Old Epitaphs: Leidig’s Burying Ground

Old Epitaphs: Leidig’s Burying Ground[1]

By George S. Nyce.

[It is with much satisfaction that we present the inscriptions on some of the gravestones in Leidig’s Burying Ground. Mr. Nyce has carefully copied them for preservation, and has kindly permitted us to make extracts from his record. The lettering on these old gravestones is gradually wearing, time and climate making it more indistinct from year to year. The thoughtfulness of those who take measures to preserve them, for the use of genealogists in the future, is eminently praiseworthy. Leidig’s private burying ground is located in the southwestern part of Frederick Township, east of Swamp Creek. It originally contained one-quarter of an acre, which was enclosed in 1783 with a stone wall. The ground was taken, prior to 1764, from the adjoining farms of Christian Stetler, the Rev. John Philip Leydich, Henry Smith and George Michael Kuntz. In recent years another quarter of an acre has been added. On May 9, 1892, an organization having for its object the care of the graves and grounds was formed. The officers are: President, J. A. Sweisfort; treasurer, George F. Moore; secretary, G. A. Weida, M. D.; trustees, Peter S. Bitting, I. W. Stetler, Milton F. Leidy. The association has spent $54.00 and has a fund of $135.00 at interest.—Ed.]

Hier / Ruhet in Gott / der Leib des verstorbenen / Casper Achenbach / Er wurde gebohren im Jahr / 1713, und ist gestorben den 27 / ten December 1798. Ist alt / worden 85 Jahr. / Sein Leichen Text: Denn Christus / ist mein Leben und Sterben ist mein ge- / winn.

Zum Andenken an / Elizabeth Bitting / Gattin von / Joseph Bitting / Tochter von / Peter Schæffer, / und seiner Ehefrau. / Geboren den 10 April / 1796, starb den 10 Pebruar / 1872, alt 75 Jahre und 10 mo, / verehelichte sich d: 1 Nov. 1818.

Hier / ruhet in Gott / der Leib der verstorbenen / Maria Magdalena / Achenbach, / Sie wurde gebohren den 17 / ten Mertz 1730 und ist / gestorben den 7 ten January / 1808, ist alt worden 78 / Jahr, 9 monat und 3 wochen. / Leichen Text, Philipper / im ersten Capitel den 23 vers / Ich habe lust abzuscheiden und / bey Christo zer seyn.

Hier / Ruhet in Gott der / Leib der verstorbenen / AmgneSea Bittingen. / Gebohren d: 14ten Feber- / Wari 1727, Gestorben / d: 2ten NoVember 1785 / Ihres Alters 58 Iahr / 8 Monnat und 8 Tag.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine / der verstorbenen / Ana Gertraut Bitting, / gewesene Ehefrau von Lud- / wig Bitting, sie wurde ge- / bohren den 16ten February / 1763, und starb den 26ten / September im Jahr 1818, / in einem Alter von 65 Jah- / ren 7 Monathen u. 10 tagen. / Ihr Leichen Text war Capitel an die / Hebraer das 4 Capitel vers 9, 10.

Hier ruhet / Ludwig / Bitting, / geboren den 24 October / 1759, / Starb den 3 April 1829 / alt / 69 Jahr, 5 Monate / und 9 Tage. / Text Philipper 1 vers / 23.

Hier / ruhet in Gott / Magdalena Christman / Tochten des Georg Michel / Schweinhart und seiner Ehe- / frau Magdalena u: Gattin / des Johannes Christman. / Sie wurde gebohren d. 22 / sten January im Jahr un- / seres Herrn 1789, und / starb d: 28sten November / 1823, in einem Alter / von 34 Jahre 10 Mona- / then und 6 Tage. / Ihr Leichen Text war Of- / fenbarung S. Johannes 14 / Capitel vers 13.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine ernes Mit- / bruders Namens / Jost Bitting, / er wurde gebohren den 5 ten Tag / Julius in Jahr 1713, und ist / gestorben den 25 ten Tag Decem- / ber im Jahr 1801, / Sein Alter war 88 Jahren 5 / Monathen und 18 Tagen.

Samuel Bayer / gebohren den 2ten September / 1780, starb nach kurtzem Ehe- / standeden 3ten May, 1807, / in einem alter von 26 Jahre / 8 Monathe und 1 Tag. / Hier ruht ein Vater und ein / Gatte den Gottes Hand uns / frueh entriss, Der Liebe, die er zu / uns hatte, Weihn wir hier dies / gedæchtniss die Wittwe und / 2 Kinder.

Zum Andenken / an / Joseph Bitting, / Geboren den 8. December / 1790, starb den 1. October / 1869, alt 78 Jahr 9 Mo. / und 23 Tage. / verheirathete sich mit / Elizabeth Schæffer.

Zum Andenken an / Johannes / Sohn von / Johannes u. Maria / Emmerich. / Geboren den 24 marz 1778 / Starb den 12 may 1870 / Alter 92 Jahre 1 Monat / und 19 Tage. / Verehelichte sich mit / Margaret Krauss, den 15ten / Februar 1801, lebte in der Ehe 50 / Jahre, zeugte 7 Sohne, u 5 Tochter. / Text: Ev. Joh. 16, 22 v.

Zum Andenken an / Margaretha. / Margaret Emmerich, / Ehegattin von Johannes / Emmerich, und Tochter / von Daniel und Margaretha / Kraus. Sie war geboren / am 9 October 1782, / verheirathete sich am / 15 Februar 1801, Lebte / in der Ehe 50 Jahre, zeugte / 8 Sohne und 4 Tochter und / Starb am 21 August 1851 / Ihres Alters 68 Jahr 10 / Monate und 12 Tag.

