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Bishop Manning Labels Race Prejudice Charges As Slanderous and Wholly Untrue

Bishop William T. Manning, in a statement made to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency yesterday branded as wholly untrue the allegations made in a sworn statement by Dr. Edward S. Cowles, director of the ousted Body and Soul Clinic of St. Marks on the Bouwerie, that he was behind the closing of the clinic which was due to racial prejudice against the Jews.

From his summer home here, Bishop Manning repudiated the allegations of Dr. Cowles who quoted Bishop Manning as having said : “I do not want Jews in my church”, but excluded from his ban such wealthy Jews as Samuel Untermeyer.

Dr. Cowles charged that the clinic had been forced to close because the majority of the patients treated are Jews since the vicinity of the church is largely inhabited by Jews.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency addressed an inquiry to Bishop Manning and received the following statement in reply:

“Your letters received. The statements attributed to me in the Herald Tribune articles to which you refer are malicious, slanderous and totally untrue.

“My feeling towards the people of your race is well known and I am proud to count many of them among my best friends. I shall be glad for you to publish this statement”.

A spokesman for Bishop Manning referred to the service held for the suffering Jews of Europe in 1926 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. He recalled that the late Louis Marshall was the leading speaker at this service.

The statement of Bishop Manning was issued simultaneously with the release from the office of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine of a letter from Bishop Manning to Dr. William Norman Guthrie, rector of St. Mark’s church, approving the action of the vestry in ousting the clinic.

The communication, as reported in the “New York Times,” is in reply to an inquiry made of him by Dr. Guthrie, wherein th latter asks the Bishop’s preference and states that his view might influence the vestry to reconsider its action.

Bishop Manning in reply said: “This action has been taken by the corporation of St. Mark’s parish on its own initiative and responsibility. I declined to take any part in it but I fully approve the action for reasons well known to you and many of the medical profession. Some of the statements quoted in the newspapers are wholly untrue as you of course know.”

Rev. Guthrie in his letter to the Bishop stated: “I sided with my vestry minority (for the clinic) but to avoid civil war in the corporation by an appeal from the majority of this vestry I agreed. I refuse, however, to be their servant, and will not be instrumental in ousting the clinic by police power.”

Dr. Cowles, however, denied that the reasons for the ouster of the clinic were medical. Dr. Cowles will take the matter of the clinic’s ouster to court.

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