Friday, May 8, 2009

Episcopal Pastoral

From Time Magazine 1953. It would seem that there was a bit of the prophetic in the hysteria.

From Williamsburg, Va.. where they had met in special session, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church issued a pastoral letter to their 2,545,000 church members reviewing "the state of the church today." First, said the bishops, there are some causes for thanksgiving. Among them: the "steady and continuous" gain in the number of Episcopal communicants (1.72% in the U.S. between 1951 and 1952); the general increase in church membership in all denominations. But most of their words were devoted to Christian grounds of concern. Despite church gains, they warned, "the outlook for Christianity and for the world from a Christian point of view has rarely been more serious." "Communism, with its philosophy of materialism." the bishops said, is Christianity's greatest avowed enemy. But equally dangerous is "another form of totalitarianism which deifies the state, expressing itself in various forms of national state socialism." The bishops suggested that the U.S. might have some unwitting state deifiers behind recent "broad generalizations and accusations" against the churches—presumably those made by members of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Said the bishops, quoting a speech by Presiding Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill: "We are against trial by uninformed public opinion, against accusations by hearsay . . . The church is equally opposed to what may be described as 'creeping fascism.' "
The rest-,9171,860154,00.htmlv

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