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Should the Vatican make it easier for Anglicans to convert to Catholicism?

The Vatican is making it easier for Anglicans -- priests, members and parishes -- to convert to Catholicism. Some say this is further recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic and Anglican traditions; others see it as poaching that could further divide the Anglican Communion.

Read more about this on On Faith.

By Jodi Westrick  |  October 20, 2009; 10:39 AM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Does this mean that Anglicans will be able to take communion at Catholic Mass?

Posted by: logan9 | October 20, 2009 10:59 AM

Hmmm, the situation is about fairness to the current Catholic clergy when it comes to Anglican/Episcopalian priests converting to Catholicism and becoming priests in said religion and not having to take the vow of celibacy. One would hope that in the near future the idiocy of having celibate Catholic priests will end and maybe if more Anglican priests switch allegiance, it will hasten the process.

Considering, however, the flaws in the historical and theological foundations of the Catholic/Anglican Church, all priests will be "pink slipped" in ten years.

Posted by: ccnl1 | October 20, 2009 11:52 AM

Makes sense for Episcopalians who disagree with the American leadership on a social issue and want to break away. After all, we left the Roman church over a social issue about 450 years ago.

Posted by: greyK | October 20, 2009 11:53 AM

seems pathetic that the only reason the Anglicans will go back to the Vatican is because they are homophobic and hate the idea of women priests.

Well, in the Vatican, they've found the perfect partner then. Pathetic and hardly what one would call a decent, honest motive for going back to that horrible institution. Ugh

Posted by: JaneDoe4 | October 20, 2009 11:57 AM


No, it doesn't mean that. What the Vatican's decision means is that it will be easier for an Anglican person or community to become Catholic, which is to say, enter communion with the Catholic Church, and THEN take communion in a Catholic Mass.


One thinks of how eagerly the Episcopal Church recently welcomed disgraced oathbreaker Fr Alberto Cutie into its ranks. Good riddance! May they have better luck with his faithfulness than we did. They honestly expect that his only issue was celibacy. Ha! I wonder if they will have the nerve to criticize us for receiving their numerous defections.


What this decision says, basically, is that Anglicans coming into the Catholic Church will have their own substructure within the Church, and will, as a group, be permitted to continue on in their own parishes, using the liturgy with which they are familiar - basically the same as ours, but slightly different here and there. The decision is to remove an unnecessary emotional block to becoming Catholic.


That Archbishop Rowan Williams has basically blessed the decision, for what it matters, and labeled it a display of how close the two Churches are together, is striking. It implies that his own Church hasn't anything authoritative. You will never hear the Vatican say, "Oh, sure, go be Anglican. It's really very close anyway, and we've no reason for you to stay at all."

I also wonder if he hopes that by providing a safety valve of sorts, allowing a "certain type" an easy out of the Anglican communion, it will help to ease the intense tensions in the Anglican communion.

That the Anglican liturgy and the Roman liturgy are so similar shows that in liturgical matters, they've changed very little. That they ordain women; that one group ordains practicing homosexuals, and the other groups cannot see the problem with that; that they are contemplating blessing homosexual unions as if they were marriages; all that shows that they have entirely lost sight of the Scriptures, of Christian morals, even of the most basic concept of truth... and all that shows that they have changed everything, and have nothing of significance in common with us Catholics, or with any Christians, nothing whatsoever.

For them, unfortunately, the choice is rapidly simplifying to whether one would rather be Anglican or a Christian. The Catholic Church is trying to provide a way in which they can stay Christians, and to some extent maintain their Anglican traditions.

Ryan Haber
Kensington, Maryland

Posted by: withouthavingseen | October 20, 2009 12:03 PM


No, Canterbury left the Roman Church over a SEXUAL issue over 450 years ago. The issue was whether anyone, even a king, might put away his wife because he no longer found her useful.

Of course, that immediate reason for rupture of unity brought along with it deeper issues:

whether the state and secular power would have authority over all reality, even over matters purely spiritual;

whether exterior reality (in this case, of hierarchical union) reflected spiritual reality (in this case, of Christian unity) at all, or whether the two were entirely independent of each other;

and whether the Church of Rome was truly founded by the Chief Apostle and thus bears his authority;

or whether that was all bosh, and none of it really mattered anyway.


