Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Anglican conversion to Catholic Church swells

From Spero-

About 900 members of the Church of England have taken the first step toward becoming Catholics, the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales declared in a March 15 statement. The former Anglicans participated in a Rite of Election, the first step toward confirmation, over the March 12-13 weekend, the church said. Those embracing the Catholic Church will be joining the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, established by Pope Benedict XVI to receive Anglicans who have felt isolated since the Church of England decided in 1992 to ordain women to the priesthood.

Tensions have grown as the governing General Synod of the Anglican Church moves to allow women to become bishops while denying any specific protection for traditionalists. Converts joining the ordinariate will be allowed to keep some Anglican liturgy and traditions. The largest number, some 240, were reported in the Diocese of Brentwood east of London, followed by 167 in the south London diocese of Southwark and 100 in the central city of Birmingham. Converts included 61 former Church of England priests. "I am greatly encouraged that these people will be received into the Catholic Church at Easter as members of the Ordinariate," said Rev. Keith Newton, the priest in charge of the new group.

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