Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Episcopal Church is folding

The Episcopal Church in the United States is ready to collapse because the average parish attendance is roughly 40 and average age is roughly 65, according to David W. Virtue, a news reporter who writes in favor of orthodox Anglicanism. The full study (which can be accessed here) says that "one third of all 6825 Episcopal churches face inevitable closure." 

In the Boston area, the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts (which covers eastern Mass. only) has "68,000 members in 185 congregations" (Diocesan website). This mathematically states that parishes have an average of 368 members (rounded). Furthermore, in Brockton (20 minutes south of Boston) lost St. Paul's Episcopal Church last winter after membership fell from 200 in the year 2000 to just 30 when it's doors shut. Architecturally, the building is lost because it was designed by renowned church architect Ralph Adams Cram at the beginning of his career in the 1890's. (The Brockton Enterprise article reporting on the last service can be accessed here.)

It is even got extreme in England, where an Anglican priest thinks that the Church of England will fold by 2031.

Clearly, many of these Episcopalians wish to become Catholics because they worship in the Anglo-Catholic style. I know a few Anglo-Catholics who are technically still members of the Episcopal Church but their Masses mention Pope Benedict's name in the Canon. Some use Latin. They all practically receive communion kneeling and on the tounge. They believe in the Marian dogmae.

We'll just wait and see how may Episcopal parishes become Catholic parishes. Out of the three Anglo-Catholic parishes in the Boston area, one is in communion with Rome and an official parish of the Archdiocese of Boston, one is eligible to become a Catholic parish because of all-male clergy and acolytes, and one is not eligible because it has a female deacon.

No comments:

Post a Comment