(Kansas City Star) Anglicans, Episcopalians, Catholics look to conference in Kansas City

St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church will be the host of a two-day “Becoming One” conference on Friday and Feb. 26 at the church, 5814 Euclid Ave.

The event is for Anglicans and Episcopalians who are exploring whether to accept an invitation to come into the Roman Catholic Church, and for those who have already done so.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

4 comments on “(Kansas City Star) Anglicans, Episcopalians, Catholics look to conference in Kansas City

  1. midwestnorwegian says:

    Count me out.

  2. Teatime2 says:

    Hmm, the article should state that any Anglicans/Episcopalians present will not be able to receive Holy Communion at the Mass. That kind of puts the “becoming one” thing into perspective.

    If the RCC wants converts, fine. But targeting Anglicans so specifically and pretending it’s all part of “oneness” and it’s really ecumenically minded is ridiculous. Surely the pretense of offering Evensong fools no one when “invited” Anglicans can’t participate fully in the Eucharist later.

  3. Chris Molter says:

    #2, of course not, they are not yet in full communion, so why would they? I don’t think this was meant to “fool” anyone, and I doubt any Catholic minded Anglicans looking Romeward would see it as such.

    Obviously the above posters are not the intended audience for this conference.. Which then begs the question as to why they feel so strongly about it.

  4. Teatime2 says:

    #3, I feel strongly about it for many reasons. I am a former RC who couldn’t, in good conscience, remain Roman over a variety of issues related to doctrine and practice. (And, no, none of them involved marriage/remarriage, gender issues, or anything “exciting.”) So, as someone who was a well-catechised cradle RC who prayed and pondered for several years before finally deciding to leave, I’m concerned what, why and how Rome is selling, specifically to a beleaguered Anglican audience of this sort.

    It was entirely one thing for Rome to entertain and accommodate requests/appeals from specific groups for admission. It is quite another to use that as a springboard to purposefully and systematically target hurting, angry or disaffected Anglicans worldwide with promises of “unity,” full orthodoxy, and a uniform church. On the surface, the RCC is presenting itself as respectful and even rather enamored with the Anglican liturgy and worship tradition. But, at the root of it, they reject Anglican orders and sacraments as invalid. By way of analogy, it would be like flattering someone profusely and inviting that person to your house for a party, promising respect, hospitality, and welcome but when the person arrives, he discovers that he is not permitted access to the whole house with the rest of the guests. People are polite but seem wary, and they keep him and others like him in a separate room because, they tell him, he’ll be more comfortable with others like himself.

    Any Anglican (or Lutheran, or Presbyterian, or, heck, any Muslim) can discern, pray, and embark on conversion to the RCC at any time, if they wish. So, what does it mean when the RCC begins an increasingly worldwide campaign for groups/congregations and their spiritual leaders to join up, en masse, rather than individual converts? And what does it mean when they approve an Anglicized liturgy just for them and seem so determined to accommodate them SEPARATELY? Are they really recognizing the glories of Anglican worship or are they creating Anglican ghettoes, and for what purpose?

    Clearly, the RCC is going for numbers; they’re not overly interested in the trickles of good souls who have, throughout the centuries, made individual conscience decisions in favor of the RCC. And these congregations being led into the RCC by clergy who claim they’ve struggled over this for years. Well, then why didn’t they do the work, listen to their pangs of conscience and go? They needed to take their parishioners with them? Why? Why did it require “group think” and “numbers?”

    These confused and hurting Anglican souls need quiet, understanding, and empathy, not rosy promises, false enticements, and a major campaign directed at them. I’m afraid that when the excitement and new adventure ends, and they come face-to-face with the fact that the RCC isn’t as pure, orthodox, unified, and enamored with the beauty of Anglican practice as the face it is showing now, there will be more confusion and bitterness in their number.

    I fear that these good souls are being used by the RCC to counter some of its more vociferous, liberal elements. Moreover, RC priests who are bound by celibacy and watch as their brother priests leave their ministry regularly because they are called to marry are rightly questioning why their Church is creating a structure that imports congregations led by married priests (whose orders the RCC says it doesn’t recognize but puts on a fast-track to “legitimize.”)

    What one of us would recommend to someone we purport to love that, after enduring a long-term relationship that caused that person deep feelings of betrayal and pain, he or she should immediately enter another relationship and, this time, with someone who is extremely powerful, with a checkered history of how he treats people and with a very rigid and specific rulebook dictating conduct that reaches at the most personal level?

    You know, when I appeared on the doorstep of the Episcopal church after those many years of struggling with the RCC, I was treated very gently, even though I was the one who did the approaching. As it turned out, the rector was a former RC priest whose own struggles to remain a faithful Catholic priest who could suppress his loneliness and later calling to have a family contributed to his becoming an alcoholic. He left the priesthood, worked in social services, eventually married a lovely woman, and later discerned a calling to ministry in the Episcopal Church.

    And so it was with great empathy and gentleness that he invited me to participate in the life of the parish but also to take everything slowly, allow myself to grieve and ponder and reflect because I was considering leaving the only spiritual Mother I had known. And he told me that I would never be pressured to formally convert — as a Catholic, I was welcome to receive the sacraments and particpate fully in worship and study. If, in time, I would like to be received into the full fellowship of the Church, it would be my decision alone.

    I appreciated the space, the grace, the honesty, the welcome, and the understanding. And it’s this sort of experience that I wish for my Anglican brothers and sisters who have to make their own conscience decisions. Most importantly, I hope that they truly have the opportunity to see the RCC in its entire scope, outside of the carefully scripted and crafted place that has been prepared exclusively for them. It is only then that they will have the complete freedom and ability to make a satisfying and important decision like this without further hurt.