Anglicans Join Catholics Over Woman Ordination

Derek Ouellette —  November 29, 2011

I just came across this interesting article published almost a year ago. This is no new news, but it’s new news to me and maybe to you.

Three Anglican bishops (now “former” Anglican bishops) were ordained as Catholic priests last January in a historic event, fully supported by their wives. This is all the stranger since Catholic priests are not allowed to have wives. So why did these Anglican bishops jump ship?

It is the Vatican’s negative attitude to women’s ministry that formed the backdrop to the whole affair. The three recruits oppose the Church of England’s plans to appoint female bishops and regard the Catholic priesthood as a safe, female-free haven. (Here)

Not surprisingly there was a demonstration from the Catholic Woman’s Ordination movement protesting out the front doors.

What made this event more unique is that it functioned more or less as the inauguratory of a new program set up by the Pope to make room within Catholicism for Anglican dissenters. The leader of this new program, called Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, is Keith Newton one of the three dissenters at this particular inaugural ceremony. Father Newton is the first “to preside over a church within a church, where the normal rules of Catholicism don’t apply.”

As the debate for women bishops heats up in the Anglican commune, more bishops are jumping ship and heading to Rome as recently as a few days ago (here). It is expected that the Anglican church will vote to fully approve women bishops next year with the offices beginning to fill up in 2014.

What do you think about this? Do you think that the Catholic Church itself will one day ordain women bishops?

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • Ryan

    I do not think that there will ever be female priests within the Catholic Church. There have, however, been married priests at certain periods. And, it has always been the case that a married Eastern Orthodox priest could convert to Roman Catholicism and become a Catholic priest. I believe that even priests of the Eastern Rite can marry. However, as with the Orthodox Church, one remains in whatever state he is in when ordained–if married, married; if single, single. And a married priest does not ever “make bishop.”

    In the Catholic understanding, the maleness of the priest is understood to be essential to the physical aspect of the sacrament. Eucharist must be wine and bread. Priests must be male. The aspect of priestly celibacy is not understood to be essential, and thus priests may sometimes be married–although that is not the “norm”–and it may someday be the case that married priests become the norm.

    The Roman Catholic Church would be a very different thing altogether if women were able to become priests…