BY ANNA ARCO
THREE ANGLO-CATHOLIC bishops have held talks with senior officials in Rome about possibility of establishing an ordinariate in Britain.
The traditionalists Bishop John Broadhurst of Fulham, who heads Forward in Faith, Bishop Keith Newton of Richborough and Bishop Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet met members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) in the Vatican last week. They are believed to have discussed the possibility of setting up an ordinariate in England and Wales, the Sunday Telegraph reporter.
Pope Benedict XVI last year issued the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum co etibus in response to requests made by traditionalist Anglicans wishing to be in communion with Rome. The decree created a new canonical structure, resembling a military diocese, called an ordinariate, which would allow Anglicans to come into communion without losing aspects of their identity.
A group of English Catholic bishops were also in Rome at the same time and are believed to have been at the meeting. Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster met members of the CDF to discuss the potential for setting up an ordinariate. Bishop Hopes leads the Episcopal Commission of the bishops’ of England and Wales established for the implementation of Anglicano rum coetibus. Other members include Archbishop Bernhard Longley of Birmingham and Bishop Malcolm McMahon of Nottingham. According to a spokesman for the bishops’ conference, Bishop Hopes’s meeting with the CDF was pre-arranged. He said Bishop Hopes was due to discuss the progress made by the bishops on the ordinariate. The role of the commission, he said, was to identify practical areas where difficulties might arise and work out how best to implement an ordinariate should there be Anglicans wanting to take up the Pope’s offer.
Leaders of groups of traditionalist Anglicans wishing to establish an ordinariate will go via the CDF, which in turn will inform the local bishops.