The Kaiser's 'Cathedral'

02 November 2006


March 3rd, 1905.

BERLIN has been holding high festival. The occasion was the opening, in the presence of the Kaiser, of a great Protestant temple, which, as a high official informed the Standard's special correspondent, is to be a sort of Protestant Mecca. Westminster, St Paul's and Canterbury were warned by the said official not to set up a rival claim; for this is the metropolitan Cathedral of the country in which Protestantism was born, and is also the official place of worship of the principal Protestant monarch of the world. The German idea of a Cathedral is a quaint one. To most people its etymology suggests a church in which a Bishop's seat is placed, but at Berlin it would appear that a Cathedral is a building containing the Imperial pew. However, that is no affair of ours. The Kaiser is at liberty to call the building a Cathedral, or anything he pleases, and he need have no fear that Canterbury, or Westminster, or St Paul's will put in a counter-claim to be "the mother church of international Protestantism". What, however, does concern us is to know what the Bishop of Ripon was doing dans cette galère? A Catholic prelate assisting at the opening of a Cathedral that is no Cathedral is a phenomenon that wants a good deal of explaining.

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