Friday, February 27, 2015

In Memoriam: Charles E. Rice


I met Charlie at Windmoor in 1969 and you couldn't help but love him. There was a Christ about him, lover and tough as nails (on himself). He named one of his dogs "Chesty" after a previous head of the Marine Corp. He always deferred to his wife Mary in matters of the heart and laser sharp in those of the head. Contraception was always the bulls-eye
   But to show the greatness of the man, he sent me the manuscript of his book "50 Questions of Natural Law." I critiqued it as two books without a connection. The first half was a clear and coherent presentation of the traditional neo scholastic understanding of theology and philosophy while the second was a rather coherent presentation of the development that took place in Vatican II with the Trinitarian and Christological grounding of man and natural law which is ultimately more realist. We had talked about all that years before using Joseph Ratzinger's understanding of man as relational, not substantial as thing-in-itself. He claimed to understand that (and he was much brighter than I), but in the manuscript.of "50 Questions" he did not acknowledge that development and it showed by the.incoherence. I called him on the phone, explained what I saw, or thought I saw, and by the end of the phone call, he agreed and changed the book. It was a profound example of Charlie's excellence of mind and heart at the service of the Truth. Love him. Pray for us, Charlie!.  

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