Diocese of Lichfield: “Pope’s ordinariate won’t undermine 40 years of ecumenical friendship”

22 03 2011

This comes from a longer article on the Lichfield Diocescan Synod which can be found here:

A Church of England bishop has said the Pope’s offer of a home to disaffected Anglicans won’t harm the good relationships which exist between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, made the comments in a wide-ranging presidential address to the Lichfield Diocesan Synod meeting in Longton Hall, near Stoke on Trent, on Saturday (19th March).

Addressing the issue of the Ordinariate, Bishop Jonathan said: “How many clergy and people have left our diocese to take up the offer of the Pope? Well, not enough people have left… to undermine 40 years of ecumenical work together. We have been growing much closer together and relationships have been much better at a local level and a national level; so it is not likely that will be fazed by this.”

He told the Synod that three retired clergy and a church warden from the diocese have told him they intend to leave to join the Roman Catholic Church; and he said: “We wish them well.”

He urged others who were thinking of going to wait until the General Synod’s final vote because “there is still everything to play for and pray for.” Bishop Jonathan said he wanted clergy or groups of laity who are seriously thinking about leaving the Church of England to join the Ordinariate to invite him, or one the diocese’s area bishops or archdeacons to a meeting of the Parochial Church Council.

He added: “Of course there is also two-way traffic between us and Rome. We regularly receive Roman Catholics into our congregations and ministry;” and he joked: “Maybe we should set up our own Ordinariate for people coming in the opposite direction!”