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Adelaide priest and theologian dies

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The Adelaide Archdiocese is mourning the death of beloved priest and acclaimed theologian Monsignor Denis Edwards OAM.

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Mgr Edwards died today, March 5, at the Royal Adelaide Hospital after suffering a stroke on the weekend.

A senior lecturer in theology with the Australian Catholic University’s Adelaide campus, Mgr Edwards was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2012 for his contribution to the Archdiocese and to theological education.

A founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion, he wrote 14 books on the dialogue between science and faith and was a sought after speaker around the globe, particularly in the area of ecological theology and the papal encyclical Laudato Si’.

He was appointed a monsignor by Pope Francis in 2015 and the same year was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

In Adelaide, Mgr Edwards chaired the Adelaide Catholic Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission for five years.

Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, Apostolic Administrator and Bishop of Port Pirie, described his death as a great loss to the Archdiocese and said he was revered by all the priests and those who knew him.

“Denis has been a wonderful contributor and mainstay of the Archdiocese, a rock of strength for many. His writings gifted the Church across the world. He carried with him a prayerfulness and humility that clothed his scholarship.

“The word ‘loss’ conveys so much to us with the sudden death of Denis. With the Saints, in the fullness of life, may his prayers strengthen us.”

Administrator Delegate Fr Philip Marshall said the Church had been “blessed by his faith, his love and his presence among us”.

He said there had been many moving and beautiful tributes sent to the Archdiocese and they were a “powerful testimony to the grace-filled impact of Denis’ life on us all”.

“I offer our prayers and deepest sympathy to Mgr Edwards’ family, friends and especially his colleagues at Australian Catholic University,” he said.

Mgr Edwards was born on December 10 1943 in Port Pirie and was ordained priest on July 9 1966 in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral.

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