Fr John Boyle writes:
This Ash Wednesday a good number of anglican clerics resign their offices in the anglican communion to begin the process of reception into the Catholic Church and eventual ordination as Catholic priests in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. On the one hand this is an occasion of great joy. On the other, as Fr Ray Blake points out, we should pray for those communities that are going through the pain of farewells. For their own reasons, not everyone will be following these clerics. So parishes will be depleted in numbers with the consequent effect on morale and future viability.
By the same token, I can think of several anglican lay people I know who would love their priest to take advantage of the Ordinariate process to join the full communion of the Catholic Church. And then they would follow. Why don’t they become Catholics anyway? Well, it’s complicated. There is huge attachment to heritage etc., which is precisely what Pope Benedict acknowledged in establishing an Ordinariate for these people.