St. Benedict Center

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Founded 1940

Harvard University students Avery Dulles, Catherine Clarke, Margaret Knapp, and Christopher Huntington established the Center as a place of social and intellectual interaction for Boston's Catholic university students. It gained notoriety after Fr. Joseph Feeney became full-time chaplain in 1945 and began teaching an extreme form of the doctrine extra ecclesiam nulla salus ("no salvation outside the church"). The Center began publishing its quarterly magazine, From the Housetops, in 1946. The Center went through a turbulent period after Feeney's 1949 dismissal from the Jesuit order and 1952 excommunication. Many of the Center's leaders joined a new religious order, the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and moved to Still River. Feeney and the Center were to some degree reconciled to the Church in the early 1970s, though the details of the case continue to be disputed.


St. Benedict Center history (pro-Feeney) *


Fr. William Most, "Tragic Errors of Leonard Feeney," EWTN library

Patrick Carey, "Avery Dulles, St. Benedict's Center and No Salvation Outside the Church," Catholic Historical Review, 2007.