You will find the photo above and more stills on Fr. Bradley's Flickr Photostream.
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Well, if this was Ordinary time… it felt like a foretaste of heaven itself. Others will give more eloquent descriptions of the events today in Westminster Cathedral; for me it was almost too moving for words. How wonderful, that the wives of the three former Anglican Bishops were recognised and even had a liturgical role! …helping to vest their husbands. It reminded me of on occasion in Cuddesdon parish church when Michael Ramsey of blessed memory appeared at the sacristy door, his chasuble on sideways, pleading with his wife to "come and help me, dear!"
So many friends were there; many of us in unaccustomed collar and tie as we prepared for our own reception into the fulness of the Catholic Church. Some, of course, slip out of their clerical collars more easliy than others; Geoffrey Kirk was looking especially suave in his brown fedora.
The highpoint of the ceremony for me was not the actual ordination, but the naming of the Ordinariate (of Our Lady of Walsingham, under the patronage of John Henry Newman) and of the Ordinary — that doughty son of Liverpool, Keith Newton. What a blessing all three of those men will be, John, Andrew and Keith, to the Catholic Church. Keith, though, urged us to pray for him as he begins to shoulder his great burden; especially the need to find ways of paying for the priests and their housing when they are ordained in six months' time.
This was one of those few "were you there when…" historical moments of a lifetime. The Archbishop, Vincent Nichols, rose splendidly to the occasion; affirming the former ministry of these three and of the others who will join them before long. I suggested to the Archbishop that, wonderful as today was, it was actually a rehearsal for another Ordination in Portsmouth a few weeks from now — he was kind enough to smile.
Everything was so right, the music, the spoken words, the symbolism — how good to have the former Walsingham Sisters involved in the Offertory. They have given up so much, and deserve our love and our prayers.
The few pictures I took were mostly at the reception in the Archbishop's House. Fr Bradley was very busy and will no doubt have pages of Flickr pictures to entertain us. But it is late, and tomorrow I have to attend the Baptism of a cousin's grandchild in Faringdon. My grandparents were prolific, and at one time I had fifty first cousins, so you understand there are plenty of family occasions to attend.
At The Catholic Church of England and Wales' Flickr Photostream, there is a set of 25 high resolution images licensed under Creative Commons:
Anna Arco, whose reporting on all things Anglicanorum coetibus over the year has been unmatched, has filed her story on the Westminster ordinations at the Catholic Herald.
At the start of the Mass, Archbishop Nichols read the Bull establishing the ordinariate. In it, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the ordinariate “marks a unique and historic moment in the life of the Catholic community in this country”.
The three men were presented for ordination by Westminster auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes, himself a former Anglican.
In his homily, Archbishop Nichols thanked the Church of England, especially the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.
Archbishop Nichols said: “I want in particular to recognise your dedication as priests and bishops of the Church of England and affirm the fruitfulness of your ministry.
“I thank so many in the Church of England who have recognised your sincerity and integrity in making this journey and who have assured you of their prayers and good wishes. First among these is Rowan, Archbishop of Canterbury, with his characteristic insight and generosity of heart and spirit. This journey of course involves some sad parting of friends. This too we recognise and it strengthens the warmth of our welcome.”
He added “We thank our Holy Father Pope Benedict for not only placing this ordinariate under the protection of Our Lady of Walsingham but also for giving it Bl John Henry Newman as its patron.”
Referring the Pope’s December 20 speech, Archbishop Nichols spoke about Blessed John Henry Newman’s idea of conscience.
He added: “Today we thank the Holy Father for the courageous leadership he gives in establishing the first personal ordinariate. His intentions are clear. It is as he said, ‘a prophetic gesture’. It is to contribute to the wider goal of visible unity between our two Churches by helping us to know in practice how our patrimonies of faith and living can strengthen each other in our mission today.”
Archbishop Nichols said the Pope’s ministry was the visible unity of the Church.
He said: “It is central to the faith of those who enter into full communion in this ordinariate. It is central to the welcome, encouragement and support the Catholic community in England and Wales gives to this development and to all who seek to be part of it.”
He entrusted the Ordinariate to the intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham.
After the laying on of hands and the prayer of ordination, Mrs Broadhurst, Mrs Burnham and Mrs Newton brought their husbands the symbols of the priesthood, the vestments.
The three former Anglican sisters at Walsingham who were received into the Church with the former bishops, brought up the gifts to Archbishop Nichols.
The music at the Mass was sung by Westminster Cathedral choir. The Mass was Missa O quam gloriosum. There was music by Elgar and Stanford. The closing hymn was Newman’s Praise to the Holiest.
More than 60 priests from across England and Wales concelebrated at the Mass of Ordination and laid their hands on the ordinands.
At Communion, many people came up to receive blessings from the new priests.
I am humbled to have been appointed by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, as the first Ordinary for the Personal Ordinariate to be erected in Great Britain under the provisions set out in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. This is not an honour I have sought or expected but I pray that God will give me the wisdom and grace to live up to the trust the Holy Father has placed in me.
