In Memory of Archbishop Dennis Hurley
Farouk Araie reflects on 20 years since the death of Archbishop Denis Hurley
Twenty years ago today, the beloved Archbishop Denis Hurley OMI passed away at the age of 90. Sadly we see that many people who have made our world better, in big and small ways, have vanished before we were ready to let them go.
It was once said: “Genius is so fine and rare.” Denis Hurley was a rarity, unique even, and a fine specimen of human eloquence who inspired us all.
His death was a loss for all of humanity. We lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Hurley was truly an inspirational personality whose influence transcended international boundaries.
He explained religious matters with his incredibly gracious response. Many of us were impacted by his voice, his life and his legacy.
The local and global acclaim that followed his death on February, 13, 2003, was a vindication of his immense stature as an intellectual giant and an erudite scholar. His passing has left an intellectual vacuum. Those who knew him became enamoured by his monumental knowledge of religious affairs, such a wealth among us is now removed.
Hurley’s scope in his research and writing was eclectic, ranging across the religious spectrum; it remains unmatched. The scope of his accomplishments, the adoration that he so rightly earned, will endeavour us to remember him as a religious icon, smiling and serene.
In the apex of his life, we witnessed an impeccable individual who earned his place in history. His quest for the truth gave him an unassailable credibility and integrity. He was a courageous man whose pursuit of the truth will always be associated with peace and justice for all.
He was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word, yet there was a tenacity and a firmness about him. He did not compromise on the truth as he understood it. A great scholar and protector of morality, he dedicated his whole life to spiritual liberation, moral self-betterment and tolerance. He was a man of peace, humanity and compassion who personified brotherhood, acceptance, righteousness and the coexistence of all religions. He was the conscience of a generation.
Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a profound and precious soul walked on this earth, truly an impeccable human of individual excellence who will not be replaced in our lifetime.
Farouk Araie writes from Benoni.