Leading Anglo-Catholic bishop to join Ordinariate

The Anglican Bishop of Fulham in London, who heads the leading grouping of Anglo-Catholic priests in the UK called Forward in Faith, has announced that he will join an ordinariate once one had been created in the UK, possibly next year. Speaking at the FiF assembly yesterday in London, he said he would be resigning as Bishop of Fulham before the end of the year, but remain chairman of Forward in Faith which is not, he points out, an Anglican organisation.

The Catholic Herald has the story here. Damian Thompson analysis here. Bishop Broadhurst speech here. Comments reported in tomorrow's Telegraph here.

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Bishop Broadhurst is the first leading Anglo-Catholic bishop to announce the move, but three others have been in communication with Rome about joining an ordinariate, and it looks certain now that it will happen. Bishop Broadhurst is the leading figure in English Anglo-Catholicism, and his decision will doubtless influence others. It doesn't mean an "exodus" of Anglo-Catholic clergy across the Tiber; but it certainly signals the beginning of a drift which will take some years -- and reshape the boundaries of Christianity in the UK.

The ordinariate will almost certainly be named after the Blessed John Henry Newman, who, in his way, foresaw and planned for all this.

[UPDATE]. An Anglican parish in Kent, in southern England, has voted to join the ordinariate. St Peter's has a congregation of just 45, but is choosing to blaze a trail on a path others are expected to follow.

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Stephen O'Brien
8 years 7 months ago
This report concerning the Anglican bishop of Fulham is wonderful news.  It illustrates the real meaning of Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism, whose section 4 states as follows:

“This is the way that, when the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion have been gradually overcome, all Christians will at last, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, be gathered into the one and only Church in that unity which Christ bestowed on His Church from the beginning.  We believe that this unity subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time.
“However, it is evident that, when individuals wish for full Catholic communion, their preparation and reconciliation is an undertaking which of its nature is distinct from ecumenical action.  But there is no opposition between the two, since both proceed from the marvelous ways of God.”

We should warmly welcome the bishop of Fulham and all other Anglicans who respond to Pope Benedict XVI's invitation to return to the unity of the one true Church.

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