Friday, October 30, 2009

Woman to Lead German Protestants

The Evangelical Church in Germany, the country's main Protestant umbrella body, Wednesday elected a female bishop as its leader. Bishop Margot Kaessmann, 51 is the first woman to lead Germany's 25 million Protestants. She takes over from Wolfgang Huber, 67, who is retiring.

The charismatic Kaessmann, who has been bishop in Hanover for more than 10 years, received 132 out of 142 votes at a meeting of the church in Ulm.

She said after her election that she wanted to work for more social justice and draw more people to the faith with a contemporary church.

Kaessmann made headlines in 2007 when she filed for divorce from her husband of 26 years.

A woman and divorced....Paul is rolling over in his grave!!! Or ...we have truly come a long way in our understanding of grace, ministry and human dignity.



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

El Papa y el Padre Alberto...

My Personal Reaction to Vatican Announcement: Reaching Out to Anglicans Who Are Unhappy in Their Church...
Just 5 months ago… When I was received in the Episcopal Church (Anglican Communion) some members of the Catholic media (for example EWTN and ACIPRENSA) highlighted the “great differences” between Episcopalians and Roman Catholics in matters of Theology and doctrine. Others even claimed that I “changed religions” - something which I consider absurd – since we profess the same creed and share the same Apostolic roots and tradition. Now, with this latest Vatican announcement, the Roman Catholic Church is saying that Anglicans who unite to Rome can maintain their “distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony”.

Furthermore, if celibacy is such an important aspect of the Roman Catholic priesthood in the Latin Rite, why does the church accept married priests from other churches, but does not allow its own priests to be married?

I would ask the Vatican: Are we (Episcopalians/Anglicans) heretics and schismatic or are we good guys? Please make up your mind. Does not accepting gays and women in the clergy put you in communion with the Roman Catholic Church?

A lot to reflect on…
Father Albert

Hace solo 5 meses atrás... Cuando yo fui recibido en la Iglesia Episcopal (Comunión Anglicana) algunos de los mismos medios Católicos Romanos (por ejemplo ACI PRENSA y EWTN) resaltaban lo lejos que estábamos de Roma en doctrina y teología. Otros, incluso llegaron a decir que yo había “cambiado de religión” – cosa que considero absurda – ya que profesamos el mismo credo y tenemos las mismas raíces apostólicas. Ahora, con el anuncio del Vaticano, ellos mismo dicen que los Anglicanos que se unan a Roma "mantienen su gran herencia espiritual y litúrgica" y que son bienvenidos. Además, si el celibato es tan importante para los sacerdotes católicos romanos del rito latino, ¿Por qué entonces se aceptan sacerdotes y ministros de otras iglesias con sus esposas y familias, pero el mismo clero católico no tiene opción de casarse?

Yo le preguntaría al Vaticano:Los Anglicanos somos “herejes y cismáticos”… ¿O somos buena gente? Que se pongan de acuerdo. ¿El no aceptar a los homosexuales y a las mujeres en el clero lo pone a uno en comunión automática con la Iglesia Católica Romana?

Esta decisión deja mucho que pensar…

P. Alberto
Just a few months ago, Archbishop Favalora of the Catholic Archdiocese in Miami chided bishop Frade of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida for receiving Padre Alberto as an Episcopalian without first consulting with him. Clearly, his superiors in Rome have no qualms at all about inviting scores of Anglican clergy and laity to become Catholics. Respectfully,I wonder how much ecumenical consultation went into that decision?

It also makes me think! Being a celibate priest is not as important as believing that gays and women should be excluded from the clergy? So then what is the celibacy rule fuzz all about?...Let your own priests marry! That is an uncescapable if maybe unintended message in this announcement. Padre Alberto's insightful questions are spot on here.



Benedict Opens Arms to Anglicans

The number of married Catholic priests could grow sharply as the result of the Vatican's epochal decision to welcome thousands of disaffected Anglicans and Episcopalians into the Catholic church.

At press conferences in Rome and London on Tuesday, Vatican officials announced that the church would set up a special canonical structure that will ease the conversion of members of the Anglican Communion without them having to give up what the Vatican called "the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony." That means not only a body of prayers and hymns, but also a tradition of married priests and bishops.

"It's a stunning turn of events," says Lawrence Cunningham, theology professor at Notre Dame University. "This decision will allow for many more married clergy in Western churches, and that's going to raise anew the question, 'If they can do it, why can't the priests of Rome?'" says Cunningham.

But the arrangement with the Anglican Communion goes much further. Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican's top doctrinal official, announced in Rome that the church would set up a personal ordinariate -- in essence a diocese defined not by geography, but by function, like the division that serves Catholics in the military -- for converted Anglicans.

The move comes after years of discord within the Anglican Communion, which unites 77 million Anglicans and Episcopalians under the loose authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. The church has been racked by schisms over the ordination of women and its stance toward homosexuality. Some Anglicans believe the Vatican's move will deepen those divisions.

NO comment ...but its kind of funny!