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Five Anglican Bishops Leave for Roman Catholic Church

posted by aroan

LONDON (RNS) Five bishops have decided to leave the Church of England and join the Roman Catholic Church under the Vatican’s new program to welcome disaffected Anglicans.
The decision by three active and two retired bishops was reported Monday (Nov. 8) by the British Press Association (PA) and confirmed by the Vatican’s top spokesman in Rome.
Under a plan announced last year by the Vatican, Anglicans can ally with the Catholic Church while preserving aspects of their Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage, including married clergy.
The five Anglican bishops were identified as Bishop of Ebbsfleet Andrew Burnham; Bishop of Fulham John Broadhurst; Bishop of Richborough Keith Newton; and two retirees, former bishop of Richborough Edwin Barnes, and the former bishop of Ballarat (Australia), David Silk.
Burnham described the shift to the Vatican as a “fresh, new opportunity for the churches to move close together.” But he denied that the ongoing controversy over women bishops in the Anglican Church was the reason.
“Women bishops is a pressing issue,” Burnham told the British Press Association, “but this is a question of whether the Anglican Church is, as it says it is, part of the universal church going back to the time of Jesus, or whether it is going off in its own way and making up its own rules, as we think it is.”
“We are pioneers,” Burnham said, but he also predicted that “there will be priests and parishes who will follow in due course.” Burnham said he had “made this decision in neither sadness nor anger.”
Broadhurst said he is “excited but nervous about entering into full communion with the Catholic Church.”
He conceded that “I don’t know what the future holds,” but that “it will either be a huge success or a huge flop.”
The head of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, said in a statement, “We wish them well in this next stage of their service to the church and I am grateful to them for their faithful and devoted pastoral labors in the Church of England over many years.”
— Al Webb
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.



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    Thanks for this post. One of the bishops statements is true. It would really be an opportunity for the churches to move closer together. I have also seen from one of the online articles that the reason why they are moving to Roman Catholic is because they do not want the idea of making women as bishops. Although, there are some differences between Anglicans and those who are in Roman Catholic church, the best thing is they will help altogether to spread the word of God.

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  • Not as good as YOU, apparently

    “But he denied that the ongoing controversy over women bishops in the Anglican Church was the reason.”
    He also left unsaid the actual reason. They may still want to promulgate the idea that women are still considered 2nd class members of the church, but the real reason is all them f@g priests in the Anglican communion. He just didn’t dare articulate the innermost beliefs of the church (i.e. the men who control it).

  • cknuck

    “Anglicans can ally with the Catholic Church while preserving aspects of their Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage”
    This is important to them and I respect that, as also Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was very gracious and thoughtful in his remarks about the situation.

  • jestrfyl

    Burnham told the British Press Association, “but this is a question of whether the Anglican Church is, as it says it is, part of the universal church going back to the time of Jesus, or whether it is going off in its own way and making up its own rules, as we think it is.”
    Really? Are they willing to divest themselves of all the raiment and privileges that come with the office? Do they truly think they are fooling anyone with this line of argument? Talk about making it up as they go, this sort of thing is the pinacle of silliness. If I were in the RCC I would be especially suspicious of anyone who said something like this.
    What they want is an institution that will operate as they say it should be operated. They want control over what everyone else does and says. If they were children they would be counted among the myriad of spoiled brats whose tantrums are embarassing and self-indulgent. But they are adults who ostensibly accepted the call to serve God by working for the church. This is unbecoming and simply another example of “I’m taking my ball and going home”. Their credibility is zip, zilch, nada, vacant, fled, and – gone.

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