Oooops, wrong three bishops--my bad.
Three Anglican Bishops Ordained As Catholic Priests
By Al Webb - Religion News Service
LONDON (RNS) Three former Church of England bishops, disaffected by their church's ordination of women, have been ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church under a new special section created by the Vatican.
Their ordination as Catholic priests at London's Westminster Cathedral was confirmed Saturday (Jan. 15), two weeks after they were formally received into the Vatican's ranks.
The three -- former Richborough Bishop Keith Newton, former Ebbsfleet Bishop Andrew Burnham and ex-bishop of Fulham John Broadhurst -- quit the Anglican Church in protest over women's ordination and the likelihood of women becoming bishops.
The Catholic Church created a new religious home for the rebels in a special section called the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, intended specifically for Anglicans who want to become Catholics while still retaining aspects of their Anglican heritage. (Nothing like catering to the mind set of the middle ages in the twenty first century. There has sure been a lot of that lately.)
Newton, whom Pope Benedict XVI named as leader of the new ordinariate, suggested to journalists that as many as 50 other Anglican clerics and members of as many as 30 congregations might become Catholics in the coming months. (He also had a few thoughts on housing and financing for his expected 50 other Anglican priests. The British Catholic bishops are kicking in some money, but probably not nearly enough to avoid a certain amount of down sizing.)
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, conducted the ordination of the three men, whom he conceded had experienced "some parting of friends" in their decision to abandon the Anglican Communion.
But he described their switch as "a unique occasion marking a new step in the life and history of the Catholic Church." (It might be a new step for their version of Catholicism, but it doesn't change anything at all for any other Catholic.)
Under the new rules, the three men will be allowed to stay married but cannot be elevated to bishops in the Catholic Church. (They will wind up getting everything but the title.)
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head of the global, 77-million strong Anglican Communion, had already accepted the resignations of Newton, Burnham and Broadbent "with regret."
I've been avoiding posting on this topic. Of all the recent decisions made by the Vatican, in some ways this new ordinariate irritates me the most. It's been interesting along these lines to see just how little press this recent ordination ceremony has received. Maybe it's gotten more in the British Isles. Perhaps this lack of attention is because no matter how it's spun this is more or less like rewarding grown men for throwing a tantrum. Which is exactly how I see it.
We've been down this road before and I wasn't impressed then either. At that time, back in 1982, I was irritated that priests crossing the Tiber could keep both their wives and their jobs, but Roman Catholic priests who married were tossed out like so much garbage. It was like a double whammy of good old misogyny. Now we get to add a heavy dose of gay bashing to go with the misogyny. This is really not a particularly inspiring message to send or swallow.
I actually have a difficult time understanding how conservatives and traditionalists can be excited about this move. All these Anglicans have demonstrated is that their given word in a sacred context is meaningless when it comes to conflict with their personal 'opinon'. They left their flocks in the lurch even though the Anglican Church had bent over backwards for decades to accommodate their 'issues' with women clergy. The American Episcopalian Church is a different ball game. In England, there were real attempts made to placate the anti women clergy crowd--to no better success than the more aggressive approach taken by North American Episcopalians. This says when it came to women clergy, the only acceptable position for traditionalists was none and this has now been extended to include gay clergy.
Speaking of which, I seriously wonder how these suddenly Catholic Anglicans with their suddenly found love for the papacy are going to deal with all the closets full of gay clergy in the Catholic hierarchy. I imagine not very well. On the other hand I can also imagine that given the theological mindset of this grouping of Anglican clergy they most likely have their share of sham marriages. And all of this leaves me wondering about the maturity level of any of the male participants in this whole charade of a new Ordinariate. It doesn't look like ecumenical Christian love to me. It looks like one more method for dragging the Catholic priesthood through the mud.