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Friday, 15 October 2010

Bishop and parish confirm plans to join ordinariate


The Anglican Bishop of Fulham, John Broadhurst, has announced that he will resign before the end of the year to join the Ordinariate provided for by the Holy Father's Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. (H/T Catholic Herald)

At the Forward in Faith website, you can listen to Bishop Broadhurst's speech which he gave as the keynote address at their National Assembly. He said that he had intended to continue in his post until he was 70, but that he will now resign in order to smooth the way for the appointment of his successor. He then said that he intended to join the Ordinariate as soon as it is established. This announcement was met with warm applause. The Bishop quipped that the applause was from those who are not going to join the ordinariate and would be pleased to see the back of him. Obviously it was not - he has stepped forward as the first senior figure to commit himself to the Ordinariate and there are likely to be many who will follow his leadership.

Meanwhile, the parish of St Peter in Folkestone has announced at its website the following lay initiative:
At its meeting on September 28th, the PCC of Folkestone St Peter unanimously requested the Churchwardens to approach The Archbishop of Canterbury, our Diocesan Bishop, in order to consult about the wish of the PCC and many of the congregation to join the English Ordinariate of the Catholic Church when it is erected. We are anxious that this should be made as easy as possible, not only for us, but for the diocesan family of Canterbury that we shall regretfully be leaving behind.
It is not irrelevant to this announcement that the Catholic Parish Priest of Our Lady Help of Christians in Folkestone, Fr Roger Nesbitt, has worked tirelessly over many years to befriend and welcome Anglican clergy, several of whom have come into full communion with the Catholic Church with his discreet and gentle guidance whenever it has been needed.

The Catholic establishment's "party line" on the Ordinariate is that there will only be a few interested, that it will not appeal to many Anglicans, that it is not really needed, that it was basically one of Pope Benedict's well-intentioned mistakes. Well, along with many other Anglican parishes, Bishop Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet and Bishop Keith Newton of Richborough are considered likely to join Bishop Broadhurst. It seems that the response of the establishment of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to Anglicanorum Coetibus is going to have to struggle to keep things lukewarm given the way that they are now hotting up.

It is great news to hear that the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus are being taken up and I would ask you to keep in your prayers all those Anglicans who are currently undecided, as well as those who have bravely led the way.
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