2010-11-08 15:11:45

Five UK Anglican bishops joining Catholic Church

(November 8, 2010) Five Anglican bishops in the United Kingdom have decided to join the Catholic Church, following a special provision made by the Roman Catholic Church for disaffected Anglicans. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales issued a statement on Monday welcoming “the decision of Bishops Andrew Burnham, Keith Newton, John Broadhurst, Edwin Barnes and David Silk to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.” Holy See’s spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed the news on Monday in the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI issued the apostolic constitution 'Anglicanorum Coetibus,' in November last year calling for the creation of what are called "personal ordinariates" - similar to dioceses - to oversee the pastoral care of those who want to maintain some of their Anglican identity while in communion with the Catholic Church. In a statement on Monday, the five Anglican bishops said they have been dismayed over some of the issues and developments incompatible with the historic vocation of Anglicanism. “We have now reached the point, however, where we must formally declare our position and invite others who share it to join us on our journey,” they said. They will be formally stepping down from their public episcopal ministry in the Anglican Church on December 31. Spiritual head of the Church of England, Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury said he has accepted with regret the resignations of bishops Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton. Fr. Lombardi explained that Archbishop Williams mentioned only the two because two others had already retired and another had handed his resignation earlier. Many Anglicans upset over the appointment of female priests and gay bishops in their Church are seeking to join the Catholic Church.

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