[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

LCC - A good account

Feb 10, 1997 05:31 AM
by ramadoss


Following is one of the best summaries of the background of TS's involvement
with LCC. It is excerpted from Emily Lutyens' book "Candles in the Sun". The
summary is accurate and informative and comes from first hand. Enjoy reading it.




	BY this time Barbara and Robert had both lost interest
in the Star movement, and once having broken away
they swung very naturally in the opposite direction.

	That C.W.L. was much concerned about this change in them is shown in the
following letter:

   7 Raymond Road, Neutral Bay, Sydney
   July 24, 1917

Dear Lady Emily,

	I was very glad to receive your letter, for it is a long time since I heard
from you. The news which you send about our dear young people is not all
that we should like it to be; but let us hope that this is merely a stage
through which both are passing. I am sure that they never ought to have had
to pass through it,' for when I saw them they were both in quite an ideal
condition. If they could have retained that state of mind and that
enthusiasm, I think that both would have been Initiates by this
time-certainly Barbara would. That was their opportunity; how I wish they
could have taken it!

	I fully believe that they will come back to us; but how long will it take
to undo the effects of this intermediate foolishness ? It is very sad; but
we must hope for the best and never neglect an opportunity of helping them
along in the right direction. Be sure that I shall do all that I can from
this distance in the way of pouring loving thought upon them; though I fear
that in their present state of mind they will not be very receptive. Please
write to me often about them; I should like to have all the news there is,
even though it may not always be quite what we would wish.

	With all heartiest good wishes and kindest regards, I am ever

                      yours very sincerely,

                      C. W. Leadbeater

	C.W.L. had gone in 1913 to live in Sydney, where he was now training
another group of young people. In 1916 he had been made a Bishop of the
Liberal Catholic Church, or Old Catholic Mission as it was then called, an
offshoot of the Old Catholic Church. It did not receive its new name until 1918.

	As the Liberal Catholic Church plays a part in my story, I must give a very
rough account of its history. In 1870 a considerable number of Catholics who
would not subscribe to the new dogma of Papal infallibility were
excommunicated, organized themselves into congregations and assumed the name
of the Old Catholic Church. Through a Jansenist Bishop of Deventer in
Holland they were able to hand on apostolic succession, and in 1908 Arnold
Harris Mathew was consecrated at Utrecht as Bishop for Great Britain and
Ireland. (He later seceded to Rome.) He handed on the succession to Bishop
Willoughby, who, in his turn, consecrated James Ingall Wedgwood in 1916.

	Wedgwood, it may be remembered, had started the Temple of the Rosy Cross in
1912. Born in 1883, he was trained as an analytical chemist and studied
organ construction. He was always interested in ceremonial. In 1904 he
joined the T.S. and gave up his work as pupil to the organist of York
Minster in order to lecture for Theosophy. He had studied for Holy Orders in
the Anglican Church, but in 1913 he was ordained a priest of the Old
Catholic Mission, as the English branch of the Old Catholic Church was now
called. It had by this time completely detached itself from the parent
Church at Utrecht. Three years later Wedgwood was consecrated Bishop.

	Soon after his consecration he went to Sydney, where on July 22nd 1916 he
consecrated C.W.L. as Regionary Bishop for Australasia.

	On July 25th C.W.L. was writings to Mrs Besant:

	"Wedgwood has arrived and is in good health. His consecration to the
Episcopate has had the unexpected result of putting him practically at the
head of the Old Catholic movement as far as the British Empire is concerned,
all his colleagues (except, I think, one) in it being Theosophists ready to
work under his direction. This being so, he desires most earnestly to offer
the movement to the World Teacher as one of the vehicles for His force, and
a channel for the preparation for His Coming. I took him therefore to the
LORD MAITREYA at the Festival, and He was graciously pleased to accept the
offer, and to say that He thought the movement would fill a niche in the
scheme, and would be useful to Him. From what He said I inferred that He
Himself had so guided events as to produce this curious result, that a
branch of the Catholic Church, having the Apostolic Succession in a form
which cannot be questioned, should be entirely in the hands of Theosophists,
who are willing and eager to do exactly as He wishes.... With His permission
Wedgwood has consecrated me as a Bishop, on the understanding that I am at
perfect liberty to wear my ordinary dress, and am in no way bound to perform
any ecclesiastical ceremonies or take any outward part in the work unless I
see it useful to do so, but am to act as intermediary between the LORD and
this branch of His Church....

	" An interesting little glimpse of occult ways came to me the night after
my consecration. My own Masters referred very kindly to it, and spoke of the
additional power to help that it had given to me; and then he remarked: 'You
thought you had given up all prospect of a bishopric when you left your
Church work thirty-two years ago to follow Upasika; but I may tell you that
it would have been in this very year that you would have reached it if you
had remained in your original work, so you have lost nothing except the
emoluments and the social position, and have gained enormously in other
ways. No one ever loses by serving Us!' That struck me as curious, for I had
never thought of it in that way."

	(By the time I saw C.W.L. again, in 1925, he was wearing the dress of a
Bishop on all occasions, and the work of the Church was absorbing most of
his energies.)

	In September C.W.L. and Wedgwood were already engaged on a reconstruction
of the Catholic Liturgy, and on September 5th he wrote again to Mrs Besant:

	"We wish for your presence every day while we are working at the
reconstruction of the Catholic Ritual. Your splendid gift of language, your
wonderful power of putting things poetically, would be invaluable to us.
This thing ought to be well done-the Ritual of His Church, the only one
combining the power of the ancient Church with a true Theosophical
expression of the real relation between GOD and man; all the greatest poets
of the age ought to be at work on it, not a couple of obscure though earnest
gentlemen who have no special capacity for expression, whose productions are
mildly commonplace."

	The Liturgy took more than two years to complete.

	The Church went through some stormy times but weathered all attacks, and by
1925 had taken root in four continents. It sent out no foreign missions,
however "Believing that the main inner truths for which it stands are also
taught in other forms and under other figures in the great religions of the
East, the Liberal Catholic Church does not think it necessary or right to
send missions to those who, in their view, are Christ's other sheep not of
this fold.''

	I myself became a member of the Liberal Catholic Church (or Old Catholic
Mission as it was still called then) in May 1917. This seemed a natural step
to take. When I became a Theosophist I did not cease to be a Christian;
indeed Theosophy, while giving me an understanding of the truth underlying
all faiths, broadened my Christian beliefs but in no way destroyed them, and
I still delighted in the ritual of the services. The Liberal Catholic Church
seemed to offer the perfect medium through which traditional Christianity
might be enlarged to embrace the idea of a new manifestation of Christ. And
at that time it seemed to accord perfectly with Krishna's apparent
acceptance of Theosophical teaching.

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application