Papal invite unlikely to lure many U.S. defectors

Celibate priesthood is one obstacle
Although many ex-Episcopalians in the U.S. identify with Catholic rules against ordaining women and noncelibate gays to the priesthood, the traditionalists heading their own rival Anglican organizations in North America say that few followers are likely to become Roman Catholics.

The surprise invitation October 20 from the Vatican pleased many Anglican dissidents for Rome’s recognition of their angst over changes in the Episcopal Church.

“We will surely bless those who are drawn to participate in this momentous offer,” said Robert Duncan, primate of the fledgling Anglican Church in North America. But Duncan, the former Episcopal archbishop of Pittsburgh, also said he believes that “the great majority of ACNA bishops, priests, dioceses and congregations” will not make the move.

 

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