Sunday, November 7, 2010

Report: Archbishop of Canterbury 'to announce conversion of two bishops to Rome on Monday'

By Damian Thompson

Will Dr Williams announce departures on Monday? (Photo: PA)
Will Dr Williams announce departures on Monday? (Photo: PA)

This report appeared today on an Australian website:
The Archbishop of Canterbury is expected to announce the resignation of two bishops on Monday, in the first of what is feared [sic] will be a wave of departures from the Church of England by traditionalists converting to Roman Catholicism.
The Bishop of Richborough, the Right Rev Keith Newton, 58, is expected to become leader of the Anglican Ordinariate, set up to provide Catholic refuge to Anglicans who leave the Church of England over the issue of women bishops.
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Right Rev Andrew Burnham, 63, is also expected to join the Ordinariate, along with the Bishop of Fulham, the Right Rev John Broadhurst, who announced last month that he will be resigning at the end of the year. A fourth retired bishop, Edwin Barnes, is also expected to join the Ordinariate.
Sources said that the Ordinariate is to be launched at Pentecost next year, seven weeks after Easter.
Both Newton and Burnham have been on study leave for the past month while they consider their positions.
I assume the report is largely accurate, because Bishop Burnham has contributed to the thread discussing it on the Anglo-Catholic blog. He makes one correction, but it’s very minor: “I’m only 62,” he says (and nothing else).

More later. But how fascinating that Bishop Newton, rather than an existing Catholic bishop, could be leader of the Ordinariate. He cannot be ordained a Roman Catholic bishop, as he is married, but if he were the priestly “ordinary” of the communities, he would exercise many of the legal (as opposed to sacramental) powers of a bishop...

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