He later joined the staff of the Archbishop of Canterbury, helping to plan the 1988 Lambeth Conference, a gathering of bishops from across the Anglican Communion.
In 1994, he was appointed as the Anglican bishop of Rochester, covering the areas of Medway, north and west Kent, and the London Boroughs of Bromley and Bexley.
Married with two children, he served as a member of the House of Lords, Britain’s upper house of Parliament, from 1999.
He took part in the second phase of Anglican and Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC-II) and was a member of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission (IARCCUM).
In 2002, the U.K. media identified him as one of the favorites to succeed the retiring Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey. He was quoted at the time as suggesting that he was the target of a racist smear campaign and he remained as bishop of Rochester until 2009.
The 72-year-old is currently president of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy, and Dialogue (OXTRAD).
The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, paid tribute to Nazir-Ali on his Twitter account on Oct. 14.
He praised his “expertise in evangelism, interfaith dialogue, ecumenism, and theological education.”
“He will continue to be a blessing to the global church as he joins the ordinariate. I will be praying for him and his wife, Valerie, that this new step in their journey might draw them ever closer to God in Christ,” he said.
Msgr. Newton commented: “Since its erection in 2011, Michael has always shown great interest in the development of the ordinariate in the United Kingdom. Those of us who serve the Catholic Church within the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham are delighted at his reception into full communion and forthcoming ordination.”
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
“He brings a great experience of the Anglican Communion and is in a unique place to articulate that Anglican patrimony, described by Pope Benedict XVI as a treasure to be shared, which now has an honoured place in the Universal Church.”
The ordinariate priest Fr. James Bradley noted on his Twitter account last month that the following Anglican bishops have been received into the Catholic Church since 1992: Graham Leonard (London); Conrad Meyer; John Klyberg (Fulham); Richard Rutt (Leicester); John Broadhurst (Fulham); Edwin Barnes (Richborough); Keith Newton (Richborough); Andrew Burnham (Ebbsfleet); David Silk; Paul Richardson; John Goddard (Burnley); and Jonathan Goodall (Ebbsfleet).
Many converts come from the Anglo-Catholic branch of the Church of England, which stresses Anglicanism’s Catholic heritage, but Nazir-Ali has long been associated with the evangelical wing.
Nazir-Ali said: “Ministry in the Church of Pakistan, in the Middle East generally, in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion remains precious to me and I see this as a further step in the ministry of our common Lord and of his people. At this time, I ask for prayers as I continue to pray for all parts of the Church.”
This report was updated at 06:32 a.m. MDT with comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.