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Clement DeWall is a graduate of the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy and received a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado. He has lectured in the US and Canada, and his books include Escaping the Mental Straightjacket and Saving Remarriage from Guilt-and-Punishment Theology. He is married with two adult children and two grandchildren and has retired from careers in ministry and data processing.
He was born in Oklahoma and raised in Dodge City, Kansas, during his grade school years. His father was a retail store manager, and he moved often. He spent about a year in Rapid City, South Dakota; then went to high school in Loveland, Colorado. He considers Colorado my home state.
In 1947, he lost his brother, Calvin, to rheumatic fever, which he got while in the Navy. He was 14 at the time, and his parents and he turned to religion for comfort and answers. Since one of his older brothers had become a Catholic, the Roman Catholic Church became the family’s spiritual home, and all matters religious became of interest to him.
His first published writings were in magazines: articles for religious education or homilies for priests to use in Sunday sermons. This was in the 1960s, when the Second Vatican Council raised his hopes for religious and spiritual renewal in all the Christian churches.
Later he became intensely interested in near-death and other extraordinary or paranormal experiences. He remembers that his mother had many unusual psychic experiences; those memories, previously ignored, became more treasured, and he read extensively about the paranormal. As a result, his theology expanded to use a wider spectrum of human experience as its base.
DeWall believes he has a message to convey and something new to say. In discussion groups, his opinions and views have been well received. He derives satisfaction in knowing that he has had a positive influence on a few, just as others have influenced him. His friends and family have encouraged him to reach a wider audience.
“I do not write to convert others to my way of thinking,” DeWall says. “I believe that theology is the domain of every person. Of course, I do want my opinions to be seriously considered, but I first want my readers to think for themselves. If they do that, disagreement is not important.”
Information about DeWall’s background and his Ministry:
He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1958 and resigned in 1976 because he could no longer support the doctrines of the Catholic Church concerning divorce and remarriage. In 1977, he graduated with a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver; and a short time afterward he published a work titled “Saving Remarriage from Guilt-and-Punishment Theology,” based on his degree research.
His current ministry is within the Federation of Christian Ministries, of which his wife and he are co-presidents. FCM is a national organization that helps persons of any church to practice their ministry. If a member wishes, he or she can obtain from FCM an official or legal authorization to perform various types of ministry, such as to officiate at weddings, baptize, perform funerals or do healing or worship services. FCM certification is legally equivalent to ordination. On the local level, DeWall and his wife are available for all these services. He considers writing a part of his ministry, and he writes an article for each FCM newsletter, Diaspora, which is published bimonthly.
DeWall’s main pastimes are cooking/baking and hiking. He also belongs to several discussion and prayer groups, and the other members give him their own ideas along with feedback on my own. He also enjoys writing poetry. What he enjoys most, though, is taking a Gospel passage, especially a parable, and putting it into a poetic format — or sometimes explaining it in a poem.