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Three ex-Anglican bishops are received into full communion

By on Saturday, 1 January 2011

Three former Anglican bishops were received into full communion with the Catholic Church during a Mass at Westminster Cathedral today.

John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton – the former bishops of Fulham, Ebbsfleet and Richborough respectively – will take prominent roles in the Personal Ordinariate for England and Wales which will be established in early 2011.

The wives of two of the ex-Church of England bishops and three nuns from Walsingham were also received.

Westminster auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes, himself a former Anglican, was chief celebrant at the Mass.

Fr Seán Finnegan, a Catholic priest and blogger who was present at the Mass, commented: “Only the three active flying bishops were received, all modestly and humbly in ties, together with some members of some of their families, plus the three sisters from Walsingham.

“I was surprised to see that even John Broadhurst, baptised a Catholic, was received along with the rest. They were then confirmed – some in accord with tradition took confirmation names; one of the former bishops took Benedict, another Joseph, others used their baptismal names – and they returned to their places to gentle applause. One of the sisters, descending the steps grinned at the congregation and gave two thumbs up.

“We all received Communion (five of our new brethren, including all three former bishops, on the tongue) and, lo, it was done. We are in communion.

“The Ordinariate is launched very quietly and gently, slipping almost unnoticed into the water.”

Jeffrey Steel, a Catholic blogger and former Anglican priest, said: “The Mass was beautifully sung and parts of it were set to the Lourdes Mass. The Mass was very well attended.

“Having served with these former Anglican bishops as a priest and fellow member of SSC [Society of the Holy Cross], it was good to see them finally take the step of faith and enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.

“Bishop Alan Hopes preached an encouraging homily on the Mother of God and added encouraging words about those on the journey who were a part of the Ordinariate.”

  • AReluctantSinner

    For some fuzzy pictures of the event, please see: http://areluctantsinner.blogsp

  • Karmenu of Malta

    “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” (Jn 10:16)

  • Robert S

    For Bishops to wear ties is simply sainty and to lose all that prestige they once held is stunning to the mind of a Catholic Bishop.

  • Emmanuel Okorie

    Thank you, Jesus. Finally, the destination has been reached. Let us continue to pray for those still on the way that they might make it safely. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.

  • Donald951

    My local secular newspaper didn’t mention these three bishops, but did carry a story about a former Catholic priest who criticized the Church; when my parents mentioned that story to me, I blurted out that he probably left the Church to get married–and guess what, I was right!

  • http://twitter.com/BlueLozengeBear Ian M

    In other news: some people prefer strawberry to vanilla ice cream and are happy to say so.

  • johnny sprite

    For me this is nothing much. I wouldn’t rejoice. Its premature.
    When it was announced the English hierarchy was not consulted. It was sprung on them as a surprise. yet at the ordination the Archbishop was said to be delighted.
    From Dominus Isesus (where the Anglican clergy vows are deemed null and void) then to progress to the ordinariate is nothing short of surprising. But I feel it brings more mess and chaos. If we expect wholesale Anglican parishes to convert we are mistaken!
    The Anglicn Roman Catholic Commission being reactivated and ironing out all controversial issues is the best way forward.