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Does

God Play Favorites? Equity in Ordination & Marriage


By Jane Gilgun

Summary This op-ed piece wonders why some priests and parishioners of the Episcopal Church of America and Anglican congregations in other countries convert to Roman Catholicism. They state several reasons. One I understand and the others I dont. I understand if they believe the Roman Catholic Church is the truest, most pure form of Christianity. I do not understand their second set of reasons: they oppose the ordination of women, including lesbians, and they oppose the ordination of gay men. They also do not believe in equity in marriage. Some, too, believe in reproductive choice, which they will be required to oppose when they become Roman Catholics. About the Author Jane Gilgun is a writer and professor. See Professor Gilguns other articles, books, & childrens stories on Amazon, iBooks, & scribd.com.

Does God Play Favorites? Equity in Ordination & Marriage

I wish I understood, but I dont. I dont understand how priests and some congregants can leave the Episcopal Church and convert to Catholicism because the Episcopal Church and the world-wide Anglican Church ordain women including lesbians, ordain gay men, and allow for equity in marriage. Many are outraged because a diocese of the Episcopal Church of America elected a priest who is gay to be bishop. I do understand why Episcopal priests and lay people might want to become Catholic. They may want the Bishop of Rome to be the head of their Church. They may believe that the apostolic line in the Roman Catholic Church is more direct than in the Episcopal Church. They may believe in doctrines like the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven. In short, they may believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the truest, most pure form of Christianity. They have also said they leave because they do not believe in the ordination of women, they do not want lesbians and gay men to be ordained as priests, and they do not believe in equity in marriage. As Roman Catholics, they will also have to oppose reproductive choice. These beliefs make no sense to me. Are the beliefs habit? Do those who think this way have engrained beliefs that some people are more worthy than others? That some people are children of God and others are not? That some people have the divine spark and others do not? That all people are not created equal? That God plays favorites? That there is one pathway to God? I dont get it. I do know well the hurts that these beliefs cause. I know of no hurt that reproductive choice and equality in ordination and marriage cause. As far as I know, God has not struck anyone dead for not believing in the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven and other Roman Catholic dogma. Note: The Episcopal Church of America is part of the world-wide Anglican Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the head of the Anglican Church is England. Unlike the Bishop of Rome, the Archbishop suggests, and congregants hold him and his opinions in high respect. The Archbishop makes no claim to infallibility. Congregants do not hold him (or her) to be infallible. References Book of Common Prayer (online). http://www.bcponline.org/

Eckholm, Erik (2012). Catholic Church unveils new home for ex-Episcopalians. The New York Times, January 1 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/us/catholic-church-unveils-order-for-ex- episcopalians.html?pagewanted=all Gilgun, Jane F. (2011). Equity in adoption: Bishops of Illinois, Open your hearts and minds. Scribd.com. http://www.scribd.com/doc/76725857/Equity-in-Adoption-Bishops-in- Illinois-Open-Your-Minds-Hearts Schmidt, Richard H. (2002). Glorious companions: Five centuries of Anglican spirituality. Grand Rapids, MI: Erdman.