Clearly, very many people still think such things matter; and in an irony woeful enough to be a Chinese proverb, sexual issues are still the ones that plague Canterbury and its communion to this day.

Ryan Haber
Kensington, Maryland

Posted by: withouthavingseen | October 20, 2009 12:09 PM

Hmmm, the Catholic churches need more members -- and here is a handy solution!

Posted by: bonds_john | October 20, 2009 12:10 PM

This is not a discussion of Faith but rather a discussion in Religion and there in lies the problem.

Posted by: fishlady49 | October 20, 2009 12:19 PM

What do I think of the Vatican ruling?

I think it's about as important as Donald Duck meets Mickey Mouse.

Much ado about absolutely nothing.

Posted by: rcubedkc | October 20, 2009 12:48 PM

Bill Maher was right on when he said "Religion must die so mankind can live."

Posted by: Chagasman | October 20, 2009 12:55 PM

Bonds_John: The Catholic Church has over a billion members worldwide. We're not exactly hurting in the numbers department.

Posted by: choirgirl04 | October 20, 2009 1:18 PM

Makes sense to me. Sensible Catholics--who don't object to civil marriage laws allowing same sex marriage and who support non-abortifacient contraception can move over into the Episcopal Communion to make up for the right wingers who move to the RC Church. But Catherine of Aragon must be turning in her grave!

Posted by: commonsense101 | October 20, 2009 1:22 PM

The Vatican's move, opening a door for the former Anglican faithful is a wonderful thing.

The Catholic Church, the universal church, loves and embraces all people wishing to follow Christ. The Church's refusal to bless homosexual unions and female priests is based on the belief that the ultimate marriage (union) is between Christ - the bridegroom - and the faithful - the bride. Similarly, two concepts are reflected when a priest takes their vows: (1) a priest marries the church and (2)a union between the bridegroom (the priest) and the bride (the church/the faithful) takes place. Thus, because men are inherently bridegrooms and the priest is the designated bridegroom, only men can be priests.

Likewise, because a marriage is between a bridegroom (inherently male) and a bride (inherently female), the Church teaches that marriage is a union that by definition can only occur between a man and a woman. These are notions based on fidelity with the teaching of the bible, the apostles, and so that love and charity may flow.
See here -

Posted by: brownlou | October 20, 2009 1:26 PM

Who cares?

Posted by: marmstrong1 | October 20, 2009 1:30 PM

Don't convert! It is a trick! The pontiff is actually a vampire looking out for new blood. He doesn't care about you except for the tasty blood he gets to drink.

Posted by: johng1 | October 20, 2009 1:45 PM

It's encouraging, of course. They'll find Chesterton's famous quote to be true. It's much larger inside the Church than outside.

Posted by: fishcrow | October 20, 2009 1:50 PM


You're not doing it right.

I think the people you quote are supposed to, by association, make you seem *more* intelligent.

Bill Maher was right on when he said "Religion must die so mankind can live."
Posted by: Chagasman | October 20, 2009 12:55 PM

Posted by: Wallenstein | October 20, 2009 1:51 PM

Old expression--substitute Maher for Nitsche?

Nitche: “God is dead.” God: “Nitche is dead.”

Posted by: Bluefish2012 | October 20, 2009 2:01 PM

This old queer, his "Holiness", the Pope,
is just looking for new recruits the
increase "church" membership. This
means more young boys for the old b@stard
and his child molesters to play with !!!!!

Posted by: flyersout | October 20, 2009 2:11 PM

if only a true believer would have the power of GOD on earth for a day...
imagine what he may do...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 20, 2009 2:35 PM

Maybe the pope should come up with some catchy slogan to welcome the newcomers. How about: Join the Catholic Church where it's OK to be a gay-basher and Nazi sympathizer?

Posted by: eomcmars | October 20, 2009 2:44 PM

Our church has much to be ashamed of, and its hierarchy is sometimes part of the shame. Nevertheless, Flyersout's comment is outrageous and slanderous. Please remove it.

