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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.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Misguided Appointment for Archbishop Myers

A MISGUIDED APPOINTMENT FOR ARCHBISHOP MYERS
by Ray Grosswirth, CORPUS Media Liaison

During the same week that our esteemed bishops in Rome voted down a proposal to allow for the ordaining of married men to the priesthood, the Vatican nevertheless appointed Newark's Archbishop Myers to the task of overseeing the process of bringing married Episcopalian priests into the Roman Catholic priesthood. (This sounds like a double-standard to me.)

While I certainly want to welcome our Episcopalian brothers to the Roman Catholic Church when they convert for the right reasons, I am also alarmed when we bring some of these men into the RC priesthood for the WRONG reasons. Two of the WRONG reasons are when Episcopalian priests state they are converting because a.) they were opposed to the ordination of Gene Robinson, because of his being openly gay; b.) they are opposed to the ordination of women in the Episcopal Church.

I will be the first to welcome a married Episcopalian priest, when he states that he is converting on the basis of faith. For example, if such a priest is drawn to the Roman Catholic Church because of our tradition, because of our manner of celebrating the sacraments, or because of simply being called by God, such a conversion should be celebrated. Perhaps an Episcopalian in such circumstances could help prove to the Roman Catholic hierarchy that marriage can indeed be compatible with ordained ministry.

As we know, the Anglican/Episcopalian church is in danger of schism. The scenario often depicted is that of conservative Episcopalians moving to the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Roman Catholics moving to the remaining Episcopalian Church. While this could certainly happen, it is not likely.

I continue to pray for the day when there is inter-Communion between our Roman Catholic and Episcopalian brothers and sisters. Until that day arrives, we should at least be praying for tranquility within our individual houses of worship. The road to such tranqulity must be paved with inclusivity.

Anyone who knows Archbishop Myers will immediately relate that he is one of the more conservative members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Therefore, if an Episcopalian priest should approach him, and announce he wants to become a RC priest on the basis of his opposition to women priests or gay bishops, I can see an immediate welcome by Myers. This would be very sad indeed.

Our bishops at the Vatican synod had a wonderful opportunity to embrace the ideal of optional celibacy. Sadly, they instead embraced the status quo. Having given marriage a second-place status to Holy Orders, our bishops further added insult to injury by stating that women or married Catholic men should not seek ordination. However, married Episcopalian priests are welcome to apply.

Let us pray for common sense amongst our hierarchy.

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