Anglicans swimming the Tiber, a one-year report

It's natural for any employee to want to know just how committed the big boss is to the company's future and, especially, to the expansion project that includes his job.So, even though Pope Benedict XVI didn't make it to America in person, Father Jason Catania still appreciated the message he sent to the former Episcopal priests and others who swam the Tiber to Rome after the pontiff's controversial "Anglicanorum Coetibus ("groups of Anglicans") pronouncement in 2009."We didn't just wake … [Read more...]

A long Anglican road to Rome

In the fall of 1979, a cluster of Episcopalians made another trip to Rome seeking a haven for Anglo-Catholic believers anxious to exit their increasingly divided church.Vatican officials agreed that it was time to petition their new leader, the young Pope John Paul II. The document was prepared and then signed on the altar of the North American Martyrs at Rome's North American College. In it, members of the Society of St. Augustine of Canterbury and other like-minded clergy made a blunt … [Read more...]

Chopping that Anglican timeline

The resolution from the 1979 Episcopal General Convention in Denver inspired a small wave of headlines, even though it simply restated centuries of doctrine about marriage."We reaffirm the traditional teaching of the Church on marriage, marital fidelity and sexual chastity as the standard of Christian sexual morality," it said. "Candidates for ordination are expected to conform to this standard."However, 21 bishops disagreed, publicly stating that gay sexual relationships were "no less a … [Read more...]

Anglican beat goes on

The career of Bishop Catherine Roskam of the Diocese of New York has been built on her skills as a cross-cultural ambassador for the modern Episcopal Church.She led the International Concerns Committee of her denomination's executive council, helped create her diocese's Global Women's Fund and has worked as a consultant on issues of cultural sensitivity. In some circles, she is known as the bishop who dared to rap during a "Hip Hop Mass" a few years ago in the Bronx."My sistas and brothas, all … [Read more...]

Blasphemy in the U.K.

The last successful prosecution under Britain?s blasphemy law was in 1977, when the publisher of the Gay News was fined for printing a love poem from a Roman centurion to Jesus.In the most recent clash the nation's high court waved off an attempt by evangelicals to attack "Jerry Springer -- The Opera."To no one's surprise, a coalition of powerful Brits has issued yet another call to kill the blasphemy law. It's a sign of the times."The ancient common law of blasphemous libel purports to protect … [Read more...]

Episcopal chair fights

True connoisseurs of ecclesiastical humor can answer this question: "How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb?"The most popular answers sound something like this: "Ten. One to change the bulb and nine to start a newsletter about the irreplaceability of the original bulb."Episcopalians do love their traditions, a trait that they share with everyone else in the Anglican Communion. Nevertheless, the reason the world's 77 million Anglicans fight so much is that many cherish some … [Read more...]

Into the Anglican wilds

All it took the other day was hearing pop star Olivia Newton-John'srecording of the "Ave Maria" for Father Paul Zahl to feel that old,familiar tug at his heartstrings.Then came the voices in his head asking those nagging questions that manyweary Episcopalians have pondered in recent decades: "Why keep fighting?Why not join the Roman Catholic Church?"Every now and then, Zahl feels another urge to "swim the Tiber." This issomewhat problematic because he is dean of the Trinity School forMinistry in … [Read more...]

Anglicans meet Rome’s Big Ben

Father Peter Toon is a strict traditionalist in all things liturgical, which is fitting since he leads the Society for the Preservation of the Book of Common Prayer.Thus, the Anglican priest has little sympathy for those who want to wiggle out of translating the Latin word "Credo" -- the root for "creed" -- as "we believe" instead of the more personal and definitive "I believe.""Of course 'Credo' means 'I believe.' ... And it's the same thing in the Greek Orthodox liturgy, because 'Pisteuo' can … [Read more...]