Posted by: Frances4 | October 20, 2009 2:52 PM

AH, isn't it nice that misogynists and homophobes are being welcomed by Rome?

Quick, scurry you little rodents; it's time to jump one sinking ship for the next--

Posted by: lichtme | October 20, 2009 2:57 PM

Why neither religion will survive:

Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a mamzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). Analyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, On Faith panelists) via the NT and related documents have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

For added "pizzazz", Catholic/Christian theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

Current crises:

Pedophiliac priests, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).

Current crises:

Adulterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology, all male hierarchies and strange banking and funding.

Posted by: ccnl1 | October 20, 2009 3:00 PM

Vote "Yes" so more mental slaves can be called back to Dark Ages dogma.

Posted by: lufrank1 | October 20, 2009 3:01 PM

"non-abortifacient contraception" still breaks the one flesh union of marital sex.

Posted by: cprferry | October 20, 2009 3:28 PM

JaneDoe4, inappropriate and mean spirited comment. A lot of members of TEC I know are not homophobic nor anti-feminist. What they are is troubled with the drift of TEC and, in particular, it's Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Ms. Schori's response to the concerns of those members and parishes, who do not agree with her and her supporters and bolt to another branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, is to start court action to confiscate their assets, churches and buildings. Christ drove the moneychangers out of the temple and he'd probably have a field day with this one.

This Catholic, educated in Episcopal schools, welcomes, with open arms, members of TEC and the Anglican Communion worldwide and looks forward to attending their services as well. The "Book of Common Prayer" is a masterpiece of the English language, or at least it was, until the present TEC leadership got its hands on it.

Posted by: NotBubba | October 20, 2009 3:41 PM

Well goody for you Bubba. I was educated in RCC schools for 12 years and had enough by the time I was 17. Two of the priests that taught in my RCC school in Cleveland are now in jail for pedophilia.

I think, basically, all organized religion is abominable.

They brainwash you and make you obey their manmade rules and regs which are a load of rubbish. They promote bigotry against gays and lesbians.

They are still dealing with their clergy abuse scandal. The diocese of Wilmington case in point - claiming bankruptcy just before the cases of clergy abuse come up for trial.

I have been an atheist for years and raised my 5 children to think for themselves, be honest, volunteer, work hard, explore the world, follow the Golden Rule and be a decent, respectable person.

This philosophy has stood them all in good stead and they are all decent, law abiding Americans.

The RCC denigrates women and spends too much time worrying about what people do in their bedrooms, both hetrosexual couples and gay couples.

Too bad you haven't thrown off the shackles of obedience to this outfit. I feel sorry for you.

Posted by: JaneDoe4 | October 20, 2009 4:08 PM

Some really nasty comments on here which would suggest these kinds of things do still matter.

As a practical Catholic I congratulate the Church on this decision, although I fear it was made for the wrong reasons. But, then again, the original split was for the wrong reasons too.

Posted by: pjdc1 | October 20, 2009 4:15 PM

So...unhappy Anglicans are trading in their gay Anglican bishops for pedophile Catholic priests? Lordy, humans are wacky creatures.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | October 20, 2009 4:30 PM

Sounds great. In this day and age of divisiveness, it's nice to see a leading institution take steps to close an age-old schism.

Well done.

Posted by: ZZim | October 20, 2009 4:35 PM

It's fascinating to read comments which reduce all of Catholicism and Catholic priests to a collection of pedophiles. Never mind that the actual numbers are tiny. It's an easy, pompous soundbite.

Reading such comments, I'm starting to understand better how some people around the world grossly reduce America and all of its people to the status of murderers and imperialists. It is easy to let emotionalism cloud the mind and make the failings of a few into an indictment of the whole group.

I suppose it's only natural that America has its fair share of the simple-minded, but given that we as a nation are on the receiving end of this treatment quite a lot, you'd think our people would be more careful in its application. Guess not.

Posted by: Matthew_DC | October 20, 2009 4:53 PM

Does this mean that homophobic, closeted Anglicans can worship the Man in the Dress, too?

MMMMMMM....all those new boys!!!

