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The shortest way to introduce Leo Scheffczyk (1920–2005) to an American theological audience is probably to state that he is “the European Avery Dulles.” Such a generalization is incorrect and yet contains a kernel of truth. At the same consistory in 2001, both master theologians were created cardinals by St. John Paul II. It is also most indicative of their contributions to theology that this date coincided with the 200th birthday of Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801–90), who informed their thinking in central ways. Incidentally, this was also Scheffczyk’s eighty-first birthday. In addition, both were prolific writers. Scheffczyk’s motto as cardinal indicates the breadth of his theological vision: “Evangelizare investigabiles divitias Christi” (Eph 3:8). Until his death, Scheffczyk had authored no less than 1,450 titles. Of these, more than 200 are devoted to Marian topics. It is important and beneficial for Mariologists the world over to engage this theologian, as he is considered the post-conciliar “Nestor of German-language Mariology.” During the post-conciliar “Marian ice-age”—thus the great precursor of ecumenical dialogue Cardinal Lorenz Jaeger (1892–1975)—Scheffczyk was a stalwart of Marian theology and spirituality.


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