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BALTIMORE (RNS) Ten Maryland nuns — almost an entire religious
community — converted from the Episcopal Church to Catholicism on
Thursday (Sept. 3), saying their former denomination had become too
liberal in its acceptance of homosexuality.

The ten members of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor, who were
received into the Catholic Church by Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien,
will continue to live with two nuns who decided not to convert at their
convent in Catonsville, Md. The community’s chaplain, the Rev. Warren
Tanghe, also converted on Thursday with the nuns.

“Our archdiocese and our church’s mission of caring for the poor are
now greatly enriched for having the All Saints Sisters among us,”
O’Brien said in a statement.

Members of the order had been considering conversion for seven
years. Mother Christina Christie, superior of the order, told the
Baltimore Sun: “We were drifting farther apart from the more liberal
road the Episcopal Church is traveling. We are now more at home in the
Roman Catholic Church.”

By allowing gay bishops and blessings for same-sex relationships,
the Episcopal Church is “way off the boat,” Christie said. Dozens of
parishes and the majority of four dioceses have split from the Episcopal
Church since it consecrated an openly gay man as bishop of New Hampshire
in 2003. The church lifted a de facto ban on consecrating more gay
bishops at its General Convention in July.

The All Saints order, whose members wear traditional black habits
and white wimples covering their heads, was founded in England and came
to Baltimore in 1872.

Episcopal Bishop of Maryland Eugene Sutton said in a statement that
“despite the sadness we feel in having to say farewell, our mutual joy
is that we remain as one spiritual family of faith, one body in Christ.”

By Daniel Burke

Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of
this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written
permission.

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