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Bp. Epting speaks out against “Open” Communion

15 February 2010

H/T:  anon.

The plot thickens… 

From here:

Cautioning against “playing God at the altar rail” (meaning that he would never turn anyone away from communion), Dr. Weil nonetheless  believes that this practice trivializes baptism and wonders why, after all the years reclaiming its centrality, we would now want to make it virtually optional.

I am in absolute agreement with Louis Weil here. I am familiar with the “open table” of Jesus argument — that he ate with outcasts and sinners and never turned anyone away, etc. However, I am unpersuaded that this is the same thing as the Eucharist and would encourage congregations really to invite the poor into their homes and parish halls for meals rather than believe that they have  actually exercized hospitality by inviting the unbaptized to communion.

Certainly, it is an ecumenical nightmare. An Orthodox priest friend of mine wandered into an Episcopal Church inviting “all who are hungry for God” to receive the sacrament and later told me, “If you think Gene Robinson is a problem, that is nothing compared to this from our perspective!”

The two bishops seem to be chummy.  Bp. Epting was the Deputy for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations of The Episcopal Church (retiring as of December of 2009), a spokesman of sorts.  He gave the sermon at Bp. Breidenthal’s installation as bishop of DSO, and Bp. Briedenthal commended Bp. Epting’s article on the Pope’s announcement that he would be more accommodating towards disaffected Anglicans who wish to leave the Episcopal Church and enter the Roman Catholic Church (December 2009 Interchange, p 13). 

– Elder

PS – I have posted some follow-up  comments on the other article over at StandFirm.

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