Possible reception of 5 Anglican Bishops, their wives, and 3 Nuns at Westminster Cathedral tomorrow

My friend Fr. John Boyle posted this at his blog Caritas in veritate.  Be sure to visit him for follow up news.

Reception of Five Anglican Bishops, their wives, and three Nuns at Westminster Cathedral tomorrow
I have heard on the grapevine that five former Anglican bishops, their wives and three former Anglican nuns from Walshinghas are to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Chuch at 12.30pm tomorrow, New Years Day, at Westminster Cathedral.
I presume that the former bishops concerned (and their former dioceses) are: Andrew Burnham (Ebbsfleet), Keith Newton (Richborough), John Broadhurst (Fulham), Edwin Barnes (assistant bishop, Winchester) and David Silk (assistant bishop, Exeter).
This will be the first step on the road to the eventual establishment of the Ordinariate for former Anglicans who wish to be in full communion with the Catholic Church.
I have found nothing about this anywhere on the internet, which all seems rather strange. It is, surely, a momentous occasion.

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

WDTPRS KUDOS to this courageous bishops and… welcome.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. catholicmidwest says:

    Interesting that this doesn’t appear anywhere else on the net. I hope he’s absolutely sure of the names, because if not, he could get somebody in a vat of boiling water really quick. : o
    They must be getting somewhat tense over there by now.

  2. Randii says:

    Interesting and not unexpected I guess is that Anglican ministers seem more receptive to OC than the typical Anglican layperson.

    The Anglo-Catholic has a bit about an Anglican priest coming into the church and giving his departing statement – noting that none of his conservative Anglican congregation is following him to the Catholic church.

    TAC which was supposed to come en-masse (several hundred thousand) looks by latest reports to actually be several thousand coming over.

    Sort of a parodox that the ordained seem more keen on this than the laity.

  3. catholicmidwest says:

    Fr Z,
    They’re calling it the ordinariate and an article is here: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2010/11/19/the-mood-around-ordinariate-has-changed/

    It’s here too: http://www.zenit.org/article-31007?l=english

    And from the article at Zenit:
    “Five Anglican Bishops who currently intend to enter the Ordinariate have already announced their decision to resign from pastoral ministry in the Church of England with effect from 31 December 2010. They will enter into full communion with the Catholic Church early in January 2011. During the same month, it is expected that the Decree establishing the Ordinariate will be issued and the name of the Ordinary to be appointed announced. Soon afterwards, those non-retired former Anglican Bishops whose petitions to be ordained are accepted by the CDF, will be ordained to the Catholic Diaconate and Priesthood for service in the Ordinariate.”

  4. frdgss says:

    The catholic movement within Anglicanism has ALWAYS been a clerical interest. Mind you, so has the liberal alternative, which is why the Anglican Church has the whiff of death about it. So I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were lots of spare seats on HMS Anglicanorum coetibus – in steerage at any rate. It’s a shame, though it’s hardly rocket science. All the quality passengers took to the lifeboats in 1992.

  5. It’s worth keeping in mind that until some of the clergy come into the church and are ordained into the Catholic priesthood, there can be no ordinariate for the laypeople to come to. The fairly detailed plans for the Anglican Ordinariate in England and Wales looks for the bishops, then priests, and finally laity to enter between now and Pentecost. Please see this note from the Catholic Communications Network of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales (from November 19)

  6. birgit says:

    I do so wish there was a ‘like’ button sometimes!

  7. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Perhaps people were expecting a mob-like rush at the bridge Benedict built. That’s not paying attention to the Anglican desire for orderliness. Be patient and pray: they’re coming, to their benefit, and they know how to man the life boats, to the benefit of their Anglican brothers.

    Father: how would you take to my posting a poem I wrote on this topic during the last year? It’s called “Wilt thou build a bridge, Sir”. If you like, I can send it to you separately, and let you decide on its merits.


