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Jan 03, 2012 | EDOT Staff

Roman Church Establishes Ordinariate for Anglicans, Episcopalians

On Sunday, January 1, 2012, the Roman Catholic Church officially established the equivalent of a nationwide diocese in the United States for Anglican and Episcopal priests and parishes who wish to become Roman Catholic. The office of the Personal Ordianriate of the Chair of St. Peter will be headquartered in Houston and led by a former Episcopal bishop who left the Episcopal Church in 2007.


“This has been discussed for a number of years,” said the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. “We are glad to welcome Romans and members of other denominations into the Episcopal Church just as the Roman church may do so today," Bishop Doyle said. "The most important thing is that I want people to have a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ, in whatever denomination they choose to worship. For me, I am unabashedly Episcopalian and I love my Church."


Bishop Doyle said that he and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo have an open and healthy friendship, and had discussed the Ordinariate. Both leaders recognize that they have former members and clergy worshiping and serving in each other's churches.


Converts who join the new entity will be full-fledged Roman Catholics, expected to show allegiance to the pope and oppose contraception and abortion. Parishes will use both the Roman Missal and the Vatican-approved Book of Divine Worship, which uses Anglican prayers adapted to reflect Catholic beliefs. Priests who are married will be exempted from the Roman Catholic requirement of celibacy, though they may not become bishops.


Read Bishop Doyle’s response to the Ordinariate

Read the ENS blog post