Episcopal Woes: ‘Double Trouble… Cauldron Bubble’

From the four points of the compass, controversy—some bitter—was abrewing for the Episcopal Church as the ghost of the Special General Convention at South Bend last September continued to haunt national leaders of the church just before Halloween.

At South Bend itself, bubbling dissent over black economic development funding boiled up into a full-scale federal grand jury investigation. In St. Louis, a conservative group of Episcopalians accused the national leadership of deceit, hypocrisy, and the diversion of church funds from “the true mission and vocation of the church.”

Elsewhere, efforts of the church’s bishops to soothe disgruntled givers (see October 10 issue, page 50) appeared to have been only temporary: dissatisfaction with the church’s indirect allocation of $200,000 to the Black Economic Development Conference mounted. In Philadelphia, moderates and conservatives seemed to wrest a compromise from strongly activist Bishop Robert L. DeWitt and his followers when the diocesan convention watered down a move to raise $5 million for self-determination projects for the black community. Opponents of the measure feared the money would go to the BEDC, the James Forman manifesto-inspired agency that has asked billions in reparations from white churches.

Meanwhile, the national church approved grants for a separatist black University in North Carolina (see story following).

Presiding Bishop John E. Hines was among top denominational leaders subpoenaed to appear at the hearings in South Bend. Newsmen who covered the August 30-September 5 convention were also called to testify before a grand jury panel. All witnesses refused ...

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