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Priests ordained to the world’s first ordinariate

By on Saturday, 15 January 2011

Archbishop Vincent Nichols with the first clergy of the world's first Personal Ordinariate (Photo: James Bradley)

Archbishop Vincent Nichols with the first clergy of the world's first Personal Ordinariate (Photo: James Bradley)

Three former Anglican bishops were ordained to the Catholic priesthood today as the founding members of the world’s first ordinariate for groups of ex-Anglicans.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster ordained the three men this morning at a packed Westminster Cathedral.

Keith Newton, the former Bishop of Richborough, Andrew Burnham, the former Bishop of Ebbsfleet, and John Broadhurst, the former Bishop of Fulham, were ordained Catholic priests just two days after their ordination to the diaconate and only two weeks after they were received into the Catholic Church.

The three men become the first clergy members of the world’s first personal ordinariate, established by a papal decree and 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 Newton.

Fr Newton, Fr Burnham and Fr Broadhurst were three of five Anglican bishops in England and Wales who publicly announced that they would take up the offer made in the Pope’s November 2009 decree Anglicanorum coetibus.

All three were flying bishops in the Church of England, ministering to Anglo-Catholics who were not able in good conscience to accept the ordination of women priests. Their flocks are preparing to enter into the new ordinariate during Holy Week.

At the start of the Mass, Archbishop Nichols read the Bull establishing the ordinariate. In it, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the ordinariate “marks a unique and historic moment in the life of the Catholic community in this country”.

The three men were presented for ordination by Westminster auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes, himself a former Anglican.

In his homily, Archbishop Nichols thanked the Church of England, especially the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

Archbishop Nichols said: “I want in particular to recognise your dedication as priests and bishops of the Church of England and affirm the fruitfulness of your ministry.

“I thank so many in the Church of England who have recognised your sincerity and integrity in making this journey and who have assured you of their prayers and good wishes. First among these is Rowan, Archbishop of Canterbury, with his characteristic insight and generosity of heart and spirit. This journey of course involves some sad parting of friends. This too we recognise and it strengthens the warmth of our welcome.”

He added: “We thank our Holy Father Pope Benedict for not only placing this ordinariate under the protection of Our Lady of Walsingham but also for givuing it Bl John Henry Newman as its patron.”

Referring the Pope’s December 20 speech, Archbishop Nichols spoke about Blessed John Henry Newman’s idea of conscience.

He continued: “Today we thank the Holy Father for the courageous leadership he gives in establishing the first personal ordinariate. His intentions are clear. It is as he said, ‘a prophetic gesture’. It is to contribute to the wider goal of visible unity between our two Churches by helping us to know in practice how our patrimonies of faith and living can strengthen each other in our mission today.”

Archbishop Nichols said the Pope’s ministry was central to the visible unity of the Church.

He said: “It is central to the faith of those who enter into full communion in this ordinariat. It is central to the werlcome, encouragement and support the Catholic community in England and Wales gives to this development and to allk who seek to be part of it.”

He entrusted the ordinariate to the intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham.

After the laying on of hands and the prayer of ordination, Mrs Broadhurst, Mrs Burnham and Mrs Newton brought their husbands the symbols of the priesthood, the vestments.

The three former Anglican Sisters at Walsingham, who were received into the Catholic Church with the former bishops, brought up the gifts to Archbishop Nichols.

The music at the Mass was sung by Westminster Cathedral choir. The Mass was Missa O quam gloriosum. There was music by Elgar and Stanford. The closing hymn was Newman’s “Praise to the Holiest in the Height”.

More than 60 priests from across England and Wales concelebrated at the Mass of Ordination and laid their hands on the ordinands. Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, Auxiliary Bishop William Kenny of Birmingham, Bishop Hopes and Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood were among the bishops concelebrating at the Mass.

At Communion, many people came up to receive blessings from the new priests.

Fifty priests and 35 groups of Anglican lay people are expected to go through the Evangelium course and be received into the Catholic Church at Easter. The former Anglican clergy entering into the ordinariate will then be ordained priests at Pentecost.

