Archbishop John Myers of Newark has been appointed by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to work with all U.S. bishops and oversee the process by which Anglican/Episcopalian clergy, who wish to convert to Catholicism, can be ordained as Catholic priests.
The archdiocese announced the news in the Oct. 19 edition of The Catholic Advocate. In his new role as Ecclesiastical Delegate for the Pastoral Provision, he will report to Archbishop William Levada, former ordinary of San Francisco, who serves as prefect of the congregation.
“I’m grateful that the Holy Father and Archbishop Levada have placed their trust in me to assist in welcoming these men into the Church, and to work with my brother bishops on this delicate but important service,” said Archbishop Myers.
In 1980, Pope John Paul II made possible the ordination of married Episcopal priests, who were seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. He also authorized the establishment of personal parishes, which retain certain liturgical elements proper to the Anglican tradition, yet they are Catholic, and submit to the authority of the local bishop.
Since 1983, 78 former Episcopalian priests have been ordained for Catholic ministry in the U.S., and seven personal parishes - five in Texas, and one each in Massachusetts and South Carolina - have been formed.
Currently, there are three men in process for ordination in the U.S. Rome is considering the request of another four. Six others have made inquiries.