05 January 2012

+Michael of Rio Grande and the Personal Ordinariates

The Episcopal News Service is carrying an interesting pastoral letter from the Rt. Rev. Michael Vono, who is the current Episcopal Bishop of Rio Grande, one of the more conservative dioceses in the Episcopal Church. The letter is a reaction to the appointment of his predecessor to lead the Roman Catholic personal ordinariate for disaffected Anglicans. Read it all here.

I think it's a lovely way to view this development. Yes, it is irksome in that it feels like Rome is trying to poach believers, but at the same time it also gives breathing space and thus a chance for reconciliation down the road.

It also, by the by, works to undermine the centuries-old trend towards increasing centralism and enforced uniformity in the Roman communion, with the Latin (or Roman) Rite gradually replacing various other older rites and with a clearly preferred place above the other remaining ones. Having a new liturgical use on such a wide scale may hopefully begin to reverse, or at least slow down that trend. Well, here's hoping anyway.