(Virtue Online) - The Dean of the flagship cathedral of St. Matthew's, Dallas, the Very Rev. Kevin Martin, says The Episcopal Church is heading off a cliff into oblivion. He opines that the "20/20: A Clear Vision" set by GC2000 to double the church in the next decade is now an impossibility.
Writing in the October 3 issue of The Living Church Martin said, "I have come to the conclusion that the Episcopal Church is headed toward about 1 million members in 2020, an average Sunday attendance around 400,000 and around 6,000 mainly small congregations.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Some of my readers may wonder why I've spent so much time on matters related to the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church USA. My reasons are as follows...
"The 20/20 initiative was, among all things, a concerted effort to bring revitalization and growth to a long declining mainline church. It failed and we are now faced with an institutional decline that, save a direct intervention and miracle by God, cannot be reversed. There is insufficient leadership, desire, or institutional will to change.
"The failure of the 20/20 initiative, combined with the subsequent controversy around human sexuality, has placed our community in a very precarious position," he writes...
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- I used to be an Episcopalian before joining the Catholic Church
- Tens (perhaps even hundreds) of thousands of Anglican/Episcopalians have become Catholic over the last thirty years, just as I have.
- Hundreds of thousands more will soon come into the Catholic Church through the pope's Anglican Ordinariate provision.
- The Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church USA serve as a perfect object lesson for Cafeteria Catholics.
In contrast, the few Episcopal parishes that are doing well, even growing, happen to be those who have adopted the strict Anglo-Catholicism of the Oxford Movement. Meanwhile, those parishes that have adopted the most liberal progressive attitudes are those most suffering from an aging membership with little growth to compensate. Their funerals outnumber their new baptisms five to one. This is the potential future of the U.S. Catholic Church, if it were to follow the example of the Episcopal Church by adopting their liberal progressive policies. Cafeteria Catholicism, quite to the contrary of what it's proponents say, results in a dead Church. The evidence is before us, and The Episcopal Church USA provides a perfect laboratory for us to view the results.