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Yves Congar
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Religious Figure
    (April 13, 1904-July 22, 1995)
    Born in Sedan, France
    Roman Catholic priest, theologian and member of the Dominican religious order
    Controversial theologian who helped inspire and contributed greatly to Vatican II
    Author of 'Chretiens: Principes d'ur oecunmenisme' (1937), 'Vraie et fausse reforme des l'Eglise' (1950), 'La Tradition et les traditions: essai historique' (1960), 'La Foi et la theologie' (1962), 'Power and Poverty in the Church' (1964), 'Lay People in the Church' (1965), and 'My Journal of the Council' (posthumously published, 2012), a collection of his notes about Vatican II
    PhD from Le Saulchoir in Paris
    Dissertation title, The Unity of the Church
    He was French.
    He was remarkably arrogant, even for a Frechman.
    Between 1947 and 1956 his writings were restricted and he was forbidden to teach Catholic theology.
    He kept extensive diaries.
    He once publicly urinated outdoors on the wall of a cardinal he disliked.
    He was dismissive of traditional Catholic thought, particularly that of Saint Thomas Aquinas and supported what came to be called the 'New Theology.'
    His writings were more about what he didn't like/believe and not about what he believed.
    His theological thought and writings had little to no connection with the life of the day to day Catholic.
    His hometown was overrun by the Germans during WWI and his civilian father deported.
    After enlisting in the French Army during WWII as a chaplain he was captured and was a POW (1940-1945), where he worked very hard to help other POWs and made repeated escape attempts. After the war, he was awarded the Legion of Honor, the Croix de Gurre, and the Medaille des Evades by the French government for his services during the war.
    He supported the rights of workers, especially unionization among industrial workers of his time.
    He organized and supported ecumenical efforts among various Christian denominations.
    He supported the increased involvement of the laity in the Catholic Church.
    He was a huge part of Vatican II; experts on the council have said he was the, 'single most formative influence on Vatican II' and 'may have been a singular reason the council was called in the first place.'
    His writings were eventually cleared of controversy.
    He was made a cardinal a year before his death.
    He died painfully of complications related to sclerosis.
    He criticized clerical pomp and pomposity.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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