The Corner

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Jack Cullinan, R.I.P.


I just received word that John F. Cullinan has died. He has written for NRO over the years on foreign-policy issues — particularly pertaining to human rights and international law – with a special concern for religious liberty — and Christian persecution — in Iraq and elsewhere. 

He was a clear writer, and a principled and gracious man. 

NRO features prominently in his obituary, which I consider an honor. One is reminded what a rich history lives on here. 

He last wrote for us during the presidential election. That seems so long ago now. 

Life does move quickly and time does not stop for our recriminations and reconfigurations. 

Such unexpected news reminds us all to make priorities priorities, already. 

Jack last e-mailed me when I was in Rome for the papal conclave. After seeing me on one of the cable news shows after Cardinal Bergolio was elected, he wrote a kind note and added: 

My own reaction to yesterday’s news was to recall the Gospel canticle Nunc Dimittis (Lk 2:29-32), where Simeon, the faithful servant, asks for and receives his just reward.  As you know, Benedict’s decision is all about the Church, not about himself or even the papacy.  There’s a world of difference between sinful pride (superbia) — non serviamus! is the defiant battle cry of the fallen angels — and non possumus, an honest and above all genuinely humble acknowledgement of increasing incapacity in the face of punishing responsibilities, which are always the proper focus. 

He was taking Lent seriously — that is, prayerfully. May Easter’s glory be his eternally.