An Anglo-Catholic group of former Episcopalians has organized itself to seek recognition for an Anglican Rite within the Roman Catholic Church, it was reported here.
The group, led by the former American Church Union director, Canon Albert J. duBois, announced plans for a provisional diocese which it hopes will be the vehicle through which the former Episcopalians can be received by Rome.
Dr. Theodore L. McEvoy, spokesman for the Laymen's League of the "Diocese of St. Augustine of Canterbury," said the splinter group had been formed with the support of five former congregations of the Episcopal Church. The congregations seceded from the Episcopal Church after the denomination's General Convention voted in September 1976 to ordain women to the priesthood and rewrite the prayer book.
McEvoy said the provisional "diocese" would function through its "Clericus" or priest's conference and the Laymen's League. Leaders of the "diocese" include priests and laity who broke away from the Diocese of the Holy Trinity, a part of the newly formed Anglican Church in North America, early this year.
"We are not seeking absorption into the Church of Rome," Dr. McEvoy said in a letter to supporters. "We are seeking to retain our own liturgy, our own forms of piety, our own special saints' days, our own parish organizations, our tradition of lay involvement in the life of the Church and our own orders."
Canon duBois, a veteran Anglo-Catholic leader who left the Episcopal Church in early 1977, has been named "senior priest" of the group, which is competing with the Anglican Church in North America for the support of former Episcopalians who left the denomination.