Combined Episcopal Catholic Parish -not the Ordinaraite

Just as a clarification, the USCCB is an organization of individual bishops, each of whom, even the president, has a full time job somewhere else. It does not have jurisdiction over any individual Catholic, or parish, or diocese, so it doesn’t “respond” to what happens in parishes.

The parish - or rather, the Catholic portion of it - is under the Catholic bishop of Richmond.
The local RC diocese of Richmond in 2012 removed the Catholic priest assigned, ordered certain changes, and considered other changes, all in communication with, not necessarily in agreement or disagreement with, the Episcopal bishop of Southern VA. I don’t know if that Catholic diocesan evaluation is completed or underway.

The Catholic bishop of Richmond reports to Pope Francis, and to the appropriate Vatican Congregation under Francis, not to the USCCB.

I don’t know if the Vatican has taken a position.

I found this news report. It seems they had quite some challenges, but the community still existed by November last year, although with some changes.

The church found a solution after a Richmond diocesan official suggested conducting Morning Prayer, a less formal rite, instead of the traditional Mass.

Under Catholic norms, Ferguson said, “anybody can lead Morning Prayer - lay person, deacon, priest, bishop - on both sides.” So Sunday worship now consists of Morning Prayer followed by the Eucharist with Catholic and Episcopal prayers offered separately at different altars.

Hope you don’t mind I quoted your comment. It was well stated and certainly expressed my feelings on the matter.

Yes, the Vatican has indeed “taken a position”

This is a link to an official communication issued by the Diocese of Richmond

I’ll quote the opening paragraph
Diocese of Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has issued a directive to a one-of-its-kind Virginia Beach church to bring its liturgical celebrations, primarily the Mass, into conformity with the universal Roman Catholic Church. At the same time, he has offered options for additional combined worship and prayer services that would affirm the unique character of the 35-year-old ecumenical community.

I’ll refrain from posting the entire communication because it’s simply too large to fit into a single post here (and bad form), but I do sincerely urge anyone with an interest in this (and if you’re reading this thread, then you must have an interest, right?) to read it in its entirety.

I wouldn’t be interested in joining such a congregation.

My particular synod cannot even regulate relations with OTHER Lutherans, other Confessional Lutherans synods for that matter, much less an entirely different denomination.

This is to our shame in a way, and to our credit in a different way. To our shame that we have had hundreds of years to work it out but separated from Missouri only a few decades ago. While in the 1800s Missouri were the ones that kept us close to our confessional moorings, now I believe its time to return the favor.

I along with the rest of the synod is very concerned about our doctrinal purity, and the Prussian Union is still fresh in our minds even though it was 150 or so years ago. Tradition dies hard in Confessional Lutheranism. I am wary of any other such union that not based on total and complete doctrinal unity.

Thank you for clarifying Father David

Yeah, if you can help us rid our synod of the church-growth junk, I’d appreciate it. :cool:


Really? I wonder, that’s quite familiar…
:rolleyes: And I am not a Lutheran.

Anyway, how can we be quite frangmented if we worship the very same Holy Trinity. Christ is not frangmented. We may have our different views, but can’t we meet and pray a Our Father together? Or we’ll need to discuss Theology before that…


If WELS can help us, maybe we can bring them beer and cigars to help with any latent pietism! :smiley:

Must be a good idea.


I thought I remembered that.


Clerical Whispers

Saturday, November 16, 2013
Virginia Beach church with Roman Catholic and Episcopal congregation overcomes challenges
A Virginia Beach church with a blended congregation of Roman Catholics and Episcopalians has overcome a year of challenges regarding its services.

Catholic and Episcopal clergy have performed services together and shared leadership duties at the Church of the Holy Apostles for 36 years.

In November 2012, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond, ordered the church to change its worship.

DiLorenzo said allowing Catholics and non-Catholics to participate in a combined communion liturgy violated Roman Catholic norms.

Months of discussions were held with theologians and with Catholic and Episcopal diocesan officials before a solution was found, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

The church now conducts a less formal rite, Morning Prayer, instead of the traditional Mass.
It’s followed by the Eucharist with Catholic and Episcopal prayers offered separately at different altars.

