Saturday, April 2, 2005
The pope and George Huntston Williams.
It's too bad that no one in the Unitarian Universalist Association today could fill the shoes of church historian George Huntston Williams (1914-2000), who enjoyed the unusual distinction as a theological liberal of being a personal friend to Karol Wojtyla (1920-2005) and, to my knowledge, the only Unitarian Universalist ever knighted by the pope. Forrest Church wrote about Williams after his death:
Even his best-known book, The Radical Reformation (1962), displays the creative tension between his dedication to individual conscience, especially with respect to the separation of church and state, and his devotion to the church universal, in its responsibility for the character of society as a whole. This devotion was never more evident than during his participation as an observer at the Vatican II Council in 1962 (eloquently expressed in the sermon he delivered in the Cathedral Church of St. John in Boston following Pope John XXIIIs death in 1963). Williams had the unique distinction of having been the only person in the United States to predict the election of Pope John Paul II. He wrote a book on The Mind of John Paul II and was knighted [to the Knighthood of St. Gregory the Great] by the pope in a special celebration in St. Paul Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Williams would have been able to put the pope's legacy into useful and surprising perspective.
Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 2 April 2005 at 7:05 PM