March 1, 2017

February 21, 2013

Surprisingly calm, respectful ENS piece as MD Episcopalians leave for Ordinariate

Stand Firm reader “Dr. N” sent along the link to this story.

Following several months of prayerful discernment, the majority of members of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Catonsville, Maryland, have decided to enter the Catholic Church as part of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

I had to look several times to be sure I was reading ENS.

Sure, there are the usual TEC talking points about “buildings held in trust” and “TEC has 2.4 million members.”  But those are tucked in among

+ A link to the Ordinariate’s website

+ A summary of other TEC MD churches that have departed to Rome.

+ The fact that over 80% of the congregation voted to leave TEC.

+ A gracious statement from Diocese of Maryland’s Canon to the Ordinary,

“This has been a thoughtful, prayerful and respectful process. While the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is saddened when any of its members leaves one of its parishes, we rejoice that several members of St. Timothy’s have found a new spiritual home and we wish God’s blessing on them.”

+ The comparative numbers for the RCC (not flattering to TEC, even using its inflated “membership” claim),

The Catholic Church includes 77 million people in the United States and 1.2 billion people worldwide.

+ A clean, sober paragraph explaining the Ordinariate, with a link to Pope Benedict’s Anglicanorum coetibus.

+ And this nugget,

The parish property, 200 Ingleside Ave., Catonsville, MD 21228, is held in trust for the Episcopal diocese. The new Catholic community will identify its new home immediately after Easter. In the meantime, two worship services will be held on Sundays: 9 a.m. for those who wish to remain in the Episcopal Church and 10:30 a.m. for those entering the Ordinariate.

Gracious separation.  Imagine that.  I guess when the property isn’t contested, it’s possible.  Or maybe it’s the fact that folks going to Rome aren’t perceived as competition for the Anglican franchise in the U.S.

Whatever the case, I’m pleasantly surprised by this decent bit of reporting by ENS, eschewing the Presiding Bishop’s spite and melodrama.

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I would note that another difference was that the priest was not deposed immediately upon the diocese learning that the parish might take a vote to leave.  The diocese has certainly handled this better than any TEC diocese has handled departing ACNA or AMiA parishes.  One wonders if any parishes in Maryland have left for other Anglican entities, and what their experience was.

In any case, may the Lord bless this parish, and may the diocese and TEC learn something positive from the experience.

One is amused, however, that TEC’s press office continues to use 5 year old membership numbers.

And let us note also, that in a good week, the Catholic Church baptizes a number of new members larger than TEC’s ASA.

[1] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-21-2013 at 07:55 AM · [top]

RE: “Or maybe it’s the fact that folks going to Rome aren’t perceived as competition for the Anglican franchise in the U.S.”

That’s it right there.

[2] Posted by Sarah on 2-21-2013 at 07:59 AM · [top]

The Roman Church is not seen by TEC as competition. Unfortunately, there is no grieving at the loss either. The cumulative loss overall has not served as a wake up call to a mesmerized TEC that is morphing into a ‘faith’ based PAC focused on human flourishing and a distorted sense of justice. The Lenten message of KJS once again failed to mention Christ. Why doesn’t the leadership at least see this as a loss of revenue?

[3] Posted by Fr. Dale on 2-21-2013 at 08:18 AM · [top]

St. Timothy’s website should be noted:

In particular the “About Us” tab and the Membership Covenant Under the Membership Tab:

[4] Posted by Dr. N. on 2-21-2013 at 09:06 AM · [top]

St. Timothy’s membership and ASA sunk like a stone from 2001 until 2005, but since then has shown some small gains.

The Diocese of Maryland’s ASA has dropped from about 15,000 in 2001 to 11,000 in 2011.

Nuff said.

[5] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 2-21-2013 at 10:05 AM · [top]

Here in the Dio MD, we lost Mt. Calvary to the Ordinariate, and we have lost the All Saints Convent—not far from St. Tim’s—to the Romans.  There is a long tradition of friendship and cooperation between the Episcopal Dio of MD and the Archdiocese of Balto, so Sarah’s comment is on point, that TEC is not going to punch out folks leaving for the Ordinariate.  OTOH, Bishop Sutton has been pastoral and supportive of folk who have left the Diocese for ACNA.  We have not had any instance where anyone left and fought for possession of property.

Back in the 1970s, St. Tim’s had a strong charismatic ministry, with weekly healing services attended by hundreds.  In the 1980s, Suddeth Cummings was rector, and he brought a strong evangelical flavor to the parish. The parish had been a strong supporter of Maryland Episcopal Cursillo.  But after Fr. Cummings left, and after the consecration of Bishop Robinson, the then-rector and most of the parish left to begin an Anglican church plant in Catonsville, and the parish numbers dropped dramatically.  Apparently the remnant remained quite conservative, but took on a much more Catholic flavor, culminating in this SECOND departure.  St. Tims has had a wonderful and colorful history in the Diocese—it’s central location, just off the beltway, has made it a frequent gathering point for many diocesan events, such as Cursillo. 

So sorry to see these folks go.

[6] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 2-21-2013 at 11:02 AM · [top]

Membership covenants in TEC are quite unusual. I wonder why St. Timothy’s instituted such a covenant.

Back in the 1970s, St. Tim’s had a strong charismatic ministry, with weekly healing services attended by hundreds.

Fr. Phil Zampino was St. Timothy’s rector back in that era. He later founded the Life in Jesus community in central Maryland, which dissolved about five years ago amidst some controversy. After Life in Jesus dissolved, Fr. Zampino led a small congregation, Jesus Our Shepherd Anglican Church, which I visited in the fall of 2009 when they hosted monthly healing services. I was blessed by their healing service, which left me even more amazed when I learned more about the issues at the Life In Jesus community. The congregation eventually dissolved and the property was put up for sale.

Fr. Zampino served as a bishop in the Charismatic Episcopal Church for a number of years, but I’m not sure whether the ACNA ever accepted his episcopal orders.

[7] Posted by the virginian on 2-21-2013 at 04:22 PM · [top]

Someone at ENS needs to update their boilerplate: we haven’t had “2.4 million members” since 2004.

[8] Posted by C. Wingate on 2-22-2013 at 08:36 AM · [top]

No doubt the parish’s neighbors, the good All Saints Sisters of the Poor, were praying—and also the Rev. Carleton Jones, OP, the sisters’ chaplain.

[9] Posted by Clare on 2-24-2013 at 06:32 PM · [top]

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