Daily Telegraph: CofE ‘braced for wave of defections’

12 01 2011

By Peter Hutchison, from the Daily Telegraph online:

The Church of England is braced for the first wave of defections to the Roman Catholic Church this weekend when the Pope’s group for disaffected Anglicans opens its doors and three former bishops are ordained as priests.

John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton will be ordained into the priesthood at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, it was announced yesterday.

The Ordinariate, the group for disaffected Anglican priests and their congregations who seek full communion in the Catholic Church, will also take in its first members.

It is thought that up to 50 Anglican priests and up to 600 worshippers will convert to Catholicism due to their opposition over moves to ordain women bishops in the Church of England.

The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, said: “This is a unique moment and the Catholic community in England and Wales is privileged to be playing its part in this historic development in the life of the Universal Church.

“We offer a warm welcome to these three former bishops of the Church of England. We welcome those who wish to join them in full communion with the Pope in the visible unity of the Catholic Church.”