Bishop, educator and ecumenist Arthur A. Vogel died March 6 in Kansas City. He was 88. A native of Milwaukee, Vogel was a graduate of Nashotah House Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago and earned a Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1952.
He was rector of the Church of St. John Chrysostom, Delafield, Wis., 1953-57. Vogel was Williams Adams Professor of Philosophical and Systematic Theology at Nashotah House from 1952 to 1971, when he was consecrated as bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of West Missouri. He was the diocese’s bishop from 1973 to 1989.
The bishop wrote 14 books, including Body Theology: God’s Presence in Man’s World (1973), I Know God Better than I Know Myself (1989), Christ in His Time and Ours (1992), and Radical Christianity and the Flesh of Jesus (1995).
He participated in the Consultation on Church Union (1962-66), the First and Second International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commissions (1969-90), the National Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission (1964-84) and the fourth Assembly of the World Council of Churches (1968).
Vogel and Bishop Charles H. Helmsing of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph established a covenant between their cathedrals in 1974. The covenant celebrated the cordial relations between the cathedrals, which are a block apart in downtown Kansas City, and committed them to shared works of mercy.
The bishop is survived by his wife, Katharine Vogel; two sons, John and Tony Vogel; daughter Kit Smith; brother, John; and five grandchildren. The bishop will be buried at Nashotah House.
In 1966, Anglican and Roman Catholic leaders discussed a theological basis for shared Eucharist between their churches.
“If the nature of the Eucharist, the fact of Christ’s presence in it, and the means of its production can be essentially agreed upon,” Vogel wrote in a position paper, might common reception “be the primary means by which God wills to bring about ever increasing unity among His people?”
Photo: Bishop Arthur A. Vogel discussing a report of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission in 1982. Kairon News Photo via the Archives of the Episcopal Church.