Hier / ruhet der leib der / verstorbenen / ANNA. GROBIN / Sie wurde geboren im Jahr / 1728 den 29ten Octo- / ber und ist gestorben im Jahr / 1800 den 25ten Septem- / ber. Ist alt worden 71 Jahr / 10 Monath und 25 Tag.

Zum / Andenken an / Henrich Grob, / Er wurde geboren den / 2ten Tag November / 1755 / Er ist gestorben den / 18ten October im Jahr / 1841. / Er brachte sein Alter / auf 85 Jahr 10 M. 27 Tage.

Gewidmet / aus Eindlicher Liebe / der / verewigten Frau / Maria Salome / Kuntz / Ehefrau des Michael Kuntz, / Sie wurde geboren den 28ten / November 1745, starb den 4ten / December 1832, ihres Alters / 87 Jahre und 6 Tage. / Leichentext: Offenbarung / Johannes Cap. 14 vers 13.

Leser / lese und erinre / dich des weyland gewesenen / Johannes Herger, / desen entschlafenen Glieder / hier die Auferstehung erwarten / Er wurde in diesem Abendlande / gebohren den 2ten May 1721, / und starb den 5ten December 1795, / in einem gesegnetem alter von / 74 Jahr 7 Monath und 2 Tag. / Leichen Text, Psalm 31 Vers 6. In / deine Hände befehle ich meinen Geist: etc.

Hier / ruhet in Gott / der Leib der verstorbenen / Maria Salome Herriger. / Sie wurde gebohren in Deutsch / land in der Pfaltz den 15ten Tag / Aprill im Jahr 1719, / und starb den 24ten Tag No- / vember im Jahr 1800 / Ist alt worden 81 Jahr 7 / Monathe und 9 Tage / Leichen Text. 2 Petri am 3, Vers 9.

In / Memory of / Ester, wife of / Rev. R. T. HERMAN, / Pos. of Rev. LEIDICH, / child of Jac. and Maria / Born Jan. 3d, 1807. / Died July 2, 1848. / Text. Ev. John, 8. 51. / Hier / ruhen in Gott / die gebeine des verstorbenes / Michael Kuntz. / Er wurde in diesem Abend / Lande gebohren den 7ten / Tag July im Jahr unsers / Herrn 1742, und starb / den 7ten July im Jahr / 1824, in einem gesegne- / tem Alter von 82 Jahren, / Viel besser ist gestorben / Als in der Welt gelebt / Die Schwachheit ist verdorben / Wo innen Mann geschwebt / Gott eilet mit den seinen / Zur schönen Himmels pracht / Wer mag nun den beweinen / Der bei den Englen lacht.

In / memory of / JOHN KOONS / who departed this life / July 15th 1830 aged / 60 years 1 Month and / 15 days.

In / memory of / Frederick Koons, / who departed this life / August 19th 1823, aged 79 years / 1 Month and 13 days.

In / memory of / MARY KOONS, wife of / Frederick Koons, who departed this life / July 31st 1825 aged / 75 years 3 months and / 24 days

Here Lieth the Body of / HENRY KROUSE, / who departed this life / August the 12th 1794 / Aged 50 Years 5 Months / and 2 Days.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine / von dem verstorbenen / Henrich Langbein / Er wurde geboren den / 10ten August 1749 / und ist gestorben den / 24ten September 1819 / alt 70 Jahr 1 Monat / und 14 Tag.

Hier / ruhen in Gott / die Gebeine des Gewesenen / Daniel Krauss / Er wurde gebohren im Jahr / unsers Herrn 1742 den 14 / ten Julius und begab sich in / den Stand der Heiligen Ehe / den 10ten August 1772 mit / Margaretha eine gebohrne / Sehler. In welcher Ehe sie 8 / Kinder zeugten nämlich 5 Söh- / ne und 3 Töchter. Er starb den / 10ten October 1823, Seines / alters 81 Jahre 2 Monathe / und 26 Tage / Sein Leichentext war Psalm 31 vers . . . / In deine hände befehle ich meinem geist, / du hast mich erleset, Herr, du teuer Gott.

Hier / ruhen in Gott / die Gebeine der / gewesenen / Margaretha Krauss. / Sie wurden gebohren den 9ten / July 1752 und verehlichte / sich auf den 10ten August / 1772, mit Daniel Krauss / In welcher Ehe sie 8 Kinder / zeugten nämlich 5 Söhne und / 3 Töchter. Sie starb den 14ten / May 1822, nachdem Sie ihr / Alter auf 69 Jahre 10 Mo- / nathe und 5 Tage gebracht hatte. / Hier / ruhen die Gebeine des / verstorbenen / George Langbein, / geboren den 25 März / im Jahr 1759. / starb den 25 September / im Jahr 1826 / brachte sein alter auf / 67 Jahre und / 6 Monate. / Text. Offenb. 21, vers 4.

Hier ruhet / Eva Langenbein / eine geborne Fischer. / Sie wurde geboren den / 10ten October / 1763 / Gestorben den 8ten May/ 1851 / Alt 87 Jahr 6 Monat / und 29 Tage.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine / von dem verstorbenen / Henrich Langbein / Er wurden geboren den / 10ten August 1749 / und ist gestorben den / 24ten September 1819 / alt 70 Jahr 1 Monat / und 14 Tag.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine / von der verstorbenen / Margreth Langbein. / Sie wurde geboren den / 12ten August 1753, und / ist gestorben den 12ten / October 1823, alt 70 / Jahr und 2 Monat.

IOHANN PHILIP LEYDICH / Reformierter Brediger / war gebohren 1715 / den 29 April / ist gestorben den 12ten / October 1823, alt 70 / Jahr und 2 Monat.

