A retired Episcopalian bishop has returned to the Catholic Church, leaving the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, for the second time, the Episcopal News Service reports.
Bishop Clarence Pope had previously resigned his post in Texas in 1995, indicating his desire to become a Catholic priest. But he backed away from that plan, and affirmed his Episcopalian ties, later that same year.
Now, at the age of 76, Bishop Pope is again poised to enter the Catholic Church along with his wife. "We certainly wish them well," announced Fort Worth's current Episcopalian leader, Bishop Jack Iker.
Bishop Pope had been received into the Catholic Church in 1995 by Cardinal Bernard Law. At the time, the two were reportedly seeking Vatican approval for the establishment of a personal prelature-- with Bishop Pope likely as its head-- for Anglicans who had entered the Catholic Church. When their plans were stalled, Pope became disenchanted with the Catholic Church.
In 1995, when he returned to the Episcopal fold, Bishop Pope said that he was troubled by the requirement that, in order to become a Catholic priest, he would be expected to renounce his ordination as an Episcopalian cleric. In announcing Pope's return to Catholicism, the Episcopal News Service made no mention of a plan for the former bishop to become a priest.
Well, with the name Pope ...