Clicks998

The Last Jesuit Has Died – “The Most Striking Man I Have Ever Met” (Ex Prime Minister)

The Last Jesuit Has Died – “The Most Striking Man I Have Ever Met” (Ex Prime Minister) Jesuit Father Paul V. Mankowski, an Old Testament scholar and teacher, died on September 3 in Evanston, Illinois…More
The Last Jesuit Has Died – “The Most Striking Man I Have Ever Met” (Ex Prime Minister)

Jesuit Father Paul V. Mankowski, an Old Testament scholar and teacher, died on September 3 in Evanston, Illinois, from a brain haemorrhage caused by a ruptured brain aneurysm. He was 66 years old. Father Mankowski was born in South Bend, Indiana. He was a staunch Catholic, deeply rooted in tradition and orthodoxy. The Jesuits write in his obituary ironically that “Paul had his theological, philosophical and political differences with many of his Jesuit brothers and—at times—superiors.”

A Life Under Liberal Repression

Phil Lawler is more explicit in his obituary, published on Catholic Culture. Quote: “For years Father Mankowski worked under constraints imposed by his Jesuit superiors.” Unlike the Jesuit gay propagandist James Martin, he was directed to avoid public controversies. When told that he could not write under his own name without censorship, he used pseudonyms. When told that he could not write under a pseudonym, he stopped writing.

On the Losing Side

Among all the people Lawler got to know in his life, a half-dozen Nobel Prize winners included, - quote - “none was more brilliant than my friend, Father Paul Mankowski.” Lawler recounts that Mankowski joined the Jesuits because he had noticed, in his readings of history, that the Jesuits always turned up in crucial battles, defending the Catholic faith. However, Lawler concedes that Mankowski was on the losing side, at least during his lifetime.

No Intellectual Concessions

Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott remembered Father Mankowski on FirstThings.com. Abbot calls Mankowski – quote – “the most striking man I have ever met.” Abbot, who studied a while for the priesthood, got to know Mankowski in Oxford. He writes, “Unlike me, Paul never felt the need to curry favor by making intellectual concessions — and to this day, almost 40 years on, I’ve never quite lost that sense of being the lesser man.”

All In His Favour”

Abbot confirms that Father Mankowski was “on the outer” with his Jesuit superiors. Quote, “His was a robust, straight, manly faith that respected scripture and tradition. Theirs, in Paul’s eyes at least, was shape-shifting and far too attuned to the ‘signs of the times’.” Abbot recalls when he spent some days at the Jesuit house at Harvard with Mankowski around 1990. For Abbot, the contrast between Paul and the other Jesuit residents – quote – “could hardly have been more sharp; and, to me, all in his favor.”

Ostracised by His Own Order

“By the time of his ordination, Paul was well on the road to becoming the Jesuits’ fiercest internal critic,” Abbot writes adding that “Religious superiors have never coped well with criticism, especially when it’s justified.” So, Father Mankowski endured years of ostracism within the order. Literally, for decades, he was on the verge of expulsion and denied the opportunity to take final vows, Abbot remembers.