Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Washington Post Get Right Story of Maryland Episcopal Church's Decision to Embrace Catholic Faith

The Washington Post, in a story that appeared in print Monday, June 13th, and which is available online here, presented a remarkably, for a liberal secular newspaper, account of the decision of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Bladensburg, Maryland, to convert, as a congregation, to the Catholic faith. The newspaper reported that "St. Luke’s congregants see their decision as profound, a choice between fuzzy theology and clear authority." This report is in contrast to many news accounts which have portrayed Episcopalians who convert to the Catholic Church as merely disgruntled conservatives who are leaving the Episcopal Church over ordination of women and openly gay persons. Such conventional thinking is wrong, those Episcopalians who are converting to the Catholic Church do so because they have come to believe that truth of the Catholic Church's claim of authority. Certainly there are former Episcopalians who left in dispute over some change or other in the Episcopal Church, but they end up in one of the many break-away Anglican groups, not the Catholic Church.

The Post article contrasts St. Luke's embrace of the Catholic faith with those who leave the Episcopal Church as a reaction to changes in that body, saying: "The decision by St. Luke’s attracted attention partially because the entire church is converting — including its married pastor. But it also stands out because several conservative Episcopal congregations, angered by the election of an openly gay bishop, voted in recent years to leave for other wings of Anglicanism, mostly in Africa."

The story goes on to reiterate that the decision of St. Lukes is not a reaction against the Episcopal Church but a reaction to the claims of the Catholic Church, stating: "Members are onboard with key ideas such as papal supremacy..."

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