BY STAFF REPORTER
DOMINICAN Fr Edward Schillebeeckx, a theologian whose work had a huge impact on the Dutch Church, has died at the age of 95.
He died on December 23 in Nijmegen, in the Netherlands, where he had lived since 1957.
He taught in the department of dogmatic and historical theology at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, now known as Radboud University Nijmegen, from 1957 until his retirement in 1983.
The Dominican served as theological adviser to the Dutch bishops during the Second Vatican Council and was seen as the inspiration behind the Dutch catechism for adults. The catechism was published in 1966 after approval by the country’s bishops, who wanted the text to reflect the Council’s new approach to questions of faith. But the Vatican criticised the text, ordered a study of it and in 1972 insisted on its withdrawal from use in Catholic schools.
But efforts to “rethink the Christian faith in the light of contemporary culture” – as Vatican Radio described his work last week – led to three investigations by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith between 1968 and 1984.
The last investigation was carried out under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. It ruled that some of his work was “in disagreement” with Church teaching.