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Pope makes former Anglican bishops monsignori

By on Thursday, 17 March 2011

The three former Anglican bishops at their ordination to the priesthood in January (Mazur/

The three former Anglican bishops at their ordination to the priesthood in January (Mazur/

The Pope has honoured three former Anglican bishops, the first members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, with the title of monsignor.

Fr Keith Newton, the leader of the Ordinariate who has most of the functions of a bishop, has been granted the papal award of Apostolic Protonotary, the highest ecclesial title for non-bishops. Fr Andrew Burnham, the former Bishop of Ebbsfleet, and Fr John Broadhurst, the former Bishop of Fulham, have been granted the papal award of Prelate of Honour, and are therefore also monsignori.

The three men became the first clergy of the world’s first personal ordinariate set up for groups of former Anglicans as a result of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in January.

Groups of former Anglicans will be received into the Church in Holy Week and the priests for the ordinariate will be ordained around Pentecost.

The ordinary expects that about 900 people will become members of the ordinariate in Holy Week, including 61 members of the clergy. A majority of the laity entering the ordinariate took part in Rite of Election ceremonies across the country last weekend.

Fr Newton said: “I am really delighted by the numbers of Anglican laity who have begun the journey into the full Communion with the Catholic Church in Holy Week. It has not been an easy journey for many but I know they will be greatly blessed. The Rites of Election (or Enrolment for ordinariate members) around the dioceses marked a very moving and important part of the journey so far.”

  • jorge

    The Anglican Orders may not have all the supernatural grace (of celebrating a valid Eucharist, for example) of the apostolic orders, bot those men did exercise leadership positions. They had the trust of entire communities. Also, I assume they were very experienced and knowledgeable (both about theology and diocesan administration). And, they gave up a lot to become Catholic (and faced a lot of opposition).

    In addition to all that, their new positions in the ordinariate are very akin to those of bishops; it makes sense that they will have honors similar to those of bishops.

    In the end, nor you nor I have knowledge and authority to evaluate this. The Pope does. And he so decided.

    Really, I can’t understand your objection. Do you have anything against the ordinariate?

  • jorge

    They will foster disunity because “they are a church within a church” ? What a non-issue.

    Certain apostolates in the Church are special (for a variety of reasons) and have special jurisdictions. Examples include the jesuits (since centuries ago) and Opus Dei (since decades ago). I see no problem with that, except for envious people who claim “Unacceptable! The Pope is invading my turf!”.

    The Anglicans asked the Pope, and the Pope decided that this was the better solution. The Pope has 100x times better knowledge about this than you and I put together.

    You know what is the mark of the Church’s unity? The Holy See.
    What fosters disunity? Rebellion against the Holy See.

    And in practical terms, how can these additional Catholics possibly harm the Church? I really can’t understand.
    Put another way, how can they possibly harm your life, or that of any other Catholic, or offend God? Explain to me in practical terms. Don’t give me a vague “it fosters disunity”.

  • jorge

    One small example from the secular world: military bases. They are accountable to the federal government, even though they are in state territory.
    Should we complain about them, because “they foster disunity”? Should we be cynical and ask “if this soldiers want to be a part of the country, why do they need to be separate”?

    Or can we have a minimum amount of charity and give this people the benefit of the doubt? That they need a special jurisdiction for their special jobs, and not because of any sinister motive?

  • CCC Confused Cradle catholic

    I must confess to being confused and not knowing which decision to make: Should I be rejoicing at the generosity of the Holy Father or shocked at his blatant disregard for the Scripture and St Paul writing in 1Timothy 3:6 with regard to recent converts.

  • Allen Johannes

    Really wonderful news !

  • NevilleDeVilliers

    n the end, nor you nor I have knowledge and authority to evaluate this. The Pope does. And he so decided.

    Jorge, it’s obvious isn’t it that the pope decided? That isn’t the point here, now is it? You have simply surrendered your own thought processes, as so many good Catholics do, and said, leave it to Pope Benedict, leave everything to Pope Benedict. The whole Church has taken that attitude on countless front and see where it has got us? Corruption, mismanagement, and malfeasance with the assistance of the entire hierarchy.

  • jorge

    Please, don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t say that the Pope is always right about everything.

    I _explained_ why the Pope might be right in giving those three honors. But I _emphasized_ that the details are up to the Pope. A random parishioner complaining about this… is a lack of humility. You have access to 1/100 of the data the Pope used in his decision.

    > leave everything to Pope Benedict. The whole Church has taken that attitude on countless front
    > and see where it has got us? Corruption, mismanagement, and malfeasance with the assistance
    > of the entire hierarchy.