  8. catholicmidwest says:

    There is some online activity among Anglicans as you might well imagine:
    Articles at Forward in Faith UK, where you can see what’s been happening: http://www.forwardinfaith.com/artman/publish/index.shtml
    And a link for interested Anglicans fr0m the UK looking for news (found at FiF): http://www.friendsoftheordinariate.com/

    And from Australia, information from a Catholic bishop about the establishment of an ordinariate there: http://www.cam.org.au/news/australian-ordinariate-giant-step-forward.html
    Including a media release: http://www.themessenger.com.au/MessengerPDFs/OrdinariateMediaRelease.pdf

    And the link for interested Anglicans in Australia: http://www.friendsoftheanglicanordinariate.com/

    In the USA we are proceeding more slowly, but we always proceed more slowly on some things. Canada is acting a little ahead of us, it looks like. Here is an article about the US and Canada’s progress. It’s on Virtue, one of the important traditionalist Anglican websites:

    This is really happening! Note: This may turn out to be a very important series of events. Indeed, there is a lot of detail to it; it may have important consequences for the Church; and it’s genuinely historical. I’m quite pleased.

  9. jesusthroughmary says:

    Courageous, yes. Bishops, no.

  10. Warren says:

    Anglo-catholic has – “…five (or six) Anglican bishops and their wives, along with three nuns from Walsingham,…”.

    – five bishops + wives, and the nuns.

    – “Tomorrow, there will be six former Anglican Bishops…”.

    – six bishops.

    If this does come to pass tomorrow as the grapevine has it, it will be interesting to see what the reaction, if any, will be from Canterbury and what spin the MSM will give the reception.

    May God grant to the soon-to-be neophytes every grace to sustain them in their journey.

  11. dhgyapong says:

    I wonder why there has still been no mention of Bishop Robert Mercer, former Anglican Bishop of Matabeleland in Zimbabwe, who left the Anglican Communion to become bishop of the Anglican Catholic Church in Canada (part of the Traditional Anglican Communion) until 2005 or thereabouts when he retired to the United Kingdom.

    Bishop Mercer was among the three Traditional Anglican Communion bishops who brought the 2007 Portsmouth letter requesting communion with the Holy See along with a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that had been solemnly signed on the altar by the bishops and vicars general at the TAC’s College of Bishops held at St. Agatha’s in Portsmouth, England.

    He is a monk and a lifelong celibate, a hero of the anti-apartheid efforts in South Africa and of resistance to the terror of Robert Mugabe.


  12. Hans says:

    During the same month, it is expected that the Decree establishing the Ordinariate will be issued and the name of the Ordinary to be appointed announced.

    Okay, are any of these five unmarried? I keep wondering who could be chosen as Ordinary.

  13. If you read Anglicanorum coetibus, you’ll find that the Pope made provision for priests to be able to become the Ordinaries of the various countries’ Anglican ordinariates:

    “The Ordinary may be a bishop or a presbyter appointed by the Roman Pontiff….”

    Also, “A married former Anglican Bishop is eligible to be appointed Ordinary. In such a case he is to be ordained a priest in the Catholic Church and then exercises pastoral and sacramental ministry within the Ordinariate with full jurisdictional authority. “

  14. I forgot to say that I hope this news proves true. It would be very fitting to enter into full communion on the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and I wish these folks “Ad multos annos novos!”

  15. Hans says:

    I do recall that, Suburbanbanshee, but surely that isn’t the prefered situation. No?

  16. sejoga says:

    It’s interesting, Suburbanbanshee, that you mention they will be entering into full communion on the feast of Mary. My first thought with regards to things planned out by our Holy Father is to look at how things relate to preconciliar thoughts, and I have a feeling that Benedict had a hand in making sure these men were received into the Church on the traditional feast of the circumcision of Our Lord.

    It’s hard not to see the symbolic connection between these men entering into full communion on the day that traditionally marked Christ’s first covenantal relationship with God and God’s chosen people, and of course, the circumcision of Christ has often been seen as a precursor to His passion (since it was the first spilling of his blood), and certainly the trials these men have had to go through on their path to unity with the Church can be viewed through the light of Our Lord’s passion as well.

    I just can’t help but think that the Holy Father must have had a hand in choosing this date, and if he did, I imagine the feast of the circumcision must have factored into his thoughts.

    Being the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God doesn’t hurt either, though.

  17. Supertradmum says:

    Praise God for this blessing, and I am sure that Our Lady of Walsingham, beloved both by Catholics and Anglo-Catholics has overseen this day.

  18. Pope Benedict XVI IS the Pope of Christian Unity!

    God bless these brave men and women, and may they be joined by many tens of thousands more!

  19. nanetteclaret says:

    An excellent blog to go to for all the latest information from around the world is this:


    The top entry is a description by Fr. Sean Finnegan, who was in attendance, of the reception into the Church of the three “Flying” Bishops plus members of their families and three of the Sisters from Walsingham.

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