Monthly Archives: August 2010

Canonization of Charles I. (1900)

To the Editor of The New York Times:

Accept the thanks of a Connecticut Churchman for your deserved criticism of the meeting held in Boston on Jan. 30 to honor the memory of King Charles I. The Episcopal Church has few enemies more effective than those women and men who are fastening upon her the commemoration of the King whose word could never be trusted. There was a time when the Anglican Church expressed in worship, teaching, and life the noblest aspirations of the Anglo-Saxon people. But churchmen who pay pecular honor to the memory of King Charles I. are making the church contemptible in the sight of thoughtful and liberty-loving men. He stood asking for what is hateful to the dominant people of the world to-day. He stood in the way of what is best in State and religion, and the Church which represents him as a saint and martyr has parted with its reason. Good may be said for the King, and one may feel pity for his death. He had virtues to be remembered with respect. But his word could not be trusted, and he can only be a saint to those whose sense of the value of truth is perverted. But you do not need to look to Boston for this new form of devotion. As respectable a firm as that of James Pott & Co. of the Mission House, Fourth Avenue, in their Church Almanac, name among recognized church societies “The Society of King Charles the Martyr,” and announce that “American churchmen desiring to unite in doing honor to the memory of the one saint officially enrolled on the Anglican Kalendar since the Reformation may address, &c.” “The medal of the society may be obtained for 20 cents.” Of course the Episcopal Church ought not to be held responsible for this foolish effort to canonize Charles I., but it ought not to be passed by without a protest from those who regard historical truth and from those who would like this Church to have the respect due to the mother church of English-speaking people.


New Haven, Conn, Feb. 2, 1900.


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