I was a cradle Episcopalian and a priest in that church for 17 years. I became Catholic in 2005. This week the Episcopal Church is holding its Triennial convention in Indianapolis. One of the most, er . . . interesting resolutions to pass was the formal authorization to create rites for same-sex ‘marriage.’ Oops, excuse me. I mean, “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Life-long Covenant.” It passed in the House of Bishop by a wide margin, 111-41 and is expected to pass in the House of Deputies also by a wide margin. It’s been coming for a long, long time but it took the exodus of enough orthodox believers, most of whom joined some other Protestant sect, for the passage of the resolution to pass with barely any resistance. They took the wrong path.
Episcopal Church Approves Same-gender “marriage”
I thought of the Episcopal Church this morning during lauds where I read an excerpt from St. Augustine’s “Discourse on the Psalms.” In it he said,
“We entreat you, brothers, as earnestly as we are able, to have charity, not only for one another, but also for those who are outside the Church. Of these some are still pagans, who have not yet made an act of faith in Christ. Others are separated, insofar as they are joined with us in professing faith in Christ, our head, but are yet divided from the unity of his body. “
I feel sorry for the Episcopal Church. A once venerable institution has become a cartoon. What distresses me though is how many remain in that church even though they hate what’s happened. They don’t believe a lot of what the EC believes and teaches, and yet they remain, thinking that they can somehow make things better. Or that the actions at General Convention don’t really affect them. God bless ‘em. I look at them the way Augustine looked at those Christians of the 5th century who were separated from the body. Episcopalians believe they’re part of the catholic (small ‘c’) Church. But come on, seriously? The EC is Protestant to its core. Always has been, always will be, despite what they say about being part of the ‘catholic’ church. “We’re just not Roman catholic” they say (with a slight sneer).
For those Catholics who think that the Catholic Church should ordain women, approve contraception, support abortion rights and endorse same-sex ‘marriage’ all I can say is, look at the Episcopal Church. Is that what you want to become? You shall know a tree by its fruit, and the EC has been barren now for decades. I wish that those who are distressed about the EC could overcome their fears and prejudices and ‘come home’ to the “one, true fold of Christ” (Newman’s favorite description of the Catholic Church). I wish they could see what I see. I pity them, yes. Which prompts me to pray for them that God would help them see the Catholic Church as the bride of Christ, the city of God, the kingdom of heaven on earth, the true vine and sheepfold of Christ. Again, St. Augustine:
“For it is time now for us to show them great love and abundant compassion by praying to God for them. May he one day give them a clear mind to repent and to realise that they have nothing now but the sickness of their hatred, and the stronger they think they are, the weaker they become.”