November 5, 2013

To this Temple...

William Temple was Bishop of Manchester, Archbishop of York, and briefly of Canterbury, before his untimely death in 1944, in the midst of the war. His was a brilliant and penetrating mind, but not one stuck in the attic of an ivory tower, academic or ecclesiastical. Perhaps one of his most famous quips says it best:

The Church is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members.

It is also telling to note that, in spite of the claims that no one really knew what was going on in Europe with regard to the wholesale elimination of European Jewry, Temple addressed the House of Lords in 1943 (March 23) with this:

My chief protest is against procrastination of any kind. ... The Jews are being slaughtered at the rate of tens of thousands a day on many days. ... It is always true that the obligations of decent men are decided for them by contingencies which they did not themselves create and very largely by the action of wicked men. The priest and the Levite in the parable were not in the least responsible for the traveller's wounds as he lay there by the roadside and no doubt they had many other pressing things to attend to, but they stand as the picture of those who are condemned for neglecting the opportunity of showing mercy. We at this moment have upon us a tremendous responsibility. We stand at the bar of history, of humanity and of God.

God bless this good and faithful speaker of the truth.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
icon written 11/4/2013


Jane R said...

Dear Tobias,

Thank you so much for this. I would like, if you are all right with this, to send my "Companions in Justice, Companions in Prayer" retreatants (who are on an online retreat on a closed blog) to this post, since I wanted them to "meet" William Temple and your summary is such a wonderful introduction.

I love the icon, too. Are you willing for people to share the icon (with attribution of course)? Or do you prefer that the image stay only on your blog?

Thank you again, Tobias, for the icon, the post, and the invitation to learn more about Temple -- who needs to be better know.

JCF said...

Memory Eternal.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thanks, Jane, for the kind words. Please do feel free to point and share... one of the reasons I am moved to write these "modern" icons is just to that end.