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Ordinariate to be established in January, bishops confirm

By on Friday, 19 November 2010

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Fr Marcus Stock, general secretary of the bishops' conference (Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Fr Marcus Stock, general secretary of the bishops' conference (Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)

The Personal Ordinariate for ex-Anglicans in England and Wales is to be established in January, it was announced today.

The bishops’ conference of England and Wales said in a statement that the Ordinariate would be set up in January and an Ordinary would be appointed to take charge of the new structure.

In the same month the five Church of England bishops who announced their resignations two weeks ago will be received into the Catholic Church.

Following that, if their petitions are approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), they will be ordained first as Catholic deacons and then as priests. This is expected to happen before Lent, and will enable them to prepare clergy and laity to be received into the Catholic Church during Holy Week.

Ex-Anglican clergy whose petitions to become Catholic priests are approved by the CDF will be ordained around Pentecost, the bishops said.

The bishops added that they expected the Ordinariate to “enrich” the spiritual life of the Catholic Church.

They said: “In responding generously and offering a warm welcome to those seeking full ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church within the Ordinariate, the bishops know that the clergy and faithful who are on that journey of faith will bring their own spiritual treasures which will further enrich the spiritual life of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. The bishops will do all they can to ensure that there is effective and close collaboration with the Ordinariate both at diocesan and parish levels.”

  • Thomas M.P., India

    The Bishops and Priests and other clergy and religious who leave the Anglican Church should retain their eccelsial positions as Bishops and Priests etc. even if they are not assigned any Diocese or Parish etc. I think the Ordinations in the Anglican Church are valid since Bishops from the Old Catholic Church had been participating in the Ordinations of Bishops of the Anglican Church. So, I believe they have the necessary apostolic succession. If at all a conditional consecration or ordination is required, it should be done by the Holy Father himself or by some senior Cardinal or Archbishop. It should be done publicly or privately according to the choice of the Bishops and Clergy who leave the Anglican Church. They should also be given a choice of as to who will minister the conditional Consecration or Ordination. Moreoever, it is also very important to maintain good relations with the faithful and clergy and Bishops of the Anglican Church even after joining the Catholic Ordinariate.

  • john_of_hayling

    Thomas MP, what you say may seem logical, but there is a flaw. The validity is a matter for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and whilst they may prove generous it is unlikely that any of the Bishops will remain as Bishops. The simple reason is that they are married men, and whilst Rome can deal with priests who are married, there is no precedent in either the Eastern or Western Churches for married Bishops. The question of the participation of Old Catholics in Anglican consecrations certainly, for some views, changes the 'null and utterly void' formula. However a conditional ordination may the the way forward and can be seen in lay terms as a man who wears both a belt and a pair of braces! Don't worry though – the Holy Father wants this to happen and has charged the CDF to make it happen – and happen quickly.

  • David

    No precedent for married bishops? Isn't St Paul's assumption that they exist (I Timothy 3) good enough?