OTTAWA, April 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – At St. Patrick’s Basilica in Ottawa yesterday, dozens of members of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC), along with their bishop Carl Reid and a number of their priests, entered the Catholic Church. They were welcomed into the Catholic Church with a Mass celebrated by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, who in speaking with Vatican Radio about the event noted the Anglican community’s strong commitment to the pro-life cause.
In Victoria, British Columbia another group of the ACCC entered the Catholic Church with their Bishop Peter Wilkinson. Masses at both locations were crowded with attendees.
All the entrants, but especially both bishops and their priests, have made the move at great cost. The clergy will be considered laymen until they receive Catholic ordination as priests, for which they have already received an initial clearance from the Vatican. One of the ACCC bishops originally from Canada has already been made a Catholic priest.
Reid, as a bishop of the ACCC, was a very prominent religious figure at the National March for Life in Ottawa. He has participated in the March every year since 1998 except for 2006 and 2007, when he was made a bishop and was away in Europe. “As Church leaders we are responsible not only for defending and upholding the faith ‘once given for all’, but also to represent the same sort of steady beacon in an increasingly confused moral landscape,” said Bishop Reid in the ACCC’s diocesan newsletter in 2009
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“There could hardly be a more representative example of how morally bankrupt western society has become than that our political leaders, and those others who promulgate or influence public policy, have dulled the collective consciousness into a state of moral stupor that feels that it is quite acceptable to murder our posterity with apparent impunity.”
One of the members of the ACCC who came into the Catholic Church yesterday is very well known to Canadian Catholics – Canadian Catholic News reporter Deborah Gyapong.
“I’m overjoyed,” Gyapong told LifeSiteNews.com “It’s been a long time that we’ve been praying for this and hoping for this. I’m glad that we have at least been able to come as a remnant of our community. … Even though we’re small in number we are a committed group, a group that’s willing to sacrifice. We’re bringing a beautiful patrimony with us an expression of English Catholic spirituality.”
A lengthy standing ovation greeted the newly received. “I commend the courage and fortitude of our brothers and sisters of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada,” Archbishop Prendergast said in his homily. “Your journey has not been easy. I commend your humility and your sacrifice; you have suffered much.”
“I commend your tradition and your zeal; you will bless and strengthen the Roman Catholic Church by your presence.”
Archbishop Prendergast added: “You are not just favoured guests. This is your home. We love you. I love you. May our public witness of unity draw many from the edges of faith into God’s Kingdom, no longer subject to judgement but to Divine Mercy.”