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An Episcopal ordinariate for disaffected Catholics?

An Episcopal ordinariate for disaffected Catholics?

The esteemed Mark Silk, professor of religion in public life at Trinity College (CT) surveys the recent unpleasantness between Episcopal Bishop Marc Andrus and Roman Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and asks a question worth pondering:

[W]ith Catholic bishops on the warpath against SSM [same-sex marriage] and the ECUSA [The Episcopal Church] officially endorsing it, I’d say it’s time for Andrus and company to man up and announce the establishment of an ordinariate for U.S. Catholics who want to become Episcopalians. Last January, you’ll recall, the pope announced a U.S. ordinariate for Episcopalians who want to become Catholics but would like to retain some of their own liturgical and other traditions.

If what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, the new Episcopalians would be able to retain some of their Roman traditions. Of course, the pope thing would have to go. On the other hand, priests and bishops would now have the opportunity to marry, including (in some jurisdictions) members of the same sex.

The pope’s ordinariate is headquartered in Houston. Where better to locate the Episcopalians’ than in San Francisco?

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Anne Chapman

Another reason RCs might be reluctant to join a TEC parish instead of becoming a “none” might be because they are tired of civil wars in their church. The RCC’s civil war has been getting worse and worse. The civil war in the Episcopal church seems to have quieted, but still is ready to flare up again there, and also in world Anglicanism. As an RC who now sits in an Episcopal pew on Sundays, I sometimes think that those who are “spiritual but not religious” have the right idea – too many political battles within the churches as well as out of it. I tend to agree with Sean’s suggestions. And also wish to say hello to Maplewood, with whom I used to “chat” online under the name WaveringCC.

Bill Dilworth

I thought thinly disguised Anglican Uniatism was a horrible idea when Rome instituted it, and it’s equally horrible with the roles switched.

Maplewood

John: I agree (speaking as a former Roman myself). I am at a “broad” parish, and I felt right at home on Day One.

I would suggest to the readers, as I have at other times, that the primary reasons why Romans don’t flock to our or any other church are two-fold:

One, they still think what they learned about other churches from the RCC is correct (e.g., CoE and it’s children were started by a despot who wanted to murder his wife to marry his mistress).

Two, the RCC is not just their church, but their entire culture and identity. It was ghetto-ized that way here in the New World to innoculate its members from evangelism.

When we ask RC’ers to join, we are asking alot from them. It is only recently that the trickle out has turned into a steady stream.

Kevin McGrane

Peter Pearson

Some friends and I offered a program a few years back entitled: “Leaving Home/Leaving Rome” and it was pretty successful on the one occasion we were able to offer it. It focused on highlighting the differences in polity and on allowing people to tell their (horror) stories in the hopes of letting the past be the past so that they might move forward in freedom. That second part was very important. Most of the time people seem to be overly concerned about offending the local RC pastor or bishop. We worry about that way too much.

David O'Rourke

There was a campaign in the RC diocese where I grew up that had signs in front of all the parishes that read “Catholics can always come home”. I would love to see us develop a similar campaign that sends a message of intentional welcome to those who are leaving the RCC and need a new home and that strikes a balance with not stealing sheep.

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