CBC News -- The congregation at St. John the Evangelist in Calgary, an Anglican church, voted in November to join the Roman Catholic Church. (Google Street View)An Anglican church in Calgary is set to become the first in Canada to accept an offer from the Vatican to become Catholic.

The congregation at St. John the Evangelist — the only high Anglican church in the diocese — has felt increasingly isolated as the parent church slowly liberalized, accepting women as priests and blessing gay and lesbian unions.

"There has been very much a lack of unity," said congregation member Richard Harding.

Last year Pope Benedict XVI offered to let disaffected Anglican congregations switch to the Roman Catholic faith through the adoption of Anglican Ordinariates.

After months of meetings with Catholic officials in Calgary, the congregation at St. John voted earlier this month to accept that offer.

Under the new orders, which have not yet been created, former Anglican parishes will be permitted to maintain their distinctive liturgical practices, and priests will still be allowed to marry.

"The Pope says 'sign this, and you can do your service however you like,'" said lifelong St. John parishioner Cheryl Lee, who complained that the Anglican leadership lost touch with its more conservative congregations.

Until the new arrangement is formally established with Rome, the Calgary church will remain Anglican, said Barry Foster, archdeacon of Calgary's Anglican Diocese.

"The bishop's concern is to maintain a good pastoral relationship with the parish, so that in good Anglican fashion, whatever happens next will be done in an orderly manner," he said.

But ownership of the 105-year-old church, at 1423 8th Ave. S.E. in Inglewood, will stay with the diocese, Foster added.

"It's not the case that … they take the property with them. It's not theirs."

(Source: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2010/11/30/calgary-st-john-anglican-catholic.html?ref=rss)

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