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Island Catholic News on Thomas Merton’s Death

My maiden email to the interim chair of Louisville’s Bellarmine University’s Department of Theology generated the response that you see below. The “he” that I refer to in my email of the same day is Patrick Jamieson, the editor of Island Catholic News (ICN) of Victoria, British Columbia. I had attached to my email a pdf reproduction of “An Enemy of the Thomas Merton Society” as it appeared in the print version of ICN. Professor Gregory K. Hillis, Ph.D., my email’s recipient, advertises himself as a Canadian expatriate. You might notice that he sent his email exactly 28.5 minutes after receiving mine. One wonders if he had even bothered to read the rather lengthy attached article, which was accompanied by Jamieson’s editorial.

The promised online version of the article is now available, but, out of courtesy, I’m not going to alert Professor Hillis. Far be it from me to force him to start shelling out fecklessly to an expensive practitioner of the legal arts. For the same reason, I’m not going to tell him that he annoyingly used the wrong honorific when he addressed me. Since he’s heavily into Twitter, as I note in my article, “Professor Secretly Trashes Merton Book,” he really should have known better. I don’t know what he might be up to in that medium these days, because he has blocked me from reading anything he posts there.

This is the same person, we might be reminded, who spent the opening moments of a lecture at Notre Dame University in 2016 praising Thomas Merton as a man of dialogue. Clearly, that is not a description that would fit Professor Hillis.

David Martin

—–Original Message—–
From: Gregory Hillis
To: David Martin
Sent: Tue, Dec 17, 2019 7:24 pm
Subject: Re: Island Catholic News on Thomas Merton’s Death

Dear Mr Martin:

I will share with you what I shared with Mr Turley. Should you contact me again via email, phone, or mail, I will have no choice but to get my lawyer involved. Please refrain from contacting me in the future.

Gregory Hillis
Gregory K. Hillis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Theology
Interim Chair, Dept of Theology
Bellarmine University
2001 Newburg Road
Louisville, KY 40205

From: David Martin
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 6:55:30 PM
To: Gregory Hillis
Subject: Island Catholic News on Thomas Merton’s Death

Hello Professor Hillis,

You should be interested to know that not all Canadian Catholics share your publicly expressed opinion of the only honest investigation ever done of the death of Thomas Merton. The article of mine that he reproduced in an edited version should be better when the online version comes out with the excised parts and the links restored.


David Martin

See also “Letter to Hostile Professor on Thomas Merton’s Death.”

1 Thought to “Island Catholic News on Thomas Merton’s Death”

  1. […] my previous posting, Island Catholic Newson Thomas Merton’s Death,, I noted that the quoted email was the very first one I had ever sent to Professor Gregory K. […]

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