I had no idea they were still around in the first place

From USA Today (hat tip to my office mate at the computer next to mine):
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican announced surprise plans Tuesday to make it easier for Anglicans to convert, reaching out to those who are disaffected by the election of female and gay bishops to join the Catholic Church's conservative ranks.

Pope Benedict XVI approved a new church provision that will allow Anglicans to join the Catholic Church while maintaining many of their distinctive spiritual and liturgical traditions, including married priests, Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican's chief doctrinal official, told a news conference.


The Anglican's spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, downplayed the significance of the new provision and said it wasn't a Vatican commentary on Anglican problems. "It has no negative impact on the relations of the communion as a whole to the Roman Catholic church as a whole," he said in London.

The new Catholic church entities, called personal ordinariates, will be units of faithful established within local Catholic Churches, headed by former Anglican prelates who will provide spiritual care for Anglicans who wish to be Catholic.


By welcoming them possibly at the expense of good relations with the Anglican Communion, Benedict has confirmed the increasingly conservative bent of his church. The decision follows his recent move to rehabilitate four excommunicated ultra-conservative bishops, including one who denied the full extent of the Holocaust, in a bid to bring their faithful back under the Vatican's wing.

Levada declined to give figures on the number of requests that have come to the Vatican, or on the anticipated number of Anglicans who might take advantage of the new structure.

One group, known as the Traditional Anglican Communion, has made its bid to join the Catholic Church public. The fellowship, which split from the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1990, says it has spread to 41 countries and has 400,000 members, although only about half are regular churchgoers.

What? You're leaving? But what about all those pies I baked for the big "Up with Anglicanism" pot-luck supper we were all going to have at Westminster? (Were you worried that eating them would "give you gay"? Because I was totally joking when I said that.)

Seriously (or as seriously as I can possibly take this), I know I'm supposed to fall all over myself dithering about how awful it would be if anyone left our big, happy, fractious Anglican family. Our whole self-conception is based upon sustaining a common worship and faith community despite strongly-held differences of opinion about various doctrinal and cultural issues. Poor old Ever So Very Reverend Rowan Williams is probably up to his ears in advisors and consultants and the like, all offering their expert and considered opinions on how to keep everyone at the table. It's his job to worry about this sort of thing, which is why he gets to wear all those fancy hats.

But me? I'm just one liberal, gay Episcopalian who won't miss these particular Anglicans when they're gone. Sorry. I'm really not interested in fading quietly into the background and knowing my place, or in trying not to risk offending the conservatives. If they want to take their (no doubt ornate, gilded) ball and go play somewhere else, I will personally chip in for their bus fare. All I heard about General Convention was how much more relaxed, peaceful and convivial it was without the break-away dioceses, and I believe it.

So, aloha. Sayonara. Pax vobiscum. Give my best to your new chums, the Holocaust deniers. Chances are we wouldn't have had a lot to talk about at this point, anyway, so have fun answering to Rome. More pie for the rest of us.


  1. I couldn't help but wonder whether we should develop a mission program here in Maine for disenfranchised Catholics in Maine to the Episcopal Church. So much of the "Yes on 1" is leaving a lot of people who do not want a bishop telling them how to vote, or who to accept.

    Nonetheless, as usual your blog made me smile.
    Can we have some 'give you gay' pie at coffee hour?

  2. Gay Pie? Oh my God, that's what happened to me. I bet it was that nice Anglican lady who's lawn I mowed when I was a kid. And to think, I thought she was a good person who paid well. Thanks for revealing this tragedy.

  3. PS. I read the following on CNN:
    "Anglicans can retain their rites while recognizing the pope as their leader".
    Mel Brooks said it best....Don't be a shmarty join the NAZI party. After all this pope was a member of the Hitler Youth Party. And I thought it could not get worse than the last pope.

  4. No way the Anglicans slide over. The incense is too strong even to ward off pie that gives you gay. I'll bet more Catholics go hell-ward and take up Anglican progressivism than Anglicans try to cram themselves in the guilt corset that is Catholicism.
    (btw, the "pie that gives you gay" aside is the funniest line I've read all week, and since I'm on a caffeine-fueled mission of reading all of your October posts in the next hour, that's saying something.)