Monday, August 20, 2007

“Rome has a special place in her heart for Anglicans”

From Catholic Online, a story about a former Episcopal priest, ordained in the Roman Catholic church in 1983. Interesting comments by Fr. Barber:

[O]ver time changes in the church increasingly disturbed [Father Bradley Barber]. He said he was especially bothered by the fact that doctrine was subject to a democratic vote and could be changed by a simple majority vote. He wondered, would God really accept sacramental changes approved by a 51-49 percent vote when it was Jesus Christ himself who gave us these sacraments?

“The Episcopal Church was starting to allow sociological arguments to reign in theological matters,” Father Barber said.

Ordaining women to the priesthood, recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages, and allowing the church to be led by openly gay pastors, those were things that troubled Father Barber in his role as an Episcopal priest. He said the pivotal point came when he was visited by a couple who were considering leaving the Catholic Church over doctrinal disagreements.

The Episcopal priest counseled the couple to remain in their own church, and he realized he wanted to be there, too.

“Theologically, I knew I was Catholic,” he said. . .

Even while he waited for word from Rome, Father Barber said he had no doubts about converting. “I knew I had done the right thing,” he said, and he believed whatever decision came would be the right one. “Faith in the Church is never difficult.” Besides, he said, “Rome has a special place in her heart for Anglicans.”

“To offer my services as a priest was really secondary.” If the pope didn’t approve, he said, “it would be difficult but I would have to accept (the decision) and sit in the pew the rest of my life.”

Read it all.

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