Episcopalian today?

I grew up in the Episcopal church in the 80s, then became Buddhist, and am now Roman Catholic. I have been reading a little about the present day American Episcopalian church, and I’m honestly a little confused. I see welcoming committees for people of any faith to come in and enjoy their Sunday services and take part in communion. They are making an attempt to be open to all, I understand that. But there is also another aspect, as if the only people who are not welcome are those who happen to be not be ready to champion for the LBGT community. Am I misunderstanding that? Is that a new requirement? Loving everyone except those who still question the politics surrounding that issue, well, doesn’t seem very Christian. Please forgive me for the sensitive topic, but I’m having a hard time understanding where they’re coming from, and I’m simply curious.

Honestly who cares what they are doing? You are a Catholic! Rejoice that you are not caught up in a heretical system that is just making it up as they go. Sometimes its really great to be Catholic. When you’re a member of a “church” that cares so much about what the world thinks then you are in the wrong “church”

Well, because I like reading about other philosophies. The world is a big place, lots of people, and I find this particular topic interesting because somehow the LGBT community has made people think that over 25% of humans are in that category, when its actually only 1.3%.

Oh I agree I call it Homofacism. I certainly like reading and learning about other faiths as well.

Homofacism… interesting term. I know eventually it will not be a hot topic in the news, or all over the net, but in the mean time its kinda everywhere so I end up reading about it. I’ve seen a few forum threads here and there, and the latest one was quite interesting. A video was posted of a young girl, under 10, who got help from her mom writing a rap song about how she (the young girl) was actually a boy on the inside. Transgender was the word, and granted, there are more cases than you’d think of people with chromosomes from one gender and genitalia from the other gender.

I don’t think based on that provable scientific situation I would tell my daughter that she’s a boy because she happens to like a few boy things. This topic HAS come up, too, and I just told her that superheros are awesome, boy or girl, awesome is awesome - and that satisfied her. I found that internet discussion about the video disturbing, (posted on an Espiscopal group) on a personal level, because I was concerned for the child’s psychological wellbeing. You can’t share that, though, because no one who champions for the LGBT community says anything about loving everyone, even if they disagree about that topic, they do get quite hostile and call those who disagree “closed minded”. Those who expressed that view, or the view like mine, were attacked verbally. The icon for the group was a gay pride flag, so I was confused that maybe I missed something. Maybe the Episcopal church had shifted once again to more of a political stance or something.

I’m not an expert by any means, but I have heard that a lot can vary from one Episcopalian congregation to the next. So what you are seeing might be widespread, but not all-pervasive.

Also, a few years ago, Pope Benedict set up a path to reconciliation for Anglicans/Episcopalians with the establishment of the Anglican Ordinariate. I imagine that gave the opportunity for those Episcopalians who most disagreed with this new direction to “switch teams” (for lack of better words).

Joe, is there a way to know how many of them joined?

I honestly thought it was neat that women are allowed to be priests there, but this overemphasis on a social issue seemed out of place.

I think it is important to find out what the others are doing…and in answer to the bolded question, I believe that God cares. By offering to meet everyone and cater to them you have people who are being led astray away from communions which do not teach heretical doctrines.

Blessings,

Rita

Oh I agree its super important to understand what others teach but in your opinion who gets to decide what is or isn’t a heretical doctrine?

I’m not sure. Here is their website:

ordinariate.net/

They’ve got a list of parishes. There are more than I would have guessed.

The women’s ordination thing and the openly gay clergy thing really sent a lot of people thinking about authority and back into the Catholic church.

You are correct Joe. The Episcopal churches can vary from one congregation to another. I also grew up in the Episcopal church - in the50’s and 60’s. At that time you had to be confirmed in the Episcopal church to receive communion. I left church all together for roughly 25 years and when I returned to the Episcopal church in the early 1990’s communion was open to all baptized Christians. I began learning about the Catholic church and eventually converted in 2008. There are still some conservative congregations in the Episcopal church, but the liberals have greatly changed the church.

Yep. That they have.

And, as we know, Anglicans in general are similarly diverse.

GKC

Like me.

I briefly belonged to one Anglican church before I converted so I don’t have that much experience or knowledge of Anglicans in general. It seems like there are many Anglican groups or networks.

A surfeit of them.

GKC

Joe, thank you for that data, that’s really interesting!!!

That is not my experience. I have always been conservative on this issue, though admittedly I’ve become more moderate and conflicted about it over the years, and I have never been treated with anything but welcome in Episcopal parishes. The institutional leadership of the denomination has treated some dioceses and parishes harshly, but to be fair these were folks who clearly intended to leave the denomination (or at least wanted to wall themselves off from the rest of the denomination) and wanted to take their property with them. People like my former bishop Ed Little who are conservative on sexuality but are gracious and collegial in how they relate to more liberal bishops have not had much trouble that I’m aware of, though I know that Bishop Little wonders whether there will be a place for people like him in a generation.

So the attitude you’re describing is certainly present in some quarters and may grow in the future, but I have not encountered it personally except online.

My rector from New Jersey (actually technically not my rector since I never formally joined her parish, precisely because of my discomfort with the direction TEC was heading) was genuinely indignant when the local liberal (United Methodist) seminary did not give me a job (not directly connected to this issue but clearly connected in general to my more conservative approach as a scholar). She said, “if they are really liberal they should be inclusive of everyone, including conservatives.” And she was quite liberal in her own theology. Similarly, the priest of my wife’s parish here in Kentucky has been nothing but gracious and affirming to me, although she knows that my theology is significantly different from hers (I think she may actually exaggerate how conservative I am, or at least how closed-minded I am about it, since she hesitated to recommend a book by Richard Rohr to me). In between I belonged to a parish in Indiana (under Bishop Little) that was quite conservative.

Edwin

From a human POV there is nothing in religion more basic than life. Churches can take various positions and evolve on Holy Orders, Scripture, Gay Marriage, liturgy, and a whole host of other issues. But nothing, nothing is more basic, more essential, than life.

At one point in time, the Episcopal Church was prolife. Today it supports legal abortion. No other factor carries nearly as much importance, or communicates as much about this denomination, as this change.

“if they are really liberal they should be inclusive of everyone, including conservatives”

Exactly my thoughts there. I brought that very point up to someone who was championing for those championing for the transgender children, and she actually accused me of being manipulative. I normally don’t get involved in those online discussions, as they are pretty much pointless and tend to only cause stress and harm, but I simply said that some day the issue will no longer matter. Apparently that thought was offensive somehow. I’m still baffled by it.

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