A cartoon in a July issue of Punch shows a board meeting of the “British Travel Association” with one director asking in all apparent seriousness:
“Have we ruled out the tourist appeal of a decadent and dissolute society?”
Indeed, the cynical tourist sizing up Piccadilly Circus might think it small wonder should Great Britain wind up in a moral morass. Here, hovering over the recognized national meeting place, is an aluminum statue of Eros, the old Greek deification of passionate love and fertility.
Is it a memorial to sex? Well, hardly. The statue at Piccadilly was Sir Alfred Gilbert’s memorial to the philanthropic Lord Shaftesbury and, remarkably enough, was tagged the “Angel of Christian Charity.”
The British clergy have exhibited a great deal of restraint in reacting against the country’s recent vice scandals, perhaps too much. Not a word came out of either the Anglican Church Assembly or the British Methodist Conference last month. A number of Roman Catholic prelates did express concern, and some called for immediate efforts to counteract what they said was the country’s “declining public morality.” Bishops were reported preparing a pastoral letter to define more clearly the hierarchy’s attitude toward the scandals involving Profumo. Keeler, Ward, et al.
Evangelist Billy Graham, in London for a brief holiday, saw a note of encouragement for religious leaders. “The thing that has encouraged me is the moral shock,” he said. “It shows that the British have more moral and spiritual strength than many people thought.”
July 10 was a landmark in the defiance campaign being waged by Dr. Francis Walsh, 61-year-old Roman Catholic Bishop of Aberdeen. It saw the expiry of the three-month period within which he was to have ...1
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