Richmond, Va., Jan 15, 2020 / 15:36 pm
Bishop Barry Knestout of the Diocese of Richmond has issued a statement responding to concerns that a local parish church is to host an Episcopalian consecration of a female bishop.
The online petition, titled "Stop Ordination of Female Episcopalian 'Bishop' at Catholic Church" refers to the upcoming consecration of the Rev. Susan B. Haynes as the new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. It has attracted nearly 2,000 signatures.
In a statement Wednesday, Bishop Knestout called the "offer of hospitality to a Christian neighbor in need" and an "act of charity and well within the teachings of ecumenism and the norms provided by the Church for ecumenical activities."
The event is scheduled to occur on Feb. 1, 2020 at St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, Virginia. Haynes was elected an Episcopalian bishop on Sept. 21.
The online petition, posted Monday, called the event "highly disturbing given the fact that Ven. Pope Leo XIII solemnly declared Anglican ordinations to be 'absolutely null and utterly void,' and the Church has repeatedly reaffirmed the fact that women cannot receive the sacrament of ordination," the online petition says.