(Photo: Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, (C REAR) follows former Anglican bishops (L-R) John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton after their ordination as Roman Catholic priests at Westminster Cathedral in central London, January 15, 2011/Andrew Winning)
The new Roman Catholic Church body set up to house disaffected Anglicans would not become a ghetto within the Church, the priest appointed to lead the group said on Monday. The ordinariate, a special subdivision in the Church created by the Vatican to allow the converts to retain some of their Anglican customs, would also seek to evangelise while maintaining good relations with Anglicans, the former Church of England bishop Keith Newton told reporters.
The ordinariate, announced by Pope Benedict in 2009, allows those Anglicans opposed to women bishops, gay clergy and same-sex blessings to convert to Rome while keeping many of their traditions. Newton said there was a danger that people would think of it as an ex-Anglican ghetto within the Catholic Church, but “we want to make clear it is not.”
“There are no second-class Catholics,” he added.
Newton, who will be the ordinary or leader of the ordinariate, was ordained into the Catholic Church on Saturday along with two other former Church of England bishops, John Broadhurst and Andrew Burnham.
A number of practical issues, including finance, salaries and homes are expected to be settled by Pentecost, June 12, by which time former Anglican priests ready to convert are expected to have been ordained as Catholic clerics.