Ralph McInerny Dies at Age 80

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SOUTH BEND, Indiana, JAN. 29, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Prominent Catholic author, professor and cultural commentator Ralph McInerny died today at the age of 80.



"I have no voice or words to speak our loss. Not yet. Not today," Joseph Bottom of First Things wrote today on the magazine's Web site.

Ralph McInerny was a professor of philosophy and the Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

He held degrees from St. Paul Seminary, University of Minnesota and Laval University, and had taught at the University of Notre Dame since 1955. He directed the Jacques Maritain Center from 1979 to 2006.

He was an acknowledged expert on the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, and a prolific author. He penned over two dozen scholarly books, many more scholarly essays, and over 80 novels.

He wrote the popular book series Father Dowling Mysteries, which became a successful television program starring Tom Bosley and Tracy Nelson.

Other books include "The Question of Christian Ethics," "Aquinas on Human Action," "The Very Rich Hours of Jacques Maritain," and "Thomism in an Age of Renewal."

In 1982, he co-founded Crisis Magazine with Michael Novak. The publication is now known as InsideCatholic.

In 2006, he published his autobiography titled "I Alone Have Escaped to Tell You: My Life and Pastimes."

Details of the funeral service have not been released, but is expected to take place Monday, sources told ZENIT.