory commission for John Paul II’s encyclical, Veritatis Splendor. Perhaps the most important book he ever penned is the incomparable The Sources of Christian Ethics.

UPDATE: It’s official and you heard it here first…we have lost a great priest and a great theologian. Fr. Servais Pinckaers dies at the age of 82. May his soul be embraced in the infinite love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Thanks to Br. Matthew Augustine, OP for providing us with confirmation.

UPDATE 2: Thomistica.net has the sad letter of Fr. Michael Sherwin, OP reporting the death of Fr. Pinckaers, who had suffered two heart attacks in less than a month.


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  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    Just checked my e-mail inbox. No news. I’ll say a conditional rosary for the repose of his soul just in case. If this is true its sad news, he is a real model of the Dominican life. We are currently reading his Pursuit of Happiness as a community.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    This looks pretty official:
    http://www.kipa-apic.ch/meldungen/sep_show_fr.php?id=4264
    Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

  • radicalcatholicmom

    God bless him!

  • none

    RIP.

  • What? No mocking of a dead man? I am on Vox Nova, aren’t I?

    Just out of curiosity, how do those on this site who mock dead men imagine Father Pinckaers would respond to their practice, and their subsequent defense of it?

  • DB – Which is worse, “mocking” a dead man, or mocking people who are still living?

  • Policraticus

    Just out of curiosity, how do those on this site who mock dead men imagine Father Pinckaers would respond to their practice, and their subsequent defense of it?

    With probably the same amount of indignation as he would show if someone hijacked a memorial post in order to take a dig at a small Catholic blog.

  • You guys are really pathetic. Do you really think that there is a moral equivalence between criticizing the living who are still able to defend themselves and mocking the dead who can’t? Have I somehow mocked the great moral theologian by using his death to highlight the moral failings of certain Vox Nova people? Kindly explain how.

    And Poli,
    If my critiquing of Mionion and Mister Iafrate for NOT mocking the deceased father Pinckaers is on the same level as their mocking Mister Heston, then are they not as culpable as I am? What does it say about your character that you chose to focus on me rather than on all of us equally? Are you more intent on defending the blog-turf you hold in common with them, rather than justice?

  • Policraticus

    If my critiquing of Mionion and Mister Iafrate for NOT mocking the deceased father Pinckaers is on the same level as their mocking Mister Heston, then are they not as culpable as I am? What does it say about your character that you chose to focus on me rather than on all of us equally? Are you more intent on defending the blog-turf you hold in common with them, rather than justice?

    If there is a time for this sort of discourse, it certainly is not here in a post on the death of Fr. Pinckaers. What you are doing is petty and self-righteous, though it is something I’ve come to expect.

  • G. Alkon

    No one was mocking Heston.

    What was being mocked was self-righteous, grave “honor” given to this or that pop cultural figure (Heston is only one), incorrectly assigned significance by our meaning-starved culture.

  • Tim F.

    May Fr. Pinckaer’s soul rest in peace.

    I find comments in this post and the ones regarding Charlton Heston troubling, especially with regard to Policraticus. But I will first address G. Alkon.

    G. Alkon, you were the one who clearly started the controversy on the Charlton Heston post with your sarcastic first post. I actually thought you were sincere but after reading your subsequent posts, I saw that you were just looking for an argument from the beginning. But even your sarcastic first post seems to have been a setup for Michael Iarfrate, Joseph, Morning’s Minion, and possibly Policraticus.

    It is very possible, but not a certainty, that Policraticus posted on Charlton Heston in order to sit back and watch the conflict ensue in which case his comments to Michael Iafrate would seem extremely disingenuous. I speak of these comments.

    “Well Michael I., it appears that we have to face the sad situation that some of our commentators deliberately seek out bickering and argumentation with or without cause. Very classy, very Catholic.” These comments came after Mr. Iafrate lamented being second to Joseph in mocking the dead Mr. Heston and his leadership of the NRA. Who is seeking out argumentation and bickering here? And mocking the dead while at it.

    I have to agree with Dim Bulb that Policraticus is being selective in focusing on Dim Bulb and his hijacking of this post on a deceased person while ignoring G. Alkon, Michael Iafrate, Morning’s Minion, and others who turned the Heston post into one big argument. And then for Policraticus to post this comment “ If there is a time for this sort of discourse, it certainly is not here in a post on the death of Fr. Pinckaers. What you are doing is petty and self-righteous, though it is something I’ve come to expect”, is pretty rich seeing as he used the “pot calling the kettle black” analogy in the Heston post. Of course maybe the post on Heston was intended to be a forum to attack “conservatives” and provide another opportunity for argumentation and bickering. If that is the case then you should be clearer about the purpose of the posts.

    Getting back to my statement that these comments are troubling. While I often find Policraticus arrogant, self-righteous, judgmental, selective to the point of participating in sort of a non-aggression pact with some of his cohorts here like Iafrate, I have generally thought him to be a person of good will. Whereas I have found several of his fellow bloggers to be just arrogant, self-righteous, and lacking in any form of charity to a certain segment of their fellow Catholics they despise. I think if the post on Heston had not intentionally or unintentionally been used to sow discord, perhaps this post on Fr. Pinckaers could have stayed focused. Again may he rest in peace.

  • Policraticus

    I have to agree with Dim Bulb that Policraticus is being selective in focusing on Dim Bulb and his hijacking of this post on a deceased person while ignoring G. Alkon, Michael Iafrate, Morning’s Minion, and others who turned the Heston post into one big argument.

    Your agreement is disconcerting as it is based on a misunderstanding. Let’s look at this objectively. The comments of G. Alkon, Michael I. and MM were about Charlton Heston in a post about Charlton Heston. Dim Bulb’s comments were about Vox Nova in a post about Fr. Pinckaers. If Dim Bulb wants to comment about Fr. Pinckaers, then he is welcome to do so. But, come on. Let’s use are heads here a little bit. The Heston comments and the Pinckaers comments are not similar. It’s remarkable how logic gets chucked out the door whenever sentiment invades.

    I am closing comments here since we are no longer talking about Fr. Pinckaers. Perhaps next time, our visitors–whether they agree with a post/comment or not–will be less emotive and more rational. I hope Fr. Pinckaers is basking in eternal glory.