I was probably in the last generation of orientalists that had the opportunity to be trained at the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Rome and taught by figures of the stature of Robert F. Taft, S.J.; Cardinal Tomas Spidlik, S.J.; John Long, S.J.; Vincenzo Poggi, S.J.; Carmelo Capizzi, S.J.; and others who by now have entered eternity. When one of your beloved professors, mentors, and friends departs, a void is left behind—an empty space—that probably will never be filled. Sharing pictures and messages with Fr. Taft’s other disciples, former students, and friends over the Internet has helped me and generated more memories and special moments. One wonders how many lives he touched and transformed.
Much has been written about Fr. Taft since his death, focusing on his life and pioneering scholarship on Byzantine liturgy and the Byzantine Church in general.
Let me look at my beloved maestro from another angle: his utmost care for the Church of the peripheries, including his gentle and gentlemanly attitude toward women and especially his women students. Continue reading