Wales Online: New Archbishop praises Anglican church over Rome ‘journey’

20 04 2011

From Wales Online:

The newly-appointed Archbishop of Cardiff spoke today of the “gracious” and “understanding” approach of the Church of England as around 900 former Anglicans in England and Wales prepare to be received this Easter into a special grouping within the Catholic Church.

The Rt Rev George Stack, who is to take up the most senior role in the Roman Catholic Church in Wales, said the personal ordinariate had allowed former Anglicans to join the Catholic Church as a group and maintain their identity.

“I think mainstream Anglicans recognise that there are people who feel that they must make this journey and I must say, I think they have dealt with it very, very well,” the Rt Rev Stack said.

“The Church of England has dealt with it very well and has been very gracious and understanding both of the priests and the people who want to come into full communion with the Catholic Church in the ordinariate.”

The Rt Rev Stack was speaking as around 900 people in dioceses in England and Wales are expected to be received this week into the Roman Catholic Church and registered as members of the personal ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

The group includes 61 former Anglican clergy in addition to five who have already been ordained as Catholic priests.

The ordinariate will allow Anglicans to maintain elements of their heritage and is led by the former Anglican bishop of Richborough, Father Keith Newton.

Other former senior Anglican clergy to have joined already include Fr John Broadhurst, formerly bishop of Fulham and Fr Andrew Burnham, former bishop of Ebbsfleet.

The Rt Rev Stack, 64, who was born in Ireland and moved to London with his family in the 1950s has served as a priest for 29 years and a bishop for 10 years in the Archdiocese of Westminster.

He will lead an estimated 100,000 Catholics within the Archdiocese of Cardiff.

The Rt Rev Stack paid tribute to the work of his predecessor, the Most Rev Peter Smith, who was installed as Archbishop of Southwark last June.

The Rt Rev Stack said his first task would be one of listening to people in his diocese.

“It will be a change but it is one that I am looking forward to and it gives me great joy to come and be of service,” he said.