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Religion: Odd Body

2 minute read

Over the centuries, the Church of England has learned an immense patience. It still needs to call on its reserves when dealing with its blatantly Communist-line “Red Dean” of Canterbury, the Very Rev. Hewlett Johnson. The Archbishop of Canterbury has publicly shaken his head many times over the Red Dean’s bland blurts in favor of Communism and all things Russian. In London last week, at the Lord Mayor’s dinner for Anglican Bishops, the Archbishop responded to a toast “to the clergy at home and overseas”:

“I am bound to confess that to some extent we are an odd body . . . for instance, what about the Dean of Canterbury? The toast is ‘at home and overseas’—I never know which the Dean of Canterbury is, at home or overseas. Dare I say that when he is at home I wish he was overseas, and still more profoundly when he is overseas I wish he was at home?

“However much we may be opposed to he Dean of Canterbury in his political views, he is not antiChristian, but . . . holds profoundly the same Christian faith you and I hold. He draws conclusions from it which at least I do not accept, and, as it seems to me, he shows a lack of skill in reading the evidence of what is to be seen in the world at large. But he sincerely believes that our present western social order is not as Christian as it might be; he believes that a thoroughly socialist order is more Christian and that sometimes the most violent means have to be adopted to get to a good end, as in war. He regards these horrors as a temporary expedient . . .

“Mistaken as I believe him to be, he is not disloyal to his own interpretation of the Christian faith. We do in this country really believe in freedom of speech, as long as it is within the terms of the law.”

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