Dem / Andenken der verewigten / Catharena Leidig. / Sie war geboren den 30ten / Tag Juny im Jahr 1721 / vershlicht mit dem verstorbenen / Reformirter Prediger / Philip Leidig, / und starb den 31ten Tag / October im Jahr 1801, / alt 80 Jahre 4 Monathe / und 1 Tag. / Leichentext Iasaia am 3 Cap. vers 10.

Hier Ruhet in Gott / der Leib des verstorbenen / Frantz Leidich, / war gebohren den 26ten Martz im / Jahr 1745 und ist gestorben den 2ten / Juny 1811, / Seines Alters 66 Jahr 2 Monath / und 7 tage / Leichen text. Hebrair am 4ten Capitel vers und 10.

Hier / ruhet in Gott / der Leib der verstorbenen / CHRISTINA / LEIDIG. / Sie wurde gebohren / im December 1748 / und ist Gestorben / den 9ten October 1821 / ihres Alters 72 Jahr / 10 Monat. / Text Iesaias das 3 / capitel verst 10.

Hier / ruhen in Gott / die Gebeine des gewesenen / Philip Leydig. / Er wurde gebohren den 21sten / May im Jahr unseres Herren / 1755 verehelichte sich mit / Rosina Bucher, eine Tochter / des Georg Diederich Bucherts, / sie zeugten 6 Kinder nämlich 1 / Sohn und 5 Tochter und starb den 14 / ten Mertz im Jahr 1822, in / einem alter von 66 Jahren 9 Mo- / nathen und 21 Tagen.

Ein / denkmal für / Rosina Leidig, / Tochter von Georg Dieter u / Magdalena Buchert, Sie / wurde geboren den 22 Februar / 1760 / Und begab sich in den stand der / Ehe mit / Philip Leidig. / Sie lebten im Ehestand 42 / Jahr nud zeichten 6 Kinder 1 / Sohn und 5 Tochter Nachher / lebte sie 28 Jahr wittwe / Starb den 2ten November / 1749, / Alt 89 Jahr 8 Monat / und 9 Tage.

Hier / ruhen in Gott / die Gebeine des gewesenen / Jacob Reifschneider, / Sohn des Sebastian Reif- / schneider und seiner Ehefrau / Arsula, / Er wurde gebohren im Jahr / 1769, / und starb den 26sten Tag / February 1832, Seines / alters ongefehr 63 Jahre. / Leichen Text Evangelium S. Johannes / das 5the Capitel vers 24.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine von / Catharina Reifschneider / eine gebohrne Kuntz / und Gattin des Jacob Reif- / schneider. / Sie wurde gebohren auf den 2 / ten Tag May im Jahr / 1775 / und starb deen 22sten Sep- / tember 1828. Ihres al- / ters 53 Jahre 4 Monathe / und 20 Tage / Ihr Leichen text war Offenbarung S. / Johannes das 7 Capitel vers 16.

Hier / ruhen des Gebeine von / des verstorbenen / Georg Mohr, / Er wurde geboren den / 27ten October 1758 / und ist gestorben den 7ten / January 1824, brachte / sein Alter auf 65 Jahr / 2 Monat und 11 Tag. / Leichen Text, Jesaias 54 / capitel verst 10.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine von / der verstorbenen / Maria Barbara / Mohr, / gewesene Ehefrau des Georg / Mohr, eine geborne Lang- / beinen, sie wurde geboren / den 23ten February 1756, / ist gestorben den 27ten May / 1807, brachte ihr alter / auf 51 Jahr 3 Monat / und 4 Tag.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine / von des verstorbenen / Johannes Reimer. / Er wurde gebohren den 23ten / November im Jahr 1734, / und ist gestorben den 18ten Ja- / nuary im Jahr 1822. Er / brachte sein Alter auf 87 / Jahr 1 Monat und 25 Tag. / Leichen Text. 2 Epistel an die / Corinther 5 Capitel den 10 verst.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine / der verstorbenen / Maria Catharina / Reimer / wartend aut die Anferste- / hung der Todten, sie wur- / de gebohren den 26 sten / May 1738 und starb / den 27sten September / 1813.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine / von des verstorbenen / Ludwig Reimer / Er wurde gebohren den / 15ten February im Jahr / 1736, und ist gestor- / ben den 10ten September / im Jahr 1818. Er brac- / hte sein Alter auf 82 / Jahr 6 Monat und / 25 Tage. / Leichen Text ist 39 Psalm / 5 und 6 vers.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine / von der verstorbenen / Susanna Reimer / Sie wurde gebohren den / 24ten October im Jahr / 1740, und ist gestorben / den 4ten January im Ja- / hr 1822. Sie brachte, ihr / Alter auf 81 Jahr 2 / Monat und 10 Tag. / Leichen Text, Johannes 5 / Capitel und der 24 verst.

Hier / ruhen de gebeine von / Peter Schweisfort / geboren den 29 Septr / 1771, Starb den 22 / Jan’y 1834, brachte / sein Alter auf 82 Jahr / 3 mo und 23 Tage / Leichen Text Psalm 73 / vers 25 und 26.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine von / Maria Schweisfort / geborne Bickhart. sie / war geboren den 19 / October 1772, / starb den 10 May 1839 / brachte ihr Alter auf / 66 Jahre, 6 Monate / und 19 Tage. / Text. Evang. Joh. 5 / vers. 24.

In / Memory of / John Stetler, / who was born in the Year / of our Lord 1729, and / Departed this life the / 29th Day of December / 1812. Aged 83 Years. / Remember man / as you Pass by As you are / now So once was I. As I am / now so you must be Prepa- / re for Death and Follow me.