There were at least three Anglican bishops from the Catholic wing of the Church of England in the congregation, the Rt Rev Lindsay Urwin, the administrator of the Anglican shrine at Walsingham, the Rt Rev Robert Ladds, former Bishop of Whitby, and Rt Rev Tony Robinson, Bishop of Pontefract.

Edwin Barnes, the retired Bishop of Richborough, David Silk, the retired bishop of Ballarat, and Robert Mercer, the former Bishop of Matabeleland, of the Traditional Anglican Communion, were in the congregation. So was Dr Robin Ward, the principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford.

Edwin Barnes will be received into the Catholic Church at the church of Our Lady and St Joseph, Lymington, at the end of January and will become a priest just before Lent begins, on March 5.

David Silk has already been received into the Catholic Church and will be ordained a priest of the ordinariate on February 18.

After the Mass, one young woman in the congregation who hopes to be in the first wave of the ordinariate, said: “I thought it was tremendous and very moving and utterly joyful and historic. I feel so proud and thankful to the Pope. It’s just beyond our wildest dreams.

“I want to say it’s like coming home. I know that’s a cliché, but that’s what it feels like.”

  • Tiggy

    Quite the opposite, troubled friend.

  • Kyriakos

    Well you will remain puzzled until to take some effort to understand Catholic Church and theology.Well for Catholic clergy celibacy is a gift from God.And more over celibacy is mandatory in four Roman Catholic Churches(Latin,Syro-Malabar,Syro-Malankara and Ethiopian Church)only.For the remaining 17 there is no mandatory celibacy.They have married priests.Moreover when pastors from protestant denominations join Catholicism they are ordained even if they are married. This is an generous exception to the rule and is not side stepping as you say.

    You say “For a group bitterly opposed to women sharing in the role which they themselves enjoy and treasure.” Well that is not how they and us see the ‘ordination of women’.We believe that the Church has no authority to ordain women.

    You say”One again we see a grave insult to all those women in the church striving, albeit vainly, to achieve a priestly role.” Well from a Catholic stand point since the Church does not have authority to ordain women this vain effort of few women comes from VAINGLORY. Well Catholics don’t believe that Anglicans and Presbyterians sisters(for the same fact brothers) have valid ordination.

    Well finally I request you to get rid of that protestant bias( implicit in your comment) which you have inherited from reformation and try to open mindely study the Catholic faith and be ready to respect opinion of others which differs from yours,and also not to judge others as sexists and homo-phobes.

  • Kyriakos

    Well you will remain puzzled until you take some effort to understand Catholic Church and theology.Well for Catholic clergy celibacy is a gift from God.And more over celibacy is mandatory in four Roman Catholic Churches(Latin,Syro-Malabar,Syro-Malankara and Ethiopian Church)only.For the remaining 17 there is no mandatory celibacy.They have married priests.Moreover when pastors from protestant denominations join Catholicism they are ordained even if they are married. This is an generous exception to the rule and is not side stepping as you say.

    You say “For a group bitterly opposed to women sharing in the role which they themselves enjoy and treasure.” Well that is not how they and us see the ‘ordination of women’.We believe that the Church has no authority to ordain women.

    You say”One again we see a grave insult to all those women in the church striving, albeit vainly, to achieve a priestly role.” Well from a Catholic stand point since the Church does not have authority to ordain women this vain effort of few women comes from VAINGLORY. Well Catholics don’t believe that Anglicans and Presbyterians sisters(for the same fact brothers) have valid ordination.

    Well finally I request you to get rid of that protestant bias( implicit in your comment) which you have inherited from reformation and try to open mindely study the Catholic faith and be ready to respect opinion of others which differs from yours,and also not to judge others as sexists and homo-phobes.

  • Hugh

    Who elected you as the spoke person for most catholics
    Who elected you as spokesman for most catholics? What sort of a survey have you conducted? Let us see your figures. Methinks the wish is father to the thought.

  • Dublinpi

    I welcome the new members as brothers although I do not concurr with some of their theological thinking, being a post Vatican 2 Catholic. It is a shame, though, that priests of the Roman rite who in good faith left to marry could not be found worthy to take their place again in priestly ministry. I think they are the forgotten group, many of them committed Catholics, who have solid marriages and are willing and ready to serve if called. Some of them are fellow parishoners. These men deserve an opportunity to serve anew in their church, to be invited back with their wives and children. That for me is the real shame in all of this. Yes, welcome my brother Anglicans, but don’t forget about my Catholic brother priests, who will not need to be ordained should they be invited back. They are priests, albeit non-clerical priests.

