As Congress debates a possible military strike against Syria, Episcopalians around the country are remembering a bishop from Utah who paid a high price for his opposition to war.
Today (September 4th) is the feast day for the Right Reverend Paul Jones across the Episcopal Church in America. Jones became the missionary bishop of Utah in 1916. Over the next several years, he strongly criticized the United States’ entry into World War One.
Maria Evans, who writes a blog on issues in the Episcopal Church, says that view wasn’t popular at the time.
“Many lay people and clergy in his diocese were getting pretty mad at him at this point," Evans tells KUER. " And there were two large parishes in Utah that their vestry members, that would be like the church council, organized a campaign against him. And he was investigated – I believe there was an ecclesiastical investigation.”
Bishop Jones was eventually forced to resign, but he went on to help found what has become the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. His title as bishop was restored in 1939. Toward the end of his life, Jones began calling himself “Bishop to the Universe.” He died on this day in 1941.
The General Convention of the Episcopal Church approved a feast day for the Right Reverend Paul Jones in 1994.
The Right Reverend Scott Hayashi, the current Episcopal Bishop of Utah, recites the prayer for the feast day in memory of Bishop Paul Jones.
A short video provided by the Episcopal Diocese of Utah on the Right Reverend Paul Jones