BBC News: Changing times in the church

10 03 2011

From BBC News Cornwall online:

Some members of the Anglican Church are resigning their offices to begin the process of conversion into the Roman Catholic Church. They say it is as a result of criticism over the Church of England’s stance on issues such as women bishops and homosexuality.

In Cornwall, the vicar of St Paul’s Church in Charlestown, near St Austell, has announced he is leaving to start his journey into the church of Rome. Father John Greatbatch is also being joined by more than 20 members of his congregation. They’ll be known as the Cornwall Ordinariate.

‘Jump of faith’

Father John told the congregation about his decision, saying: “A lot of people were upset, a few were angry, some were wondering what to do.

“In my church there are those who wish to remain in the Church of England, which is fine.

“We wish the Church of England well in the journey it’s taking.”

When the Pope announced that he was creating his own Personal Ordinariate for disillusioned Anglicans back in 2009, it took many in both churches by surprise. The Right Reverend Tim Thornton, the Bishop of Truro, said he was sad to lose Father Greatbatch from the Church of England.

He said it was hard for Anglicans to understand what the Ordinariate is.”I think the issue where it’s still quite hard to see what it means is this phrase ‘Anglican Patrimony’. That is the suggestion that those who join the Ordinariate are continuing to be – in some way, shape or form – Anglican-like in what they do.

“I have yet to understand and it’s yet to be explained to me what that might mean.”

Father John Greatbatch said the move was something that he had been thinking about for many years. “This is what I have got to do. This is the way I believe the Lord is leading me. So it’s a real jump of faith.”


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