Local Milwaukee priest and indefatigable bulwark of Catholic tradition Father Cletus Healy S.J. died earlier this week at the ripe age of 96. A Jesuit in the truest sense of the word, Father Healy worked, rather fought, on the cultural frontline for decades, relentlessly defending Catholic teaching when that teaching was coming into greater conflict with the demands of an increasingly secular and hostile society.

Requiescat in pace.

From JS Online:

The Rev. Cletus Healy warned about the evils of communism, presided over annual vigils at the gravesite of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and wrote “Stations of the Cross for the Victims of Abortion.”

These were the passions of Healy, a Jesuit who — in an era of change that was troubling for some Catholics — emerged as a bastion of long-held conservative values.

“He was a voice of reason, of continuity — a connection with the Vatican that was often blurred, especially through the ’60s and ’70s, when things were in such turmoil,” his friend Mary Lou Wirtz said of Healy, who died of congestive heart failure Monday at St. Camillus Jesuit Retirement Community in Wauwatosa. He was 96. …

When many priests were becoming politically liberal in the 1960s, Healy often was a conservative voice.

“Father Healy was a voice for authentic Catholicism when there were liberals screaming ‘New is best’ on one side and conservatives yelling ‘Only the old has value’ on the other side,” Wirtz said. “He always agreed with the Vatican, and he suffered persecution for standing with the church when many others were swayed away.” …

Like other Catholics, when Vatican II changes did away with the Latin Mass [BOGUS! VII DIDN’T DO THAT!], Healy wasn’t happy.

When Rome again allowed Latin Mass in the 1980s, Healy received permission to offer it once again.

Thank God for Father Healy.