Fourth Maryland Episcopal Church to Become Catholic, Joining Ordinariate

This article is on the peaceful conversion of a whole Episcopal parish to Catholicism. A number of members of the Episcopal Church and whole congregations are converting to Catholicism, and joining the Ordinariate. The Ordinariate is in effect a single diocese covering all of Canada and the U.S., in which key elements of the Episcopal liturgy, music, art and other elements are retained.

Can someone explain to me how this works? A whole parish automatically becomes Catholic? What about the priests…are they now automatically validly ordained and automatically can confect the Eucharist?

The priests go back to seminary and are educated in a program designed for this particular situation. Once that is completed and if everything else is OK, then they would be validly ordained as a Catholic priest.

But if you’re going to become Catholic, then why keep the “key elements” of your own liturgy, music, art and other things? How is that really becoming Catholic?

The same way the Eastern Catholic churches keep the key elements of their own liturgy, music, art (icons), etc.

Remember that the Catholic Church is not only the Latin Church, but 22 other Churches. Each has distinct elements that set them apart from the others (for example, if you go to a Coptic Catholic Divine Liturgy, it will be in Aramaic if I recall correctly) but at their root they all follow the same doctrines and are in communion with the Pope.

The Episcopal church is basically part of the Church of England. And England has a traditional liturgy with English flavor that goes back to when they were part of the Catholic Church. They would just have to shed the Protestant modernist influences.

So if I’m in Maryland and go to this church on Sunday, am I going to Mass? Or am I going to an Episcopal service for Episcopalians that don’t like what the rest of their community is doing?

Welcome Home. This is the best news of the day.

Once the parish is received into the Ordinariate and the priest is validly ordained, you are going to Mass just as you would be at any other Catholic parish in the world. The liturgy will be different than what you are used to, but it is a valid Mass nonetheless.

This has been going for quite some time under the Pastoral Provision put in place by Blessed John Paul II, often referred to as the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite.

Now that’s got to be one huge RCIA class :smiley:

:smiley: Yes, but there is more that we have in common than that which separates us.

Great news

Great news! Is the Ordinariate the same as those former Episcopalians who use the Anglican Use liturgy? It’s a beautiful liturgy.

Between Anglicans and Catholics? Not really. Those coming in may agree with the Catholic Faith, but generally speaking there are major differences between Episcopalian beliefs and Catholic beliefs.

So what was the reason for this then? Why leave your own denomination?

From what I have read in the past, I think much of it had to do with the further liberalization of the Episcopalian beliefs. I think the fact that the EC was allowing gay clergy was the straw the broke the camel’s back. For these former Episcopalians, they came to the realization that certain truths can not be changed and the Church that speaks this Truth is the Catholic Church.

So…become Catholic then. It just seems weird to hold on to your own traditions and liturgy and still say “oh, but we’re Catholic now”.

I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but if we have different liturgies and traditions within the Catholic Church already, then this really isn’t a real issue. KWIM? I’d much rather see the mass conversion…technically, they are becoming Catholic.

I guess so, it just seems like something that is less “Catholic” and more “Protest”. “I don’t like what my denomination is doing, so I’m going to align myself with another one-but I’m only going to take the parts I like from the new one and keep all the parts of my old denomination that I like.”

I hear ya. At least it’s not “pick and choose” doctrine that we see so often among Catholics. I’ll take the former over the latter ANY day.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit