The retired Episcopal Bishop of Fort Worth, Bishop Clarence C. Pope, Jr., has joined the Roman Catholic Church. Bishop Pope is the second Episcopal bishop to join the Catholic Church this year, and the fifth to resign from the House of Bishops since January.
In an Aug. 6 e-mail sent to the clergy of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Bishop Jack Iker announced that his predecessor had “telephoned me this morning” to say that he and his wife had “returned to membership in the Roman Catholic Church.”
Bishop Pope was a long-time advocate for corporate reunification with the Roman Catholic Church, which he and his wife joined upon his retirement in 1994.
He was received by Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston at a ceremony in a former Episcopal church in Arlington, Texas. He then applied for ordination as a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The bishop of Baton Rouge gave his conditional approval, subject to the agreement of his diocesan priests’ council, but the council refused his request. Bishop Pope therefore returned to The Episcopal Church in 1995 and served there for 10 more years.