From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Clergyman seeks dual ordination

Date 08 Oct 1996 15:01:52

"UNITED METHODIST DAILY NEWS" by SUSAN PEEK on Aug. 11, 1991 at 13:58 Eastern,

Note 3217 by UMNS on Oct. 8, 1996 at 15:45 Eastern (3615 characters).

SEARCH: Paul W. Jones, ordination, Catholic, Missouri West
Produced by United Methodist News Service, official news agency of
the United Methodist Church, with offices in Nashville, Tenn., New
York, and Washington.

CONTACT: Thomas S. McAnally                   503(10-21-71B){3217}
         Nashville, Tenn. (615) 742-5470              Oct. 8, 1996

United Methodist clergyman explains why he is seeking
dual membership as United Methodist, Roman Catholic

                 by United Methodist News Service

     A United Methodist clergyman with a "Protestant mind and a
Catholic heart" says he feels called to be a "bridge, quietly
bringing to each of these two traditions the neglected wealth
preserved by the other."
     In a letter to his colleagues in the United Methodist
Missouri West Annual Conference, the Rev. W. Paul Jones expresses
hope that the conference will allow him to remain an elder even
though he recently was ordained into the priesthood of the
Catholic Church.  
     The letter in its entirety appears in the Oct. 4 edition of
the Missouri West United Methodist Review newspaper.
     Permission for him to remain a United Methodist elder would
enable him to "contribute as best I can to reclaiming Wesley
spirituality within the United Methodist Church," he said. 
"Whatever happens, I will never disavow these sacred roots.  May
my intent to live faithfully both of these traditions be a small
ecumenical step toward the day when we shall affirm that we truly
are one in Christ."
     A decision on Jones' status as a United Methodist clergyman
is in the hands of the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Missouri
West Annual Conference.  The board is to meet Oct. 21-22,
according to chairman Phillip L. Neimeyer, pastor of Broadway
United Methodist Church in Kansas City.
     During a visit to a Trappist Monastery in 1972, Jones said,
"something deep happened within me -- a coming home."  He
described that experience as Wesleyan spirituality that he said
United Methodism largely has lost.
     "I felt increasingly drawn to return to the monastery for
longer periods, for there spirituality was being practiced within
the disciplined kind of community that Wesley championed," he
     For three years, Jones spent six months each year living in
the inner city and teaching theology at United Methodist-related
Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City and six month living
in a monastery and hermitage.   He made a life commitment as a
"Family Brother" of the Trappist Order June 7, 1992.
     The Wesleyan and Trappist traditions "are profoundly
connected, not only in content but intent," Jones writes, "for the
spiritual renewal Wesley intended for Anglicanism parallels that
which Trappists intend for Catholicism.
     In recent years Jones said he has felt called to a "bridging"
of ordination between these two traditions.  "The Roman Catholic
understanding of ordination stresses the 'ontic' dimension (the
person is changed), while Protestantism tends toward a
'functional' understanding (the person is authorized).  The
original Wesleyan tradition involved both."
     Instead of simply a "dual recognition" of orders, Jones
contends that each of his ordinations is to different
understandings of ministry.
     Instead of abrogating his United Methodist heritage, Jones
said he understands ordination as a Roman Catholic as adding to
what already exists.
     He notes John Wesley insisted that one could be a member both
of the Anglican Church and the people called Methodists.
                              #  #  #


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