The Telegraph reports that five Church of England bishops are leaving to join the Catholic church in a protest over the ordination of women bishops.
The Roman Catholic Church backed their move, and promised a "warm welcome" to all Anglicans who decide to switch allegiance to Rome.
Senior Catholics are finalising plans for the English Ordinariate, a new body created by the Pope to accommodate Anglican converts who cannot accept women bishops.
The Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, Alan Hopes, the Roman Catholic representative leading the development of the Ordinariate,
“We welcome the decision of Bishops Andrew Burnham, Keith Newton, John Broadhurst, Edwin Barnes and David Silk to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate for England and Wales,” he said.
The move was precipitate by a decision at the General Synod of the Church of England in July to support plans for women to be ordained as bishops in England for the first time. The five bishops are said to be “dismayed” at the liberal reforms to the Church in recent decades and will join the Ordinariate in pursuit of “unity” with Rome when the new body is established next year.
Other members of the Church of England are expected to follow their lead. St Peter’s in Folkestone, in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s own diocese, became the first parish to declare publicly that it intended to join the Ordinariate last month.
Holy Trinity church in Reading is expected to make a decision on whether to follow in the next few weeks. Meetings are also planned at St John the Baptist church in Sevenoaks, Kent, and Holy Trinity, Winchmore Hill, in north London.
To be honest I find the move rather stupid. Personally I just don’t see the problem, given that an all male clergy in the past was a simply a reflection of the status of women more than anything else.
The ship jumpers are not guaranteed a universally warm welcome in the Catholic church. There are many people like my father who do not care for people changing religion for something as trivial as this.
Needless to say the new converts will not be forced to be celibate, making the rule on existing catholic priests more of an insult.
I’m wondering if the Catholic Church will have an ad campaign
Anglicans! Are you sick of female priests? Hate the idea of them becoming bishops?
Well join the Catholics. We’re bloody terrified of women!