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If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Friday, March 04, 2005

CONCERNING POSSIBLE CHURCH SCHISMS

The big news out of the Anglican community during the past two weeks has been the possibility of a schism, due in part to divisions surrounding the issue of ordination of female bishops. The same type of friction existed when Anglicans and Episcopalians began ordaining women as priests several years ago.

For the record, I am very pleased that progressive members within the Anglican/Episcopalian communities are open to the ordination of women. They have certainly moved a greater distance than Roman Catholics in this regard. (Catholics are still locked in the Middle Ages when it comes to womens' issues.)

I am beginning to feel it would not be a bad thing for the Church of England to split into two factions - one that supports the ordination of women and one that does not. In this manner, members could pick and choose which falls within in their theological/ecclesial beliefs.

I was struck by the fact that traditionalists within the Anglican church expressed fear that ordaining women as bishops could damage their relationship with the Roman Catholic Church. In this regard, there are times when I think it might be healthy for the Catholic Church to consider splitting into two factions - one that is inclusive and one that is protective of the status quo. (My feeling is that 75% of Catholics would join the progressive wing and 25% would remain in the traditional wing. In such a scenario, parishes could be identified as being either 'traditional' or 'progressive' and Catholics could choose accordingly. We have a similar construction within the Lutheran Church; traditionalists generally join the Missouri Synod Lutherans, and progressives often link with Evangelical Lutherans.)

Just as we are beginning to see some traditional Anglicans/Episcopalians move in the direction of the Roman Catholic Church, we are also beginning to see some progressive Roman Catholics move in the direction of inclusive parishes within the Anglican/Episcopalian communion. So, the next twenty or thirty years should produce some very interesting developments in terms of church structure.

Jesus was consistently inclusive in the course of his ministries. Our church leaders should follow his example, as opposed to their blind obedience to papal decrees.

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