Posted by: mitt1968 | October 20, 2009 4:54 PM

Elton John had it right when he wrote that love song to "B-B-B-Benny in the Dress."

At least Elton is honest about his impulses.

Posted by: mitt1968 | October 20, 2009 4:56 PM

In practice, disaffected Anglicans will find nothing really new if they are received into the Roman Catholic Church. In a way, it will help purify the Anglicans and their belief applying reason to the Word and Tradition. At the same time, the Holy See is obviously in the process of accepting God-given reason as a basis for establishing doctrine and polity. This is all Good.

Posted by: Mountaineer5 | October 20, 2009 5:25 PM

In the WaPo article accompanying this poll, the reporters take a cheap shot at the church by mentioning without proper context the incident involving Benedict’s rehabilitation of Richard Williamson. The implications border on libelous.

First, the reporters fail to mention that the pope did not know about the man’s views on the Shoah. Neither do they mention that once Benedict learned of these views, he rescinded his offer of rehabilitation pending Williamson’s full recantation of his previous anti-Semetic statements. Since Willamson never recanted, the pope has maintained the man’s excommunication status.

Clearly, contrary to the WaPo’s implications, rehabilitating Holocaust-deniers has nothing to do with a new "conservative bent" in the church.

Another bias exposed in this reporting, is the implication that somehow allowing a Holocaust-denier to return to the church would make conservative Catholics happy. It wouldn't! The writers seem to think that religious conservatism is defined by intolerance, hatred, and prejudice. It isn’t!

There are more than 1.1 billion Catholics in the world. If you judge us all by the sinful acts of a few, you are engaging in the worst kind of catagorical bigotry. And you should be ashamed of yourself.

Posted by: pt8685 | October 20, 2009 5:41 PM

Christ prayed that we be one. Of course they should be able to go home.

Posted by: jschlosser | October 20, 2009 5:48 PM

There are some truly hate-filled comments on these blogs.

I am not a Roman Catholic, but I applaud the effort of the RC Church to reach out to some folks who feel the need to leave their denomination and church. That has to be an horribly painful process.

Posted by: WestTexan2008 | October 20, 2009 5:50 PM

I'd caution people to read the fine print here. This is not an effort by the Roman Catholic church to reconcile with the world-wide Anglican communion. This is a small attempt to siphon off disaffected Anglicans into the Catholic church and will do nothing to advance ecumencial dialogue or reconciliation. In short, this is a cynical move, perhaps even an offensive gesture prompted by anger over gay rights. In the end, this move will do little to settle the historic disagreements between the two churches.

Posted by: tfburke19 | October 20, 2009 6:13 PM

Hmmm, 1.1 billion Catholics in the world:

Reality 101-

"Argentina 92% Catholic (less than 20% practicing "

"During the 20th Century, a considerable number of Brazilians lost interest in traditional forms of religious practices. Although most of the population of the country consider themselves Catholics — more than 70%, which makes Brazil the country with the largest number of Catholics in the world — it is estimated that only around 15% to 20% of them go to Mass regularly and participate in the sacraments. According to the 2000 Census, performed by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, 40% of Catholics declare themselves as "lapsed Catholics".

"Approximately 90% of the population of Italy identifies itself as Catholic. Of that number, only about 1/3 are actually practicing Catholics."

"Based on Sunday Mass attendance, only 33% of USA Catholics practice their faith."

Posted by: ccnl1 | October 20, 2009 6:20 PM

We should be so glad that we have an institution in the world such as the Catholic church that is willing to put aside grudges and sins to accept into its midst all numbers of contrite hearts seeking truth.
The Church has forgiven and reconciled with contrite members formerly of rebel sects, improper sexual activities, radicals (left and right), and so on.
I pray that others in our society would be willing to put away their weapons, cast aside their sins and open their hearts and minds to truth. May the love and forgiveness the Church shows be a model for how we live among each other.

Posted by: cprferry | October 20, 2009 6:42 PM

I regard this as an attack by a Holy See that has actively shuffled around pederast priests to communities worldwide while ignoring the first 1000 years when priests could get married like they were when Jesus first had Disciples.

