(Wash. Post) Episcopal church in Bladensburg to convert to Roman Catholicism

The conversion helps “bridge and heal a wound that has existed between Rome and Anglicanism for nearly five hundred years,” the rector at St. Luke’s, the Rev. Mark Lewis, said on the church’s Web site.

In January, the St. Luke’s vestry, its elected decision-making body, affirmed a decision to become Catholic, and on Sunday the parish community voiced its approval. Only one family expressed reservations, Lewis said.

On Monday, parishioners said that St. Luke’s had long worshiped in the extremely traditional “Anglo-Catholic” style. Leaders of the congregation said they have long struggled with the lack of clear authority in Anglicanism and welcomed the pope’s leadership.

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8 comments on “(Wash. Post) Episcopal church in Bladensburg to convert to Roman Catholicism

  1. Alta Californian says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I support their decision if that is what they feel called to do, and I myself am sorely tempted by the siren song of the Roman Church, but…500 years and this puny parish is going to “bridge and heal the wound between Rome and Anglicans”? That’s a rather grandiose statement. Don’t think much of themselves do they?

  2. Already Gone says:

    Fr Lewis was referring to the Holy Father’s decision to establish the Anglican Ordinariate, not to his specific church. Here’s the full quote

    “Most of all, I am thankful for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for allowing the Holy Spirit to guide him and show him a way to bridge and heal a wound that has existed between Rome and Anglicanism for nearly five hundred years.”

  3. Teatime2 says:

    Well, it’s good that he’s getting in some Vatican flattery practice, lol. He’ll need to hone that skill. There is nothing “healing” about parishes being torn apart and priests taking on the role of Pied Piper. At least, it’s not “healing” on the Anglican side.

    If this priest wants to extol how “healing” it is for him and his gang, that’s fine. Have at it. But don’t speak of healing “the rift.” That’s just disingenuous.

  4. nwlayman says:

    It would be (maybe) more accurate to say the congregation feels wounded. It is looking for wholeness and believes Roman Catholicism offers it. It happens that there’s a 500 year departure from Rome for them, they feel it personally. It’s clear that Anglicanism and particularly PECUSA is unable and utterly uninterested in their wound, so singularly unable to minister to them. Excellent reason to leave. Their PECUSA diocese will want the keys and the bank account info, nothing more. The water will close up and they’ll not be missed. Boy will they be uncomfortable for a spell. But that discomfort will likely be much easier to take than their current pain.

  5. guest says:

    #3 It is simply missing the point to lay the blame for pain with priests who you claim are ‘playing pied piper’. These priests, often with heavey hearts, have felt driven to the point of moving flocks to new pasture not out of some sense of egotism but due to the complete failure to stand up for the Gospel which they discern in the modern Anglican church. By all means recognise a pain that now exists for Anglicans who felt unable to move but look in the right places for the culprits causing schism throughout the communion.

  6. HausLex says:

    Meh, if that is the case, then I’m glad they are going. Switching to Rome? Really?
    As much as the people of ACNA love the idea of supremacy of some sort (just so they can get back at TEC) the RCC is the ultimate example of what happens with that idea. May sound great to start off with, but it is bound to come back to bite you.
    God speed I guess.

  7. Teatime2 says:

    IMO, and in my view, it’s not missing the point — it IS the point. For hundreds of years, the roads between Rome, Canterbury, and Constantinople have been well traveled by individual pilgrims making conscience decisions. (I am one of those pilgrims, btw.)

    Yes, it is lonely and, yes, it is personal. And it needs to be just that. Individual, personal, and deeply contemplative. It does not involve cajoling others, grooming others, whatever word you prefer, to move as a group. I don’t understand these “heavy hearts” waiting and waiting until there was a group option. The personal option has always been available — one that clergy and laity have taken in a prayerful and solitary manner for, again, hundreds of years.

    Admittedly, I distrust “movements.” I especially distrust clergy-led or clergy-initiated movements. They tend to be selfish and agenda-driven. They’re what got TEC into a mess.

  8. Alta Californian says:

    Thank you, Already Gone, the full quote puts it in better context. It’s still debatable, but it is less grandiose. I really wish reporters would be more careful then they chop up a sentence like that.