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Conservative Episcopal bishop resigned to become Roman Catholic priest (New Mexico)
The Albuquerque Journal ^ | February 22, 2009 | Olivier Uyttebrouck

Posted on 02/23/2009 9:27:53 AM PST by CedarDave

As bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, the Rev. Jeffrey Steenson came down on the conservative side of many issues.

He opposed the election of the first openly gay bishop, and he did not allow the blessing of same-sex unions in his diocese.

Steenson said those conflicts made it impossible for him to pursue his ultimate goal of helping the Anglican Communion unite with the Roman Catholic Church.

On Saturday, both Catholics and Episcopalians celebrated Steenson's ordination as a Roman Catholic priest. Steenson, a married father of three, said he is the first sitting Episcopal bishop since 1852 to resign to become a Roman Catholic.

"Jeffrey and I have been in conversation for a number of years," Archbishop Michael Sheehan told several hundred who attended the ordination ceremony at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Rio Rancho.

"Of course, I have to say, that he has the greatest respect for his Episcopal and theological roots."

Steenson served as bishop of the Rio Grande diocese from 2004 to 2007 at a divisive time for Episcopalians, both in New Mexico and nationally.


Steenson said his decision to choose Catholicism while serving as a sitting Episcopal bishop was "extremely difficult."

"I would say it was an agonizing decision, because of the pastoral responsibilities I think I had," he said.

But the "democratic" nature of the Episcopal Church led him to sever ties with the protestant denomination, he said.

"The Episcopal Church is purely a democratic organization," Steenson said. "It governs itself democratically, and it doesn't have to answer to anyone for the decisions it makes. I just felt that I didn't believe in that view of the church."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; Mainline Protestant; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholic; episcopal; newmexico
Comments by another Episcopalian pastor at the link.
1 posted on 02/23/2009 9:27:53 AM PST by CedarDave
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To: CedarDave

I’m glad to hear of his decision. But the Episcopal Church is anything but democratic. Oligarchic would be more accurate. I’m sure he was just trying to be nice as he departs, but in the interest of accuracy . . .

2 posted on 02/23/2009 9:30:59 AM PST by Houghton M.
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To: greyfoxx39

For the NM PING! list.

3 posted on 02/23/2009 9:31:10 AM PST by CedarDave (Pray that during the next four years we don't lose the America we so love.)
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To: sionnsar; Huber


4 posted on 02/23/2009 9:31:21 AM PST by ken5050 (Don't blame me, I voted for Palin!!)
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To: CedarDave


5 posted on 02/23/2009 10:00:59 AM PST by GOP Poet
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To: CedarDave

The Good Lord Taketh (Father Richard John Neuhaus) and the Good Lord Giveth (the Rev. Father Jeffrey Steenson). Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

baruch haba beshem adonai ~~~ Blessed be Name of the Lord.

6 posted on 02/23/2009 10:01:42 AM PST by HighlyOpinionated (The Constitution & Bill of Rights stand as a whole. Remove any part & nullify the whole.)
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To: CedarDave; LegendHasIt; Rogle; leapfrog0202; Santa Fe_Conservative; DesertDreamer; ...

NM Ping

If you want on or off the NM Ping list, please FReepmail me.

Access to the ping list is available to anyone by going to my FR home page.

7 posted on 02/23/2009 10:34:52 AM PST by greyfoxx39 (Google "Illinois' history of insatiable greed" for insight into what is coming our way.)
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To: Houghton M.
But the Episcopal Church is anything but democratic. Oligarchic would be more accurate.

Actually, in many ways the governance of the Episcopal Church falls somewhere between the US Constitution and the Articles of Confederation. Individual dioceses enjoy a great deal of latitude in their operations ... there is very little in the way of central control within the Episcopal Church. Within each diocese, however, the bishop does exert a great deal of control over how things operate; he does not, however, enjoy unlimited power; instead, he is bound to operate within a somewhat "republican" system.

The Diocesan and National Constitutions and Canons are written and approved in the context of the annual Diocesan Conventions, and by the national General Convention, which occurs every three years.

These operate very similar to the operation of the US House and Senate. Perhaps Commons and Lords is a better description of the differentiation -- at the Diocesan level, the representation is divided between lay and clergy; and at the General Convention there are the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. Aside from the criteria for membership, however, the operation is more along the lines of the American political system.

The weakness of this system is that the theological direction of the church is subject to exactly the same kinds of political manipulation that we can recognize in secular politics. As in secular politics, so too with the Episcopal Church: those who control the bureaucracy and who go to the meetings, are those who control the agenda. Those who merely show up to vote, have generally lost before they even knew something was afoot.

At both the national and diocesan level, the bureaucracy of the Episcopal Church (and other mainstream denominations) tends to be controlled by those who are on the political left. It is no accident that agendas of the mainstream denominations are often indistinguishable from those of the secular political left. It all comes straight out of Saul Alinksy.