Posted by: WillSeattle | October 20, 2009 6:49 PM

I wonder whether the former-Anglican, now-Catholic married priests will still be allowed to perform... ahem... marital acts, or whether they will be required to be celibate the moment they become Catholic.

Posted by: MikeinDC2 | October 20, 2009 6:54 PM

LESS, not More RELIGIONS systems , is the BESTA not-only da Westa, but in da Easta, Norta n Southa Too+! And

LESS CURRENCYS (so We shall get Tight) and Less Nation-Building too is nice-nice anice-a. Hence Less Wars over "godly jealousy." So

LESS , for now, is besta Aye!?

Posted by: Peace-time | October 20, 2009 6:58 PM

Let's see if I have this right.

It's Ok to welcome Holocaust deniers as long as they're disgusted by gays who are open and women priests?

Doesn't seem very Jesus to me.

Posted by: James10 | October 20, 2009 7:02 PM

I think this will work beautifully. The American Episcopal Church is populated predominantly by disaffected Catholics who just couldn't take it any more. Now the Romans are making room for a relative handful of disaffected Episcopalians who just can't take it any more. The ratio is probably something on the order of 10 Catholics joining the Episcopal Church for every 1 Episcopalian who heads the other way. I don't think Archbishop Jefforts-Schori would complain about that exchange. And if everyone ends up happier, what's not to like?
And BTW, I'd bet a lot of money that both the Catholics and the Anglicans are going to be around long, long, long after Bill Maher has gone to dust.

Posted by: 661oldpost | October 20, 2009 7:04 PM

The Vatican has already done something similar on a smaller scale (5 or 6 parishes). Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio has a married priest and a particular liturgy that preserves many of the Anglican traditions. The current action just allows for large scale reunification and takes steps in formalizing heirarchy for the new group.

Posted by: douglascoombs | October 20, 2009 7:11 PM

This is good. Now all the bigoted, homophobic, Episcopalians will have a home with a church that will help them stay in the Dark Ages.

Posted by: paris1969 | October 20, 2009 7:21 PM

Christian teaching about marriage is simple. It is between a man and a woman. It’s clear that Christian Anglicans understand that.

Matthew 19:4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

Posted by: JackDixon | October 20, 2009 8:45 PM

To deny the holocaust is to deny one 20th century event. It makes someone a holocaust-denier.

To deny Christian teaching is to deny the most significant event of the past 20 centuries. It makes someone a Jesus-denier.

Posted by: JackDixon | October 20, 2009 9:02 PM

Things must be pretty bad in Rome for Benny to admit married clergy, but maybe this will lead to the ordination of married Catholic clergy. As such, I see this as positive. Otherwise, I'm not sure I give a care for what the Vatican thinks.

Posted by: markinirvine | October 20, 2009 9:57 PM

Nitche is spelled "Nietzsche". For god's sake....

Posted by: stanimano | October 20, 2009 10:08 PM

As a life-long Catholic, personally, I hae no problem with this decision.
In fact, I'm hoping it will bring our Church into a more reasonable way to thinking about celibacy.
In my opinion, the vow of celibacy should be a factor when priests join a religious order.
For diocesan priests, it should be an option for living, not a rock-ribbed requirement for the priesthood.
My late mother-in-law, a Cajun Catholic, who attended church in rural East Texas, took us by surprise when she announced that her parish had a new pastor, a former Episcopalian priest and his wife.
She was intrigued, got to know them and really liked them.
When she died last year, we met the good Father and he was very much as she had described him, a kind and good-hearted priest with a great sense of humor who impressed us with his prayerful demeanor and his kindness to our family members.
Who knows?
This movement may forge a new wind blowing through the halls of our church, so often resistant to change.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | October 20, 2009 10:14 PM

With large numbers of "the faithful" reconsidering their faith, through changing their beliefs to denying their religion's truth, or lack thereof, it comes as no surprise that the Catholic Church wishes to usurp followers of tradional "spiritual competitors". I see little difference between religions and corporations wishing to expand their customer base.

