And Don’t Let the Door Hit You In the Apse on the Way Out

The Episcopal Bishop of Maryland, Eugene Taylor Sutton, has announced that “the door swings both ways.” He’s rolling out the welcome mat for Catholics who, dissenting from Catholic teaching and yearning for a church home that will accept each of them “just as I am,” may want to go out through the in door that Pope Benedict XVI is holding open for Anglicans who want to become Catholic.

Predictably, the pope’s startling ecumenical gesture does not sit well with some folks. There is, in fact, a great deal of inflamed emotion among some Catholics and Anglicans over Benedict’s recent masterstroke of ecumenical diplomacy by allowing a special new door for Anglicans to formally enter the Catholic Church.

The biblical phrase “wailing and gnashing of teeth” comes to mind. Naysayers perched on the banks of both the Tiber and the Thames have been fuming and frothing and fulminating in their periodicals and on their blogs, inveighing against Pope Benedict for acting like a “pirate” and a “poacher” and a . . . a . . . a papist!

And yet, this chapter in Catholic/Anglican relations appears to be the wave of the near future.

My personal reaction to Benedict’s bold strategery toward the Church of England is simply to say, “Glory to God! Bravo, Pope Benedict! and, welcome home!” to our brethren who who are coming in out of the Anglican storm.

I know that some who read this will strongly disagree with me. To them I simply say, as the late Jim Croce once trenchantly observed, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, and you don’t spit into the wind.” Lately, the wind sure has been blowing where it will.


  1. Timothy

    Seems like both Cathoicism and Anglicanism can benefit from this… We can take in their pesky high church fringe and sede them the cafeteria. Can we institute a trade policy like the MLB? 3 Catholics for free choice in exchange for a liturgical conservative to be named later? 😉

  2. MAM'S aBloggin'

    Oh, I love Jim Croce. It's beyond me why anyone is bothered and/or surprised by Anglicans wanting to join the Catholic church and the Vicar of Christ finding a way to lovingly welcome them without compromising church teaching. For those who find fault with the ecumenical move, wow, how terrible of the successor of Peter to show such profound love? Why is it the ones who cry tolerance the loudest don't appreciate it when others who think differently from them choose to make a free choice? I will gladly and lovingly tolerate those who want to join the ranks of this episcopal bishop's church without whispering an unkind word. Go in peace. Hmmmm…To those Anglicans who now have found their identity in the catholic church I dedicate this Jim Croce song– I GOT A NAME Like the pine trees linin' the windin' roadI've got a name, I've got a nameLike the singin' bird and the croakin' toadI've got a name, I've got a nameAnd I carry it with me like my daddy didBut I'm livin' the dream that he kept hidMovin' me down the highwayRollin' me down the highwayMovin' ahead so life won't pass me byLike the north wind whistlin' down the skyI've got a song, I've got a songLike the whippoorwill and the baby's cryI've got a song, I've got a songAnd I carry it with me and I sing it loudIf it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proudMovin' me down the highwayRollin' me down the highwayMovin' ahead so life won't pass me byAnd I'm gonna go there freeLike the fool I am and I'll always beI've got a dream, I've got a dreamThey can change their minds but they can't change meI've got a dream, I've got a dreamOh, I know I could share it if you want me toIf you're going my way, I'll go with youMovin' me down the highwayRollin' me down the highwayMovin' ahead so life won't pass me by

  3. Taylor Taylor

    It is beyond me how Catholics choose not to welcome this gesture toward reunification. Praise God for Pope Benedict and his efforts toward again uniting Christ's church!

  4. DomJP

    It is very tempting to wish that Catholic dissenters would take up this offer but is this what Our Lord wants? Let us pray for ALL souls to submit to his One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church! He does not desire a single one of us to be lost. If only we would all see the true freedom and peace to be found in total obedience to him, his Church and his sweet Vicar on earth. God bless our Pope.

  5. Patrick Sweeney

    This wouldn't been new for the Episcopalian Church as they have been accepting of Catholics who disagree with the teachings of the Church for some time.

  6. Mike

    This is hardly an original idea–most Episcopal churches would have few members if not for lapsed Catholics! We have the idea instilled in us that attendance at Sunday mass is obligatory and to many msinline denominations that's optional (or in some churches a goal to strive for, not a "sin"}.

  7. Mike

    This is hardly an original idea. If it weren't for lapsed Catholics most Episcopal churches would be closed. As we grow up learning that attendance at Sunday mass is obligatory (and many mainline Protesatant denominations don't consider going to church on Sunday a requirement) the cafeteria Catholics have been able to find a church home in the Episcopal Church that is fairly familiar.

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