And So It Begins

John HindThe Anglican Bishop of Chichester John Hind has announced that he is considering converting to Catholicism based on the Anglican initiative of Pope Benedict.  This is a shocker.  He is one of the senior bishops of the Anglican Church and not previously identified with Anglicans who wished to break away from the Anglican Church.

The Rt Rev John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, even claimed that “the Anglican experiment is over”. He said it has been shown to be powerless to cope with the crises over gays and women bishops.

In one of the most significant developments since the Reformation, the Pope last week announced that a new structure would be set up to allow disaffected Anglicans to enter full communion with Rome, while maintaining parts of their Protestant heritage.

The move comes after secret talks between the Vatican and a group of senior Anglican bishops. Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was not informed of the meetings and his advisers even denied that they had taken place when the Sunday Telegraph broke the story last year.

Now Bishop Hind, the most senior traditionalist in the Church of England, has confirmed that he is willing to sacrifice his salary and palace residence to defect to the Catholic Church.

“This is a remarkable new step from the Vatican,” he said. “At long last there are some choices for Catholics in the Church of England. I’d be happy to be reordained into the Catholic Church.”

While the bishop stressed that this would depend on his previous ministry being recognised, he said that the divisions in the Anglican Communion could make it impossible to stay.

Pope Benedict’s Anglican initiative may well be the most significant move in Catholic-Protestant relations in centuries.  Bravo Pope Benedict!

11 Responses to And So It Begins

  • I think this is amazing.

    What a beautiful thing to be able to witness on this Earth.

  • Perhaps the 21st century will be the century of Christian re-unification, as Pope John Paul II prayed it would be.

  • This is wonderful news and it will be good.

    Of course, re-unification also makes for only one target for the anti-Christians. Although, a cord is easily ripped, but a woven bundle of cords is far stronger.

  • Very interesting development. What would he mean by “his previous ministry being recognized”?

  • I’m not sure. If he wants to be ordained as a Catholic priest there should be no problem with that. I can imagine him also as one of the first Ordinaries of the Anglican Rite. Since he is married, being a Bishop would be impossible under what Pope Benedict has proposed.

  • Why is there so little [if any] discussion about religion in all these reports? Celibacy, married bishops, active homosexuals, women priests and bishops – but nothing about what were considered the major sticking points – the Real Presence [denial of which "turned a sacrament into a ceremony"] – Infallibility [without which each man had to fabricate his own creed], and such matters.

    It will be a great hardship for many of the Anglican / Episcopalian clergy to give up their careers. Let us hope it is not for negative reasons but rather for positive reasons.

  • G-
    The short answer is that theologically the debate would be over; they return to Rome by accepting the Catechesis of the Catholic Church – lock, stock and barrel.

    The missing link in your question may be the fact that the Church of England has traditionally had 2 wings: Low and High church; a simple definition might be more protestant/calvinist (low) less protestant/lutheran-ish (high). In the early-mid 1800’s a third wing evolved, Anglo-catholic.

    The Anglo-Catholics rose to prominence under the famous leadership of Pusey and Newman. The simplest way to put it would be thus: they advocated a return to the original Anglicanism of Henry VIII… that is, an English Catholic Church that had all the doctrine and continuity of the catholic tradition off of which the English branch split. Pusey remained Anglican under this rubric, while Newman followed his conscience and reason back to full communion with Rome.

    Benedict’s offer appeals to the Puseyites of the Anglican Church… those who have already accepted the “c”atholic tradition, but for varied (usually cultural) reasons were unable/unwilling to “pope.”

    That is why there is little discussion of fundamental theology, since most of the impediments are cultural and not theological.

    Perhaps the best book written on Newman and the Oxford Movement (Anglo-catholicism) is Marvin O’Connell’s _The Oxford Conspirators_ if you are interested in more.

  • Marchmaine,

    Thanks for that bit of history!

    And the book recommendation.

  • Ironic, isn’t it, that this good news follows the post about the English and Welsh Martyrs? Methinks the Lord’s work is keeping the Martyrs very busy these days,…,:-)

  • Oops, scratch that “are” in the last sentence of my post.

    (My typos always jump right out at me the second I click on “submit comment.”)

  • It struck me as quite odd Donna when I posted these on Sunday Donna! I do think there is much joy in Heaven over this move by our Pope.

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