For Our Roman Catholic Friends
FOR OUR ROMAN CATHOLIC AND FORMER CATHOLIC FRIENDS
Our parish survey has shown that about one-third of St. Paul's parishioners are Roman Catholics or former Catholics. In fact, there are more former Roman Catholics at St. Paul's than cradle Episcopalians.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, as part of The Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion, is, as we affirm in the Creed, part of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. As a Reformation Church, Anglicanism represents a via media, or middle way, between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.
For more on the Episcopal Church, see http://episcopalchurch.org/visitors.htm.
Like the Roman Catholic Church, from which we came, we celebrate all seven sacraments, participate in the Eucharist each Sunday, recognize Apostolic Succession, and have ordained clergy.
The main differences between the Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church are these:
1) Each national church within the Anglican Communion, such as the Episcopal Church, is autonomous, with its own head; the national and regional Churches meet regularly and have the Archbishop of Canterbury as their spiritual head.
2) Founded during the American Revolution, the Episcopal Church has a democratic polity, or governance. Parishes generally choose their clergy and dioceses elect their bishops.
3) Clergy may marry.
4) The Episcopal Church has female deacons, priests, and bishops.
In our baptismal covenant Episcopalians promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons, strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being. Our reliance on the Spirit in community allows us to draw out the best gifts of all our members, gay or straight, celibate or living in covenanted relationship. The Episcopal Church has both straight and gay clergy, including bishops; affirms same-sex relationships; and supports same-sex marriage.
The journey from Rome to Canterbury is rarely an easy one. At St. Paul's, Roman Catholics and former Catholics meet periodically for support and discussion. For more information, please see Roamin’ Romans under the tab "Ministries."
For more information, please contact Stef Donev (firstname.lastname@example.org) or The Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian, Priest in Charge (email@example.com). Stef and/or Tim will be happy to meet with you.