THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In what is sure to be the first wave of several, five Anglican bishops have left the Protestant Church of England to join the pope's emerging Anglican Ordinariate within the Catholic Church...
(Reuters) - Five Church of England bishops opposed to the ordination of women bishops will take up an offer by Pope Benedict and convert to Roman Catholicism, heralding a possible exodus of traditionalist Anglicans.So begins the slow death of the Church of England, and the rebirth of Anglican Catholicism in full communion with the worldwide Catholic Church.
The bishops will enter full communion with Rome through an ordinariate, a body proposed by the pope last October to let traditionalists convert while keeping some Anglican traditions, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales announced.
The ordinariate will let married clerics become Catholic priests, in an exception to the Vatican's celibacy rule, but not bishops. Married Anglican bishops who convert may be granted a special status almost equivalent to their former rank.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion, accepted the resignations of two bishops directly under his authority, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton, "with regret." He wished them well "in this next stage of their service" to the Christian faith...
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In related news, the pope has called for a consistory on November 19th to discuss many issues including...
(AFP) – This month’s meeting will also deal with the thorny issue of how Anglicans disgruntled with the Church of England’s policies on gay marriage and women priests can be integrated into the Catholic Church.
The Vatican in 2009 announced that such converts would be welcome.
The consistory call coincided with an announcement by the Catholic Church on Monday that five Anglican bishops are to convert under Benedict’s offer.
The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales said it welcomed the decision by the bishops “to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church”.
In a statement, the five bishops said they had been “dismayed, over the last 30 years, to see Anglicans and Catholics move further apart on some of the issues of the day.”
They said the Vatican offer was a “generous response to various approaches to the Holy See for help and a bold, new ecumenical instrument in the search for the unity of Christians.”
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