Father Drinan dead at 86
January 29, 2007 6:51 AM   Subscribe

Rev. Robert F. Drinan, first priest to be a voting member of Congress died Sunday He was 86. In his time, Father Drinan was a priest, law professor and human rights advocate. He was also controversial.
posted by Bulgaroktonos (16 comments total)
Rest in peace, Father Drinan.
posted by etaoin at 7:03 AM on January 29, 2007

He was a warm, engaging, thoughtful, energetic man, and a conscience for this country.

posted by ibmcginty at 7:06 AM on January 29, 2007

posted by parmanparman at 7:28 AM on January 29, 2007

posted by roll truck roll at 8:34 AM on January 29, 2007

One of the few true Christians I can think of. Forrest Church being a notable other.

Rest in Peace Father Drinan.

posted by stenseng at 8:55 AM on January 29, 2007

The article says he was one of the most liberal members of the House. Does anyone know if he was pro-choice?

My view is that you can personally oppose abortion, but also oppose government's involvement in the matter (i.e., be pro-choice.) This would be a conservative (get the government off my back) and not liberal (government is the solution for every problem) view.

How did the liberal Father Drinan handle this?
posted by three blind mice at 9:11 AM on January 29, 2007

Father Drinan was pro-choice. In fact, he was targeted by the Pope (and essentially forced to resign upon threat of being defrocked) because of it. He was also nominated ahead of a very young John Kerry at MassPAX, back in the day. He was an incredible guy.

posted by allen.spaulding at 9:12 AM on January 29, 2007

As an answer to the unasked question I had as soon as I heard that bit of trivia, the first priest who was a member of congress was Father Gabriel Richard, who served from 1823 to 1825 as a non-voting delegate from Michigan Territory.
posted by Plutor at 9:23 AM on January 29, 2007

Here's to a man that lived a truly worthwhile and progressive life dedicated to the betterment of humankind.

There will undoubtedly only be a few in our lifetime, who while working to advance human rights, also achieves such "work" accomplishments, congressman, dean of law school, etc. Pretty amazing actually. A model for living.
posted by 8 Bit at 10:42 AM on January 29, 2007

Pretty amazing model for living indeed. I recall attending a lecture that he was hosting on the Administration's lawless invasion of Grenada a couple of decades ago. Because it was a beautiful day, one of the other attendants suggested, half-joking, that we hold the lecture outside, so that we could enjoy the breezy autumn day. Even then, we all understood too well that such pleasant days were numbered because of man-made global warming and the Reagan Administration's reckless approach to our nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union. As soon as Father Drinan heard the comment, he stopped in mid-sentence. A broad smile came across his warm, thoughtful face, and he said, "Let's go!" All of us -- students, visiting scholars, AV equipment handlers -- walked outside into the park across the street from Georgetown where several homeless men had gathered after receiving their lunches from the half-way house next door.

Father Drinan insisted that the homeless men not only attend the lecture, but that they join him in delivering it. When Father Drinan finished a particular thought about Grenada, he would turn the floor over to one of our new-found teachers for comment. With only two exceptions, the men also condemned the Reagan administration and thus contributed significantly toward our understanding of what was necessary to bring world peace to our continent.

It was a class room experience that I will never forget. The lessons that Father Drinan (and his "adjuncts" for the day, Russ and "Dofo") imparted about what it takes to find justice in what is essentially an unjust world will stay with me forever.
posted by Slap Factory at 12:02 PM on January 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

My Dad met Fr. Drinan while attending Boston College. He told that he was a great man. We hope that Congress honors him big time. He deserves a great reward.
posted by alteredcarbon at 12:57 PM on January 29, 2007

i remember Fr. Drinan.

posted by brandz at 7:37 PM on January 29, 2007

posted by brain cloud at 8:14 PM on January 29, 2007

posted by rfbjames at 10:13 PM on January 29, 2007

Character credential - he made the Nixon enemies list. Requiscat in pace.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:51 AM on January 30, 2007

He spoke during the Ethics sections at a couple of CLE courses I took at Georgetown in the late 90s. I was thoroughly impressed by his presentations. In fact, so much so that I still recognized his name when I saw it in the FPP. Until this moment I hadn't realize that he was anything more than a Jesuit/law professor. Wow. Guess I should have spent a little more time looking over the presenters' bios.
posted by Carbolic at 1:09 PM on January 30, 2007

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