Posted by: icurhuman2 | October 20, 2009 11:01 PM

To read the coverage in major media so far, one would think the only difference between Roman Catholics and Anglicans is that Anglicans ordain gays and women and Roman Catholics don't. So when these disaffected Anglicans head for the Church of Rome, will they recognize the heretical notions that church has about the status of Mary the Mother of Jesus?
After centuries of Christian belief, from the very beginning, that Mary was an ordinary human being, a Pope decided that she alone among all human beings born before or since was not an heir to the weakness of sin that burdens us all.
Though you'll find it nowhere in Scripture, Roman Catholics also teach that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven. One would have to wonder what the big deal was about Jesus.
If you are an Anglican, you have never been taught anything of the kind... would you have to believe it now?
Papal infallibility? Swallowing that would be a high price for avoiding getting communion from a woman!
And lest you have any doubts... Anglicans who become Roman Catholics will still be baptized, confirmed, married, and buried by gay clerics. They'll just be closeted, which would seem to be OK. Is that what all this ruckus and family fight is about? The sanctity of the closet?
As a lifelong Episcopalian I am sorry my brothers and sisters feel they have to leave. I have my doubts about whet

Posted by: BorincanoDC | October 20, 2009 11:07 PM

In 1980, the Vatican gave permission for married former Episcopal priests to be ordained as Latin-rite priests. About 100 of those married men are now priests in the United States.

Posted by: JackDixon | October 20, 2009 11:15 PM

Roman Catholics teach that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven.

Here’s one clue that supports it.

The Miracle of Fatima was witnessed by as many as 100,000 people on October 13, 1917 in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal.

Those in attendance had assembled to observe what the Portuguese secular newspapers had been ridiculing for months as the absurd claim of three shepherd children that Mary told them she would perform a miracle at high-noon in the Cova da Iria on October 13, 1917.

According to many witness statements, after a downfall of rain, dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque spinning disc in the sky. It was less bright than normal, and cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the shadows on the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds.

The sun then careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern, frightening some of those present who thought it meant the end of the world. Witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became "suddenly and completely dry."

Not quite an everyday event predicted by 3 shepherd children...

Posted by: JackDixon | October 20, 2009 11:31 PM

"After centuries of Christian belief, from the very beginning, that Mary was an ordinary human being, a Pope decided that she alone among all human beings born before or since was not an heir to the weakness of sin that burdens us all."

The belief in a sinless, immaculately conceived, virgin Mary dates back to the 4th century.

Posted by: cprferry | October 20, 2009 11:38 PM

The physical resurrection of Jesus as per current gradute school theology teachings at many large Catholic universities-

"Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly -- earth bound distractions.

Christ's and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven. For one thing, Paul in 1 Cor 15 speaks of the body of the dead as transformed into a "spiritual body." No one knows exactly what he meant by this term.

Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

The physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has
multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would
be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female

Amazing how this agrees with Professor Crossan and the Jesus Seminarian's conclusions based on attestations and stratums.

See for added details.

Posted by: ccnl1 | October 21, 2009 12:24 AM

At least they're not doing it by the usual religious method of conversion - by the sword.

As far as those exchanging one form of brainwashing for another ... who cares? If these people leaving the Episcopal church were leaving religion for good, that would be a story. Other than some kind of "unconversion" taking place, this means nothing.

Posted by: katavo | October 21, 2009 5:26 AM

The Catholic Church was essentially founded by the emperor Constantine. He murdered members of his own family. The Anglican church was founded by Henry VIII and his bastard daughter Elizabeth I. They murdered lots of people, including relatives. Which is better?

Posted by: ravitchn | October 21, 2009 7:08 AM

Dear Anglicans, as long as you hate on the gays and women we welcome you to join us. Don't worry, we'll assign our priests to look after your little boys. the Pope

Posted by: baseballguy | October 21, 2009 7:37 AM

Given the history of the Catholic Church it is a bit of a surprise that it is now welcoming diverse practices (aka heresy), as it is about to allow married disaffected Anglican priests to join the choir so to speak; does this mean that the Holy Cee will start permitting their god-botherers to seek some non-same-sex in the bonds of

I guess if you were a Catholic priest and wanted to get married you could

1) Leave the church

do these not necessarily in order:
2) become Anglican/Episcopalian
3) get married
4) become an Anglican priest

5) Leave the Anglican church and become a Catholic priest again (and
be a married one now)

Or is it like a special time limited offer, where you have to be a
married Anglican Priest first?

