A priest from Barbados visited my parish yesterday and told me at the coffee hour that when Lambeth 1958 urged unlimited use of contraception for family planning, many clergy were quite up in arms in the diocese, which held, as did the 1920 Lambeth conference, that birth control was a sin and that married people had a Christian obligation to propagate the earth. The Bishop of Barbados calmed them by stressing that resolutions of the Lambeth conference were mere recommendations and not binding. He signed his letter with the flourish of first name and See, a convention still used in much of the Communion: "Gay -- Barbados." Another guest was a priest from the U.S. who told me of staying at Lambeth Palace in the 1960s when it operated something like an Anglican bed and breakfast. At breakfast his first morning there, he was asked whether he knew another U.S. priest, whom they named. "Yes," he replied, "We were in seminary together." "Well, he cut out of here yesterday without paying his bill," they told him. The priest who left without paying, the guest told me, is now one of the bishop schismatics petitioning Lambeth Palace for support. "What would the b&b bill be now with interest compounded annually?" the guest mused. I find it consoling to imagine tidbits from our era dropped into conversation of the coffee hour 50 years hence. There will be new struggles then, not the same ones which beset us. Hallelujah! Louie Newark deputation Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12d, East Orange, NJ 07018. 973-395-1068 http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew
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