  • Conchúr

    If you think either Orthodox or PNCC bishops would participate in such a fanciful (and that’s all it is) scheme, you are delusional.

  • Conchúr

    By that logic having any Eastern Churches in communion with Rome is unfair to Roman Catholics.

  • Conchúr

    It is not Rome and Orthodoxy who are in error.

  • Conchúr

    And your point is what exactly?

  • Conchúr

    They knew the rules when they signed up. Ordaining married men is one thing but neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy allow or will ever allow priests to marry and continue functioning as priests. Worthiness has nothing to do with it and to use such terminology is as tendentious as it is fallacious.

  • AmbroseBarlow

    Thank God they have anglican pensions to rely on – I just love these shepherds deserting their sheep.

  • Clive Sweeting

    Welcome to these Anglican priests who have found their true spiritual home. As a Catholic I was delighted to escape from what I took to be restrictive aspects of Anglicanism, e.g; Establishment. Still a Catholic but now in the French church, where bishops are appointed with state assistance (Briand-Ceretti accord), where French citizens are appointed virtually without exception to teaching and administrative posts in the Church, where non-citizens are subject to a ‘devoir de réserve’ -no participation in church singing or reading I am less delighted

    interpreted as no ppppartipparticipationi church reading or singing activitiesin

  • Clive Sweeting

    Have I been disbarred?

  • Jpvencius

    Seek and You will find!!!!

  • Jpvencius

    Did you forget that it’s God who guides and runs the Church by the Holy Spirit and his ministers which He has set in place for our good and the good of all of the Church.

  • Don Muench

    I agree with the person who wants us to bring back some of the Catholic priests who left the priesthood and married. I am sure that Rome can devise a clever plan, such as it did devising the Ordinariate, and return some of those priests to us. It won’t alleviate the priest shortage, but it will help. And I am sure Rome could devise a plan for “viri probati” who are older, whose families are grown, and ordain them – and they would do it if they really cared about providing pastoral care in this crisis of the lack of priests. That said, I welcome our Anglican friends into full communion with us!! Praise the Lord!

  • Jpvencius

    They are actually leading their sheep by there example.Try reading the Catholic Cathecism.

  • Jpvencius

    Obviously you haven’t read the Cathecism.Then how can you criticise it.

  • Terryandpam1

    Our prayers have been answered !

  • +JMJ+

    I think He/She already has. Fortunately, apologists get to deal with people like you to have a wonderful discourse with and when you are stumped, have only a few words to say. Now, we hope you find peace in TRUTH.

  • SS1

    “poaching some of those who are dealing with the Church’s need to deal with contemporatry social challenges” What does that mean?

    a) There has been no poaching – as has been made clear, these people had repeatedly asked the Pope for some provision to be made within the Catholic Church for their pastoral needs.

    b) The Catholic Church is, as in every age, “dealing with contemporary social challenges”, but that does not mean changing fundamental teaching (you know the ones I mean: marriage, sexuality, abortion, etc.) to fit the pagan mores of the time.

    c) Given the historical origins of the Anglican Church, ultimately the logic of Faith and Charity must lead to reunion with the Catholic Church. This is a way, and it may well be the way, of bringing that about.

  • SS1

    They’re not deserting their sheep. They are (a) following their individual consciences (since each of us must, first of all, find his way to salvation) and (b) leading their flock into complete union with the Church founded by Jesus Christ.

  • Dublinpi

    Wow!! Why are you so angry? Words like “hogwash” don’t add to an intelligent discussion. I will refrain from responding to you. You have a siege mentality as if someone is about to take away your idea of “church.” Have a good day.

  • Kyriakos

    You are right my brother in Christ.

  • Anonymous

    I certainly am. I ask, could there be any correlation between the sexual repression of men for their entire lives have anything to do with the crisis that has struck our own form of Christianity over any other? Seems pretty much common sense to me.

