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Pope Benedict establishes world’s first ordinariate

By on Saturday, 15 January 2011

Pope Benedict at the Wednesday weekly Audience   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope Benedict at the Wednesday weekly Audience (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Benedict XVI formally established the world’s first personal ordinariate for groups of Anglicans today.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued a Decree of Erection which officially founds an ordinariate in England and Wales. It will be known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, under the protection of Blessed John Henry Newman. The Ordinary, or head, of the ordinariate will be Fr Keith Newton.

On Thursday three former Anglican bishops – Keith Newton, Andrew Burnham and John Broadhurst – were incardinated into the English and Welsh ordinariate when they were ordained deacons at Allen Hall seminary in London. They were ordained priests this morning at Westminster Cathedral.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, who was the chief celebrant at the Mass of ordination, said earlier this week: “This is a unique moment and the Catholic community of England and Wales is privileged to be playing its part in this historic development in the life of the universal Church.

“We offer a warm welcome to these three former bishops of the Church of England. We welcome those who wish to join them in full communion with the Pope in the visible unity of the Catholic Church. We recognise the journey they are making with its painful departures and its uncertainties. We salute their depth of searching prayer and the desire which leads them to seek to live within the community of the Catholic Church under the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. This is a faith we share.”

Members of the ordinariate will be fully fledged Catholics of the Roman Rite. Ordinariate priests will be able to celebrate Mass freely in Catholic churches and Catholics attending ordinariate Masses will be able to receive Communion there.

  • Julie Allsopp


  • Anonymous

    Better “traitors” than heretics, Julie.

  • K Simpson

    What a load of tosh.
    So glad I left the Catholic Church and dumped ALL religion, 50 years ago.

  • Prudentius Augustus

    You are very important to the Lord and his Church though you may not know it. I’m sure you have a lot to offer so why not consider coming back home. You can check this out

  • Neville DeVilliers

    I congratulate Father (former CofE bishop) Newton as the pope’s man for this Ordinariate, but I believe the concept , the canonical limitations, and prohibitions are unwise–completely wrong-headed. It would have been far better to have established an Anglican Rite to which both former members of the Anglican communion and Latin-rite Catholics could join fully and completely.

    Sad, to say, but I think this Ordinariate has been killed in its crib.and will prove to be a source of disunity and incessant in-fighting.for years to come.


  • Kyriakos

    May be you were wrong.I exhort you to rethink that decision now, 50 years later.May be the words of this young man could be words of wisdom.I find peace,communion,sense of purpose and joy in this religion you have abondoned.But could not find relief when I had dumped this religion like you in the past.So I don’t believe in the claims of the secular.

  • Kyriakos

    May be this limitations are wise decisions for their future growth.It is unwise to judge the future of the recent born baby.It is in the hands of the Holy-Spirit.

  • Fr Ged

    You left years 50 years ago…you are on the Catholic Herald website. I am a priest and only found it yesterday. once a Catholic?

  • K Simpson


    “…always a Catholic…”

    I know.

    Once a very religious religious, too.

    3 vows.


    All the bit.

    Thought I was the bee’s knees, actually..!

    Anyway, I’ll bore you with the gory details some other time, Fr. Ged.

    Thanks for your note, anyway.


  • K Simpson

    Thank you for your reply.

    I couldn’t, not now.

    The last time I went to mass, Roncalli was Pope and it was all in Latin….1961…..50 years go.

    I was 18.

    I am now 68; 68 today in fact.

    I would not know what to do now.!

    And anyway, the thought of organised religion, all the rituals and so forth, just leave me shaking my head.
    I was a seminarian in a religious order.

    I had questions.

    Those questions were never answered.

    Exit seminarian.


  • K Simpson

    I have replied to the two other correspondents and thanked them.
    In those replies, I have said pretty much what I wanted to say.
    But it remians for me to thank YOU for your note.
    And that I do now.

  • Monsie

    As a Catholic baptised 66 years ago but unable to take communion in the Church for 36 years due to my remarriage after my first husband deserted me and I married in a Registy Office, I find it intolerable that the Catholic Church is able to bend the rules and ignore tradition when it comes to things concerning the clergy, but is unable to deal with the everyday things which are vital to ordinary Catholics such as contraception and divorce. If they think that ignoring the rule of celibacy for converted anglican priests is in any way modernising the Catholic church let them think again, and what of the thousands of ordinary Catholic priests who have struggled with their vocations because they found it hard to deny themselves the idea of sex and children, what of them. I am so disgusted I can’t express it.
    Monsie Cummins

  • Kennyinliverpool

    It sounds as if you have been hurt by the rules… a lot of people are. Like many women you have been the victim of divorce – you should not therefore be punished by the Church!!! Hopefully you are part of a church, which understands undeserved grace ….. ?

  • Kennyinliverpool

    I don’t think you are taking her point very seriously – a lot of women go through this experience

  • Kennyinliverpool

    Typical attitude of a priest…. lol – obviously this is not the case… I am 25 – have you ever seen anyone under 30 in a church?

  • K Simpson

    Do you know, Kenny, that is EXACTLY what I thought…”typical attitude of a priest..”
    The other people who have put a comment on here have urged me to go back to religious practice

    Not Fr.Ged.

    I have an old school-friend. We went into this religious order together; he is still there as a priest; it is a missionary order.

