Saturday, March 7, 2009

Former Episcopal bishop discusses his new life as Catholic priest

"For Father Steenson, the role of the pope as the successor of St. Peter, the servant of church unity and the guarantor of the church's fidelity to tradition was key to his decision.

"It is not negative things that turned me to the Catholic Church," he said. "I just felt God saying, 'It's time.'"

The time came, he said, in 2007 when he felt the bishops of the Episcopal Church had decided to give priority to their autonomy rather than to unity with the larger Anglican Communion.

Father Steenson said that for him gay people were not the issue. "It was the way the decisions were made and the way they were defended," placing the local church and modern cultural sensitivities ahead of the universal church and fidelity to tradition, he said.

The priest said that while the Episcopal Church spoke of the importance of Christian unity, it continued to approve practices -- ordaining women priests and bishops, ordaining homosexuals and blessing same-sex unions -- that everyone knew would be an obstacle to Christian unity.

"The frustration with being a Protestant is that every morning you get up and have to reinvent the church all over again," Father Steenson said..."

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