From The Living Church, January 4, 1913.
SAD REPORT FROM PHILADELPHIA
Dr. Mortimer Resigns His Parish and is Deposed from the Ministry
The Living Church News Bureau, Philadelphia, December 30, 1912.
A SAD series of events, concerning which full information has not been made public, resulted last week in the resignation by the Rev. Alfred G. Mortimer, D.D., of his rectorship of St. Mark’s Church, on the advice of the Bishop; followed on Sunday by his deposition from the ministry upon his formal renunciation thereof. Dr. Mortimer had officiated at St. Mark’s on the preceding Sunday, the Fourth in Advent. Bishop Rheinlander took his place on Christmas Day. The Rev. S. C. Hughson, O.H.C., will have temporary charge of St. Mark’s at the Bishop’s request.
Sensational reports and charges are printed in the daily papers which, however, admit that they are entirely at sea concerning the facts, and which are devoting a great deal of space to the subject. The only rumor that has been explicitly denied is that Dr. Mortimer had gone over, or was to go over, to Rome; and the only authoritative statement that has been made is the following from the Bishop:
“It is a fact,” he said, “that Dr. Mortimer has withdrawn from the work of his ministry. This action, however, was not the result of any trouble between him and his vestry nor in consequence of any request on their part for his resignation. It followed upon a conference between himself and me in which personal matters of serious moment were considered by us. After the most careful reflection I counseled him to take the action which he afterward took, and his vestry approved the course.”
Dr. Mortimer is now the guest of his brother, the Rev. F.E. Mortimer, D.D., of Jersey City, and has announced that he will soon leave for England, where he expects to make his home in future. His health has been much impaired, requiring frequent absence from his parish during the past year. He is 64 years of age.
From The Living Church, January 11, 1913, p. 362
SADNESS MINGLED WITH SATISFACTION IN PHILADELPHIA
The Very Sad Case of Discipline Has Been Well Handled by Diocesan and Parochial Authorities
FATHER HUGHSON TAKES CHARGE OF ST. MARK’S PARISH
The Living Church News Bureau, Philadelphia, January 7, 1913.
THE brightness of the Christmas octave was clouded for Church people by the unhappy events briefly recorded last week; the resignation and departure from the city, speedily followed by deposition, of one of the leading priests of the diocese, under the shadow of grave charges against his moral character. The intensity of excitement that marked the first days of this tragic episode have now given place to calmer feeling, in which profound sadness is mingled with satisfaction over the wisdom, courage, and impartial firmness with which the authorities both of the diocese and of the parish met the crisis. It is recognized by all who are in any way conversant with the facts that what had to be done was well done. Father Hughson arrived in town and took charge of St. Mark’s on New Year’s Day. He is well known to the parish, having been a member of the staff of curates during his earlier ministry, and under his steadfast guidance, the work goes forward in orderly fashion.