    His last reply to me, some years ago, was “Oh Keith, it cannot be healthy for you to be SO OBSESSED with the Catholic Church.”

    Since when, silence-ville.

    Some missionary.!

    Seems to me that that is what they have been saying, too, down the decades to the adults who were abused as kids.

    ‘Oh go away and shut up with your obsessions’.

    Very arrogant…


  • K Simpson

    “Religion is for priests..” – Quentin Crisp.

    Let them get on with it, Monsie,

    You toe the line with the RCC or you are history; instantly dismissed; forgotten about; the Institution must be protected above all else…qv the Murphy Report.

    Look at Archbishop Roddy Wright of the Isles.
    Married and went with his bride to live in N.Z. never to be heard of again until his death from cancer a few years later and then a few lines in an obituary column; a down-and-out dying on a park bench would get as much.

    Politics in fancy (very fancy, actually and very costly) dress, the Catholic Church.

    And little if anything to do with J.C.

    Priest by the skip-load and not a Cure d’Ars, not a Padre Pio in the whole raggle-taggle crew, today.

  • Anonymous

    We are the silent majority. Silent because it appears wrong or shameful to speak out. This is wrong women should not be ostracised by the Church because they are unlucky enough to have been left in your case, or I feel if they find that problems in their marriage are intolerable – they do not love each other any more for example.

    The Church’s teachings on contraception too, are idiotic and contradictory. Firstly, the Church also opposes abortion, but it has been shown on numerous occasions that countries that promote and consume more contraception, less abortions occur. (before you flame, go look at the statistics, then sit back and think what it means) As Voltaire said the perfect is the enemy of the good.

    Secondly, it is idiotic in that contraception already occurs, ‘natural contraception’ through the knowledge of a woman’s monthly cycle. Trying in fact to beat or trick the system, not leaving it to the ‘will of God’ as suggested. I fail to see how in principle the blocking of the sperm via a rubber cover is any different in intent or accomplishment than in planning via monthly cycles. It is just grossly less reliable! The Church’s other method of ‘natural’ contraception coitus interruptus, otherwise known as ‘pulling out’ is morally exactly the same in that it is wilfully trying to deify God’s natural reproductive system is it not? The only reason the Church allows these limited means of contraception is because it knows that without allowance for sex for enjoyment between couples it would not have many members left!
    It is very poor logic on the part of the Church on both issues. The majority of Catholics are afraid to speak up, but it is well known that artificial contraception is used amongst a large proportion of us. Most Catholics I know would also find it totally wrong if divorce was made illegal by the state.

  • Anonymous

    It is good that K Simpson and other unbelievers are here, in the same way that it is important to have those with alternative views on political websites. Otherwise sites like this will just become an echo chamber of ever extreme views, alternative outlooks are a helpful moderating influence.

    Also does K Simpson not have the right to make comments on a group of great influence with a membership worldwide of over 1 billion people? Nothing can be totally peachy in a group of that size.
    Dissent regardless of personal opinion towards individuals views i find is usually a very good thing.

  • Leonie Dexter

    You all seem to be missing the point – as a Catholic woman, I would dearly love that the Catholic Church would allow women Priests. And there are many like me. So, why should we accept yet another bunch of misogynist men, who openly abhor the thought of women priests, into the Catholic Church. And they have another category in which to enjoy their own foibles, made for them by His Holiness. And why should our dedicated & celibate priests acknowledge ‘married’ clergy? In to their sanctum? Has anyone asked them how they really feel? As it happens, I think our priests should be allowed to marry. If God is love, why cannot his priests fall in love and get married? We have lost so many good men whose only “fault” was that they could not both be married and a holy priest. Back to my original reason for writing. I really hope and pray we do not continue to accept these misguided men. Surely it should be more a question of Catholic Faith than just a disagreement over a perfectly good decision to have Anglican women priests and then, inevitably, women Bishops, that should encourage the Catholic Church to not only accept these ‘conversions’ but also to ordain them? I sometimes despair. Are there those of you who agree with me? Or am I shouting into an abyss?
    Leonie Dexter

  • Christopher Lee

    Seems that there are discontent current and former Catholics voicing their frustrations here. Former Catholics who left for reasons due to the breakdown of their marriages after their spouses left them, I urge these people to seek means of reconciling back to the Catholic faith. In contrast, cafetaria Catholics who seek a Church that would accomodate the needs of a modern world (contraception, woman priests, abortion, premarital sex, gay marriages), are strongly advised to look to other faiths or churches that would address their needs. The Catholic Church is founded in the name of Christ and is not intended to mold its values according to the needs of liberalism. The Vatican has made it emphatically clear since the pontificate of John Paul II, Catholics who cannot accept the clarified beliefs may choose to leave the faith. In this way, those who remain behind will be stronger in their faith.

  • Luis

    The difference between “natural contraception” and “artificial contraception” is the fact that in the natural we must restrict our wills by abstaining whereas it is the contrary in “artificial contraception”. Coitus interruptus (withdrawal method) is NOT a method allowed by the church.

    Contraception is “any action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act [sexual intercourse], or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” (Humanae Vitae 14). This includes sterilization, condoms and other barrier methods, spermicides, coitus interruptus (withdrawal method), the Pill, and all other such methods.