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Ex-Anglican bishops to be ordained to priesthood on January 15

By on Monday, 3 January 2011

Three former Anglican bishops will be ordained to the Catholic priesthood at Westminster Cathedral on January 15.

After being received into the Church on January 1, Andrew Burnham, the former Bishop of Ebbsfleet, John Broadhurst, the former Bishop of Fulham, and Keith Newton, the former Bishop of Richborough, will be ordained deacons on January 13 and become priests on January 15.

Their reception into the Church marked the first concrete steps made towards establishing the first ordinariate in the world. Andrew Burnham, John Broadhurst and Keith Newton will be the first former Anglican bishops taking up Pope Benedict XVI’s provision for Anglicans wishing to be in full communion with Rome to be ordained as Catholic priests. They are likely to be ordained and incardinated into the ordinariate, which would mean such a structure will have to be erected before January 13. Speculation suggests the decree of erection will be published on January 11.

In November 2009, Pope Benedict published the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, which established a new legal structure for Anglicans who wished to keep their Anglican identity but wanted to come into communion with Rome. The structure, known as a personal ordinariate, most resembles a
military diocese.

Commentators have described the establishment of an ordinariate in Britain as one of the most important developments for British Catholicism since the Oxford Movement.

Andrew Burnham, John Broadhurst and Keith Newton, will be the first members of an ordinariate in England and Wales and are expected to be followed in the first wave by 500 to 800 people. There are at least 24 existing ordinariate groups with 20 to 30 members.

Today the Church issued an official statement regarding the former Anglican bishops. The statement said: “On 8 November 2010, five Bishops of the Church of England (3 in active ministry, 2 in retirement) announced their intention to cease from public episcopal ministry and to resign from their pastoral responsibilities in the Church of England with effect from 31st December 2010.

“Following this decision, John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton (the three former Bishops who had been in active ministry) were received together with some members of their families into full communion with the Catholic Church during Mass on 1 January 2011, in Westminster Cathedral. In addition three former Anglican Religious Sisters were also received. Out of respect for the privacy of the individuals concerned and their families, no prior public announcement of the receptions was given by the Episcopal Commission responsible for organisation of the receptions.

“With the permission of the Holy See, John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton will be Ordained as Catholic Deacons in Allen Hall Seminary Chapel on Thursday 13 January 2011 at 5.30 pm. Their Ordination as Catholic Priests will take place at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 15 January 2011 at 10.30am.

“The two retired former Bishops will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church and proceed to Ordination as Catholic Priests in due course.”

  • Jack Regan

    This is really interesting, and it's moving so fast. I have to admit that I am not of a traditionalist bent myself, but I will be really interested to see these parishes up and running.

  • Douglas

    There is only one priesthood and these men have already been ordained into it.

  • RobertTickle

    Congratulations to them, although it is frustrating that there is division among the heirs of the Oxford Movement.

  • nytor

    No they haven't. Anglican orders are invalid.

  • The Flying Dutchman

    The three former Anglican bishops (and two of their wives) will not be the only first members of the Ordinariate. Don't forget the three former Anglican nuns of Walsingham who were also received into the Catholic Church on 1 January 2011.

  • Field of Dreams

    To be precise.Leo XIII declared that Orders derived from the Ordinal of King Edward VI are invalid. The Anglican archbishops did not agree- but they made sure that from then on Old Catholic Bishops participated in the consecration of Bishops, and the current Ordinal does not have the defects noted by the Pope in the old one. So one can maintain at least the possibility that today's Anglican Orders are valid- and the three former Bishops are certainly not being treated as if they were simply any old laymen.

  • Eilis Eilis Mcdonald

    How many of them are married men with wives and children? What is the status of ordinary Roman Catholic priests who were forced to leave the priesthood when they wanted to marry? Are they still excluded while the highways and by-ways are trawled for new members to boost the order of the Hierarchy of the church? Eilis McDonald

  • Ray Nearhood Sr.

    This is great, it took the priest in our Anglican Use Parish (Saint Thomas More Society) two years to be ordained a Roman Catholic priest under the “Pastoral Provision” of Pope John Paul II, here in the United States. Six years ago, yesterday, Father Eric Bergman and about 50 members of our former Episcopal congregation left the Episcopal Church USA and requested entrance into the Roman Catholic Church as an Anglican Use Parish. Most of the congregation were received into the Church on October 31, 2005. So it is breathtaking to see the speed with which things are progressing in England.

  • Ray Nearhood Sr.

    A number of the priests who were ordained under the “Pastoral Provision” here in the United States are married. The priest in the Anglican Use Parish that I attend is married with 6 children. Father Bergman was an Episcopal priest. Pope John Paul II issued the Pastoral Provision, permitting this in about 1982.

