Below is news posted on an Australian website earlier today. If true, and I strongly suspect it is, then this is thrilling news. Bishop Keith, (who baptised my little girl Jemima Mary), is a very pastoral, wise and wonderful man. Most who meet him speak of his warmth and love and I am personally thrilled that he could be nominated as the Ordinary for England.
BRITAIN'S Archbishop of Canterbury is expected to announce the resignation of two bishops on Monday, in the first of what is feared will be a wave of departures from the Church of England by traditionalists converting to Roman Catholicism.
The Bishop of Richborough, the Right Rev Keith Newton, 58, is expected to become leader of the Anglican Ordinariate, set up to provide Catholic refuge to Anglicans who leave the Church of England over the issue of women bishops.
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Right Rev Andrew Burnham, 63, is also expected to join the Ordinariate, along with the Bishop of Fulham, the Right Rev John Broadhurst, who announced last month that he will be resigning at the end of the year. A fourth retired bishop, Edwin Barnes, is also expected to join the Ordinariate.
Sources said that the Ordinariate is to be launched at Pentecost next year, seven weeks after Easter.
Both Newton and Burnham have been on study leave for the past month while they consider their positions.
The only part of this that I would not take too seriously is the mention of a wave. The first batch of leavers will be small as it needs both a committed priest and ready and willing congregation. It is the second wave that I think will be larger but even then it should not worry the Church of England too much. The Ordinariate offers a sanctuary and mission base for those wanting to worship as traditional Catholics but it also frees the Church of England to proceed with Women Bishops and create a more liberal, congregationalist and protestant shaped Church for the 21st Century.
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