Bishop Sutton strikes conciliatory note in essay on ordinariate

Bishop Eugene Sutton of Maryland has written an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun about the recent comings and goings between the Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, formed more than 450 years ago. Since its founding, many Anglicans and Episcopalians have chosen to continue their spiritual journeys in the Roman Catholic Church. And many Roman Catholics have chosen to become Episcopalians. I have often said we are one spiritual family living in two houses.

For instance, the dean of our Cathedral of the Incarnation in Baltimore is a former Roman Catholic priest. Some of the more notable priests who became Episcopalian are Father Matthew Fox, the theologian and teacher of creation spirituality, and Father Alberto Cutié, a television personality and parish priest in Florida. There are currently more than 400 former Roman Catholic priests and deacons now serving in the Episcopal Church. And recently I received two Roman Catholic deacons into our diocese who are currently serving in parishes.

But for me, the bottom line is not which denomination is winning members from the other, but rather whether we are doing the work that Jesus called us to do. I’m an Episcopalian because the Baptismal Covenant in The Book of Common Prayer is all about living out the Gospel, or “good news.” When I was confirmed into the Episcopal Church, I was asked if I would seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving my neighbor as myself, and would I respect the dignity of every human being. I have found I can best do that work in the Episcopal Church, while others have found the Roman Catholic Church or other denominations better suited for them.

The bishop is irenic about the ordinariate. What are your feelings?

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