“The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia will no longer use a Catholic parish for the ‘consecration’ of a female ‘bishop’ on February 1, following intense backlash from Catholics around the commonwealth.
The Diocese of Richmond had granted permission for St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg to be used for the Protestant ceremony. Both St. Bede pastor Monsignor Joseph Lehman and Richmond Bishop Barry Knestout defended allowing the ceremony in a Catholic church.
The Catholic Church teaches that it is ontologically impossible for a woman to be ‘ordained’ and does not recognize any Episcopalian denomination ordinations as valid. Catholic women who attempt to be ordained incur automatic excommunication.
‘It is with great sadness that I have received a letter from Bishop-Elect (sic) Susan Haynes stating that, due to the controversy of the proposed use of St. Bede Catholic Church for her consecration as the bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, she has decided to find another location for the ceremony to take place,’ Knestout announced Friday…
In his statement expressing ‘sadness’ that the Episcopal ‘ordination’ would no longer occur inside a Catholic church, Knestout said his diocese had been ‘welcoming’ and ecumenical.
‘In granting permission for this ordination to be held at St. Bede, we were welcoming, as the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council encouraged, those who have in common with us ‘the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit’ (Decree on Ecumenism, 3),’ he claimed. ‘We were following the example of St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis who enthusiastically engaged in ecumenical outreach and hospitality.'”