Prominent Anglican Bishop received into the Catholic Church


A prominent Anglican bishop once considered a potential future Archbishop of Canterbury has entered into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The Rt. Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester, England, has joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, The Spectator reported on October 14.

The magazine specifies that Nazir-Ali could be ordained a Catholic priest at the end of October within the ordinariate, an organization created by Benedict XVI in 2011 for groups of former Anglicans wishing to preserve elements of their heritage.

In an October 14 statement, the ordinariate declared that Nazir-Ali had been received in full communion by the group’s Ordinary, Mgr. Keith Newton, September 29, feast of St. Michael and all the angels.

“With the permission of the Holy See, he will be ordained a Catholic priest for the ordinariate in due course,” he said.

Explaining his decision, Nazir-Ali said: “I believe that the Anglican desire to adhere to apostolic, patristic and conciliar teaching can now be better maintained in the ordinariate.

“The provisions there to safeguard the legitimate Anglican heritage are very encouraging and, I believe, that this heritage in its liturgy, approaches to Bible study, pastoral commitment to the community, methods of moral theology, and much more. still others have much to offer the larger Church.

“I look forward to receiving the riches from other parts of the Church, while perhaps making a modest contribution to the maintenance and enhancement of the Anglican heritage within the larger fellowship. “

The news comes a month after another Church of England bishop announced he was crossing the Tiber.

The Rt. Reverend Jonathan Goodall, the Anglican bishop of Ebbsfleet, said he made the decision “after a long period of prayer”.

Nazir-Ali was born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1949, and attended Catholic schools. He has both Christian and Muslim family backgrounds and holds British and Pakistani nationalities.

He was ordained an Anglican priest in 1976, working in Karachi and Lahore. He became provost of the Anglican Cathedral of Lahore and was consecrated as the first bishop of Raiwind in western Punjab.

He then joined the staff of the Archbishop of Canterbury, helping to plan for the 1988 Lambeth Conference, a gathering of bishops from across the Anglican Communion.

In 1994 he was appointed Anglican Bishop of Rochester, covering the regions of Medway, north and west of Kent, and the London boroughs of Bromley and Bexley.

Married with two children, he was a member of the House of Lords, the upper house of the British Parliament, from 1999.

He participated in the second phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC-II) and was a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission on Unity and Mission (IARCCUM).

In 2002, British media identified him as one of the favorites to succeed the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey. He was cited at the time as suggesting he was the target of a racist smear campaign and he remained Bishop of Rochester until 2009.

The 72-year-old is currently chairman of the Oxford Center for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue (OXTRAD).

The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, homage paid to Nazir-Ali on his Twitter account on October 14.

He praised his “expertise in evangelization, interfaith dialogue, ecumenism and theological education”.

“He will continue to be a blessing to the world church as he joins the ordinariate. I will pray for him and his wife, Valérie, so that this new stage of their journey brings them ever closer to God in Christ ”, he declared.

Mgr. Newton commented: “Since his erection in 2011, Michael has always shown a great interest in the development of the Ordinariate in the UK. Those of us who serve the Catholic Church in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham are delighted to receive her into full communion and forthcoming ordination. “

“He brings a great experience of Anglican communion and is in a unique place to articulate this Anglican heritage, described by Pope Benedict XVI as a treasure to be shared, which now occupies a place of honor in the universal Church. “

The priest of the Ordinariate Fr. James Bradley Noted on his Twitter account last month the following Anglican bishops have been received into the Catholic Church since 1992: Graham Leonard (London); Conrad Meyer; John Klyberg (Fulham); Richard Rutt (Leicester); John Broadhurst (Fulham); Edwin Barnes (Richborough); Keith Newton (Richborough); Andrew Burnham (Ebbsfleet); David Soie; Paul Richardson; John Goddard (Burnley); and Jonathan Goodall (Ebbsfleet).

Many converts come from the Anglo-Catholic branch of the Church of England, which emphasizes the Catholic heritage of Anglicanism, but Nazir-Ali has long been associated with the evangelical wing.

Nazir-Ali said: “The ministry in the Church of Pakistan, in the Middle East in general, in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion at large remains precious to me and I see this as a further step in the process. ministry of our common Lord and his people. Right now, I ask for prayers as I continue to pray for all parts of the Church. “

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