  • Sua Adi

    The church is resisting to take another look at the law of celibacy but by accepting married protestant clergy they are acknowledging that celibacy is not absolutely necessary for the priestly ministry

  • rambling catholic

    Now why can't catholics of the Extra-ordinary(I Hate that Term) have something of this sort! I hate the idea when The Novus Ordo readings get mixed with the Old Calendar Readings! Very Distasteful!

  • Chantal

    Wonderful news, but how does it work if he is married with children ?

  • Iron Donkey

    Married men can on rare occasion be ordained priests. This requires special permission and all that, and typically happens when a married minister converts to Catholicism. However, once ordained no priest can marry – so if a priest's wife predeceases him, he must then remain celibate.

    As for the “status of ordinary Roman Catholic priests who [you say] were forced to leave the priesthood when they wanted to marry,” recall that these men took vows. Vows can't be broken just because you don't particularly want to abide by them anymore. Vows are serious business.

  • Iron Donkey

    But the three bishops are in fact being ordained. They are, as you say, not being treated as any old laymen. The process is being sped up. But it's still full blown ordination (as far as I know, if there was a conditional ordination along the lines of a conditional baptism, then I'm sure we'd here about it if it were used), which seems to imply that, even though they have doubtless done good work and even though God has worked through them in their ministry, they were not in fact priests.

  • Roseannetsullivan

    I welcome the Anglicans who come home to Rome. But I'm shocked that they are not expected to take any seminary training to make sure they understand and profess the doctrines and are able to fully perform the rites of the Catholic Church. The Anglicans are a protestant sect, and cannot continue to practice protestantism within the Catholic Church. They don't have the sacraments. They have to learn them. I am very puzzled.

  • Warren

    This is good news! These men and their families are giving up a lot. Though, most certainly, the have found the real treasure! (Mt. 13:44-46). They will need our prayers.

  • Waddington

    These former bishops have been on study leave for the past few months. So they have had to take an intensive course of study. Also, as Anglo-Catholics, they have probably been studying Catholicism for the past 30 years. I expect that they are pretty wellclued up on the subject.

  • Stephen
  • Deesis

    The answer is obvious. These men are married already. Their Ordination to priesthood is while married is an exemption from the norm. Bishops will not be able to be married. This is in harmony with the norm of the Orthodox Church which requires marriage and the consent of the wife before Ordination not after. The norm is also NO marital relations on the day the liturgy is celebrated.
    I suugest you read Cardianl Sticklers book on celebacy

  • Deesis

    No…celebacy is not the problem. It is incorrect doctrine and belief. Protestants have mutated in 1000′s of sects. When they die out which they are then their will be another set of errors and problems to deal with!

  • Victor c.mohan

    The church is now to take re-look at the law of celibacy and by accepting married protestant clergy they are acknowledging that celibacy is not absolutely necessary for the priestly ministry.Another expected wave to be followed in the first wave of 500 to 800 people, will make the law of celibacy redundant.
    Will this eventually lead to the merger of the RC and Protestant Churches?
    Can the RC and Protestant Churches then form a unified Church of Christ?
    Is the world changing to bring in the Kingdom of True God?

  • Rsnow

    this is not quite correct. i trained as an episcopal priest and learned to be a Catholic while so doing. having experience a few of our own modernist priests over the years, i am sure these men well understood what is required of them as Catholic priests. Many believed themselves to be Anglican Catholics and the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer is very similar to our liturgy

  • Douglas

    They are already as validly ordained as any other bishops or priests. The fact that Rome still cannot bring itself to officially and publicly recognise Anglican orders is profoundly regretable and seriously compromises its own understanding of ordination. Although the existence of Anglican women bishops now complicates things for others, at the very least these bishops and priests coming into full communion should be ordained conditionally – as has already happened in some cases. Not doing so is an offence against the integrity of the sacrament.

  • Stephen

    I hope that someone (perhaps the Catholic Herald?) will attend the first public Mass of one of this three new Priests so that we could view it here in the States.
    I am very interested in how the Ordinariate as well as the Coetibus will affect how Mass ‘might’ be celebrated on the large scale after some time has passed.
    As a former Episcopalian who became Catholic nearly 30 years ago, I must admit that there are some things that these and other Anglicans can may bring to our Worship that I will welcome.
    God Bless these Bishops for daring to step out and help show the way.


    Did you read the motu propio from Benedict XVI? – the WILL use all the -Anglican Tradition- INSIDE the catholic church or conciliar church… they are allowed to do this… his own rites and uses… read the original document…

  • Rich

    Bishops are appointed by the Pope, and they are consecrated by their fellow Bishop(s) at the Pope’s behest. Hence Anglican Bishops’ orders are defective because they haven’t been appointed by Rome … in the same way that Catholic Women Bishops’ oders are defective. Simple really.