Posted by: kiosk | October 21, 2009 9:39 AM

RE-verting - not CON-verting!

Pope Benedict - making the world safe for misogynistic homophobes, one bigot at a time!

Join the Catholic Church for big $$$$ savings on birth control and check your mind at the door!

Posted by: solsticebelle | October 21, 2009 10:59 AM

Wow! It is appalling to read some of these uninformed comments (i.e., rants). The fact that the RCC has created another 'rite' for Anglicans is in keeping with Rome's historical approach to other 'catholic and orthodox' churches e.g., Byzantine, Marionite, or Nestorian rites, that evolved with little or no relationships to Rome (and have married priests). Prior to the council of Trent (16th Century) there were many 'national or cultural' rites that were downplayed in the reform effort to instill the 'Roman' rite universally. The most interesting fact about this 'abrupt' change by the RCC is that the announcement was accompanied by a joint press conference by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster....leading one to speculate about further serious efforts at a reunion of the entire Anglican communion with the See of Rome ... it seems that Benedict has taken the first tenative step to allow for significant divergence in the Western Church from the Roman rite within the RCC: Veni Sancti Spiritus.

Posted by: jmorgens | October 21, 2009 11:45 AM

Judgement is reserved for the Lord. Should love of God be lost in the minor details of organized religions?

Posted by: gamma64 | October 21, 2009 12:53 PM

What the hell business is it of the questioner here?

It is a done deal. The Catholics decided to do so. Lots of Episcopalians are
going to do it.

This "on faith" idiocy is mostly by and for Jews...some rabbi often telling everyone what to do and how to do it.

Shut up. It's none of your business.

Posted by: whistling | October 21, 2009 3:13 PM

Praise the Lord! Now the Roman Catholic Church will have an Anglican Rite to go alongside all the Eastern Rite Churches who joined her over the centuries. For those unfamiliar with Church's history, look it up! The Church has grown like this for centuries.

Posted by: Cthulhu3 | October 21, 2009 3:50 PM

Whistling??? Hmmm, that name rings a bell!! Where is that list?? Ahh, there it is and indeed I was right.

Posted by: ccnl1 | October 21, 2009 3:52 PM


Bill Maher was right on when he said "Religion must die so mankind can live."

This is so funny (ROF-rolling on floor)...

Unfortunately, Maher might live to be 200 yo but he (and everybody else) will die first before religion does.

hahaha !!! i love it !

Posted by: jbedia | October 21, 2009 3:52 PM

ccnl1, are you schizophrenic? Your diction suggests some kind of mental disorder, similar to racist who shot the guard at the Holocaust Museum. Get some help before you hurt somebody.

Posted by: Cthulhu3 | October 21, 2009 3:58 PM

IT'S this SIMPLE -

If you 'profoundly' disagree with the Roman Catholic teachings and traditions, you are welcome to leave. The church is not forcing anyone to stay. There are about 35,000 Christian denominations out there. Without a doubt, you will find your place under the sun. The Roman Catholic Church is NOT for you.

This new structure/invitation is for those who are receptive to RE-UNITING with the Roman Catholic Church.

And for for those who are not agreeable, heed this: STAY AWAY FROM THIS DISCUSSION - YOU CAN HAVE A BETTER USE OF YOUR TIME.

Posted by: jbedia | October 21, 2009 4:22 PM


#1 The Roman Catholic Church is the
single-largest care provided for HIV/AIDS.

#2 The Roman Catholic Church is the 2nd largest charity donor in the world. Just 2nd to all foreign governments combined, and 3rd Red Cross (per U.N.).

#3 The Archdiocese of Washington is the 2nd largest "ALLEVIATOR" of poverty in the region - just next to the DC Government.

*Look it up yourselves.

Now - that's a whole lot of good it does and serve. what about you and your church, huh?

Posted by: jbedia | October 21, 2009 4:33 PM

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