The Lead has been covering news on the Anglican Ordinariate, including The Rt. Rev. Andrew Doyle’s excellent framing of how it might be regarded.
This is a letter of a different sort: a pastoral letter by The Rt. Rev Dr. Michael L. Vono, bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande.
The recent news from Vatican City announcing that Pope Benedict XVI has named my predecessor Father Jeffery Neil Steenson to lead the new “Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter” has evoked in some a sense of disillusionment, betrayal, sadness, and confusion.
The letter is gracious in tone towards those who have or will depart, while expressing thoughtful vision to the Episcopalians who will go forward as the Diocese of Rio Grande:
I also want to share the joy, hope, and love I have experienced not only within our growing and changing Diocese, but within the entirety of the Episcopal Church. We are God’s people determined to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this is experienced through the caring pastoral work of thousands of our Churches throughout the United States. We are experiencing growth at all levels; young families are increasingly joining congregations; college students and young adults are rediscovering the excitement and grace of a lively faith; displaced and outcast people are feeling welcomed and coming to our communities; and our national and international Church’s mission and outreach ministries are touching the lives of millions. In short, the Episcopal Church is alive and growing. We wish our brothers and sisters peace; however, for me and so many others it is a blessed and exciting time to be an Episcopalian.
The full letter is posted on the ENS website.