My wife and family have been a great support to me throughout my ministry and I know they will continue to do so. I am delighted that Gill was received with me into the full communion of the Catholic Church at Westminster Cathedral on 1 January 2011.
I can look back at over 35 years of ordained ministry with tremendous gratitude. The Church of England nourished me in the Christian Faith and it was within her that I discovered, as a teenager, my vocation to the ordained ministry which has involved service both in England and Africa. I do not see my reception into the Catholic Church as a radical break but part of the on‐going pilgrimage of faith which began at my baptism. Since my teenage years I have longed and prayed for corporate unity with the Catholic Church and the publication of the Apostolic Constitution has offered the possibility of realising that dream.
I am particularly grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, for his patience and graciousness with those of us who have been exploring our way forward over the last few months.
The Catholic Church, both here and in Rome, have given me warm encouragement in making this step and I am grateful for the countless words and signs of welcome I have received from many members of the Catholic Church over recent days. I hope the Ordinariate will be a gift to the Catholic Church and that I, together with those priests and people who join the Ordinariate, will be of service to the whole Church.
VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2011 (VIS) – "In accordance with the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum coetibus' of Pope Benedict XVI (4 November 2009) and after careful consultation with the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has today erected a Personal Ordinariate within the territory of England and Wales for those groups of Anglican clergy and faithful who have expressed their desire to enter into full visible communion with the Catholic Church", reads an English-language communique released today. "The Decree of Erection specifies that the Ordinariate will be known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and will be placed under the patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman.
"A Personal Ordinariate is a canonical structure that provides for corporate reunion in such a way that allows former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their distinctive Anglican patrimony. With this structure, the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum coetibus' seeks to balance on the one hand the concern to preserve the worthy Anglican liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions and, on the other hand, the concern that these groups and their clergy will be fully integrated into the Catholic Church.
"For doctrinal reasons the Church does not, in any circumstances, allow the ordination of married men as bishops. However, the Apostolic Constitution does provide, under certain conditions, for the ordination as Catholic priests of former Anglican married clergy. Today at Westminster Cathedral in London, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, ordained to the Catholic priesthood three former Anglican bishops: Reverend Andrew Burnham, Reverend Keith Newton, and Reverend John Broadhurst.
"Also today Pope Benedict XVI has nominated Reverend Keith Newton as the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Together with Reverend Burnham and Reverend Broadhurst, Reverend Newton will oversee the catechetical preparation of the first groups of Anglicans in England and Wales who will be received into the Catholic Church together with their pastors at Easter, and will accompany the clergy preparing for ordination to the Catholic priesthood around Pentecost.
"The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church. The initiative leading to the publication of the Apostolic Constitution and the erection of this Personal Ordinariate came from a number of different groups of Anglicans who have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has now come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion".
The Bollettino has this English biography of the first Ordinary:
Reverend Keith Newton was born in Liverpool, United Kingdom, on April 10, 1952, the younger of two brothers. He married Gill Donnison on August 25, 1973 and they have three children.
He was educated at Alsop High School, Liverpool 1963-1970 and went on to read Theology at King’s College in the University of London 1970-73 where he was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Divinity and was made an Associate of Kings College. He gained a Post Graduate Certificate of Education from Christ Church College Canterbury 1974 and continued formation for the Anglican priesthood at St Augustine’s College Canterbury.
He was ordained deacon 1975 and priest 1976 for the Anglican Diocese of Chelmsford and he served his first appointment as curate at St Mary’s, Great Ilford. In 1978 he was appointed a Vicar in the Wimbledon Team Ministry in the Anglican Diocese of Southwark. From 1985-1991 he served in the Diocese of Southern Malawi in the Anglican Province of Central Africa; from 1986-1991 he was the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral Blantyre, Malawi. In 1991 he returned to the United Kingdom and ministered in the Anglican Diocese of Bristol as Vicar of Holy Nativity, Knowle 1992-2002.
He was ordained bishop on 7th March 2002 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd George Carey, to serve as Suffragan Bishop of Richborough and Provincial Episcopal Visitor in the Province of Canterbury 2002-2010.
He and his wife were received into the full Communion of the Catholic Church at Westminster Cathedral by Bishop Alan Hopes on 1st January 2011.
As we wait for detailed coverage from Westminster, Anna Arco has the news of the decree establishing the first Anglican Ordinariate at the Catholic Herald, which follows below.
America's Austen Ivereigh tweets that Fr. Keith Newton has been named the first ordinary, confirming speculation over the last several months.
* * *
Benedict XVI formally established the world’s first personal ordinariate for groups of Anglicans today.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued a Decree of Erection which officially founds an ordinariate in England and Wales. It will be known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, under the protection of Blessed John Henry Newman.
On Thursday three former Anglican bishops were incardinated into the English and Welsh ordinariate when they are ordained deacons at Allen Hall seminary in London. They will be ordained priests on Saturday at Westminster Cathedral.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, who will be the chief celebrant at the Mass of ordination, said earlier this week: “This is a unique moment and the Catholic community of England and Wales is privileged to be playing its part in this historic development in the life of the universal Church.
