Echo Daily Newsletter 7
Schism in Christian Science
MRS STETSON CLAIMS LEADERSHIP, RIDICULES CHURCH DIRECTORS
The New York Sun, 24th June 1913
NEW YORK — Mrs Augusta E. Stetson, who was excommunicated from the Mother Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston in 1909, announces herself in her new book, entitled Reminiscences, Sermons and Correspondence as the true teacher of Christian Science, the spiritual head of the Church — as opposed to the directors of the Mother Church.
She shows virtually that she regards herself as the person to whom Mrs Eddy intended the real authority of the Church should descend; not as the head of the Church in the sense that Mrs Eddy was and is, but in the sense that her interpretation of Christian Science should be accepted rather than the views of the Mother Church directors.
In two chapters she takes up the details of her expulsion front the Mother Church and her resignation from the local church. She takes issue at many points with the Mother Church directors and their interpretation of Christian Science. She says they do not understand Christian Science and practically never will.
For that reason she is grateful that she has been "without the pale of the material organisation and has been free to rise higher and higher in the faith."
Mrs Stetson became prominent in the Christian Science Church when she was sent here by Mrs Eddy in 1888 to organise the First Church in this city.
That Mrs Stetson looks upon herself as the true authority on Mrs Eddy's teachings is further substantiated by the assertion of friends. One of them said the other evening: "She has indeed risen higher and higher and is closer than anybody else to Mrs Eddy, who soon will manifest herself to Mrs Stetson".
Late in 1910 Christian Scientists were startled by a declaration from Mrs Stetson of her conviction of the imminence of the resurrection of Mrs Eddy.
The directors of the church made reply that there was nothing in the teachings of Christian Science or of Mrs Eddy to justify this belief.
Mrs Stetson insisted that Mrs Eddy was not really dead and that her resurrection would be similar to that of Christ. She argued that members of the Church who denied the possibility of this resurrection did not truly understand Christian Science teachings. She described the attitude of the Mother Church directors as "materialistic".
* * *