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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fr James Murray, RIP.

(Taken from Cath News)

James Stirling Murray, Anglican priest, teacher and a religious editor for The Australian, died yesterday in Sydney. He was 82.

Born in Ireland in 1927, his father a Scots engineer and his mother a talented singer, Fr Murray grew up in Melbourne, attended Scotch College, and Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, The Australian reported.

The newspaper said he showed a talent for pranks that would never desert him.

As a priest Father Murray served the tough working class suburb of Broadmeadows and did a stretch as chaplain in Pentridge Prison. In politics, he leant to the Left.

He defended what he saw as the integrity of Anglican tradition and opposed women priests. He was ecumenical in spirit, on friendly terms with Islam, Judaism, Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. At Christ Church St Laurence, in Sydney, he was famous for his eloquent, sometimes explosive, sermons.

The report outlines anecdotes from his life, as one who did kindnesses on the quiet and could give "as good as he got."

If correspondence displeased him, he would send it back with the endorsement: "Your letter is unacceptable to me". In the basilicas of Rome he would boost his modest stature by standing on a pew and bellow, "Silencio!" at flocks of chattering, camera snapping tourists.

Fr Murray's books include The Mask of Time, an Indonesian travelogue; Larrikins: 19th Century Outrage; Would You Believe? Dialogues on Faith and Doubt; The Paradise Tree: An Eccentric Childhood Remembered; and The Judas Tree: Reflections on a Turbulent Young Life, published in April this year.
Read from the Australian.