In / Memory of / Mary Stetler, / who was born the 12th / of November in the Year / of our Lord 1734, and / Departed this life in Sep- / tember in the Year of our / Lord 1775 Aged 41 Years. / O death thy pains are / most Severe when once / the stroke is given Christ / I hope has sent for me. To / dwell with him in Heaven.

Dis Ist die rue / StAed eines christilchen / Mithrudryes dieser / GemeInde nahmens / henrich Stattler. Ist / Gebohren Im Jahr christe / 1706 und starb den 16 / September 1763. Sein / Ganses alter War / 57 Jahr. Ich habe / lust abzuscheiden und / bei christus zu sein / welches auch viel besser / wer.

Hier Ruhet der / Leichnam des / verstorbenen / Henrich Stattlers / Er wurde gebohren im / Jahr 1732. Verlies das / Zeitliche 1780, den / 9ten May Seines / Alters 48 Jahr.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine von / Catharina Stettler / gewesene Ehe Frau von / Heinrich Stetler / Sie wurde geboren den 9 November / 1738 / und Starb den 14 September / 1830. / brachte ihr alter auf 91 Jahre / 10 Monate und 5 Tage.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine / eines verstorbenen mitbruders / namens / Christian Stettler. / Er wurde gebohren den 3ten tag / February im Jahr unsers Herrn / 1741, / und ist gestorben den 5ten tag De- / cember im Jahr 1813, sein gan- / tzes alter war 72 Jahr 10 / Monathe und 2 Tage.

Hier / ruhen die Ge- / beine der verstorbenen / Catharina Elesabetha / Stettler / gewesene Ehefrau von / Christian Stettler. / Sie wurde gebohren den / 20 sten August im Jahr / 1746 / und ist gestorben den 3ten / Tag November im Jahr / 1826 / ihres alters 80 Jahre 2 / Monath und 14 Tage.

Dem / Andenken an / Benjamin Schneider / gewidtmet von seiner zurueckgebliebe- / nen Witwe und Tochter. Er war / gebohren den 10ten May 1757 / und wurde nach einem 23 Jährigen / Ehestande hier bei den Gräber sei- / nes Sohnes und Enkelskens / beerdight den 6ten February 1804, / elt 46 Jahre 9 Monathe / und 7 Tage.

Hier / ruhen die Ge- / beine der verstorbenen / Elisabetha Schneidern, / gewesene Ehefrau des Benjamin / Schneider, sie wurde ge- / bohren den 23sten November / im Jahr 1761 und ist gestor- / ben den 19ten tag November / im Jahr 1817. Ihres alters / 55 Jahre 11 Monathe und / 28 Tage / Leichentext Jesaias 56 Capitel / vers 2.

Hier / ruhen die Gebeine / von der verstorbenen / Catharina Mattes, / eine gewesene Ehefrau des Jo- / hannes Mattes, gebohrne Sch- / wencken. Sie wurde gebohren / den 3ten February im Jahr / 1790, und ist gestorben den / 24ten September 1816, / Sie brachte ihr Alter auf / 62 Jahr 7 Monat und / 21 Tag.

[1] Henry S. Dotterer, editor, The Perkiomen Region, Past and Present (Philadelphia: Perkiomen Publishing Company, 1895), pages 8-9, 29, 54-57.

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A Faithful Steward: Clinton Rogers Woodruff (1936)

woodruff.jpgA Faithful Steward: Clinton Rogers Woodruff
By S. H. Warnock (1936)

FOR THE PAST four years, the department of public welfare in the city of Philadelphia has been noted for its capable administration. Leading citizens, irrespective of political affiliations have remarked on the fairness, efficiency, and strict adherence to the merit system which have characterized this department.

The head of the, department during these years and the man to whom credit in large measure is due for its excellent record is Clinton Rogers Woodruff, a prominent Churchman and associate editor of The Living Church.

Under the law, the mayor of Philadelphia, the Hon. J. Hampton Moore, may not succeed himself in office. In January his term expired, and the mayor’s cabinet, of which Mr. Woodruff as director of the department of public welfare was a member, was dissolved.

The writer believes that the achievements of Mr. Woodruff’s administration as evidence of a Churchman’s record in public office are of considerable interest to the Church at large.

For a number of years Mr. Woodruff has been a member of the department of Christian social service in the diocese of Pennsylvania, and its chairman since 1931. For many years he has been keenly interested in social service and public welfare work and also for many years has been the head of the city’s oldest public welfare association.

It was this background of experience which induced the mayor four years ago to select him as a member of his cabinet and to assign him to the public welfare department. Throughout those four years under most difficult conditions and with political partisan feeling frequently at white heat the department under Mr. Woodruff was virtually without criticism. As citizens now are looking to the future they are characterizing his administration as being chiefly remarkable for the broad humanitarianism of its director and for his personal interest and devotion to the duties of his office.

The office is necessarily one of tremendous detail, coming into personal contact with more individuals than perhaps any other of the many departments under the mayor. One of the striking evidences of the excellence of the department’s administration was its devotion to the principle of civil service, every vacancy being filled by the selection of the individual who was number one on the civil service list.

Several other illustrations will serve to show the efficiency and the sympathy which characterized Mr. Woodruff’s administration. When he took over the office he found hundreds of men in the home for the indigent sleeping in cellars at the almshouse site. The excuse was that there was no money with Which to purchase material to equip a building already on the grounds. Within fifteen days Director Woodruff found plenty of material around the place and by using available labor in less than a month had all the men out of the cellar and in comfortable sleeping quarters—all this without one cent of expense to the city.

