Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Former Episcopal priest ordained in Catholic Church

~from The Times-Tribune

April 21, 2007
- Deacon Eric Bergman will become one of the rarest of Roman Catholic priests today — a married one.

The former rector of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church will be ordained for the second time at St. Clare’s Roman Catholic Church today, nearly 10 years after his ordination in the Church of England.

After he takes his vows, he will be the first married priest in the history of the Diocese of Scranton, joining the 100 or so other married Roman Catholic priests in the United States.

“I’m very eager,” Deacon Bergman said. “This was a leap of faith. Two years ago, we had no idea what would be the end result.

“When I renounced my orders, I said ‘If it works out, it works out, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.’ ”

Conversion for Deacon Bergman has been about spreading his feelings of unity and the welcoming atmosphere of the Catholic Church. “The church is pro-unity and the church does everything she can to welcome all her brothers,” he said...

Renouncing his vows in late 2004, meant the loss of his salary. The Bergmans also had to move out of the Good Shepherd rectory, where they had been living, and rent a home.

At least 60 parishioners left Good Shepherd and Anglicanism, following the Bergmans to the Catholic Church...

...Deacon Bergman became simply Mr. Eric Bergman again, but continued serving as a spiritual leader for the former Anglicans as they moved through catechism classes taught by the Rev. Charles Connor, pastor of St. Peter’s Cathedral, to confirmation by the Most Rev. Joseph F. Martino, bishop of Scranton, on Oct. 31, 2005....

The St. Thomas More Society, of which Deacon Bergman has been serving as executive director, was formed about the same time as the confirmations by Bishop Martino for those who left the Episcopal Church with the Bergmans.

The society is an Anglican Use group. Anglican Use refers to the liturgy used by the group and is similar to the services at Episcopal churches, approved by both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. An Anglican Use Mass is celebrated every Sunday at 1 p.m. at St. Clare Church. The society also pays Deacon Bergman’s salary, an arrangement that is planned to continue for the foreseeable future.

There are at least five Anglican Use groups in the United States and one in England, according to the Anglican Use Society.

The Bergmans and the society members hope that after his ordination, Deacon Bergman will eventually be given his own Anglican Use parish.


Brian Michael Page said...

We've had two such priests in the Providence diocese - Fr. Paul Thompson (now deceased), and Fr. David Stokes (active).
I never met Fr. Thompson, but did meet Fr. Stokes (he said a Tridentine high Mass at Holy Name when I was there).

Odysseus said...