• U.S.

Religion: Catholic, Protestant & Free

1 minute read

The picture caption read: PRIESTS IN SHORTS. The photograph showed two Episcopal clergymen in Northfield, Minn. last week for the national convention of Episcopal Young Churchmen—standing about coolly in Bermuda shorts. The picture pulled a flurry of mail from: 1) Episcopalians who objected to men of the cloth baring their knees; 2) more Roman Catholics who resented the application of the title “priests” to Protestants.

The priest question touched on an old issue. Episcopalians consider themselves Catholic, believing that their church as much as Rome is the true spiritual heir of St. Peter. To stress this point, some Episcopalians prefer not to call themselves Protestants at all. At Northfield the delegates considered a motion recommending that “Protestant” be dropped from the title of the Protestant Episcopal Church. But the Young Churchmen voted it down, 172 to 127, expressed their position in a song (to the tune of God Bless America):

I am an Anglican

I am P.E.

Not a high church

Not a low church

But Catholic, Protestant and free.

Not a Presby

Not a Loothern

Not a Baptist, white with foam.

I am an Anglican

Just one step from Rome.

I am an Anglican

Via media,

Boom Boom!

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