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Monsignor Benson’s Mission

by
24 January 2014

January 23rd, 1914.

(From our Correspondent.)
FOR some time it has been recognized by a number of the clergy of Manchester and Salford that steady and determined efforts were being made by Roman Catholics to pervert members of the Church of England, and especially of congregations supposed to be in sympathy with Catholic views, from their own communion. This campaign has come to a head in a Mission now being conducted by Monsignor R. H. Benson at the Roman Catholic Cathedral. . . Anyone who has read Mr Benson's novels and remembers how, in "The Conventionalists'' for instance, he guys (I really cannot use any other word) the administration of the Communion of the Sick in the Church of which he was once a priest will know what to expect. A friend of mine tells me, however, that the addresses were enlightened by at least one glimpse of unconscious humour. Mr Benson was describing those Roman Catholics, few, very few, he assured his congregation, who left the Church of Rome. They were, he declared, taken up vigorously by Protestants, and spent the rest of their days "biting the hand that had fed them by traducing the Church they had left". "But, surely," said a lady sitting next my friend, "he was himself once a clergyman in the Church of England. Whose hand has he been biting all the evening?"

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