FILE - This is a Sept. 20, 2006 file photo of Bishop of Ebbsfleet Andrew Burnham. Five Church of England bishops including Bishop of Ebbsfleet Andrew Burnham announced Monday Nov 8, 2010 they are converting to Catholicism following an invitation to disaffected Anglicans from Pope Benedict XVI the highest-profile defectors among conservatives opposed to gay bishops and female clergy. Read more: kansascity.com
Here's another good news for the whole CATHOLIC CHURCH of CRRIST. FIVE Anglican Bishops Converted to the Catholic Church and there's nothing to stop them:
Reporting from London (Los Angeles Times)— Five Anglican bishops announced Monday that they will accept an offer from Pope Benedict XVI to convert to Catholicism, primarily over their opposition to the Church of England's decision to ordain female bishops.
The five bishops, in a joint statement, spoke of their distress caused by developments in the Anglican Church that they felt were "incompatible with the historic vocation of Anglicanism and the tradition of the church for nearly 2,000 years."
Officials said a new arrangement for the bishops would be determined by the Vatican, which has moved to facilitate the switch to the Roman Catholic Church by traditional Anglican clergy upset by the acceptance of female priests or gay bishops. The Catholic Church plans to create an ordinariate under the Vatican's apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus.
"With the ordinariate, canonical structures are being established through which we will bring our own experience of Christian discipleship into full communion with the Catholic Church throughout the world and throughout the ages," said serving bishops the Right Revs. Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet, Keith Newton of Richborough and John Broadhurst of Fulham and retired bishops the Right Revs. Edwin Barnes and David Silk.
After the Church of England General Synod meeting in July, the church's decision to move ahead to ordain female bishops triggered rebellion among traditionalists. The five bishops turned to Pope Benedict asking for a structure within the Catholic Church that would enable them to hold on to certain of their rituals and practices within the parameters of Roman Catholicism.
In a brief statement, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, as head of the Anglican Church, accepted "with regret" the five resignations. "We wish them well in this next stage of their service to the church and I am grateful to them for their faithful and devoted pastoral labors in the Church of England over many years."
Burnham, who, like the other bishops converting to the Catholic Church, is married, told the BBC their decision went beyond the issue of female bishops.
"It's bigger than that," he said. "It's the question of whether the Anglican Church is, as it says it is, part of the universal church going back to the time of Jesus, or whether it is going off in its own way and making up its own rules. And we think it's going off in its own way … and we therefore need to belong to the older body."
He expects other Anglicans will also convert to Catholicism, though at least initially not in large numbers. "I don't think there'll be flood … so much is at stake, people losing their homes, their livelihoods, their pensions … inevitably the first wave will be quite small."
In Rome, the pope on Monday called a meeting of cardinals for Nov. 19 to discuss and issue statements on, among other things, a response to sexual abuse within the church and the constitution Anglicanorum coetibus.
Bishop Alan Hopes of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and episcopal delegate for the implementation of the Anglicanorum coetibus welcomed the bishops' decision "to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church."
[Related story at Kansas City.com]
Here's the OFFICIAL STATEMENT from these courageous FIVE Anglican Bishops who Converted to the Catholic Faith (source: Anglican Mainstream
From Forward in Faith
LIKE MANY in the catholic tradition of Anglicanism, we have followed the dialogue between Anglicans and Catholics, the ARCIC process, with prayer and longing. We have been dismayed, over the last thirty years, to see Anglicans and Catholics move further apart on some of the issues of the day, and particularly we have been distressed by developments in Faith and Order in Anglicanism which we believe to be incompatible with the historic vocation of Anglicanism and the tradition of the Church for nearly two thousand years.
The Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum cœtibus, given in Rome on 4th November 2009, was a response to Anglicans seeking unity with the Holy See. With the Ordinariates, canonical structures are being established through which we will bring our own experience of Christian discipleship into full communion with the Catholic Church throughout the world and throughout the ages. This is both a generous response to various approaches to the Holy See for help and a bold, new ecumenical instrument in the search for the unity of Christians, the unity for which Christ himself prayed before his Passion and Death. It is a unity, we believe, which is possible only in eucharistic communion with the successor of St Peter.
As bishops, we have even-handedly cared for those who have shared our understanding and those who have taken a different view. We have now reached the point, however, where we must formally declare our position and invite others who share it to join us on our journey. We shall be ceasing, therefore, from public episcopal ministry forthwith, resigning from our pastoral responsibilities in the Church of England with effect from 31st December 2010, and seeking to join an Ordinariate once one is created.
We remain very grateful for all that the Church of England has meant for us and given to us all these years and we hope to maintain close and warm relationships, praying and working together for the coming of God’s Kingdom.
We are deeply appreciative of the support we have received at this difficult time from a whole variety of people: archbishops and bishops, clergy and laity, Anglican and Catholics, those who agree with our views and those who passionately disagree, those who have encouraged us in this step and those who have urged us not to take this step.
The Right Revd Andrew BurnhamThe Right Revd Keith NewtonThe Right Revd John BroadhurstThe Right Revd Edwin BarnesThe Right Revd David Silk