  • Kerrison N

    Although as an Anglican I am very pleased for the Bishops how is it that the Catholic Church does not recognise the orders of Anglican priests as valid and can yet ordain these men into the Catholic Church so quickly – it takes years for a Catholic man to train and be prepared for the priesthood.

  • kyriakos

    Church has always recognized that.Marriage is not a theological neccesity,it is a matter of discipline mainly in the Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church

  • Philomena Carolan

    42 people like this story, how many including me don’t?

    This is so unfair to present priests who have to keep their vow of celibacy, I wish to ask and, will ask the Pope why? why will he not abolish celibacy.

    And, I would like to stress that I agree 100% with what Ellis McDonald is saying-Here, here.

    Thank you

  • Philomena Carolan

    If you remeber St. Peter was the first Pope and he and other popes were also married, and I think (like an awful lot of other people have said) all of this we are sure is because it is too exspensive for the catholic church, other denominations manage the costs so, why not the catholic church as well, what does it have that no other church has? apart from money it seems?

    Thank you

  • Philomena Carolan

    Is that right! well then take a lThe Pope seems to be preaching nothing but a load of hypocrisy when he says that celibacy is a “Gift from God”. If that is so then why have I found the names of previous Popes in these cases? And, what benefit is it to him to hold onto this so-called “Gift from God”. he must have known about this all along and yet he constantly insist on the fact that celibacy must stay, why? Is it costing the Catholic church too much money for a priest to have a wife , alright then so, other Popes have had girlfriends in the Vatican without anyone knowing to keep more muck under the carpet, what a hypocrite he is and how dare both he and the Archbishop of Liverpool (as he agrees)or, for the sake of the church pretends to and bully everyone else into keeping “Clean”. What kind of standards is The Vatican trying to produce because from what I can see it is very low, God is watching the Archbishop and the Pope , as we all know, he made you through your parents, he is shaking his head thinking-my word, I do make mistakes from time to time, this is a big one.

    I am not saying be promiscuous far from it but it seems the Pope is, as that is what a prostitute is (in case the Pope didn’t know) it really make me wonder, the catholic church is supposed to be teaching love and respect, I would hardly think it respectful allowing male prostitutes to use condoms, just because they will not be spreading infections does not mean it can be respectful, do he know the meaning of the word respect?

    God is saying-Pope Benedict XVI thinks he is doing right by letting male prostitutes use condoms so as not to infect their “Clients” but he will not abolish celibacy as he THINKS it is a “Gift from me” his words NOT mine, once again Pope God is saying, neither you, the Archbishop or many members of the catholic church are listening to me are you.

    Anyway below you will read the names of other sexually active Popes since Pontification and, while hopefully they get their facts right and do something about it before other poor priests have breakdowns as this it not at all fair or to anyone.

    The names of the Popes are blow:

    Pope Sergius, Pope John X who had affairs, Pope John XII who turned Basilica de San Giovanni in Lateran into a Brothel and committed Adultery and Fornication during Pontification Please tell me, what is this about holding onto celibacy I am some what confused, I don’t even think the Pope or the Archbishop knows what they are talking about any more they don’t disagree with each other to keep the peace but, it is tough for everyone else, I really wish the Pope would resign, he says he will only resign when everything is peaceful, it will be when he resign.

    Thank youoad of this, see if it changes your views on celibacy…..

  • Philomena Carolan

    None of it makes at all sense does it?

    Thank you

  • Philomena Carolan

    I am glad you are.

    I am still trying to figure out why the Pope is doing all this but, still hanging on to good old celibacy when there is still so much to sort out.

    Talk about covering up, you can say that again, he is nothing but a hypocrite.

    Thank you

  • Lynel

    Not so – as Tranditonal Anglo Catholics they do believe and honour the same seven sacraments of RC church! Pax!

  • J Hutchinsonmbe

    Hi one should note the word” Sacrament” if you look at the Anglican book of common prayer in the 39 articals of faith you will see that Angicans only observe 2 sacraments, and ordination is NOT one of them.and if you look at all the articals it is clear that the Angican church wishes to reject most if not all of Catholic I see it if at the time of Vacican 11 the Angican church had rejected the 39 artical s of THEIR faith it would have made it possible for Rome to have moved towards church unity at that time.So lets be clear the Anglican church as a whole rejects Catholic teaching.on the 7 Sacraments and much more,the 39 articals are offence to all Catholcs.
    John Hutchinson MBE

  • J Hutchinsonmbe

    But the Angican church dos’t so the have done the correct thing by returning home!!

  • Mark

    Anglican priests only ascend to the 39 articles not  vow to obey them