Possible Crucifix in Chapel Provokes Sharp Criticism

Divinity School Controversy

Plans for possible construction of a crucifix in the Divinity School's Andover Chapel were sharply criticized in a series of articles in yesterday's issue of "The Scribe," a publication of the School's Student Association.

The possibility of erecting a crucifix was raised by Dean Horton at an informal meeting of students and Divinity faculty at his home Wednesday night. Horton was reported in "The Scribe" as saying the crucifix would not be placed in the chapel unless it were "the sense of the school" to do it.

John Dillenberger, associate professor of Theology, said last night that some proponents for the addition to Andover Chapel consider Horton's plans to represent merely a modern art version of the standard cross. "But it is more than a cross," Dillenberger said. "At any rate, it was meant to be a crucifix, although it is quite untraditional."

Dillenberger said that he thought construction of the crucifix would "not be wise for practical and theological reasons."

Krister Stendhal, assistant professor of New Testament and chairman of the Faculty Committee on Worship, last night stressed that the proposal 'is the personal action of the Dean. There is, at the present time, no official business concerning the crucifix before the Committee."

Objection to the proposal centers on two main points: (1) whether a crucifix represents an obvious point of demarcation between Catholics and Protestants; and (2) if so, whether a large part of the Protestant segment of the Divinity School would consider it representative of Roman Catholicism and actively oppose it.