Catholic Herald: Nuns leave Walsingham priory to join ordinariate

15 12 2010

From Anna Arco’s article in the Catholic Herald online:

The community, which numbered seven nuns belonging to the Society of St Margaret, reportedly voted four to three against joining the ordinariate. The three nuns who left the community are its youngest members. The priory is an autonomous house of the Society of St Margaret and is not linked to the Anglican shrine at Walsingham, which is under the administration of Rt Rev Lindsay Urwin, the former Bishop of Horsham.

Fr Peter Geldard, a former Anglican who has been involved with the ordinariate, said: “Historically Anglican religious are the product of the Anglo-Catholic revival 175 years ago and in the past were very committed to Catholic unity. It has always been a source of surprise to me that so few Anglican religious seem to be interested in Catholic unity or the ordinariate today.

“The community seems to have been split down the middle, with the younger ones committed to the ordinariate while the older ones don’t seem to want to rock the boat.”

According to Anglo-Catholic sources, the nuns were told to leave the convent “at great speed with next to nothing” when they voiced their interest in taking up the offer made in the Pope’s Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. Fr Geldard said: “One could see the nuns’ decision to go ahead as encouraging because it shows the level of their commitment that they are ready to take to the sacrificial road.

“I believe they have been taken in by a Catholic community and are currently discerning whether there is in fact a Catholic community they could join which has a similar charism to their old community.”

They are believed to have taken refuge in the Catholic Community of Our Lady of Walsingham in Brentwood diocese.

Read the full article here.