Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

of the State upon the ground that he will be deprived of patronage. But the injunctions here sought are not against the exercise of any proper power. Plaintiffs asked protection against arbitrary, unreasonable and unlawful interference with their patrons and the consequent destruction of their business and property. Their interest is clear and immediate. . . .

Source: Pierce, Governor of Oregon, et al. v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

P. B. Kurland, Religion and the Law ( Chicago, 1961), pp. 26-28.

L. Pfeffer, God, Caesar and the Constitution ( Boston, 1975), pp. 253-257.

A. P. Stokes, Church and State in the United States ( New York, 1950), II, 733-741.


139
Resolution of the Upper House of Convocation of Canterbury on Prayer Book Revision July 11, 1929

Prayer Book revision, considered formally by convocations since 1906, was embodied in a measure overwhelmingly accepted by the Church Assembly and forwarded to Parliament. Many liturgical changes were noncontroversial, but provision for an alternative communion service and reservation of the sacrament raised fears that revision was designed to advance the "Romanizing" views of the Anglo-Catholic minority.1 (The Malines conversations between Anglicans and Catholics [ 1921 1926] had already alarmed the evangelical wing of the church.) The measure passed the House of Lords by 241 to 88 but was lost in the House of Commons by 238 to 205 in December 1927. A second revision, written with a view to meeting objections but still retaining reservation of the sacrament, was rejected in the Commons in June 1928 by a vote of 266 to 220. These decisions created much dissatisfaction with the Church Assembly Act and the prevailing system of church-state relations among many churchmen. They argued that the non-Anglican vote in Parliament had thwarted the worship most desired by the national Anglican community, and Archbishop Randall Davidson ( 1848-1930) and other leaders expressed concern for the independent spiritual authority of the church. Despite much talk of voluntary separation from the state, the bishops decided instead on a policy of conscientious disregard of the parliamentary votes in permitting services consistent with the 1928 revision (even though the 1662 Book remained the lawful liturgy). This "solution," officially enacted by the bishops on the archbishop's motion,

____________________
1
For the history and theological significance of the practice of retaining the bread consecrated at the Eucharist, see F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone (eds.), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 2d ed. ( New York, 1974), "Reservation."

-355-

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