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Another definition.

Dear editor,

In your September issue (Church defends sanctuary) you reported that Archbishop Andrew Hutchison "joined Canadian church leaders in defending the church's time-honoured and biblically-rooted tradition of providing sanctuary to refugees facing deportation." Archbishop Hutchison either misunderstood or misrepresented the church's tradition.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church notes that ecclesiastical sanctuary "had developed out of the usage that a criminal who had taken refuge in a church might not be removed from it, but was allowed to take an oath of abjuration before the coroner and proceed to a seaport appointed by the latter. If within 40 days he refused to adopt this procedure, he might be forcibly extricated for justice." Sanctuary in the Anglican tradition provided for deportation as an alternative to jail or something worse. It certainly was not intended to avoid deportation.

Barry F. H. Graham

Mississauga, Ont.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Graham, Barry F.H.
Publication:Anglican Journal
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Words:144
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