Fr Benedict M. Ashley, a foremost theologian and philosopher of the Central Province of St Albert the Great, USA has passed on. He had a major influence on the 20th century Catholic Moral Theology, Moral Philosophy and Ethics in America through his writings, teachings, and consultations. He passed on peacefully on Saturday, 23rd of February, 2013.
He was born in Kansas in 1915 and raised in Blackwell, Oklahoma. He started off as a committed atheist and communist but after studying the works of St Thomas Aquinas, he was baptized in the Catholic Church. He entered the Dominican Order, made his religious profession in 1942 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1948.
He has a Doctorates from the University of Notre Dame (Political Science) and Aquinas Institute, River Forest, Illinois (Philosophy). He also has a post-doctoral Master of Sacred Theology from University of St Thomas Aquinas, Rome and a Honorary Doctor of Theology from Aquinas Institute.
He has taught various subjects in various capacities in the following institutes; Aquinas Institute (1952-69), Pontifical Institute of Philosophy, River Forest (1957-69), Institute of Religion and Human Development, Texan Medical Centre, Houston (1969-72), Aquinas Institute of Theology, Dubuque (1969-81), Aquinas Institute of Theology, St Louis (1981-88), Pontifical Pope John II Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family, Washington DC (1988-92), Kenrick Seminary, St Louis (1996-2004), Center for Health Care Ethics, St Louis University (1997-2003), Institute for Psychological Sciences, Washington DC (2001), John Paul II Cultural Center, Washington DC (2001), Institute for Advanced Physics (2003) and the University of Chicago,
He has been a consultant to a number of groups, notable among this is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. He received the medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from John Paul II and he is also a Senior Fellow of the National Catholics Center for Bioethics, USA.
He has author some 22 books and even more articles. He was a major exponent of the “River Forest School” of Thomism. Health Care Ethics, which he co-authored in 1975 and now in its fifth edition, continues to be a fundamental text in the field of Catholic Medical Ethics.
May his soul rest in peace.
Here is a Prayer Request from his Province
Our brother Benedict Ashley died on Saturday, February 23rd at about 1:00 p.m. He had been declining rapidly for the last week or so. We suspect he may have had a stroke or a series of small strokes. Even though he experienced some agitation and confusion before he was admitted to Horizon Hospice at Rush Hospital on Wednesday, he died peacefully. Charlie Bouchard, Louie Morrone, and Michael Kyte were with him shortly after he died. The nurse at the hospice seemed amazed that we were so peaceful and joyful, but we told her he had lived his life as a Dominican fully. We can do nothing but celebrate his fidelity, his scholarship and his love of the Church. He was at his computer, complaining that he needed a new inkjet cartridge, until just a few days ago!
His funeral is planned for Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 12:00 noon at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in River Forest, Illinois. Burial will be Monday, March 4th. May he rest is peace.
Eternal rest grant unto your servant, Benedict, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
Louis Morrone, O.P.
Here is a biographical piece on his: Cloth Bound: A Biographical Essay on Fr. Benedict Ashley, O.P. https:–www.ordopraedicatorum.org-2011-07-11-cloth-bound-a-biographical-e…