In another instance he found a commissary department operated by an outside party who was making a considerable profit by the sale of small articles such as cigarettes and tobacco. This was immediately stopped and with a small revolving fund the commissary was operated by the chief appointed by Mr. Woodruff and all the profits went to supply extras for the unfortunates which enabled them to make their living quarters more comfortable and nearer homelike.

Another striking reform instituted was the formation of a school for boys over 16 years of age who were committed to the house of correction for minor offenses.

Some idea of the scope of the work of the welfare department to which Mr. Woodruff gave his personal attention may be seen in the following summary: In the home for the indigent he had the responsibility of caring for an average of 2,000 men and women; in the house of correction a daily average of between 700 and 1,000, a personal assistance bureau caring for individual citizens numbering as high as 5,000 at a time, a temporary shelter for abandoned and neglected children and finding foster homes for from twenty to twenty-five of them a day; operation of a summer camp for children during July and August caring for approximately 1,800 and, in addition all year round management of forty-one city playgrounds and recreation centers with all the attending details in which the yearly attendance ran in many, many thousands.

And as the four years of this Christian public official terminate, citizens of Philadelphia today are pointing to this department as having been most efficiently and economically administered with greatly reduced appropriations, with no public service neglected, no evidence of wastefulness, and without the slightest indication of any grafting being countenanced or permitted.

The Living Church (Milwaukee), 1936, p. 1938.

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The Torok Case (1936)

THE CONTROVERSY over the case of Bishop Torok has broken out anew, the latest developments in it being the appeal by Bishop Manning and six other bishops for an investigation by the House of Bishops and the statement of Bishop Wilson that he has asked Dr. Torok to refrain from participating in the consecration of any bishop or ordaining any priest until the matter can again come before the House of Bishops. The curious thing about this whole unfortunate controversy is that both parties are demanding the same thing—an investigation by the House of Bishops. To ,the impartial observer it would certainly seem that the decision of the question as to the status of Bishop Torok and the desirability of admitting him as a bishop in the Episcopal Church is plainly a question for the House of Bishops to determine. However, the House of Bishops has twice had the opportunity of making a definite ruling on this whole matter—at Atlantic City in 1934 and at Houston in 1935—and twice has failed to do so. The first time the House rejected the election of Dr. Torok as Suffragan Bishop of Eau Claire but did not pass on the questions of the validity of his consecration or his status so far as the Episcopal Church is concerned. The Presiding Bishop accordingly appointed a committee to investigate these matters and that committee reported at the session of the House in Houston last November. It appears now that the bishops at Houston neither accepted nor rejected this report but declined even to receive it officially. In short, they simply dodged the whole issue.

Because the House of Bishops did not face this question fairly and squarely as it ought to have done a very grave misunderstanding and confusion has resulted. Bishop Wilson interpreted the silence of the House as giving tacit consent to his reception of Dr. Torok as a bishop in the Episcopal Church, and proceeded to do so within two weeks of the meeting of the bishops. Bishop Manning and his associates derived a directly contrary meaning from the silence of the House, and in their present protest they make out a very strong case, though we think not a conclusive one, against the acknowledgment of Dr. Torok as a bishop in the Episcopal Church.

It seems to us that both parties to the controversy are acting in good faith and-are justified in their contrary views of the attitude of the House of Bishops. If the House had simply had the courage to state definitely either (a) that Bishop Torek’s orders were valid and that he might be received as a bishop in the Episcopal Church, giving also some indication of how that acknowledgment should be made, or (b) that his orders were not valid or that for some other reason he should not be acknowledged as a bishop in the Episcopal Church—if the House had taken either of these reasonable attitudes the whole question could have been settled very easily. At Atlantic City and again at Houston a year later, the House of Bishops had the opportunity of taking such action. By choosing instead to pursue a vague and indefinite course and to postpone the day of judgment, the bishops corporately have taken upon themselves the responsibility for a controversy that was unnecessary and that cannot fail to injure the good name of the Church.

We realize that what we have said will not be popular with either party to the controversy and will bring The Living Church into further disrepute among the bishops of the Church. We feel nevertheless that the duty of the Church press is to express its opinion frankly on matters of grave importance to the Church, and that we have conscientiously tried to do. Justice to Bishops Wilson and Torok and the good name of the Church require that the House of Bishops cease evading the issue and render a clear, unequivocal, public decision in the matter at its next meeting.

The Living Church, January 25, 1936, p. 95.

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Asserts Dr. Torok is Bishop of No Church (1936)

Bishop Manning, in Reply to Bishop Wilson, States That Dr. Torok Claimed Orthodox Orders

New York—Bishop Manning of New York has made public a reply to Bishop Wilson’s letter to the members of the House of Bishops (L. C, March 7th) in a letter also addressed to the members of the House, asserting that “the claim has been all along in one form or another that Dr. Torok is a bishop with the orders of the Eastern Orthodox Church” and that “this claim has been officially and publicly rejected … by the Ecumenical Patriarchate after synodical action.”

Bishop Manning also states that “the Episcopal Church was not responsible for Dr. Torok’s consecration,” and repeats his belief that the “unconstitutional action of the Bishop of Eau Claire purporting to give Dr. Torok status as a bishop in this Church” if allowed to stand uncorrected “would establish a dangerous precedent in the Church.”

The text of Bishop Manning’s letter follows:

“My dear Bishop:

“I regret greatly that it is necessary to refer to this matter again at this season. The duty imposed upon the bishops who are protesting against the action of the Bishop of Eau Claire purporting to give Dr. Torok status as a bishop in this Church is in every way a distasteful one, but the situation has been forced upon the Church and it must be met. The whole case is most unfortunate, but it would be still more unfortunate for the Church if this action should be allowed to stand and there are some statements in Bishop Wilson’s letter of February 27th which must not pass without comment.

