Defections to Rome
Five leading bishops and 45 other clergy have defected from the Church of England (CofE) to join the Roman Catholic Church.
According to a report in theTelegraph on Sunday, the Catholic Church announced that the Vatican was making plans to welcome the former CofE ministers.
The move was in response to the Anglican Communion’s agreement to introduce women bishops – a repetition of the move by dozens of Anglican ministers to the Catholic Church when women were first eligible to become ordained vicars in the CofE.
Rev. Malcolm McMahon, the Catholic Bishop of Nottingham, confirmed that the first priests would be received into the Catholic Church early this year.
He said, ‘The ordinariate could grow with time. It depends on the CofE as to whether there will be more who feel they can no longer stay in it. It is not in the Catholic Church’s interests to break up the Church of England’.
The move comes after the Vatican made public overtures to Anglican priests in the UK earlier in 2010, when the decision to ordain female bishops was ratified.