Insights from the UK and beyond
About 50 Church of England priests opposed to the consecration of women as bishops are expected to be in the first wave of Anglicans to take up an offer by Pope Benedict and convert to Rome. The traditionalist priests will be joined by five bishops and 30 groups of parishioners, in a structure called an ordinariate, or a Church subdivision, in the new year.
About 300 priests switched in the early 1900s when women were ordained as priests. Then they did not have the comfort of moving over in groups, and nearly 70 returned to the Anglican fold.
Here, one priest explains why he stayed, while another describes why he returned.
Peter Bolton, left, was a priest in the Church of England for 10 years before becoming a Roman Catholic. Just one year later he returned to the C of E. Since his return he has served in parishes in Salford, Watford and Weston-super-Mare. Recently he took early retirement on grounds of ill health. The opinions expressed are his own.
Pope Benedict has made it easier for disaffected Anglicans to convert to Roman Catholicism.
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual head of the Anglican Church, and Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and head ofΒ the Catholic Church in England and Wales, stressed dialogue would continue between the two churches.