Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Episcopal Order Leaves for Rome

Contemplative sisters who spend a good deal of time in prayer don't feel at home any longer in the Episcopal Church which is controlled by women like Marta Weeks, Katherine Ragsdale and Katherine Jeffert-Schori.

Here's the story:

“We tried to be faithful in The Episcopal Church as we understand scriptures, but we seem to be drifting farther and farther apart,” she said. “For the past two years in particular we felt as if we were no longer making a difference in this church. We felt as if we no longer belong.”

Mother Christina said that the order discussed its situation with a number of other Anglican groups, including the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, and the Anglican Church in America led by the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan. The sisters also met with the Antiochian Orthodox Church in America.

“The Roman Catholic Church was the last one we thought about asking,” Mother Christina said, but added that the order felt a strong kinship almost immediately.

There are currently 12 sisters at the 80-acre convent in Catonsville, Md., Mother Christina said. She added it is possible that one sister will choose to remain with The Episcopal Church.

Communities in The Episcopal Church hold title to their own property, so there is little likelihood of a property fight. The Rt. Rev. Donald J. Parsons, Bishop of Quincy from 1973 to 1987, is the bishop visitor of the order. Although physically located within the geographic confines of the Diocese of Maryland, the Bishop of Maryland does not have any authority over the sisters or their property, she said.

Read it all here.

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