Rev. Gene Bagen, rector of St. Nicholas Anglican Church
While some Episcopalians - the term used by American members of the Worldwide Anglican Communion - were offended by what they considered a Vatican effort to poach disaffected Anglicans, the members of St. Nicholas
are intrigued by the interest.
The unexpected advance, announced by the Vatican in October, also would allow married Anglican clergy to be ordained as Catholic priests - a provision that has generated intense discussion, especially among American Catholics who favor eliminating the church's celibacy requirement for priests.
Does it mean Bagen
, who has been married for 26 years and has two grown children, could someday serve again as a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Buffalo?
hasn't given it much thought, but he
acknowledged some thorny issues need to be worked out.
"We have so many similarities that a fit would seem natural, but there's still some elements that would need to be resolved," he
"That's going to be a difficult nut to crack," said Bagen
The congregation is mostly a mixture of former Episcopalians and former Roman Catholics, Bagen
Whether Bagen, who served as a priest in the Diocese of Buffalo from 1973 to 1982, could be welcomed back, this time with a wife, remains an open question.