The Harvard Divinity School has received a bequest of books from the late Augustine Cardinal Bea, president of the Vatican's Secretariat for Christian Unity.
Cardinal Bea was awarded an honorary doctorate by Harvard six years ago and served here as Chauncy Stillman Guest Professor of Roman Catholic studies in 1963. During the same year, he was the featured speaker at a Roman Catholic-Protestant Colloquium in Sanders Theatre.
"I have no doubt that it was in recognition of this colloquium, which became a very significant step in the whole movement of ecumenicism, that he gave the books," the Rev. Krister Stendahl, dean of the Divinity School, said yesterday.
Rector and Professor
Cardinal Bea, a Jesuit, also served for a number of years as rector and professor of the Old Testament at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, one of the two official centers for Biblical studies in the world. He also served as confessor to Pope Pius XII.
Richard Cardinal Cushing, Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston, also received a bequest in Cardinal Bea's will--a pectoral cross.
Cardinal Cushing had earlier been bequeathed the pectoral cross of Pope John, who died in 1963. He said that he hoped Cardinal Bea "will have a place in the calendar of Saints."
"I have no idea what books we will be getting," Stendahl said. He predicted, however, that "a substantial number will be included in the bequest.
Cardinal Bea died in Rome last November 15.