    For the organisation standing up most in our society for the institution of marriage is it at least not somewhat hypocritical (or saddening) that the same group denies all of its highest members that very privilege? Priests that could actually talk from experience on issues of family would be much more useful as they would understand what it entails.

    Also on issues such as acceptance of homosexuality and usage of artificial contraception, lay Catholic opinion in belief has changed dramatically. Catholics should stand up and admit this.

  • Kyriakos

    I think it is Christian courtesy not to give him or her another reply because it could be considered as an offence.Well your invitation to Christian peace is what exactly I wanted to invite him or her to.

  • Kyriakos

    I am not surprised at this sort of comment from a confused liberal .Liberals believe in the wimps and fancies of the time and not in the perennial gospel”Also on issues such as acceptance of homosexuality and usage of artificial contraception, lay Catholic opinion in belief has changed dramatically. Catholics should stand up and admit this.”
    Well does that change the teachings of Christ.Well dear you are a liberal Catholic lacking wisdom coming from faith in the Word of God.Well as far as celibacy is concerned Jesus said that only who got grace can keep it.So celibacy to priesthood is a gift from God(Only those with this gift may take up this call)

    You say,”Priests that could actually talk from experience on issues of family would be much more useful as they would understand what it entails.” Well dear,so you would argue with the same logic that Christ who was a celibate(So also many of the saints and Fathers of the Church) little understood of married life.I won’t wonder if you commented so.

  • Anonymous

    Ironic for you to use the teachings of Christ as part of your argument considering Jesus had remarkably little that he personality said about the practise. Also as an expert scholar of the Bible as I’m sure you are you would know that many of the passages held up as an argument against homosexuality are false in that a poor translation from Greek to English – gave the word homosexuals rather than the term
    Catamites. boys or young men who were kept for purposes of prostitution, a practice not uncommon in the Greco-Roman world, which was which God had a problem with.

  • Anonymous

    regardless of your likely rebuke of my above answer, please kindly ask me this. (No doubt you will not)
    Do you believe without the word of the bible you would not possess your own moral compass, do you think that without it you would adhere to no moral standards and lead a reckless and immoral life? I presume the answer would be, no, that in fact you can make moral judgements for your self to some degree. Then answer me this could you justify your position against homosexuality without the Bible, could you justify it on logical, moralistic grounds rather than religious grounds.
    The likelihood is that you will come up with the idea of it being too disgusting for your liking, with then you will be too embarrassed to actually put down.
    Think about it, can you find a non-religious/non-dogma reason for homosexuality, except for hate, prejudice and fear? I highly doubt you can.

  • RJ

    I would hope the new members of the Church will have the maturity to realise that, though they have boarded the barque of St Peter and Our Lord is with us in the boat, we can’t guarantee a trouble-free voyage. We do have a certain contingent of whingers, troublemakers and mutineers as a thorn in the flesh.

  • Kyriakos

    Well you are wrong.It is PERFECT AND REASONABLE from a non-religious view point.

    It is evident from the penis of the male and the vagina of the human female that they are compatible.Made my nature so that sperms from the male can reach the female for reproduction.Therefore, penis penetrating and ejaculating sperms into the vagina is perfectly natural.

    Moreover,if some one has mental,intellectual or physical deficiency by birth,we don’t illogical believe that he or she does not have those deficiencies and the person is therefore perfect mentally,physical and intellectually respectively. We cannot say in these cases that these are alternate way of being mentally or intellectually perfect.So I invite you respectfully and kindly to think logically and reasonably.The argument holds for homosexuality.

    The Catholic Church does not condemn homosexuals and is against any kind of injustice against them.Please don’t sit in the judgement a judge others as ‘dogmatic’,unreasonable,prejudiced,hateful,uneducated,narrow minded,fanatic,non-progressive,nuerotic and homophobic.And our opposition to homosexuality is not based on some archaic disgust.It is our reasonable thinking which has assisted our religious faith.

    LOVE THE SINNER, HATE THE SIN IS OUR POLICY.Hope you have the sense to understand the difference between both.It is not a simple theoretical propostion,but a truth which we live.

