Sunday, January 02, 2011

Pisteutics: Roman Catholics: RC Church receives 3 Anglican bishops with 3 more lined up for Easter

In a report in America: The National Catholic Weekly magazine, the Jesuit periodical carries an article  from Austen Ivereigh, 'The discreet beginnings of the Ordinariate' [Jan1,2k11].  In focus is the Roman Catholic canonical process of receiving bishops, nuns, and laity into a new jurisdication devised by Pope Benedict, according to which the first cadre of Anglican Bishops will become Roman Catholic Bishops where the poor dears will not have to face either women or male homos in the epsicopate.

 The Ordinariate will be created in the next week or so, with Rome's legislative act expected to be announced on 11 January. The jurisdiction will be headed by an Ordinary -- inevitably one of the ex-bishops received into the Church today. The ordination to the diaconate and priesthood of the three ex-bishops will take place in a couple of weeks. They will be followed at Easter, according to Ruth Gledhill of The Times -- who seemed to be the only one who knew that today's Mass was happening -- by about 20 parish groups, perhaps 40-50 clergy, and a further three former bishops. 

Among the three ex-bishops received today was John Broadhurst, 68, until last night the Bishop of Fulham with pastoral care of 55 parishes across the country opposed to the ordination of women as bishops. He remains the leader of the Anglo-Catholic group of about 1,000 clergy known as Forward in Faith.
The three nuns received today are the youngest members of the popular Anglo-Catholic shrine of Walsingham, and include its former superior. Their departure leaves only four elderly religious.
I counted nine lay people also being received today; among them are two wives of the defecting ex-bishops.
The celebrant, Bishop Hopes, himself a former Anglican, spoke of their "long and challenging journey" on the road to the Catholic Church, and this, their "decisive step on the road of your discipleship". He prayed for the "perfect unity" one day between Catholics and Anglicans. Then he spoke to those being received -- but without a microphone, so the congregation could barely hear. When the microphone was restored, he told them they were now full members of the Catholic Church, and we clapped. Then it was Mass as normal.
The beginning of a historic realignment of Western Christianity thus began with an event about as unpublic and understated as it was possible to have designed. Not even members of Forward in Faith knew about it.

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