Richborough, England, Nov 14, 2010 / 06:45 pm (CNA).- The Anglican Bishop of Richborough told his flock that he plans to become Catholic because Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic constitution “completely changed the landscape” for Anglo-Catholics and he now believes that he must lead the way to union with the Universal Church.
Bishop Keith Newton of Richborough, England said in a pastoral letter to priests and people in the Richborough area that he will resign as bishop as of Dec. 31. He will not conduct any public episcopal services. This “difficult” decision followed much thought and prayer, he remarked.
“I will, in due course, be received into full communion with the Catholic Church and join the Ordinariate when one is erected in England, which I hope will happen early next year.”
Pope Benedict established the proposed Anglican Ordinariate, a special jurisdiction within the Catholic Church, in his apostolic constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus.”
Bishop Newton explained that although the issue of the ordination of women as Anglican bishops has been an important factor in his decision, it is “not the most significant.”
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