  • Kyriakos

    Answer to paulsays:
    Well you are wrong.Homosexuality is unreasonable.It is PERFECT AND REASONABLE from a non-religious view point to reject homosexuality.

    It is evident from the penis of the male and the vagina of the human female that they are compatible.Made my nature so that sperms from the male can reach the female for reproduction.Therefore, penis penetrating and ejaculating sperms into the vagina is perfectly natural.

    Moreover,if some one has mental,intellectual or physical deficiency by birth,we don’t illogical believe that he or she does not have those deficiencies and the person is therefore perfect mentally,physical and intellectually respectively. We cannot say in these cases that these are alternate way of being mentally or intellectually perfect.So I invite you respectfully and kindly to think logically and reasonably.The argument holds for homosexuality.

    The Catholic Church does not condemn homosexuals and is against any kind of injustice against them.Please don’t sit in the judgement a judge others as ‘dogmatic’,unreasonable,prejudiced,hateful,uneducated,narrow minded,fanatic,non-progressive,nuerotic and homophobic.And our opposition to homosexuality is not based on some archaic disgust.It is our reasonable thinking which has assisted our religious faith.

    LOVE THE SINNER, HATE THE SIN IS OUR POLICY.Hope you have the sense to understand the difference between both.It is not a simple theoretical propostion,but a truth which we live.

  • Anonymous

    So the definition of morality is now based on what is ‘natural’ or not? Seems a poor way to work out right from wrong. Nature can be a cruel place, full of suffering and pain. It also gives the impression that we ourselves have not managed to better our animal instincts and responses.

  • Kevin Greenan

    As a steward at Westminster Cathedral I had the joy and honour to be working in my role in September when the Holy Father came and also on the day of the ordinations. It is impossible to truly compare the two Masses but I was nearly in tears as the ordination Mass ended not only in applause but in cheering – what an historic day!

  • greenwich

    Also based on your logic any sexual activity not in line with ‘natural’ morality, such as anal sex, or mutual masturbation, between heterosexual couples, which obviously would not be natural, would also be immoral I presume. Not just homosexuals engage in anal sex, why is it then the Church has a problem with gays, and the gay sex act, when the same form of sex occurs between heterosexual couples and is not ridiculed. Your logic is not thought through entirely.

  • Lucywillmore

    You need think more broadly about this and this limited view does not reflect what the Saints may say…..

    A new letter from St. Peter and St. Paul in reference to the antics Of the ‘forward in faith defectors’

    Trouble maker priest must atone for their behaviour, and true Christian society must respect diversity

    I, Peter write to you, in close dialogue with my close brother in Christ Paul, to those of modern times. We are extremely disturbed and angered by the behaviour that has arisen from the ‘forward in faith’ grouping. This group of weak men have undermined the essence of Christian behaviour – failure to be obedient to their Archbishops; disloyal to the church they had belonged to; causing distress and harassment to female priests; and giving misguided counsel to the congregations they serve. Such unworthy behaviour fragments and undermines the covenant that each priest – regardless of community or gender attests to. These unworthy men now seek shelter in a new community, but have left behind unresolved issues and much hurt. We believe these defectors must openly atone for their appalling behaviour and must make amends with their former Archbishops and with the gracious community of female priest. I remind all to reflect on my brother’s letter to the Church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 13:4). This is not how a church in modern times flourishes; and prejudice, whether against female priest or even gay people, has no place in God’s grace for all humankind. Fundamentalist behaviour, as we have seen, polarises a community and causes faith ghettos – Gods purpose is clear – to love and serve humankind regardless of creed, colour, or sexual orientation.
    January 2011

  • Lucywillmore

    People are entitled to beliefs – however when their beliefs hurt othesr, undermine others, destroy sensible debate – then they are not acceptable. Also beliefs have to be tempered by what is true and justt in modern society. These men knew that female Bishops would be part and parcel of the evolving CofE , this was the next step when females became priests. They have not stayed the course to even debate the issue, instead, like naughty children, they have ‘thrown their toys out the pram’. As you may know within the Catholic church there is a group of women who campaign to become priests – they do so in a quiet, respectful and dignified way. They are not off discussing deals with the Archbishop of Canterbruy to move across and form their special order – what a contrast! Please do not use block capitals – this is considered as shouting. You need to pray more carefully about not being caught up in thinking Catholics are above the ‘others’ – all people are of equal value regardless of faith, creed and colour, A God’s school of love does not have conditions place on it, Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

