Friday, December 31, 2010

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 Walshingham 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.


  1. Very good news that I pray holds true.

    Happy New Year to you Father.

  2. Well, I did try to drop a very broad hint, for those who can read bewteen lines, on my blog Father Hunwicke's Liturgical Notes.

  3. This was a momentous occasion as three former Angican Bishops. some family members and three Religious were received into the Catholic Church during Mass at Westminster Cathedral today.

    It was a most moving occasion and a priviledge to be there.

    Stuart Meyer, former Anglican Priest

  4. As a Roman Catholic I welcome all of our Traditional Anglican family and want you to know how pleased I am to see a union again between us. My wife (a baptized Anglican) has joined with you in re-uniting with the Rome and it's so healing to be one in the Lord in a marriage of 43 years.
    Kelowna, BC

  5. As a lifelong and disillusioned Anglican I consider that this is excellent news however I would like to know the difference in their reception into communion with Rome and reception into the Roman Catholic Church. Does anyone have the form of words used today on this momentus occassion?

  6. If the media can stay mum about the thousands daily lost to abortion, surely it is easier for them to stay mum about this.

    A blogger at the Daily Telegraph "reported" on it, though. That's how I found out about this blog entry.

  7. I am pleased for those who have left the Church of England because they have found their true spiritual home; and pleased for us who remain because we can pursue the truth as we see it without being held back by those who cannot share the journey.

  8. We wish thm well, surely on what we hope will be a joyful road for them?

    However, the track being reported of speedy ordinations of former Anglican clergy suggests that reservations about Anglican orders and ministry are as nothing against the warmth of Roman Catholics comments as to the effectiveness of their former ministries.

    Is it simply that all that is being said "They were Anglican clergy, not Roman Catholic clergy?

    And why so little about the Anglican laity who were received?

  9. "us who remain because we can pursue the truth as we see it without being held back by those who cannot share the journey"

    It's the subjective notion of "truth as we see it" that these people have rejected. The only truth is Truth, as we are obliged to seek it and not be content with "truth as we see it" which ultimatly is false. We must seek the Truth as it is or, to put it another way, as God sees it, for He is its author.

  10. The problem is that we can only define the Truth "as we see it," unless we are telling lies, of course, or deliberately deceiving ourselves.

    As you indicate, objective Truth may well lie outside our knowledge, and probably always does!

    So, we should respect all honestly held perceptions of the Truth even when we disagree?

  11. @Ted: No, this is not the case. There is such thing as objective truth and the Church teaches that it is within the power of human reason to attain this truth. Human reason is capable of grasping truth at a natural level. Were it not for original sin, man would be able to attain to these truths unaided. Now we need the help of God's grace, which is why we need to pray and have recourse the Sacraments. God has also reached down to us in our sinful state which has clouded our intellect and revealed truths, both natural and supernatural, to us.

    Jesus Christ makes the claim that He is the Truth. The Church makes bold to claim to be the One True Church.

    I make bold to claim to be a member (unworthy of such great a gift) of that One True Church. The Church is the one and only guardian of the Truth to be made known to all mankind.

    Objective Truth is not beyond our reach. God has not condemned us to live in doubt/confusion. That is precisely why He revealed Himself to our ancestors in the Faith and, in these last days, through His Son Jesus Christ, and the Church continues to present to us His Revelation.

    Anonymous referred to those who have so recently joined us in full communion as holding him/her and others back on their journey of seeking the truth as he/she and others see it. Rather, it is these new converts who have discovered the truth, and anonymous who is still searching.

    This is, I think, the whole point of today's feast of the Epiphany. As Chesterton says, the Magi discovered Truth, and prostrated themselves before Him and worshipped Him and presented their gifts to Him, prostration, worship and gifts that they had reserved for Him and would not offer to another.

    Chesterton says how Christ was born in a cave and the Church in the catacombs. Christians refused to respect other truths, refused to put Jesus alongside other gods and offer sacrifice to the others alongside Him. And they were killed for this.

    No, error, no matter how honestly held, does not merit respect, although the sincere search of those who are seeking the Truth does.

  12. Congratulations to the new Catholics, of course, as Anglicans they were also Catholic -- so it is not so much of a conversion as a lateral move closer to Latin rite church. The Order of Corporate Reunion celebrates the occasion as a fulfillment of Bishop Frederick George Lee's work to bring the Anglo-Catholics into full communion with the center of Christian Unity.

  13. Hello Father!

    Many thanks for your reply. I guess that we are going to have to differ on what is a philosophically well-nuanced point rather than a theological one. As you say, God has indeed revealed Himself to us all, and what better time to think about that than Epiphany!

    Do I take it that your comments apply across the board in the way the Archbishop's post suggests?

    I'm not sure where the following quote originates from - I have it from a Marian source - but perhaps sums up rather better than my last post:

    "The Lord's ways are hidden from us, not out of caprice, but because we are so limited: it is out of His kindness and love, that he offers us a little at a time, to see and to understand the mystery of God's working out of our lwn plans ~ always graciously."

    My best wishes for the New Year

  14. Hello Fr Ted

    Ok, now I understand, and I agree wholeheartedly with what you say. When it comes to the mysterious workings of God's plan, of course we wait for His kind benevolence to reveal it to us, and often we remain in the dark, like the Magi persevering even when the star disappeared.

    It was anonymous' implication that the one truth can be seen in a variety of subjective, even contradictory, manners leading us to different 'ways' rather than the one Way Who is Christ, or that it can lead us just as validly elsewhere than to His One Catholic Church.

  15. @Archbishop Peter Brennan: Dear Archbishop, as you would expect I have to disagree with you. People like Blessed JH Newman sought to prove that the Anglican communion was part of the Catholic Church and ended up leaving it for the Catholic Church. It is not a lateral move. Although, like all Christians, Anglicans share a real though imperfect communion with the Catholic Church, as you know the Catholic Church doesn't accord the Anglican communion with the title "church" since it has no apostolic succession nor valid orders and hence eucharist, the essential elements for a Church. The Church of England is described merely as an "ecclesial community" since it has certain elements that properly pertain to the life of a church, but insufficient to actually constitute it a true Church.

    May you and all in the Order of Christian Union be moved to take the same courageous steps as those who now celebrate full and perfect communion with the Catholic Church.


Please avoid being 'anonymous' if at all possible.


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