Jim Kershner’s this day in history

SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 2014

From our archives,100 years ago

An anti-Catholic speech delivered at Spokane’s Central Christian Church by former nun Annie Lowry continued to provoke angry debate. Lowry claimed that she had been a prisoner for 20 years in “Roman slave pens,” meaning convents.

A letter to the editor from M. Rochford asked the following questions of the Central Christian Church: Do you consider yourselves Christian men, by allowing such a speech in your church? Did the majority of your congregation approve it? What does the Bible say about lying?

The next day, the pastor and elders of Central Christian Church defended themselves by saying that, for one thing, they did not bring Annie Lowry to Spokane, as some had accused them. She simply rented out the church for a public address, just like anybody else, and the church did not earn a share of receipts. They said they had no more to do with her coming to Spokane than the Catholic Church did.

They said they bore the Catholics of the city no ill will, but they also believed in free speech. They said they did not agree with all of Annie Lowry’s statements, but they also did not believe she should be censored. And then they added, somewhat provocatively, that Catholics “had persecuted and misrepresented her shamefully.”

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