The three first clerical members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham have been granted the title of monsignor

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.

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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.”

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