CHICAGO – The Rev. Andrew Greeley, an outspoken Roman Catholic priest, academic researcher, best-selling author and longtime Chicago newspaper columnist who criticized the hierarchy of his own church over the child sex abuse scandal, has died. He was 85.
Greeley died Wednesday night at his Chicago home.
Greeley was the author of more than 50 best-selling novels, many of them international mystery thrillers, and dozens of nonfiction works. His career spanned five decades.
The Chicago-area native wrote a weekly column that appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times and other newspapers on the relationship between religion and politics. He was a contributor to the New York Times, National Catholic Reporter and other publications.
Greeley had suffered a traumatic brain injury in November 2008, after he snagged his jacket on the door of a taxicab and fell. He spent several months in rehabilitation and underwent intensive therapy, though he never regained full cognitive function.
Greeley, who became a priest in the spring of 1954, published his final book, “Chicago Catholics and the Struggles Within Their Church,” in 2010. It was a topic he had explored for years.
“Sometimes I think that we as priests and bishops have done everything we possibly could to drive away the laity during the last 20 years,” Greeley wrote in his book “Catholic Contributions: Sociology and Policy,” published in 1987.