Massachusetts Episcopal priest slams Vatican

The Vatican’s invitation to disaffected Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church sends a “terrible message” to gays and women, a local Episcopal priest said.

The Rev. Paul Bresnahan of St. Peter’s Church in Salem said he is troubled by the Catholic Church’s unexpected overture this week, which appeared to be aimed at conservative Anglicans who have become disillusioned with their church, in part over its acceptance of openly gay bishops and female priests.

“It sends a terrible message to the gay community,” said Bresnahan, the father of two gay sons. “It says, in effect, you’re not welcome here. To me, that slams the door shut in your face.”

The decision by Pope Benedict XVI to reach out to Anglicans, who split from the Catholic Church in the 16th century and are currently facing deep discord, is also an affront to women, Bresnahan said. Many conservative Anglicans oppose the ordination of women, a position also held by the Catholic church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, TEC Parishes

15 comments on “Massachusetts Episcopal priest slams Vatican

  1. Br. Michael says:

    You know a liberal Episcopal priest finding fault with the Roman Catholic church is about as startling as Nancy Pelosi finding fault with the Republicans.

    I would think that he would be glad to see us go.

  2. Daniel Lozier says:

    Excommunication is not “slamming the door in their face”….it is the last resort for those who refuse to repent of their notorious sin. And when an entire denomination itself not only refuses to acknowledge and turn from its sin but “blesses” the behavior….then for another denomination to open their doors to those wishing to flee from such apostasy is the Christian thing to do.

  3. chips says:

    The Episcopal left having achieved their “victories” at the expense of perhaps as many as a million christians in the US alone – sure do whine terribley when the any of the diaffected act upon their beliefs and reject them. My real comments for this fellow are of course not printable here.

  4. JoelGrigg says:

    Assuming that this Salem News article accurately reflects the views of those quoted I find it amazing the confrontational view of the clergy. They see the whole situation as a them against us standpoint. Note that they are not thinking issues not theologically. The issus appears to be God, not Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This goes a long way in trying to explain why we are in the shape we are in today.

  5. TridentineVirginian says:

    “I would think that he would be glad to see us go.”

    They don’t want to see you go – they want to hang on to you in their claws until you give up your beliefs and accept their new thang.

  6. Bernini says:

    “…said he is troubled by the Catholic Church’s unexpected overture this week.”

    As a recent Tiber-swimmer, I can’t help but be amused by the description of this move as “unexpected.” It may have been one of the worst kept secrets in Christendom, apparently. One of the priests of my parish told me he had understood something like this had been in the works for some time. If it’s taken as a surprise, then perhaps that says more about the perception skills of the person being surprised than anything else…

  7. Bernini says:

    And one more thing: I would challenge Rev. Bresnahan to find a Catholic priest who would tell a homosexual – ANY homosexual – “you’re not welcome here.” As is the progressive wont, he has a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the issue.

    An “affront to women?” Oh, please.

  8. advocate says:

    I don’t get it. There are comments about how nice it is at Convention this year since none of the traditionalists are here to cause problems. The liberals have complained about the traditionalists for years. But when the Pope generously gives those folks that Rev. Bresnahan doesn’t agree with anyway a refuge, he gets indignant. I’d think he’d be happier to see them go – it results in a much “kinder and gentler” church with people who agree with him. And as far as the unexpected goes – I believe there have been a number of letters from Rome published over the last two years in response to the Traditional Anglicans’ request for corporate reunion saying “just wait, we’re working on it.” Does this guy not read?

  9. Passing By says:

    Bernini, I’m a woman and I am not at all affronted. 🙂

    Maggie, “he gets indignant” because the reality is that the Pope, head of some ~ 2 billion or more Christians, has basically spit on and rendered illegitimate all revisionists’ “theological”(read: “becuz we feel like it”) innovations.

    Too bad, so sad…


  10. Passing By says:

    And, p.s.–If it would not be considered slang-y and overly familiar, I would give the Holy Father a high-five and fist bump. 🙂

    The man is gutsy and smart, and has placed significant pressure on Williams to develop/allow an Anglican Covenant with teeth. If there are no teeth, the Catholic Church will be the richer, and Pope Benedict knows that, even if there are a lot of things to be worked out.

    The editorial comment on Williams’s leadership skills notwithstanding, but for that Williams has no one to blame but himself.

  11. Words Matter says:

    Passing By –

    You are one Holy Father too late; I think JPII would have loved it (come on, the guy liked break dancing). And I agree with your points, but we aren’t “two billion”, but more like 1 to 1.2 billion. Unless you want to make him head of all 2 billion Christians in the world, and I think at least a few of those might strenuously object.


  12. Passing By says:

    Words Matter–sorry, I didn’t check all the stats before posting, but I did use ~. Plus, are you counting all the Eastern “Riters” who are truly “under” the authority of the Vatican?

  13. Statmann says:

    I think that Fr. Bresnahan is a bit fearful that he might lose some members to the Pope’s invitation. With only about 60 ASA in 2008 and Plate & Pledge no higher in 2008 than in 2003, I can’t blame him. I would guess that St. Peter’s is living off its trust funds. Statmann

  14. Words Matter says:

    Yes, PB, that’s the lot of us, Eastern Rites included. Actually, I’ve seen it as low as 900 million, but you know what they way: a hundred million here, a hundred million there… pretty soon you are talking about some serious membership.

    Or something like that…


  15. rob k says:

    No. 7 – I agree. As a matter of actual fact, the RC Church does deal with the issue very effectually well at the pastoral level.