The Pope has donated £150,000 to help Anglicans who have become disenchanted with the Church of England’s liberal teachings move to the Roman Catholic Church.
The money has been handed to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which was established by Pope Benedict XVI in January last year to enable clergy and lay people to change faith while retaining elements of Anglican tradition.
At present it does not have a headquarters or properties for clergy, many of whom are having to rely on facilities provided by Catholic dioceses.
The Pope’s donation will be ploughed into a fund to buy places of worship and provide stipends for priests.
Our Lady of Walsingham has 1,200 lay members and 60 clergy spread across Britain, including 250 who joined in an Easter ceremony last month.
The ordinariate takes its name from an 11th century vision by a woman in Walsingham, Norfolk, who claimed the Virgin Mary led her in spirit to Nazareth to see the place where an angel told her she would bear a son.
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