Leo Elders Personal Home Page

Major Seminary Rolduc


Prof Dr. Leo Elders s.v.d.

Personal Home Page

Fellow of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas


Welcome to my website. My name is Leo J. Elders, and I am a Roman Catholic priest of the Societas Verbi Divini. On this site I will share some information about my research and publication interests with colleagues, students and friends.



Ever since reading Jacques Maritain's Les degrés du savoir at the age of 17 at the suggestion of my parish priest, I have been a disciple of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Especially fr. H. Grevelhörster, a disciple  of Garrigou-Lagrange, instilled in us a great love for the Doctor Communis during our scholastic studies.


After my ordination to the priesthood on February 28, 1953, I obtained the doctorate of philosophy at the University of Montréal (1959). My dissertation, entitled Aristotle's Theory of the One. A Commentary on Book X of the Metaphysics was published in 1961. I was assigned to the newly founded Nanzan University in the Japanese city of Nagoya.


Called to Rome in 1971 I began to work at the Vatican as an assistant in the doctrinal section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and as assistant-secretary to the Pontifical Biblical Commission.


But after five years I was asked by the Congregation of Christian Education to help organize the studies of philosophy at the newly founded Major Seminary of Rolduc, in Holland, my home country. Not being hampered by other tasks, I could devote myself totally to the studying and teaching of philosophy and to publishing.


I have lectured at different universities, in particular at the Center for Thomistic Studies (Houston TX), the Faculté libre de philosophie (Paris), the University of Navarra (Pamplona), the Gustav Siewerth Academy (Germany) and the University of Bamberg (Germany) and the Catholic Universities in Washington, Buenos Aires, Valparaiso, the State Universities of Kyoto and Fukuoka, Notre Dame University, and numerous other institutions. The subject matter of courses at the graduate section of the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston during five successive years were the commentaries of Aquinas on the main works of Aristotle: Physics, De caelo, De anima, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics. These courses provided an opportunity for stressing out the unequaled value of St. Thomas' analysis of the thought of Aristotle, going into much greater depth of understanding the doctrine of the Stagirite than even Averroes had or the more philologically orientated modern students of Aristotle. In the coming years I hope to pursue this line of investigation.


In 1981, I was elected a member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas.


In 2003 I received a Festschrift entitled Indubitanter ad veritatem. Studies offered to Leo J. Elders SVD in Honor of the Golden Jubilee of his Ordination to the Priesthood. With a Preface by His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Damon, Budel, 2003, 480 p. It includes contributions by Leo Cardinal Scheffczyk, Georges Cardinal Cottier OP, David Berger, Bruno Couillaud, Yves Floucat, Wim J. Eijk, Jan Hendriks, Rollen E. Houser, B. Gherardini, Eudaldo Forment, Abelardo Lobato OP, Karen Zedlick, Albert Zimmermann, Victor Ravensloot, Tadeusz Guz, Alma von Stockhausen, John Dudley, Matthew Levering, M. E. Sacchi, Giuseppe Perini C.M., Romanus Cessario OP, Ralph McInerny, Maria Celestina Maggi de Gandolfi, Jude P. Dougherty, Klaus Hedwig, Everard J.De Jong, Josef M. Punt, Jörgen Vijgen and Pedro Rodriguez.


In 2006 I was given the Life Time Achievement Award by the American Maritain Association.

In 2009 I was awarded the Order of St. Thomas by the Center for Thomistic Studies (Houston, TX)

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