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.