“1. In that letter the Bishop of Eau Claire refers not very respectfully to, and in fact calls in question the good faith of, Archbishop Athenagoras who is held in the highest possible esteem and regard by all who know him. The tone of Bishop Wilson’s letter toward the official representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch is not calculated to strengthen the relations between our own Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches nor to aid the cause of unity. Certainly the attitude shown in that letter toward Archbishop Athenagoras does not represent the feeling of our bishops generally.

“2. The Bishop of Eau Claire goes so far as to write, ‘Not until June of 1934 did Athenagoras communicate this information to the Patriarch. He received a reply last March which he held for ten months. Now it suddenly comes to light when the Patriarch is safely dead.’ But Bishop Wilson ignores the statement in the Patriarch’s letter that this pronouncement was made ‘after a synodical decision.’ The judgment given is not that of the Patriarch alone. It is the judgment of the Patriarchate. And the Patriarchate is not dead. The official pronouncement refers to the fact that ‘this person has changed successively three confessions,’ and also the fact of Dr. Torok’s marriage, and states definitely that ‘his recognition as an Orthodox Bishop is inadmissible.’

“3. Bishop Wilson declares that the pronouncement by the Patriarch that Dr. Torok cannot be recognized as an Orthodox bishop is of no importance in the case. He writes ‘What of it? Nobody ever expected that he would be so recognized. I have repeatedly explained that he never intended to be an Orthodox bishop and was not consecrated for that purpose.’ But in this same letter Bishop Wilson writes that Dr. Torok requested Archbishop Athenagoras to forward his resignation to the Head of the Eastern Orthodox Communion. If Dr. Torok did not claim to be an Orthodox bishop and if ‘nobody ever expected that he would be so recognized’ why did he make this application to the Ecumenical Patriarch? The Patriarch in his pronouncement says that Dr. Torok asked ‘that his orders should be recognized as valid,’ and the official reply is that Dr. Torok’s ‘recognition as an Orthodox bishop is inadmissible.’

“4. With regard to the statement in Bishop Wilson’s letter concerning Bishop Gorazd it is at this time sufficient to say that his address to the House of Deputies in 1922, which Bishop Wilson cites, has no bearing on his status in 1924, the year of Dr. Torok’s consecration. It was in this year, 1924, that the priests ordained by Bishop Gorazd were re-ordained by the Ecumenical Patriarch’s representative in Czechoslovakia, Archbishop Savvaty of Prague.

A COMPLICATED CASE

“The case is a complicated one, but the main facts are clear enough. Leaving aside the serious questions which have been referred to previously and which would of course have to be fully enquired into before Dr. Torok could be given status as a bishop in this Church, the following facts can be shown from the records.

“1. The claim has been all along in one form or another that Dr. Torok is a bishop with the orders of the Eastern Orthodox Church. On this claim the whole case has been based, and it is this claim which has been officially and publicly rejected not only by the Ecumenical Patriarch but by the Ecumenical Patriarchate after synodical action.

“2. Dr. Torok has never been recognized as a bishop in the Eastern Orthodox Church and there is no Church of which our Church has any knowledge in which he is recognized as a bishop.

“3. The Episcopal Church was not responsible for Dr. Torok’s consecration, and never assumed nor recognized any responsibility for it. This can be proved from the records beyond all question.

“4. As Bishop Wilson expresses doubt in regard to my statement that Dr. Torok was notified some time ago of the pronouncement by the Patriarch I may say that this information was given to me by Archbishop Athenagoras himself. Whether Dr. Torok has yet received the communication I cannot say, but I can and do state on the authority of Archbishop Athenagoras that the official notification was sent to him.

“This- case has been an unfortunate one for the Church from its beginning but the important facts can be clearly shown from the records and these facts will be presented to the House of Bishops when it meets.

“The matter of most immediate concern to the Church is the unconstitutional action of the Bishop of Eau Claire purporting to give Dr. Torok status as a bishop in this Church. If that action should be allowed to stand uncorrected it would establish a most dangerous precedent in the Church.”

(The Rt. Rev.) William T. Manning,
New York City. Bishop of New York.

The Living Church, March 14, 1936, pp. 339, 351.

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A More Judicial Attitude (1936)

BISHOP MANNING’S LETTER, published in this issue, in which he states that our editorial in The Living Church of March 28th gives “a distinctly wrong impression” as to his relation to the Torok case, requires an editorial reply, despite our disinclination to pursue the matter further. Since the Bishop’s letter revolves about four main points, we shall endeavor to answer these seriatim.

(1) Bishop Manning says: “Your claim that ‘The Living Church has taken no part in this controversy’ is an extraordinary one in view of the editorials and other statements on this matter which you have published during a period of more than two years.”

The controversy referred to in the sentence that Bishop Manning partially quotes is not the general question of the status of Bishop Torok but the particular controversy between Bishop Manning and Bishop Wilson, of which we said: “The Living Church has taken no part in this controversy except to record the news as it has developed.” We have recorded the news as it developed, that being a legitimate function of the Church press. Editorially, here is exactly what The Living Church has said about these matters since the original letter of protest by Bishops Mann, Ward, and Manning last December. In our issue of December 14th, after enumerating their charges, we said: “These are very serious charges indeed. The Living Church does not venture to express any opinion about them one way or another but does insist that both justice and honor demand that they be sifted fully and impartially.” The only other editorial in which we discussed this matter was in our issue of January 25th, in which we stated: “It seems to us that both parties to the controversy are acting in good faith and are justified in their contrary views of the attitude of the House of Bishops. . . . Justice to Bishops Wilson and Torok and the good name of the Church require that the House of Bishops cease evading the issue and render a clear, unequivocal, public decision in the matter at its next meeting.” If to demand a full and fair investigation and a just decision is to take part in a controversy, then and then only is Bishop Manning right in charging that we have been a party to this controversy.

