Cardinal Medina Estevez dies

Chilean Cardinal Jorge Arturo Agustín Medina Estévez, born in 1926, died on 3 October.

He is best known for announcing the election of Pope Benedict XVI, and to Pray Tell readers as the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 1996 to 2002. In that role, he was responsible for rejecting the ICEL 1998 Sacramentary, a move that the English-speaking Church has still not recovered from.

In The Tablet on December 7, 2002, Vatican commentator John Allen wrote an article entitled “The counter-revolution” in which he told of the 1972 letter that eight theologians, including Medina Estevez and Josef Ratzinger, sent to Paul VI, with a clear intent to undo the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. The fact that both of them went on under John Paul II to assume positions of authority is therefore highly significant.

Some of Medina’s unpleasant dealings with the bishops of the world were chronicled in Bishop Maurice Taylor’s A Cold Wind from Rome, reported in Pray Tell here.

5 thoughts on “Cardinal Medina Estevez dies

    1. That’s a two-part prayer, Father Hartley. I’m with you in the first part, but given that the decedent did me spiritual injuries that I feel every day, I can’t join in the second part. What I can do is say the Our Father with some extra attention to the “forgive us as we forgive” petition.

      1. Agreed, Paul. I too feel that the late Cardinal did me spiritual harm. Indirectly, yes, but I still feel the damage, and I’m learning with some difficulty to find my way in spite of it.

  1. Respectful farewell to Cardinal Jorge Arturo Agustín Medina Estévez. Eternal rest grant unto him O lord and let your perpetual light shine upon the departed soul.

  2. Charity and justice compel me to point out that this obituary makes an unsubstantiated accusation against the deceased. The author of the obituary asserts that John Allen Jr claims that Medina along with Ratzinger and six other theologians expressed a “a clear intent to undo the reforms of the Second Vatican Council” in a letter to Pope Paul VI in a 1972 letter. This is in fact what John Allen Jr. states about the letter (the contents of which are not public):

    “They wrote to express urgent concern that the “unity and purity of the Catholic faith” was being compromised by inaccurate and theologically suspect translations of liturgical texts from Latin into the vernacular languages” ”

    This does not square with the accusation made in this obituary since seeking to undo the reforms of the Second Vatican Council and criticising the quality of translated liturgical texts are not equivalent acts. Awr, please rectify this.

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