Monday, November 15, 2010
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, will disclose on Friday the Vatican's plan to welcome the departing priests, including five bishops.
Hundreds of Anglican churchgoers will join them in the Ordinariate - a structure introduced by the Pope to provide refuge for those disaffected with the Church of England. The number of departing worshippers is predicted to double as the new arrangement begins to take shape. The Right Reverend Andrew Burnham, the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, said clergy were dismayed at the liberal direction of the Church of England and the way traditionalists had been treated.
''There's only a certain amount of time you can accept being described as the National Front of the Church of England,'' he said. ''We're seen as out of date for not accepting women's ministry as equal, but the debate concentrates on sociology rather than theology.''
The bishop accused the church of repeatedly breaking promises to make proper provision for opponents of the ordination of women.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, complained last year that the Pope's offer to disaffected Anglicans had put him in an ''awkward position''. He went further last month, saying he was ''very taken aback that this large step was put before us without any real consultation''.
The invitation was made last year after secret meetings between the Vatican and some Anglican bishops.
15 Nov 2010