Three former Anglican bishops ordained in Catholic Church

Saturday, January 15, 2011

LONDON - In a history-making ceremony, three former Anglican church bishops — all married and with children — were Saturday ordained as Catholic priests, a move they took to protest female ordination in the Anglican Church.

Westminster Bishop Vincent Nichols, leader of Catholics in England and Wales, ordained the three men — Andrew Burnham, Keith Newton and John Broadhurst — under a new scheme established by the Vatican.

All three men will be permitted to remain married.

The three became the first members of an ordinariate which Pope Benedict XVI had set up specially for Anglicans — either as individuals or in groups — wishing to join the Roman Catholic Church to protest increasing liberalization in the Anglican faith.

The ordination ceremony was attended by hundreds of priests from the Westminster Diocese. Also in attendance were three former Anglican nuns who were officially received into the Catholic Church two weeks earlier.

“Many ordinations have taken place in this cathedral during the 100 years of its history. But none quite like this,” Bishop Nichols said.

“Today is a unique occasion marking a new step in the life and history of the Catholic Church. This morning the establishment of the first Personal Ordinariate under the provision of the Apostolic Constitution ‘Anglicanorum Coetibus’ has been announced in our hearing.”

Nichols also thanked members of the Anglican Church in offering their prayers and good wishes to the three new priests, specifically mentioning Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

“First among these is Rowan, Archbishop of Canterbury, with his characteristic insight, and generosity of heart and spirit,” he said.

Filed under: Religion

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