Anglican Bishop swims

Damian Thompson has this over at his place:

Excerpt:

The former assistant Bishop of Newcastle, Paul Richardson, has been received into full communion with the Holy See, I am pleased to reveal. Richardson – also a former Anglican bishop in Papua New Guinea and diocesan bishop of Wangaratta in Australia – was received into the Church at the chaplaincy at Durham University last month.

He tells me that his conversion is not the product of recent controversies. “I would have become a Catholic even if the Church of England wasn’t ordaining women bishops,” he says. “In a sense I feel it’s what I’ve always been, so this is like coming home.”

Richardson, 63, is not planning to join the Ordinariate, but hasn’t ruled out ordination as a Catholic priest – “You can’t just jump in and say ‘I want to be ordained’. I think I have to let the Church guide me over that,” he says.

 

Read more there.

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14 Responses to Anglican Bishop swims

  1. Oneros says:

    Frankly, if he wants to help the cause, he should really join an Ordinariate. [Maybe he simply wants to be Catholic without additional distinctions. BTW... Did you read the article?]

  2. ghlad says:

    It sounds like it’s a personal conversion to the true Apostolic Faith. Let the man sort himself out in his new home, fer cryin out loud, Oneros! :)

    From his own words, the Catholic Church felt like coming home, meaning he doesn’t feel the need the Ordinariate and the Anglican baggage? Though I haven’t read any of Anglicanorum coetibus constitution from last year, I had thought that the Personal Ordinariate was going to be set up to facilitate the conversion of Anglicans that really needed to remain in an Anglican liturgical environment, which doesn’t sound like is really the case for Richardson. It is very intriguing that he specifically states though that he’s going to “let the Church guide me over that.” So who knows? It’s really encouraging to see such a man convert, and I’ll try to keep him in my prayer intentions.

  3. ghlad says:

    (Just as another note, Fr. Richard “The Man” Neuhaus took a bit over a year to go from the Lutheran church to ordination as a Catholic priest, I wonder how long the process is? I have no idea.)

  4. Magpie says:

    Great stuff.

  5. Oneros says:

    “Though I haven’t read any of Anglicanorum coetibus constitution from last year, I had thought that the Personal Ordinariate was going to be set up to facilitate the conversion of Anglicans that really needed to remain in an Anglican liturgical environment, which doesn’t sound like is really the case for Richardson.”

    When an Orthodox converts, they are automatically, by canon law, enrolled in the ritual church most closely corresponding to their prior Orthodox church. The same should now be true for Anglicans.

  6. paulbailes says:

    Re “when an Orthodox converts, they are … enrolled in the ritual church most closely corresponding to their prior Orthodox church” – wouldn’t that be because the “prior Orthodox church” and the rites thereof were once (even if long ago) Catholic.

    But in the Anglican case, their rites have never been part of Catholic worship, and arguably the fruits of heresy and schism. So, while I agree that every provision should be made to help converting Anglicans make it to heaven (including letting them have their own rite or usage if necessary and if not detrimental to the Faith), there seems to be no reason to prevent converting Anglicans from taking up the genuine Latin rite.

    Cheers
    Paul

  7. William Tighe says:

    “When an Orthodox converts, they are automatically, by canon law, enrolled in the ritual church most closely corresponding to their prior Orthodox church. The same should now be true for Anglicans.”

    The case is altered, for those “ritual churches” are ecclesiae sui juris in Canon Law, whereas the “Anglican Use” is an authorized variant on the Roman Rite, and so the “ritual church” that is proper to such Anglican converts is the Latin Church.

  8. TJerome says:

    Glorious news. Brick by brick. Tom

  9. GregH says:

    What a humble man. Knows that ordination is not a right and that the Church has the final say. He would make a great Catholic priest.

  10. ssoldie says:

    Paul Richardson……Welcome home.

  11. Prof. Basto says:

    I wasn’t aware of the rule of Canon Law mentioned by Oneros. Although it seems obvious that an Byzantine Orthodox is more likely to convert becoming a Byzantine Catholic, I tought that, if an Eastern Orthodox’s path to conversion was through the Latin Church, i.e., if he approached a Latin Rite parish seeking conversion, then he could be received in the Church via the Latin Church.

    In any case, the Anglican Ordinariates are not sui iuris ritual Churches, but merely special jurisdictions within the Latin Church, so they cannot compare to a sui iuris Church. Generous as he was in Anglicanorum Coetibus, Pope has not created an Anglican ritual Church sui iuris.

    Also, I’m no expert in Canon Law, but I believe it is quite clear that the creation by Pope Benedict of a path allowing “corporate reunion” of Anglicans with the Church does not preclude the possibility of individual conversions.

    And I find it wise, and even humbling, Paul Richardson’s decision to enter the Catholic Church without immediately seeking Holy Orders as if Ordination into the true priesthood was his right.

    Just because he was invalidly ordained into the heretical Anglican Communion that does not mean that he is automatically fit to be a Catholic Priest, and it is great to see that he recognizes it. The fact that someone converted months ago is not sufficient evidence that one is ready for the true priesthood. As a recent convert, he does not come into the brotherhood of the True Church seeking a place above others, seeking a teaching position. Instead – and that is a healthy thing – he enters the Church seeking the Church’s guidance. He enters the Church seeking to be led, seeking to learn. That is very good. Anyway, it is good that he converted. Perhaps one day he will be a Catholic priest – if and when he is ready and the Church approves him for that role – and perhaps not. But the important thing is that he is now a Catholic. That’s the greatest title one can have. In Christ’s Church, the greatest honour is not a hierarchical position, but sainthood, holiness. That’s what we must all seek.

  12. Jane says:

    This is wonderful. May many other Anglicans follow him into the Catholic Church.

  13. JonM says:

    Paul Richardson is a true inspiration. A man surendured a great title and his job to come to Christ.

    He serves as a beacon and a perspective: Many raised Catholics take the faith for granted or even rebel against it. Many of us conversos dramatize family difficulties associated with coming to the Church.

    Well.

    I think Mr. Richardson trumped us. His humble approach surely is in line with Christ’s calling that we come to Him as children.

  14. An American Mother says:

    This is a splendid thing. How simply, reverently, and humbly he approaches the Church.

    I wish I could say that we had converted with such humility and faith and so little pride and anger . . . .