Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bishop Frade (SE Florida) on Roman "welcome"

The Vatican has issued a blanket statement recently "welcoming" disaffected Anglican priests into the Roman Catholic Church. This has long been done on a case-by-case basis but now the "Almost Welcome" mat is out. Oddly Canterbury has issued statements spinning this as a positive move toward unity.

Bishop Leo Frade of the Diocese of SE Florida, recently in the news for welcoming Father Cutie (If my Spanish serves me that's Coo-tee-ay', though he is a cutie as well) from the RC tradition, has released a wonderful letter to his Diocese on this. I picked it up from The Lead - Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

"I have always said that the road between Rome and Canterbury and between Canterbury and Rome gets a lot of traffic. For centuries we have been exchanging clergy, and today the Episcopal Church has many priests—and several bishops–who once were Roman priests. Among our diocesan clergy are six former Roman priests, and we have two who are in the process toward being received as Episcopal priests.

"We have not created a special Roman prelature, or provided them with a lamination of their Roman rites over our Episcopal liturgies; but instead we fully welcome them, married or celibate, as clergy in our Communion. They are not ineligible to be called to the episcopate simply because they came from Rome. They are not second-class clergy, but priests in good standing, with all the benefits and full participation in the life of our Church.

"Let me end by expressing my disappointment with the lack of ecumenical love that the Vatican statement shows. I do not criticize them for receiving our clergy and laypersons, just as we receive theirs, but for their fanfare and promotion of this invitation.

“'Ut unum sint' doesn’t mean that we all may be one under the authority of the Bishop of Rome, but that we all may be one under the ultimate authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us continue to pray for that unity."

- The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade

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