Derek Olsen reflects on what an Anglo-Catholic future looks like in the Episcopal Church.
He notes that a prominent Anglo-Catholic parish, St. Paul’s K Street in Washington, DC, “has gone through a process of discernment and is welcoming women clergy to their altar as well as same-sex blessings.” While cheered by this development, he says that more is needed.
If the catholic movement wants to be a relevant force in the church, if it wants to be listened to, to have its arguments taken seriously, and actually have an impact upon the decisions made by the Episcopal Church going forward, I believe that we need to both enact and communicate broadly three basic principles in our local parishes and beyond:
1) that openly gay and lesbian people are full and welcome members of our communities and should exercise their ministries among us,
2) that women are full and welcome members of our communities and should exercise their ministries among us, and
3) that children are full and welcome members of our communities and should exercise their ministries among us.
Now—I’m well aware that there are those who identify as catholic Anglicans who will take issue with 1 and 2 in light of what has been said above and identify them as changes of doctrine rather than discipline. I disgree and have written about both explaining my reasons in the past. Rather than get stuck rehashing arguments about 1—as the church is wont to do—I’d rather focus on 2 and 3.
The irony, as I see it, is that many of the catholic parishes that I know personally that do the best with 1 fail on 2 and 3.
Posted by Andrew Gerns
Photo credit: http://livingchurch.org/grow-mind-christ