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Avery Dulles, 90; Catholic theologian

Sun., Dec. 14, 2008, midnight

Cardinal Avery Dulles, who was born into a family of elite Protestant diplomats and became one of the country’s most prominent Catholic theologians, died Friday at an infirmary at Fordham University in New York. He was 90.

Dulles, appointed to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 2001, was the first academic to be named to the Catholic Church’s highest advisory council, as well as the first who had never served as a bishop.

Dulles was known for his unusual spiritual journey and came to be considered a calm statesman of Catholicism during a time of great turmoil.

Through more than 20 books and 800 articles, he articulated a conservative, if tolerant, case for Catholicism and the church’s positions on contraception, sexuality, the role of women and clergy sex abuse. He served as a bridge between the Vatican and the more liberal American Catholic dissidents after the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s. In his later years, he was seen more as an advocate of orthodoxy and said church sanctions against priests charged in sex abuse scandals were too extreme.

He was the son of former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who served under President Dwight Eisenhower.

Ron Carey, 72; ex-union president

Ron Carey, the former Teamsters president who pledged to rid the union of mob corruption but was later forced from leadership in a financial scandal, has died. He was 72.

After a stint in the Marines, Carey first joined the Teamsters in 1956 while working as a driver for United Parcel Service. He became president of a local union post in New York in 1967 on a platform of challenging corrupt leadership in the organization.

In 1989, federal officials began overseeing much of the Teamsters’ operations after the union settled a civil racketeering lawsuit alleging it was controlled by organized crime. The settlement required top officials to be chosen by union members, a decision that led to Carey becoming the first Teamster president elected by membership.

In 1997, Carey led 185,000 workers in a two-week strike against UPS that cost the company $750 million and ultimately won the union 10,000 new full-time jobs. The 1997 walkout is considered one of the most successful victories in the modern labor movement.

Carey won re-election in 1996 over James P. Hoffa, but the result was overturned following charges that Carey’s campaign illegally used about $885,000 in union funds.

Robin Toner, 54; political reporter

Robin Toner, a New York Times reporter who became the newspaper’s first female national political correspondent, has died. She was 54.

Toner covered five presidential elections and countless congressional and gubernatorial campaigns. She was known for her meticulous reporting and relentless fact-checking. Out of more than 1,900 articles with her byline, Toner only had a half-dozen published corrections.

From wire reports


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