The article seemed to reflect an anti-Catholic bias. It made it seem like any involvement by the Catholic bishop was an intrusion; that the bishop’s ministry ended up being a mild problem this time, but could have been worse. There was no hint of any importance to the 2000 year old Catholic tradition of the liturgy or the episcopacy. The reporter might have, but chose not to, ask about the influence of the Episcopal bishop in this parish, since he has taken positions very different from his predecessor, and from the local Catholic bishop.

Well, I think its clear that the Catholic Church has problems with this, and that it isn’t viewed as a model to be followed.

Anyways, I think the relevant historical background is also helpful. The Episcopal Church was still in line with a lot more Catholic doctrines back then. There’s no way this could happen nowadays, basically.

Besides the point though, this Mass violates Church norms, as has been said. And, if the title of this thread is meant to suggest that this could be an alternative to the ordinariate, well, I think the Catholic Church disagrees with that. Anyways, the Ordinariates represent a very new initiative in the Church… and this “hybrid parish”… for lack of a better term has been around for almost 40 years. Clearly the Church decided against anything like this, and wanted the Ordinariates.

I don’t want to offend the Protestant posters on here. But, I think I have yet to see a Protestant poster object to this. While, the vast majority of the Catholic posters are.

I think that reflects how we view our Churches. Or, if I were to use the term “the Church”. Protestants (perhaps all of the posters on this thread), view “the Church” as Christians across many denominations. Whereas Catholics believe “the Church” refers to one Church, the Catholic Church.

It’s also important to note that the Diocese does not (not any more) say that this is a “parish” but specifically refers to them as a “community.”

As for the community’s own webpage: much of the information there is obviously outdated, so it’s not a reliable source for their current situation.

Bishop Di---- really needs our prayers here, because he finds himself in a very difficult situation as he works to right a wrong that was done 30 years before he became the Bishop of R— while still fostering genuine ecumenism. Indeed, all those involved need our prayers.

By the way, I don’t think the title of the thread was intended to “suggest” that this arrangement be an alternative to the Ordinariates—I interpreted it as merely clarifying that the OP was not posting a thread about an Ordinariate parish.

The last vestiges are slowly dying out. In my personal parish, one can see the last remaining stench of pietism. The synod as a whole rejects it but as I said before tradition dies hard in Confessional Lutheranism.

For example, our practice is communion every other week is a vestige of pietism. I am petitioning to move to communion every week. But change takes time.

I could pray with you sure.

I have a buddy who is a baptist and we pray and read the scriptures together. We don’t pretend that our differences don’t matter. In fact I told him that he would never convince me that infant baptism is wrong, or that the Eucharist is only a symbol.

On the other hand being so insular as to reject all prayer and discussion with folks that disagree is also wrong. I suppose one must strike a balance between not compromising our doctrine, but working together for the glory and spread of the kingdom.

The principle of subsidiarity applies here, first the issue needs to be looked at and dealt with or resolved at the local level if possible. The USCCB or the Vatican will only intervene if the local level fails to address the situation.

Well, somewhat. The situation that was established in the 70s certainly wounds the integrity of the Church. The situation has consequences well beyond the limits of that particular diocese. The principle of subsidiarity calls for an issue to be handled at the lowest level which is appropriate–and the appropriate level might indeed be the Holy See itself.

In this particular instance, it’s objectively clear that what was happening within that community was not acceptable Catholic practice. There’s no doubt about that.

We know that the Holy See “advised” Bishop Di— through the Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy. And I’ll caution readers here not to speculate on the “why.” Perhaps the Bishop requested advice—we don’t know, nor do we need to know.

My second point here is that the Vatican did “intervene” (that part we know to be true) but I urge caution on the part about the local level “fail[ing] to address the situation.”

What we do not know is when the corrective actions were first taken (or attempted).

Bishop Di— has been trying to set things right for years–ever since he first took office in 2004.

So, again, I’ll urge caution that we not confuse “failure to address the situation” with a lack of success–they’re not necessarily the same thing.

My Dad is a retired Episcopal Priest. When I told him I was converting to Catholicism, he had no problem with it at all. I think of the EC as a good warm up or stepping stone to the RCC. However… if you MUST be a protestant, you might as well be an Episcopalian.

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