Anglican Rite and the Coming Home Network

I stumbled across this article on the Roman Catholic Anglican use community. (It’s made up of former Episcopal and Anglican clergy and their congregations who have become Roman Catholic and are now in full communion with Rome.)

“In the late 1970s, a group of Episcopal clergymen with typical American chutzpah wrote to Pope Paul VI. They said they wanted to become Catholics, and wished for their priestly ministry to be fulfilled by being ordained as Catholic priests. The only problem was that they had wives and children.

Paul VI received their petition, and they heard nothing. In the autumn of 1978, the pope died; then another pope died, and John Paul II took charge. The little group of Episcopal priests waited with crossed fingers and bated breath while Rome made a decision. In 1980 they finally had an answer: A procedure was to be established whereby former Episcopal priests could be ordained as Catholic priests, even if they were married. Individual bishops would apply to a papal delegate for a dispensation from the vow of celibacy, and after suitable training the Episcopal priests could be ordained as fully functioning Catholic priests.

Since 1983, about 75 married former Episcopalian priests have been ordained in the United States. When the Anglican Church was splitting over women’s ordination in the early 1990s, the English Catholic bishops also appealed to Rome for permission to ordain married former Anglicans. Permission was granted, and the English bishops set up their own procedure. No one is certain of the exact numbers, but since the early 1990s about 600 former Anglican priests have been ordained in England, of whom about 150 are married. Married former Anglican priests have also been ordained in Scotland and in Spain.”

I happen to know Fr. Bergman. He grew up in my former parish in Bethlehem. And I was in the Diocese of Bethelehem when he left the Episcopal church to become a Roman Catholic. I’m glad to see that he’s found a place where he’s happy.

Read the rest here: Crisis Magazine

Author: Nicholas Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...