    What?! Are you going to claim that the problems of the Church (which by the way are not so bad as you portrait) were caused by an _excess_ of papal authority? You might as well complain that UK’s problems are caused by an excess of royal authority over the parliament. The reality is that Catholics get perplexed about why doesn’t the Pope remove bad bishops – we have a small number of bishops that let their priests teach heresy (including that homosexuality is OK), practice heinous sins (such as collaborating with abortion), disrespect the sacraments, and even commit secular crimes. Thankfully, their numbers are very small. But still, people don’t understand why do these incompetent/dishonest bishops remain in office.

    Thankfully, things are much better than they were in the 1970′s. Probably because blessed John Paul II summoned the Extraordinary Synod in 1985 and gave us the new Catechism. With Benedict XVI, things are improving further. Thank God.

  • Wolfgang Munster Schnoozle

    There is a real challenge for Anglicans coming to Rome which is recognised by the Pope. They are more likely, as I think time will prove, to move to a halfway house than to a Roman Catholic church and the reasons are not important to the debate here but heres a selection of my own travails:

    I’m a prospective member of the ordinariate and have moved from a vast wonderfully awe inspiring Anglican church to a very small vastly over subscribed catholic church hall where I can’t even get a seat in which to share precious peace with God. There is no tea afterwards, nobody I can see seems to stop for a chat and the attention to the Roman Catholic mass details of the service itself is marginal and rushed compared to our former Anglo Catholic service. Its runs by a an Irish priest and his family and very nice people they are. Notwithstanding that, the English do things differently, we are different race with different cultures and place a much greater emphasis, many would say more respectful, on the church service itself than
    Catholics. Additionally, we have a Queen who acts in a similar fashion to the Pope.

    I do not believe, and many anglican would share such belief, the office of the See of Rome is naturally St Peter’s successor though fully believe in the one apostolic catholic church. My view is that office is by appointment of Christ but that is not to say there have been, are or will be worthy Rome recipients to that office. Neither do I accept the Anglican acceptance of such things as women priests and same sex relationships to be instruments of Christ’s patrimony. I am more closer to Catholic traditions and teachings and I feel a responsibility to make a stand at this important juncture in relations of the two churches.

    In summary, I don’t’ find everything in the Roman catholic church to be palatable as I certainly don’t in the Anglican church so I have to barter some of my doubts against others. I can achieve this more easily amongst group of similar experienced people than people such as yourself seem able to offer at this time.

    It is this sort of vision the Pope will be rightly praised and commended for.

  • NevilleDeVilliers

    Kitty, you can be sure all of these new monsignori would give their eye teeth to have an official Cardinal Burke or Cardinal Pell style cappa magna. On some websites all these chaps were found delighting in talking about who got the right to wear a gold cross, a bishop’s ring, or a prelate’s lace dress. Acting like a pack of aging courtesans fighting over who got the most loot.

  • ‘guest’

    Who (and why should we) care?

  • Mark Gliddon

    As a former Anglican Priest who, God willing, will be Ordained as a Catholic Priest stories such as these cause me to rejoice. I in good conscience could no longer remain an Anglican but it has not been easy; but I know the first time I say the Mass as a Catholic Priest it would have all been worth it, Glory be to God. Greetings from Australia.

  • Leo Ladenson

    As honorary prelates, they have the right to wear certain episcopal garb: the purple cassock, for example. Before 1969, honorary prelates had some use of pontificals (mitre, pectoral cross, etc.). The monsignori’s eastern counterparts, monastic archimandrites, still have the use of pontificals including the mitre and pastoral staff.

    Why so bitter? This is what real ecumenism looks like! These men were bishops in a “church” that many have longed to see reunited to Rome. Well, this is a foretaste of that. And it seems sweet to me.

  • Andrew

    As I understand it, no-one applied to Rome because the Ordinary has no jurisdictional superior within the English hierarchy. The Ordinary is directly subject to the Pope, who can create monsignori in his own right. So he did.

  • Weary Convert

    I’ve only just come across this. How can a Benedictine priest be so ignorant as to call the Church of England “Henry VIII’s Church?” Presumably it was meant as a typical old-style “Catholic” sneer like those who used to call pre-Reformation churches “our” churches as if they had been stolen away. The Church of England only came into existence in Queen Elizabeth’s reign after the extreme Protestantism of Edward VI’s ministers and the bloodthirsty Catholic persecutions of Mary Tudor. The C of E was no more started by Henry VIII than by the Wizard of Oz.

  • KW

    we get it, you want to see Anglicans shamed, especially the ones who dare to give up their life and livelihood and become Catholics. Grow up.

  • KW

    Aging is right!
    - youthful papist

  • Christianfriendskenya

    We rejoice that the Lord’s prayer Father may they be one as we are one is being fullfilled, at least with this group of Anglicans & other that are also on their way, is happening in our time. To God be the glory, the praise, the power and the blessing forever & ever. Amen