Pope John Paul II and the Church

By Peter Hebblethwaite | Go to book overview

ation of the church's policies, especially in its central administration. Who is to do it? Unofficially, the task is left to journalists, who put their heads on the block every time they write." And that he did. Very well indeed.□


70
Peter Hebblethwaite wrote of church he knew, loved: An obituary

Thomas C. Fox

( January 6, 1995) Oxford, England -- NCR Vatican Affairs writer Peter Hebblethwaite's life, death and new life were celebrated in a Mass here Dec. 23, punctuated by the consoling chant of the Dies Irae and a chorus from Fauré's "Requiem." The service took place in a packed, small church once pastored by the Jesuit fathers with whom Peter felt a special kinship.

Peter is survived by his wife, Margaret, and three children, Dominic, Cordelia and Benedict.

Hebblethwaite, 64, died Dec. 18 after his heart gave out, paying the final toll for years of smoking and drinking. He had a passion for life and brought it to every aspect of his faith, love for the church and for his work: a unique form of journalism that combined keen observation, scholarship, wit and understatement into a mix of unparalleled reporting. His weekly analysis pieces have been a regular component of NCR since he joined the staff in 1978.

Two dozen priests along with the local Roman Catholic bishop concelebrated the Mass. The local Anglican bishop also participated in the service that was attended by family members and several hundred colleagues and friends.

Jesuit Fr. Edward Yarnold, one of Hebblethwaite's oldest friends, recalled him in a homily as a man who had a special love for his family as well as for the Jesuit order to which Hebblethwaite once belonged. Said Yarnold: "The (Anglican) bishop of Oxford ( Richard Harries) on the radio this morning recalled Peter's personal credo: 'I love my wife, I love my children, I love the Society of Jesus.'"

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