By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new Roman Catholic diocese created for disgruntled Episcopalians may get at least a few converts from the Philadelphia area.
The new diocese, announced by Pope Benedict XVI New Year’s Day, is proving attractive to conservative congregations.
Father David Ousley has already made the break with the Episcopal Church, having moved out of St. James Church in East Falls in a dispute with church hierarchy.
His congregation continues as what it calls a “traditional Anglican church” in Overbrook, but he says it is considering joining the new ordinariate.
“We are moving in that direction,” Ousley says. “The parish has not yet taken a formal decision, but we’re grateful to the Holy Father for the option.”
The John Henry Newman Fellowship in Devon also may move.
Both parishes are unhappy with Episcopalians’ allowing women and gay priests.
Msgr. Michael Carroll of Philadelphia’s Catholic Archdiocese says that with the new ordinariate, disaffected Episcopalians can convert without losing their traditional service.
“The familiarity with how to pray and worship, that was something they wanted not to have to suffer,” Carroll tells KYW Newsradio. “They wanted to cling to that.”