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Dr Henson takes offence

13 July 2018

July 12th, 1918.

THE Bishop of Hereford [Hensley Henson] is unduly sensitive. In Convocation on Wednesday he took the Bishop of Chelmsford’s perfectly inoffensive speech as a personal attack on himself. As a matter of fact, the resolution that the Bishop of Chelmsford [J. E. Watts-Ditchfield] was moving had to do with a petition signed by a great number of Churchmen who resent the impugning of certain Articles of the Creed which the Bishop of Hereford himself has said that he ex animo repeats. When, therefore, the Bishop of Chelmsford deplored the wreckage of faith frequently caused by ill-digested guesses of scholars, openly stated and often regardless of consequences, he could not have had the Bishop of Hereford in his mind. But the latter declared that the motion was nothing more nor less than a gross and repeated attack on himself. What followed was very curious. The Bishop went on to say that he did not wish to dissociate himself from Dr Sanday and other thinkers who are in agreement with him. This we have a difficulty in understanding, for Dr Sanday and those others have made it quite clear that they no longer believe what the Bishop of Hereford repeats ex animo. But perhaps he will explain himself on one of those future occasions when, as he said on Wednesday, he will make such contributions to the House for discussion as may seem to him right to bring forward. It may be that we shall be shown how the expression ex animo can be understood symbolically.


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