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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Canterbury Sends Rome More of Her Best

The Society of All Saints' Sisters of the Poor, an order of Episcopal nuns near Baltimore, has after a long period discernment elected to be received, along with their chaplain Fr. Warren Tanghe, into the Holy Catholic Church on September 3rd. As a glance at the picture above will suggest, the sisters are a traditional order (I wonder if there is a single felt banner in their convent) and were, not surprisingly, having increasing difficulty reconciling their order to the ever-increasing heterodoxy of the Episcopal Church. From the (Baltimore) Catholic Review:
“We kept thinking we could help by being a witness for orthodoxy,” said Sister Mary Joan Walker, the community’s archivist.

Mother Christina said that effort “was not as helpful as we had hoped it would be.”

“People who did not know us looked at us as if we were in agreement with what had been going on (in the Episcopal Church),” she said. “By staying put and not doing anything, we were sending a message which was not correct.”
Those few remaining orthodox Episcopalians who still believe they might reverse their church's innovations of the past 30 years from within should note well the sisters' example, as well the following:
The sisters acknowledged it hasn’t been easy leaving the Episcopal Church, for which they expressed great affection. Some of their friends have been hurt by their pending departure, they said.

“Some feel we are abandoning the fight to maintain orthodoxy,” said Sister Emily Ann Lindsey. “We’re not. We’re doing it in another realm right now.”
Happily for the sisters they alone hold title to their considerable property so they should not have to face the greedy maw, in the form of lawsuits, from the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop Schori and her Consigliere Beers. Those who long for decent Catholic liturgy (especially hard to find in the Baltimore area I understand) should find the following especially heartening.
In addition to worshiping in the Latin rite, the sisters have received permission from the archbishop to attend Mass celebrated in the Anglican-use rite – a liturgy that adapts many of the prayers from the Episcopal tradition. Mother Christina said 10 archdiocesan priests, including Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden, have stepped forward to learn how to celebrate the Anglican-use Mass.
The sisters' embrace of the full faith and sacraments of the Holy Catholic Church is sad news of course to the dwindling number of orthodox Episcopalians but joyful news to Catholics, especially traditionalists; the Anglicans posses a glorious worship tradition and Holy Church's considerable legacy would be enriched even further if it were subsumed by her.

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