(2) Bishop Manning says: “The case is far indeed from being one mainly of discussion between the Bishop of Eau Claire and myself.” Bishop Ward also makes this point in his letter in this issue.

We agree, though the controversy has revolved about the discussion between these two individuals. Bishops Wilson and Manning each claim the support of about 48 bishops for their respective positions. (We have heard on good authority that, incredible though it seems, there are several duplicates on these two lists!) Of course the matter is one that concerns not only the bishops but the clergy and laity of the entire Church.

(3) Bishop Manning says: “The primary question is not that of Dr. Torok’s fitness for the office of a bishop in this Church, as your editorial indicates. That question has now fallen into the background.”

We must respectfully disagree with the Bishop of New York at this point. If the issue as to Bishop Torok’s fitness has fallen into the background it is none the less the underlying element in the whole discussion. Bishop Manning himself has on several occasions made public but veiled references to “other serious matters” in connection with the Torok case. He has never said what these “matters” are and has thus succeeded in throwing a shadow of suspicion on Bishop Torok’s character. Is he now going to let that question slide into the background without bringing his charges into the open so that the man he accuses of nameless “matters” can have an opportunity of answering them?

(4) Bishop Manning says: “The question now before the Church is, Has the Bishop of Eau Claire, or any individual bishop, the right to ‘receive’ one who claims to hold the office of bishop, and give him status as ‘a bishop in this Church’?”

It is true that this question is now before the Church and we do not yield to the Bishop of New York or anyone else in our desire to have it settled. But there is another question before the Church that is at least equally important and perhaps more so. It is this: Has the Bishop of New York or any other bishop or priest the right to make grave charges that cast a slur upon the character of a fellow-clergyman without giving him a fair opportunity to reply before a duly constituted tribunal?

In any secular matter the civil court would protect the right of the accused to be squarely faced with the accusation against him and would permit him to testify in his defense and call witnesses to support his testimony. Will the Church be less just in protecting the rights of an accused bishop than the State is in protecting the rights of the defendant in a civil case?

If the Bishop of New York and those who support him in his contention that no investigating committee should be appointed but rather that the House of Bishops should consider the matter directly will agree that Bishop Torok be permitted to defend himself before the full House of Bishops and bring witnesses there to support his defense, then we shall feel that their contention is a just one. If, however, Bishop Manning and his associates intend simply to present their side of the case before the House of Bishops, probably in secret session, and expect the House to arrive at an ex parte decision, then we are forced to the conclusion that they are demanding an unjust method of procedure and one that is not worthy of the Church.

In a letter to the editor, accompanying his public letter, Bishop Manning writes: “I wish it were possible for you to take a more judicial attitude in the matter.” We for our part wish it were possible for Bishop Manning to take a more judicial attitude; but since he has chosen rather to be cast in the role of prosecuting attorney we hope he will find it possible to permit the defense the same privileges that he claims for the prosecution.

The Living Church, April 4, 1936, pp. 423-424.

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The Torok Case (1936)

The Living Church, April 4, 1936, p. 420

TO THE EDITOR: It was my hope, and that of the bishops with whom I am acting, that no further statement on the action of the Bishop of Eau Claire in regard to Dr. Torok would be necessary until the meeting of the House of Bishops, but your editorial (L.C, March 28th) gives a distinctly wrong impression as to my relation to the case and I must therefore ask you kindly to publish this brief statement in correction. Your claim that “The Living Church has taken no part in this controversy” is an extraordinary one in view of the editorials and other statements on this matter which you have published during a period of more than two years.

The case is far indeed from being one mainly of discussion between the Bishop of Eau Claire and myself, as all know who have read the published statements. What I have felt compelled, most unwillingly, to write on this matter represents, as you know, the conviction and position of a great number of the bishops of this Church, and this conviction has not been reached without careful thought and consideration.

The primary question is not that of Dr. Torok’s fitness for the office of a bishop in this Church as your editorial indicates. That question has now fallen into the background. In spite of the position taken in this matter by the House of Bishops at Atlantic City, and at Houston, the Bishop of Eau Claire, acting apparently with the assent of the Presiding Bishop (see the Presiding Bishop’s published reply to the protest sent to him by Bishop Mann, Bishop Ward, and myself), has taken action purporting to give Dr. Torok status as a bishop in this Church, and The Living Church has announced this action in its columns, and has recorded it, and published it as though it were official action in the Living Church Annual for 1936 (see page 500, and elsewhere, in that volume).

Apart from all personal questions relating to Dr. Torok, therefore the question now before the Church is, Has the Bishop of Eau Claire, or any individual bishop, the right to “receive” one who claims to hold the office of bishop, and give him status as “a bishop in this Church”? This vital constitutional matter, which your editorial ignores, is the question now before us, and this question must be dealt with, and can only be dealt with, by the House of Bishops itself, or by the General Convention, and not by another unofficially appointed committee.

(The Rt. Rev.) William T. Manning, New York. Bishop of New York.


TO THE EDITOR: May I file a respectful but emphatic protest against the statement in your editorial column of March 28th, that “The dispute (about Dr. Torok) has been principally between Bishop Manning, who opposes vigorously the recognition of Dr. Torok, and Bishop Wilson who is equally determined to have him recognized.”

The Bishop of New York is not waging single combat, but is clearly and strongly giving expression to the view of many other bishops, members of the House which on two occasions, at Atlantic City and Houston, refused to approve of the election of Dr. Torok and declined to give him the status of a bishop in this Church.

