The Washington Post reports on an Episcopal parish in the Washington, DC, area that recently made the jump to full communion with the Catholic Church under new guidelines:
The Rev. Mark Lewis awoke early on the last morning of his life as an Anglican priest and dressed in a suit and tie instead of his usual priestly regalia. That’s different, he thought, for the first of many times on a day when so much was different for St. Luke’s, the small Episcopal church in Maryland where Lewis had been rector since 2006.
On Sunday — with Lewis wearing lay clothing and sitting with St. Luke’s parishioners inside the Crypt Church at Washington’s Basilica of the National Shine of the Immaculate Conception — most of the parish from Bladensburg converted to Catholicism.
In doing so, St. Luke’s became the first Episcopal church in the United States to convert under new Vatican rules meant to attract disaffected Protestants.
“This truly is a historic moment,” said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, who led Sunday’s conversion Mass, which he called “a joyful moment of completion.”
Now that Episcopal parishes are being received into full communion with Rome, what do you think? Do you agree with Cardinal Wuerl, that the mass conversion is "joyful moment of completion"? Or do you share the views of some ecumenists who have criticized the process as church poaching? Should these conversions be celebrated with the same feelings of elation many Catholics feel during the Easter vigil, or are they a reminder of the sad divisions that still plague the Church? If Catholic parishes were converting to the Episcopal faith, what would you feel? Are there certain sensitivities we owe our Episcopal brothers and sisters during a difficult time in their church? Some converts said that, "They said they didn’t like the range of views that Anglican clerics expressed on issues such as same-sex relationships and Christianity’s sole claim to God." Do these reasons change your views on the conversion?