Diocese of Maryland Episcopal parish votes to join Roman Catholic Church

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mount Calvary Episcopal Church in Baltimore on Sunday became the first congregation in Maryland to vote to break ties with the Episcopal Church and take steps to join the Roman Catholic Church.

The small Anglo Catholic parish at Madison Avenue and Eutaw Street was feeling increasingly alienated from the Episcopal Church as it accepted priests who did not believe in what most of the congregation saw as the foundations of the faith, according to Warren Tanghe, a former Episcopal priest who is now attending St. Mary's Seminary in Roland Park and preparing for ordination in the Catholic church. Tanghe knows members of the parish, where he has assisted in the past, and said they also were uncomfortable when the church began ordaining women, gays and lesbians.

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland issued a statement Monday about the vote, but both the bishop and the rector, the Rev. Jason Catania, declined to be interviewed. A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Sean Caine, said the Catholic Church would welcome the congregation.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing ParishesTEC Parishes* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

Posted October 26, 2010 at 10:57 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. flaanglican wrote:

However, the process is not easy and the members will have to negotiate with the Episcopal Diocese to keep its building. Under Episcopal canons, the property is held in trust for the diocese and national church. However, the deed of the property is held in the name of the parish.

Deeds for other properties are also held in the name of the parish. But that hasn’t stopped TEC from litigating.  It will be interesting to see what happens here.  Will TEC litigate this one?  Or, because they’re now Roman Catholic and not one of those “Anglicans”, they will actually negotiate for them to keep their property.

October 26, 11:24 am | [comment link]
2. Cranmerian wrote:

In a similar vein, what if an Episcopal parish wanted to become an exclusively Lutheran congregation?  Would the diocese in that instance let them remove ECUSA signage, change the name to a Lutheran congregation, and send them on their merry way?  Or, would they sue a church in which they are in full communion?  You’ve asked a very good question here.

October 26, 1:39 pm | [comment link]
3. Lutheran-MS wrote:

Are they going to be cafeteria Roman Catholics that will pick and choose on doctrines ofvthe church?

October 26, 9:53 pm | [comment link]
4. NoVA Scout wrote:

In the scenarios mentioned by nos. 1 and 2, I assume that the Catholic or Lutheran Churches would negotiate with the Episcopalians an acceptable financial arrangement to cover the transfer of the property, if the Episcopal Church does not desire to retain it.  This is not complicated.  The only way there would be litigation would be if the Catholic or Lutheran churches unilaterally asserted a right of ownership without consent of the Episcopal Church or its Diocese.  I can’t imagine that happening.

October 28, 11:58 pm | [comment link]
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