US Episcopal parish joins Catholic Church
New York - A Episcopal parish in the eastern state of Maryland will be the first in the United States to join the Roman Catholic Church under a streamlined conversion plan created by the Vatican.
St Luke's Episcopal parish in Bladensburg will come under the care of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. Washington's Episcopal bishop said on Monday he approves the plan.
The Episcopal Church is the US arm of the world Anglican Communion. Pope Benedict XVI issued an unprecedented invitation in 2009 to Anglicans to become Catholic while retaining some Anglican heritage.
Anglicans have been divided over ordaining women and gays. Vatican officials insist they were only responding to pastoral requests from Anglicans.
U.S. Catholic leaders will soon create the equivalent of a national diocese for Anglo-Catholics.