The Friday April 29 edition of the Church of Ireland Gazette includes a tribute from Bishop Richard Clarke on the life of the late Fr Michael Hurley, who passed away on 15 April. It reads:
The Chair of the Church of Ireland’s Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue, Bishop Richard Clarke, last week paid tribute to the late Fr Michael Hurley SJ, who died on 15th April.
He told the Gazette that Fr Hurley’s earthly life had been “both pivotal and formative in the development of the modern ecumenical movement in Ireland” and continued: “Even before the Second Vatican Council opened windows not only on the Roman Catholic Church but on the ecumenical venture in every aspect of its work and in every place, Michael Hurley was an enthusiastic and doughty proponent of the task of bringing Christians of different traditions to a greater understanding of one another and of furthering the work of Christian unity.”
Bishop Clarke said that the Irish School of Ecumenics owed “not only its existence but also its flowering to Michael’s vision, energy and sturdy refusal to be either deflected or browbeaten by opposition or apathy” and concluded: “We owe him a great deal, as one who may reasonably be hailed as the doyen of modern Irish ecumenism. We thank God for Michael’s earthly life and now commend him with our gratitude and love to the Lord he served so well in this life.”