“We offer a warm welcome to these three former bishops of the Church of England. We welcome those who wish to join them in full communion with the Pope in the visible unity of the Catholic Church. We recognise the gjourney they are makng with its painful departures and its uncertainities. We salute their depth of searching prayer and the desire which leads them to seek to live within the community of the Catholic Church under the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. This is a faith we share.”
Members of the ordinariate will be fully fledged Catholics of the Roman Rite. Ordinariate priests will be able celebrate Mass freely in Catholic churches and Catholics attending ordinariate Masses will be able to receive Communion there.
The BBC has a long piece up by religion correspondent, Robert Pigott. The majority of the article is a summary of information well-known to readers here, but there is an interesting section in the piece contrasting the outlook of the newly-ordained Fr. Newton, with that of Fr. David Houlding, Master of the SSC and member of the Catholic Group in Synod, who insists that conversion is premature.
* * *
Many traditionalists on the Catholic wing of Anglicanism oppose their colleagues' conversion, warning that it will weaken the Church of England as a broad Church able to balance its Protestant and Catholic traditions.
Prebendary David Houlding belongs to the Catholic Group on the Church of England Synod, and regards the ordination with sadness and anger.
His anger is directed partly at his own Church, but he believes converting to Catholicism is premature.
"The Church of England hasn't finally settled what sort of provision [to operate outside the supervision of women bishops] we are going to get," he said.
"There's more work to do, we haven't reached a satisfactory conclusion, there's no certainty that the legislation will go through as it stands."
Mr Houlding regards the Church of England as the continuing "Catholic" Church in England, albeit one reformed after the break with Rome 450 years ago.
He fears that a long-maintained balance will be lost, not just between its Catholic and Protestant wings, but between its liberal and traditionalist elements.
In short he, and others like him, worry that it's becoming a more liberal and more Protestant Church, less able to fulfil its traditional role in serving the whole theological and social spectrum in England.
Mr Newton's view is not dissimilar, even if he has come to different conclusions about how to respond to it.
"I think in recent years we have gone much towards a Protestant understanding of the Church…" he said.
"I think there are questions as to whether it can really claim to be part of the one holy and apostolic Church. It seems to have… made changes to holy orders (ordaining women clergy) that the rest of the (universal) Church has advised us not to make.
"I think a Catholic understanding is no longer credible in the Church of England."
Mr Newton insists that his conversion to Catholicism and membership of the Ordinariate is not solely to do with the ordination of women, but about maintaining "unity" at a time when he sees the Church of England departing from tradition.
More ordinations of former Anglican clergy as Catholic priests are due to take place just before Easter.
There are few signs of a mass exodus of Anglicans at the moment, but Mr Houlding, for one, fears that Pope Benedict has opened a door in the Church of England, that will in perpetuity encourage unhappy traditionalists to leave rather than fight their corner.
But Mr Newton questions how far the "marginalised" Catholic wing of the Church can any more "dictate to a larger group what is right for them".
"We've felt for some time that Anglo Catholics and Evangelicals (some of whom also oppose women bishops) have been holding the Church back from what it wants to do.
"You can't have a Church that believes in women bishops and doesn't believe in women bishops."
Supporters of the Church of England's status as the established, official state Church, see its long balancing act between opposing factions as vital to its survival in its present form, and the benefit they believe that brings to society at large.
There will be many who wonder anxiously how far the ordinations at Westminster Cathedral could undermine it.
The stories continue to come in from yesterday's ordinations to the diaconate at Allen Hall. The video above comes via Fr. James Bradley of Sevenoaks, St. John the Baptist, whose media contributions over the last year have been invaluable.
Fr. Bradley also has a set of photos from yesterday on Flickr.
Anna Arco has this piece recounting the day's events at the Catholic Herald.
At Ordinariate Portal, there are now four eyewitness accounts of yesterday's events:
May God bless Fathers Broadhurst, Burnham, and Newton during their profoundly transitional diaconate. More news as it comes…
Sevenoaks, St. John the Baptist has our first eyewitness account of the diaconal ordinations:
Where were you when JFK was shot? Where were you when the white smoke came from the Sistine Chapel that elected Pope Benedict? Where were you when the Ordinariate began?
Tonight, quietly and calmly – but with the beauty and splendour of the Mass – the face of English Christianity changed. Tonight the first three men were ordained for the Ordinariate in these isles and another step towards the fulfilment of Christ's prayer – that all may be one – was made.
John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton are brave men of great integrity who, only a few days ago, left their old lives behind to follow Christ's call and to take up the great challenge laid out by the Holy Father in Anglicanorum coetibus. These three, now in the full communion of the Catholic Church, gave up all they had been given and this evening submitted humbly to 'the quiet rectification', in Aidan Nichols' words, of their orders.
It was moving beyond words to be present at this momentous occasion.