London, England, Jan 15, 2011 / 11:05 am
An official jurisdiction for members of the Church of England opting for full communion with the Catholic Church was established just in time to receive its first three priests on Saturday.
On Jan. 15, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith decreed the creation of "The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham." The announcement of the establishment of the ordinariate, a special diocese-like structure, was announced during the Mass at London's Westminster Cathedral to ordain three former Anglican bishops to the Catholic priesthood.
The very name of the personal ordinariate denotes the Catholic-Anglican connection, both Churches have Marian Shrines in the English village of Walsingham. Blessed John Henry Newman, the most well-known Anglican to seek communion with the Catholic Church, was chosen as the jurisdiction's patron.
The ordinariate is a new structure in which "worthy Anglican liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions" will be preserved.The movement of people away from the Anglican Communion is being spurred by a growing acceptance of female bishops, practing homosexual clergy, and disagreements over the primacy of Sacred Scripture within the Church.