Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914)


Robert Hugh Benson was the youngest son of Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was educated atEton College, and then studied at Cambridge. In 1895, he was ordained an Anglican priest by his father. His father died suddenly in 1896, and Benson was sent on a trip to the Middle East to recover his own health. While there, he began to question the status of the Church of England and to consider the claims of the Roman Catholic Church. His own piety began to tend toward the High Church variety, and he started exploring religious life in various Anglican communities, eventually obtaining permission to join the Community of the Resurrection. Benson made his profession as a member of the community in 1901, at which time he had no thoughts of leaving the Church of England. But as he continued his studies and began writing, he became more and more uneasy with his own doctrinal position, and on 11 September 1903 he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1904 and sent to Cambridge. He continued his writing career along with the usual elements of priestly ministry. He was named a Monsignor in 1911.
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