By Bill Lewellis
April 11, 2011
A March 14 Page One story (Allentown Catholic Diocese anticipates new structure to welcome Anglicans) included a phone number for Episcopalians who seek an older liturgy or who have a problem with the acceptance of women priests and gay clergy.
We learned from the story that a few "have turned to Rome where teaching and practice are unchanged." Huh? Then another stereotype: the uninformed description of Episcopal liturgy as one where "prayers are lengthier and language richly Elizabethan." We do better than that. Come and see.
Prior to my resignation as a Roman Catholic priest, I served the Diocese of Allentown as media liaison (1968-81). I wrote hundreds of news releases and made suggestions for many more stories. Not one put another denomination down.
During 24 years as communication minister for the Diocese of Bethlehem, until recently retiring, I knew some 20 former Roman Catholic priests, not counting former RC women who became priests. Hundreds of former RC laity were members of our parishes. Though I knew many of their stories, I never sought to provide any to the media. I encouraged a policy of not seeking publicity for such stories, even turning down local and national offers to publish my own story.
I enjoyed a scene from the 1997 movie, The Apostle. Robert Duvall, playing a Texan charismatic-Pentecostal minister, watched priests in full regalia bless shrimp boats. "You do it your way," he said to himself, "and I do it mine ... together we get it done."
Let's "get it done" together. No need to put the other down.
Bill Lewellis, Diocese of Bethlehem, retired
Communication Minister/Editor (1986-2010), Canon Theologian (1998)
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