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Monday, 8 November 2010

Ordinariate picking up steam

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The big news today is of course the announcement that five Anglican bishops have tendered their resignation to the Archbishop of Canterbury with the intention of joining the Ordinariate envisaged by Anglicanorum Coetibus as soon as it is established. They are Bishops Andrew Burnham, Keith Newton, John Broadhurst, Edwin Barnes and David Silk.

Anna Arco has a good report on the Catholic Herald's website today. The report includes the full statement of the five Bishops and the statement of Bishop Alan Hopes who is the Catholic bishop responsible for liaison regarding the Ordinariate. The Catholic News Service has a couple of brief quotations from Fr Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Press Office confirming the announcement.

Speaking to the BBC, Bishop Andrew Burnham explained the important point that it is not simply a question of the ordination of women bishops:
Women bishops is a presenting issue, but it’s the question of whether the Anglican church is, as it says it is, 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 its own rules. We think it is going off in its own way and making up its own rules and we therefore need to belong to the older body.
Spin it how you like, this is a truly momentous and unprecedented event. I have been rather more optimistic than some about the prospects for the Ordinariate but I did not imagine that five Bishops would together announce their resignations and their intention to come into full communion with the Holy See.

Today's announcement is an act of genuine and courageous leadership on their part. It will, I am sure, be of great encouragement to other Anglican clergy and people who have been pondering the question over the past few months. Congratulations to all those who have been working hard to bring about the Ordinariate. Please pray for all those who are involved in the continued preparations to establish it.
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