I came across this article in Time Magazine from 1925 while looking for some information on the Anglican approval of contraception and the Anglo-Catholic criticisms of it (criticisms I think have been largely validated since then). I thought it was particularly interesting:
Ernest W. Barries, the philosopher-scientist whose elevation to the bishopric of Birmingham inspired voluminous discussion last fall (TIME, Sept. 29), set himself again where the roads of opinion cross. He was preaching at Brighton, a watering place once more fashionable than it now is. Said he: “Human welfare is now menaced by human fecundity. The change from large to small families is not to be impatiently condemned. Victories in medicine and hygiene may be disastrous for public welfare unless the desire for many children, which is natural and until recently laudable, is held in check.” The same evening, the local vicar, Canon F. C. N. Hicks, mounted the pulpit, declared he could not let the Bishop’s words go unchallenged: “I disagree profoundly with that teaching; I myself abide by the teaching of the Church.” The incident had no immediate consequences for the reason that Brighton is not in the diocese of Birmingham; but on the following day appeared a report of an unofficial “National Council of Public Morals,” strongly condemning birth control. It was signed by the Bishop of Winchester and two other clergymen. It advocated five-chil- dren families and concluded: “We deplore as strongly as possible the tendency—in some cases a mere fashion, in others a necessity more imaginary than real, in others again a, selfishness more or less plausibly concealed— to look on one or two or even three children as sufficient fulfillment of a function whose far-reaching potency and value it is impossible to exaggerate.” Discussion of this subject is likely to remain in England; but it is thought unlikely that the Church of England will permit it to become an ecclesiastical issue. Birth control is anathema to all Catholics, and any discussion of it would seriously aggravate the Anglo-Catholic problem with which the Church of England is now confronted. Both Bishop Barnes and Dean Inge, sponsors of birth control, are more interested in confounding the aims of Anglo-Catholics than in spreading the extra-ecclesiastical doctrines of Malthus.