The power structure of the Roman Catholic Church is much more concentrated in its bishops, archbishops, etc. Democratic processes and bureaucratic control are much less effective in that environment -- the hierachy is empowered to say "no," without having to deal with the fuss and bother of conventions, legislation, and the like. The RC approach also has its weaknesses, of course -- when power is concentrated, it can be abused.

I think Steenson's response is representative of a fairly widespread view within the Anglican Communion these days -- that most or all of the current turmoil could have been avoided had there been some one, orthodox, person who was empowered to slap down those provinces and dioceses that departed from the traditional teachings of the church.

On the other hand, that does not address the real problem, which is not a lack of hierarchy, but rather a loss of focus on our purpose and role as a Church.

We conservatives/traditionalists are probably more to blame than anyone for the present state of the church. Just as in secular politics, we became complacent in our theology, failed to address real injustices, and also failed to account for the fact that people's views of the world have changed over time. We're the ones who created and propagated the weaknesses; the revisionists are the ones who have figured out how to take advantage of our errors.

Moreover, we are often guilty of surrendering rather than to appear "mean;" and conversely when we do fight, our actions and words are frequently so ugly that we're usually our own worst enemies.

There's no easy answer -- and I have to say that, although it was no doubt a very difficult decision personally, I think Bp. Steenson is just taking the easy way out.

8 posted on 02/23/2009 10:45:20 AM PST by r9etb
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To: CedarDave; ahadams2; bastantebueno55; Needham; sc70; jpr_fire2gold; Tennessee Nana; QBFimi; ...
Thanks to ken5050 for the ping.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail Huber or sionnsar if you want on or off this low-volume ping list.
This list is pinged by Huber and sionnsar.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:
Humor: The Anglican Blue

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

9 posted on 02/23/2009 4:24:46 PM PST by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: CedarDave
Lots of converts links!

Conservative Episcopal bishop resigned to become Roman Catholic priest (New Mexico) Rev. Jeffrey Steenson
Converted Muslim Tells Story Behind Papal Baptism
EWTN - The Journey Home - December 1 - Dr. Steven C. Smith (former Willow Creek)

Former Socialist senator who converted to Catholicism calls for end to abortion [Mercedes Aroz]
Young New Yorker leaves police force to become priest [Nicholas Fernandez]
Interesting Deathbed Converts
Hollywood screenwriter returns to Cleveland, turns life over to God [Joe Eszterhas]
A Journey in Prayer {Randy Hain} [Ecumenical]

ECUMENIC] Our Conversion Experience (SDA to Catholic) [Brandon and Tara Ogden]
An open letter to Mr. Stephen A. Baldwin, Actor, and “born again” Christian [ Victor R. Claveau, MJ "
Sick person who suffered accident recounts conversion after traveling to Lourdes [Ecumenical] [Antonio Escobedo Garcia]
Welcome Home! Anglo-Catholic Sisters on the Road to Rome [Ecumenical]
Former Anglican Bishop, Catholic Convert, Jeffrey Steenson on Anglocatholicism [Ecumenical]

Jeffrey Steenson: Why I Became Catholic [Address to Anglican Use Conference]
Tony Snow Dead at 53, A Tribute to a Catholic Journalist [Tony Snow - Catholic Convert]
A Sexual Revolution (One woman's journey from pro-choice atheist to pro-life Catholic) [Jennifer Fulwiler]
C of E bishop will defect to Rome
Assyrian bishop explains his journey into communion with the Catholic Church

Virginia Tech tragedy leads bereaved mother on journey back to faith [Marian Hammaren]
Journey Home - EWTN at 8pm - Dr. William Bales, former Presbyterian Minister [Ecumenical]
First the Protestants, Now the Cults: Will We (the Catholic Church) Be Ready? [Open]
Six Million African Muslims Convert to Christianity Each Year [OPEN]
EWTN - The Journey Home - May 19 - Tom Cabeen, former Jehovah's Witness [Ecumenic]

Alex Jones: the evangelical who became a Catholic deacon
Mary and the Problem of Christian Unity [Kenneth J. Howell, Ph. D.}
How the Saints Helped Lead Me Home [Chris Findley]
Who is Mary of Nazareth? [Kenneth J. Howell, Ph. D.}

A story of conversion at the Lamb of God Shrine
EWTN - Journey Home - 4/7/08 - Rosalind Moss - Former Jew & Evangelical Christian
Our Lady’s Gentle Call to Peace [Joan Tussing]
Coming Out of Sodom (Reversion Experience of Once-Active Homosexual) [Eric Hess]
Our Journey Home [Larry and Joetta Lewis]

Book on Mary turns runaway youngster immersed in drugs and crime into a priest
Dr. Robert C. Koons (former Lutheran) - Journey Home - Monday 3/31 - Conversion Story
The Story of a Convert from Islam – Baptized by the Pope at St. Peter's [Magdi Cristiano Allam]
How Do We Know It’s the True Church? - Twelve Things to Look For [Fr. Dwight Longenecker]
"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation [Robert Sungenis]

