The Rev. Mark Lewis is married. He also wants to become a Catholic priest. Lewis is the rector of St. Luke's in Bladensburg, the first Episcopalian parish in the U.S. to seek to become Catholic under Anglicanorum coetibus, a process outlined by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 that allows groups of Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church without discarding their liturgical heritage. Raised Episcopalian, the 52-year-old Lewis entered the ministry 10 years ago and has two grown children. He will become Catholic with his parish in October.
Do you consider yourself to be of a specific faith?
Obviously, I am of the Catholic faith. Even as Episcopalians, we believed we were Catholic Christians. The Episcopal Church is a very broad church. In it you can have very evangelical people, and in it you can also have very high church Anglo-Catholics, of which I was one.
Why did you and your church convert?
I teach Catholic theology to my people. Once the apostolic constitution was announced, it opened a door that had previously been closed to us. I didn't really want to sway them with my excitement, so we looked at it together: "Is this something that is really of interest to us?" We looked at the difference between being a Catholic in the Anglican tradition, and being a Catholic in the Roman tradition. And we realized as a church that we needed to be in communion with the Church of Rome. This was an opportunity we must not pass up.
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