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Monday, January 17, 2011

Anglican Bishops Become Catholic Priests...

The first Anglican bishops to accept Pope Benedict XVI's invitation, to come into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, were ordained in London this weekend.

Former Church of England bishops, Keith Newton, John Broadhurst and Andrew Burnham, were ordained at Westminster Cathedral as part of the new "ordinariate" set up by Pope Benedict to allow disenfranchised Anglicans, and their U.S. counterpart Episcopalians, to join the Catholic Church.

From The Irish Times:

The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham follows the Anglicanorum coetibus document issued by Pope Benedict on November 4th, 2009, and which will enable such people to preserve within the Catholic Church elements of Anglican prayer, liturgy and pastoral practice which are in accordance with Catholic teaching.

It was set up by Rome to accommodate those Anglicans and their clergy who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church and who have become disaffected with their own Communion or Church over issues such as the ordination of women, female bishops, homosexual clergy and the recognition of same-sex unions.

Last summer the Church of England voted to go ahead with legislation to consecrate women bishops. As many as 50 Anglican clergy are expected to join the new ordinariate as well as two retired Church of England bishops.

What makes this even more historic is that it signifies a return home for many Anglicans. The Church of England was founded in the 16th Century when King Henry VIII broke away from Rome after a fallout with Pope over the annulment to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and a power struggle over the sovereignty of bishops.

Under the new directive, married ex-Anglican clergy cannot be ordained as Catholic bishops "for doctrinal reasons" while, "under certain conditions," they can be ordained Catholic priests.

[pic credit: Mazur/]

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