Ecumenism Roman Catholic style

In this Washington Post story, the Very Rev. Thomas Ferguson, Dean of Bexley Hall Seminary does a nice job of gently expressing concern and dampening some of the hype surrounding the “ordinariate” that the Roman Catholic Church has created to welcome disaffected Anglicans.

First the hype:

“It’s the largest reunification effort in 500 years,” said Susan Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the new body, called an ordinariate.

Then Tom:

“If this papacy sees this as the only way to dialogue with other religions, that’s troubling,” said the Very Rev. Thomas Ferguson, who from 2001 until 2010 worked on ecumenical outreach. Ferguson is dean of Bexley Hall Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.

He predicted that the new structure wouldn’t draw that many people.

“In the end, we’re a country founded on religious beliefs, and people need to go where they’re called to go,” Ferguson said.

“That’s fine. God bless them.”

My hunch is that five years from now, there will still be more former Catholics in a single large Episcopal diocese than there will be former Episcopalians in the ordinariate.

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