Not in anger

Former rector of nation’s largest Episcopal church becomes a Catholic


The following comes from a November 30 story on Religious News Service.

The former rector of the nation’s largest Episcopal church has become a Roman Catholic.

The Rev. Larry Gipson was dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham from 1982-94 and rector at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where his parishioners included former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, from 1994-2008.

Last month, Gipson was accepted as a Catholic into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a structure set up by Pope Benedict XVI to accept former Anglicans into the Catholic Church.

“The nature of authority in the Catholic Church is what attracted me to it,” Gipson said. “After I retired, I was concerned and had been for many years about the Episcopal Church’s authority structure.”

Gipson will be among 69 candidates for Catholic priesthood attending a formation retreat this weekend in Houston at the ordinariate’s headquarters….

This year, the ordinariate has already ordained 24 priests, with 69 in preparation. Her husband was accepted as a Catholic in January and ordained as a Catholic priest in June.

Gipson and his wife of 48 years, Mary Frances, attend the headquarters church of the ordinariate, Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston.

“All their services are Prayer Book services,” Gipson said. “The music is from the 1940 (Episcopal) hymnal. It is the Anglican Rite prayer book. It’s the opportunity to come into the Catholic Church while maintaining Anglican tradition.”

Although many Episcopalians have left the denomination over issues such as consecrating openly gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions, Gipson said he didn’t leave in anger.

“I don’t have the right to ask the Anglican Church to change its traditions for me,” he said. “I’m the one who has got to make the changes. Anglicanism has always been hesitant to define doctrine because it has opposing factions. It has left doctrine blurry. People can believe almost mutually opposing beliefs.”

To read entire story, click here.


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  1. “People can believe almost mutually opposing beliefs.”

    Hmm. You don’t say.

    Sounds rather like those in this site who ignore the Holy Father and clamor for the death penalty…

    …all the while calling themselves “pro-life,” of course.

    • Such as yourself, Anon: Jesus says plainly that some people are better off executed by millstones tied to them and drowned. Why do you suppose Jesus would say such a thing? Would it have anything to do with Him destroying Sodom and Gomorrah long before His advent? Was that destruction of sodomite cities an early preparation for His advent? Finally, Anon, explain why Jesus recommends the death penalty as a means of helping some people. And explain how a pope can dissent from what Jesus recommends.

      • Skai, you do not understand that scripture passage. Capital punishment among the Isrealites was by stoning. He did not say that people were better off executed by millstones tied to them and drowned. What he said was a warning against leading the little ones astray.

        • The death penalty was completely permissible during the time of the ancient Israelites, but not in our time, as judged by John Paul II and Benedict.

      • Mark from PA says:

        Skai, Jesus did not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He wasn’t there. You are taking liberties with the Bible. Jesus, Mary and Joseph were not at Sodom and Gomorrah. Please show me where the name of Jesus is mentioned in that story. You have your own theology here. Also, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI are not dissenting by speaking out against the death penalty. They are teaching us by their words on this topic.

        • Oh please spare us,Mark from PA, from your tired sophistries. If you haven’t heard of Jesus’ teaching that “HE AND THE FATHER ARE ONE” (paraphrased), you’re either being disingenuous or what? uninformed? How about the HUGE MATTER of the Blessed Trinity? which Trinity is composed of THREE DIVINE PERSONS IN ONE GOD. So if GOD WAS THERE @ Sodom & Gomorrah, wasn’t Jesus there as well? But just not IDENTIFIED yet as such because NOT YET BORN? And who’s saying that Mary and Joseph were present @ Sodom, etc.? That would be totally ignorant, I don’t recall Skai saying that in his post.
          I really think that your taking such umbrage @ the story of Sodom & Gomorrah has MORE to do with WHY it was destroyed rather than red herrings as to exactly WHO the divine Entity was that destroyed the cities. Can it have anything to do with the CONTINUAL carping by the gay lobby that S & D has VERY LITTLE (a lie) to do with the Rapacious actions of the homo community against men & Angels? Sorry, Mark, S & D has EVERYTHING to do with those rapacious actions by the homo’s of old. It’s pretty much an open and shut case for most who are Catholic/Chrisitian, but NEVER ADMITTED AS SUCH by those part of the gay agenda movement. As mentioned before, Mark, STOP DRINKIN’ the koolaid, it’ll kill ya every time. GOD BLESS AND PROTECT ALL, MARKRITE

      • On the contrary, the Church is calling for the end to the death penalty through the teachings of Benedict.

    • Anonymous,

      The difference between Abortion and the death penalty is that one person is innocent of any wrong doing and the other is guilty. One that will be sentenced to eternity without God because they did not receive baptism after their violent entrance into this world. And the other who willfully offended God by taking the life or lives of someone else, is found guilty, and has the time to repent, making it possible for them to go to heaven. God is the final judge, the dealth penalty just speeds that process up. Have you considered the death penalty that has been given to unwanted children in the wombs of their mothers?!

      • Then shouldn’t the mothers be executed for having abortions?

        • Anonymous says:

          And why not kill the doctors performing the abortions as well?

          • YES! as they have made the choice knowing full well what they have done. But unfortunately abortion if legal so we have to endure these serial murderers untill their natural end. There is nothing that we can do to them in this life that will ever compare to what God do to them in the next! Sometimes we are put in a place of jugement and sometimes not. As God wills it, so it shall be!

  2. MaryWithAT says:

    With the exception of the word “almost” his last sentence sums it up precisely for many. One of the Washington Post comments (cprdenats on 12/1) is spot on: “The pit of being unfulfilled by a faith that bends to differing, self-interested views, rather than compel man to reconcile to God…provokes converts like Rev. Gipson to seek something more fulfilling and demanding to help them become saints.”
    Closer to home: Where in San Diego is there a church for Anglo-Catholic converts?

  3. Welcome Home Rev. Gipson..

  4. Mbuku Kanyau Mbithuka says:

    I wonder if Bush and Laura will jump ship

  5. It’s comforting that the Pope will accept married clergy into the Church. Now he simply needs to lift the man made restriction banning marriage for priests. An absurd rule that was not part of the original Church.

    We must continue to pray to the Holy Spirit to touch the Vatican with the blessing of a married priesthood. We are losing too many good men….

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


      What is your definition of good men? Is it rabid dissenters? What is it?

      These men are good men, I personally know one who was at one time an Anglican Bishop. Bishop Vaughn introduced him to me. They too cannot get remarried if something happens in their first marriage.

      Oh yes, when are you going to answer my question about just what is your so called “goodcause”?

      May God have mercy on your compromised soul.

  6. Just to clarify, it’s my understanding that the Catholic Church says that in certain circumstances the death penalty is warranted if there is any possibility of the dangerous felon being let out or escaping into society again and killing another innocent person. So under rare circunstances it is permissible. However, life absolutely without parole would keep the above conditions from happening.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


      How do you protect the Prison Guards, and the witnesses. Many have been killed by the orders of prisoners supposedly safely tucked away!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  7. Anonymous says:

    This nice gentleman is not converting out of anger — he’s simply taking advantage of a “spiritual upgrade.”

    Most sensible of him! :-)

    Welcome to Catholicism, where all is love and warmth…

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