The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Catholics drawn to Anglican rite

As a friend pointed out to me when she read this, “This isn’t surprising. The Anglican liturgy is gorgeous.”

Compared to what passes for Sunday mass in most regular Catholic parishes, I can understand the appeal of this. (And I can’t help but wonder: maybe this sort of ritual will have a greater impact on the Latin rite than wider use of the Extraordinary Form.):

2009121626.jpgOver the last thirty years there has been a quiet but steady trickle of Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church. In the American province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, “The Episcopal Church,” it began with alterations to the Book of Common Prayer in 1979 and increased with the ordination of female clergy, along with the widespread acceptance of homosexuality.


Springfield Missouri is home to about four Episcopalian parishes and two continuing Anglican parishes. There was one small Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) parish about ten years ago, but it was later disbanded and the chapel sold. That being said, there are currently no Anglican parishes within the city that are interested in entering the emerging Anglican Ordinariates within the Roman Catholic Church.

However, that does not mean Springfield is lacking individuals with Anglican backgrounds who have taken interest in accepting the pope’s offer. That being the case, a few pioneering Christians are starting their own prayer group in Springfield, with the intent of eventually forming an Anglican Use parish under the pastoral care of the soon to be Anglican Use ordinary bishop. They’ve named their group simply “Anglican-Use Catholics of Springfield Missouri.”


They have made their presence known to the Anglican Use Society, and are seeking direction from officials within that organization. They have also made their presence known to the diocesan bishop of the “Anglican Church in America,” the provincial affiliate of the TAC. Likewise, they have notified their local Roman Catholic diocesan bishop of their intent.

The group is small but diverse. Shane, the group’s coordinator, simply felt a calling. He and his wife are former Evangelicals, turned Episcopalians, who eventually converted to the Roman Catholic Church about ten years ago. After putting up a group page on Facebook, he immediately received the support of over a dozen friends, many of whom live in or near Springfield. The emerging group has received interest from diverse people. One is a former Episcopalian who is without a church home at this time. An active Episcopalian couple has also expressed interest.


The rest of the group consists of Roman Catholics who have become disillusioned with the current vernacular celebration of the contemporary mass, and are now seeking something more traditionally “Catholic” but simultaneously have no interest in the Traditional Latin Mass. The group also has some Baptists who have expressed interest, and even a few Evangelicals from other Protestant traditions.

Check out the link for more.

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The Buffalo

posted December 15, 2009 at 8:33 pm

“They worship in a former Catholic sanctuary, led by a former Catholic priest.
And if any congregation in Western New York were to take up Pope Benedict XVI’s recent landmark overture to Anglicans, it most likely would be St. Nicholas Anglican Church in West Seneca.”

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posted December 16, 2009 at 7:53 am

Would any one of the apostles recognize any ritual that goes on in either of these denoms, Not to mention many of the doctrines . . .
Not without a program.

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posted December 16, 2009 at 10:19 am

I doubt the Apostoles would recognize any of what goes on in a Protestant Megachurch either.
There is such a thing as the development of doctrine. As for the Catholic liturgy the essentials were already present in the discription of the Sunday liturgy described in the Didache, a first or early second century Christian document.
The Church is not a static thing observing the practices of the first century, but neither is its Liturgy strange or alianted from what the Lord left for us, mainly the Eucharist.

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Benjamin Holmes

posted January 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I hope these Catholic Christians find God’s peace in the Anglican Use. I personally found God in the Episcopal Christian faith, but that title of Christian would be denied us based on secondary matters.
To those in the Anglican Use who became Catholics, the door is always open back home :-) Just because the Roman Catholic Church appears more stable (it’s not, just look at the great social clevages between faithful and clergy on matters of faith), doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your conscience attempting to believe Papal Infallibility or other innovations.
God bless you nonetheless.

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