• U.S.

Religion: Noe’s No (Cont’d)

2 minute read

Sympathetically, curiously has Memphis, Tenn., watched the affairs of Dean Israel Harding Noe of St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, whose wife sued him for di-vorce last February because he believes that “the only Christian standard of birth control is self control” (TIME, May n). Last week Memphis was given another sympathetic, curious peep into his private life, his checkbook and his house in the Cathedral’s shadow. Mrs. Noe’s amended charges included cruelty, extravagance and desertion as well as coldness. In an amended answer to her bill, Dean Noe replied in great detail. He had not been cruel, nor, as she charged, had he accused her of being unbalanced and adulterous. Their complicated finances, involving many an unpaid bill, had been in her hands for two years; she had even refused to pay a note which she had signed.

With painstaking care he corrected two of her statements. When their oldest daughter died last March he did not say: “See what you get for breaking up a home,” but: “This is what we deserve for a broken home.” He did not tell one of the children that “her mother would sell her wedding ring.” Rather, the child came to him and said: “Daddy, I believe mother has sold her wedding ring.”

Once more Dean Noe reiterated his belief “that all sexual relationship should be creative, whether for the purpose of procreation or fellowship, and should lead ultimately to that perfect expression of love which is neither dependent upon physical contact or lessened by distance.”

Memphis watched, wondered if that “perfect expression” would arrive as the Dean believes, when “the complainant has entirely recovered from the shock of her illness.”

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