In memoriam Father John W. Crossin

17 May 2023

It is with great sadness that the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity has learned of the death of Father John W. Crossin, OSFS, on May 12 after a brief illness at the age 75.

Born in 1947, Fr Crossin made his first profession as an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1976. During his religious life, he was a teacher, theologian, scholar and author, publishing on ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, ethics and spirituality. From 2011-2016, Fr Crossin served as executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He also served as Consultor to the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity from 2014-2020 and as a member of the Joint Working Group between the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches from 2014-2022. In this capacity, he contributed significantly to the preparation of the JWG’s recent document “Migrants and Refugees. Ecumenical Challenges and Opportunities”, published in 2022. In his latest book “Moving into the Ecumenical Future. Foundations of a Paradigm for Christian Ethics” (2022), Fr Crossin provides a framework for examining ethical issues from an ecumenical perspective, which is rooted in common sources and drawing on important achievements of the ecumenical studies on moral discernment in the churches.

Entrusting him to the merciful love of God, the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity recalls his passionate commitment to the cause of Christian unity, both in the local context of the United States and at the international level.

Requiescat in pace!