  • Lucywillmore

    No, a Catholic who once was a Methodist lay reader, who has worked in hospital ministry with CofE female priests and RC priests – who all worked together in Christian love to care for the sick and dying. I’m pleased this has opened up this debate because sometimes ‘we’ Catholics do not discuss and debate this type of issue, we wait until Rome sends a decrees, but we should be more engaging with issues; and not all Catholics are comfortable with this or appreciate what these CofE priests have done. I know one of our Bishops has expressed a view that this new group are more Catholic then than he is (smile). I hope that what has happened in the CofE church does not happen with us – the debate around women priest, gay people etc… has distracted the true mission of the CofE church to serve the poor, the suffering and the faithful. The secular society is a growing threat and my mission (albeit my effort is small) is Chrisitian unity – something that the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury (the Wetminster Abbey Service) both agreed was importnat for both churches to work together on.

  • Syl

    Isn’t celibacy really to seek to obey wholly the first commandment, and, as a act of ‘free will’ – a gift made/offered TO God ? The seeking of God with the entire self, mind, body, heart and soul – so as to love God with the whole self – and so the neighbour, as the self ?

    That’s one of the real problems with celibacy as it is. They can say what they like – but celibacy in the Catholic Church is not a free choice. It’s imposed, enforced. Yes it is ! A man cannot be an ordained priest unless he takes a vow of celibacy. Great to have the theolgical training. But that does not prepare a human being for the real experience of what it means to fall in love or how to deal with that in a healthy way. For the most part, only those with real life experience are truly free to offer the gift of celibacy to God.

    The way things are with enforced celibacy – you end up with men who are psychosexually retarded, stunted. It’s not healthy for them, or anyone else.

    A wonderfully wise, spiritual man, mystic, saint and true lover of God once said,

    “If you want to learn what it means to truly love God. First go into the world and learn the true meaning of falling in love.” Such wisdom.

    Ut Unum Sint

    Sylvester

  • Anonymous

    The point is, that there is a huge question mark over whether these Anglican”converts” ARE “Catholic.”
    I heard one of these former Anglican “bishops” on Radio 4, just prior to his “conversion” saying that, even at that late hour he was exploring ways of remaining within the Anglican “communion.”

    The whole thing is a total disgrace and a scandal. One of my friends whose husband is an Anglican convert of some years, and has been suffering the novus ordo (because there is no TLM in their area)
    feels that he’s been cheated.

    Anyone who genuinely wants to be a Catholic, will not remain in that Ordinariate. Not least because it’s awkward to type and none too easy to pronounce!

  • Anonymous

    Looks like a lot of Egyptian moms have been negligent.

  • Anonymous

    No. The Church does NOT need everybody. Heretics and schismatics she cannot tolerate. Repentant sinners, yes, of course – but not everybody.

  • Anonymous

    “Cheering” – typical novus ordo. Superficial sentimentality. Scandalous. Thank God for Archbishop Lefebvre.

  • Anonymous

    Me, confess to a married priest? Not in a million years!

  • Anonymous

    WOW! What a corker! Neville, are you being serious? You don’t know that the Church has already stated that male-only priesthood is a definitive teaching, one that the Catholic Church has no authority to change?

    WOW!

  • http://fora.tv/myfora/9668/Invictus_88 Invictus_88

    Why not?

  • http://fora.tv/myfora/9668/Invictus_88 Invictus_88

    They can still serve the Church, and if they’re as ready and willing as you say then they already will be serving the Church…just not as Priests.

  • paolo

    I pray that you will be enlightened my puzzled brother. With regard the ordination of women, that Church has no authority to do so. If you really want to know more about the Catholic faith, first and foremost, take away your bias and prejudices againts the Catholic. Perhaps, the Catholic Chuch so far you know is not the Catholic Church that truly exists.

  • MaryQuackenboss

    The pri-with pressedat say…the priest at heart of today.