Religion: Death and The Archbishop

Tragedy follows a tough attack on England's top churchman

A tube led from the exhaust pipe to the front seat of the silver Toyota where an Oxford neighbor last week discovered the body of a distinguished English clergyman, Canon Gareth Bennett. The suicide of the university don and historian ordinarily might have been a sad but briefly noted counterpoint to the Christmas season. Instead, the tragedy was catapulted into prominence by the fact that only four days earlier Bennett had become embroiled in a stupendous furor in the Church of England. The uproar, it seems clear, drove him to his death.

The unlikely cause of all the consternation was the...