The main question to be considered at the next meeting of the House is not the other matters in this case, important as they may be, but the constitutionality of the action of the Bishop of Eau Claire; and for this decision the House does not need guidance by a committee.

(The Rt. Rev.) John C. Ward, Erie, Pa. Bishop of Erie.

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Changing Manchuria and the Manchurian Chaplaincy, by the Rev. H. W. Overs (1936)

IF IT CAN be said that the Orient is changing, how much more truly can it be said of that part of it which has been the scene of so much political activity during the past decade. Manchuria is not only changing—it has changed.

During the time that the writer has lived there, since 1926, a new regime has arisen, which is so far different from the old as to warrant a change of name for the country.

Manchukuo does not seem to our western eyes so euphonic as Manchuria. There is difficulty with the pronunciation. Radio broadcasters call it “Manchu-kewoh” or “Manchu-quo.” And they have every reason for so doing. Who would guess that kuo in Chinese—the name means simply country—is pronounced gwar? The name rhymes with heretofore, not status quo.

This difficulty over pronunciation is not trivial. It is symbolic—for us westerners. Manchuria has a nice welcome sound; Manchugwar is anything but nice. The change in the name sums up in a word the effects of the change in the country.

Before 1931—that date is now alluded to as the year of the “Incident”—there was a welcome to “foreigners,” as all non-Chinese are called in China. Now it is not so.

The “Open Door” policy is a joke: or it would be if it were not so serious for foreigners who formerly tried to make a living there and have now given up trying. It may be an open door. It is, in fact, an open exit. There comes to my mind a riddle which my old headmaster boasted that he had invented—the only alternative answer to the old riddle, “When is a door not a door.” His startlingly novel answer was “When it’s an egress.”

But enough of joking. The opinion of the present writer —formed after ten years of living in the country—is that foreigners are no longer welcome in Manchukuo. And it is not to be wondered at. Look at it from the point of view of the nation that has expended much money and energy in creating the new state. Do they welcome those who desire to do business and to take money out of the country? I trow not.

In 1926 there were a dozen firms, British, American, and German, working in Manchuria. Now there is only one of any importance, the British-American Tobacco Company. The oil monopoly of 1935 caused the closure of the two last big firms there, the Standard Oil Company and the Asiatic Petroleum Company.

But what has all this to do with the work of the Church in Manchuria? The answer is, A great deal. The work of the Church may be divided into two parts: evangelistic and pastoral, i. e., missionary and “chaplaincy” work.

Evangelistic or missionary work in Manchuria is mainly in the hands of the Church of Scotland mission and the Irish Presbyterian mission with their joint headquarters at Mukden. The Anglican Church—for obvious and good reasons—does not overlap with missionary work, but confines its activities to the care of its own people who are residents in Manchuria.

As regards missionary work, the new regime has recently adopted a “positive policy” towards native Christians, somewhat similar to the experience of Korea twenty years ago. Native Christians have been arrested and “examined” for alleged complicity with Communist plots to overthrow the new state. The new regime is most suspicious of this Communism, whatever is meant by the term. Proximity to Russia is the excuse for this suspicion. If the Christians happen to be working for foreign firms they are especially liable to arrest. If they belong to any society—however innocent—they are asking for trouble. Some Christian students of the Manchuria Christian College in Mukden belonged to a society for assisting a poor student to pass through college. They called it the One Cent Society because they contributed one cent per day. They were all arrested and imprisoned for weeks or months.

This persecution, however inconvenient for the persecuted, may have its benefits in the long run. Church history bears this out. It is a time of discipline and testing for the Church in Manchuria. Up to the present only those who are connected with British firms or missions have been subject to persecution. The reason for this is that they are associated with the nation which was mainly responsible for the Lytton Commission whose findings are unpopular with the present regime. In fact, some of those arrested were questioned as to what they told the commission which visited Mukden four years ago. The Oriental has a long memory.

It is hoped that only good will come out of the present distress. Good in the way of a better quality of Christianity. From now on, those who are influenced to join the Church will know that their decision may entail suffering for their Faith. This has ever been so in the history of the development of the Faith.

AS REGARDS the chaplaincy—that side of the Church’s work which is concerned with the spiritual oversight of the non*native or foreigners in Manchukuo—the effect of the new regime has been disastrous. Whereas when the present writer took over the chaplaincy in 1926, there were upwards of 500 persons in the four congregations scattered in Manchuria, now there are less than a hundred. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel which has partly maintained a chaplain in Manchukuo for nearly 30 years has now decided at least temporarily to stop the grant. It is a sorry tale; and sympathy is felt for the few remaining Christian folk in Manchuria who are at present without a resident chaplain. The Church of Scotland Mission in Mukden, with whom the most cordial relations exist, will continue to help in maintaining a weekly service in Mukden. This arrangement, which has the sanction and blessing of the Bishop of North China in whose diocese Manchukuo is, has gone on happily for the past ten years. The absence of the chaplain in other places on certain Sundays in the month has been an occasion for this happy experiment in Church union. A weekly service has been held in St. Barnabas’ Church, Mukden, since its consecration in 1933, either by the chaplain or a member of the local Scottish or Irish mission. It has resulted in nothing but good on all sides.

There are two beautiful little churches which have been built and maintained by the foreign congregations, at Newchang—once a flourishing port and now reduced to a handful of foreigners—and Mukden. Here, it is hoped, the Bishop of North China will be able to arrange for occasional celebrations of Holy Communion. The Church in Dairen is used mainly by the Japanese Congregation of the Sei Kokwai—the Episcopal Japanese Church. The future outlook for the Church in Manchuria is unsettled, but “God sitteth above the water-floods.”

The Living Church (Milwaukee), 1936, pp. 789-790.

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