New faith pulls Hot Springs family together (Baptists join Catholic Church at Easter Vigil) [Danny Morrison and family
SciFi Writer, John C. Wright, Enters Catholic Church at Easter Vigil (conversion story)[John C. Wright]
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura [Dwight Longenecker’family]
Pope baptizes prominent Italian Muslim [Magdi Allam]

My Journey of Faith [Marco Fallon]
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church [Robert Koons]
Thousands in U.S. to Join (Catholic) Church - Many Feel They Have Found a Home
TURN ABOUT (Carl Olson, former Evangelical and Monday's guest on EWTN's Journey Home)
Former Southern Baptist Pastor Now a Traveling Crusader for the Catholic Church [Michael Cumbie]

All Roads Lead To Rome (A Southern Baptist's Journey into the Catholic Church)[John David Young]
Allen Hunt, Methodist Minister ...Journeys Home (Catholic, Re: Real Presence)
The Challenges and Graces of Conversion [Chris Findley]
An Open Letter...from Bishop John Lipscomb [Another TEC Bishop Goes Papist]
Unlocking the Convert's Heart [Marcus Grodi]

His Open Arms Welcomed Me [ Paul Thigpen}
Why I'm Catholic (Sola Scriptura leads atheist to Catholic Church)
From Calvinist to Catholic (another powerful conversion story) Rodney Beason
Good-bye To All That (Another Episcopalian gets ready to swim the Tiber)
Bp. Steenson's Letter to his clergy on his conversion to the Catholic Church

Bishop Steenson’s Statement to the House [of Bishops: Episcopal (TEC) to Catholic]
Bp. Steenson's Letter to his clergy on his conversion to the Catholic Church
Bishop Steenson Will Become a Roman Catholic
Married man considers turn as Catholic priest
Pavarotti returns to the Catholic faith before dying

Searching For Authority (A Methodist minister finds himself surprised by Truth!)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope(Al Kresta)
The Hail Mary of a Protestant (A true story)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar(Al Kresta)

Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts (Al Kresta)
Conversion Story - Rusty Tisdale (former Pentecostal)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness(Al Kresta)
Conversion Story - Matt Enloe (former Baptist) [prepare to be amazed!]

Conversion Story - David Finkelstein (former Jew)
Conversion Story - John Weidner (former Evangelical)
12 Reasons I Joined the Catholic Church
Conversion Story - Tom Hunt
The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism: The Converts

John Calvin Made Me Catholic
Journey Home - May 21 - Neil Babcox (former Presbyterian) - A minister encounters Mary
Going Catholic - Six journeys to Rome
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
A Convert's Pilgrimage [Christopher Cuddy]

From Pastor to Parishioner: My Love for Christ Led Me Home (to the Catholic Church) [Drake McCalister]
Lutheran professor of philosophy prepares to enter Catholic Church
Patty Bonds (former Baptist and sister of Dr. James White) to appear on The Journey Home - May 7
Pastor and Flock Become Catholics
Why Converts Choose Catholicism

From Calvinist to Catholic
The journey back - Dr. Beckwith explains his reasons for returning to the Catholic Church
Famous Homosexual Italian Author Returned to the Church Before Dying of AIDS
Dr. Francis Beckwith Returns To Full Communion With The Church
laetare (commentary on ordination of married Anglican convert to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) Father Bill Lowe
Catholic Converts - Stephen K. Ray (former Evangelical)

Catholic Converts - Malcolm Muggeridge
Catholic Converts - Richard John Neuhaus
Catholic Converts - Avery Cardinal Dulles
Catholic Converts - Israel (Eugenio) Zolli - Chief Rabbi of Rome
Catholic Converts - Robert H. Bork , American Jurist (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Converts - Marcus Grodi
He Was an Evangelical Christian Until He Read Aquinas [Rob Evans]

The Scott Hahn Conversion Story
Interview with Roy Schoeman - A Jewish Convert
Church Is Still Attracting Converts [Jim Anderson]

10 posted on 02/23/2009 4:31:57 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: r9etb

I do not think it is at all appropriate to blame the traditionalists within the Episcopal Church for what has happened in the last 30 (100) years. We fought tooth and nail back in the 80s, when we were members of that church, but the conservatives were outnumbered even then. Feisty we were, though. How about the Tractarians earlier on? They fought diligently, too, for traditional values. And lost.

I think the liberals/ gay agenda/ social gospel folks had a plan and they rammed it through intentionally and with great forethought and cunning. Saul Alinsky applied to church matters, probably. Theology by committee does not work. Without a leader and a core of set values, there is no center to hold.

Welcome to this good priest who understood. We have also found a solid theology which does not waiver in the Catholic Church.

11 posted on 02/23/2009 4:45:44 PM PST by bboop (obama, little o, not a Real God)
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To: bboop

The leftie infiltraters are also trying to do the same thing to the Catholic Church. They also appear to be getting more vicious of late. Since Obama came into being everything appears to be changing more rapidly or is it just me....

12 posted on 02/23/2009 9:14:49 PM PST by bronxville
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