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Ordinariate in England faces some strong Anglican opposition

Catholic World News - January 12, 2011

A former Anglican bishop, who will be ordained this week as a Catholic priest, offered details of his approach to Rome in an interview with the Catholic Herald.

Andrew Burnham told how he sought out Vatican officials to explore the possibility of a special provision for Anglicans wishing to enter the Catholic fold. “What we asked for is what we got,” he said—although the process was complicated.

Also in the Catholic Herald, columnist William Oddie observes that some Anglican leaders would like to thwart the development of the Catholic ordinariate. One point of contention, he notes, is the use of churches. Some Anglican leaders are insisting that Anglicans who enter the Catholic Church must abandon their parish church buildings, even if all members of the parish are united in their desire to become Catholics.

Burnham explains that the Church of England “has raised the obvious difficulty: parish churches are there for the vast majority who seldom or never attend as well as for the congregations who do. And the Catholic Church has very sensibly said: ‘We’re not after your property.’”

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  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Jan. 13, 2011 12:29 PM ET USA

    US courts have held that churches in a specific Episcopal diocese remain the property of the diocese even though the clergy and congregation have united themselves with another diocese. The only legal option available to the clergy and congregants of such a church is to vacate the premises and form another parish elsewhere. (See Episcopal Diocese of Colorado v. Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish in Colorado Springs.)

  • Posted by: Obregon - Jan. 12, 2011 5:10 PM ET USA

    Just a question. Aren't most "Anglican" churches Catholic to begin with? Were those "Anglican" churches Catholic before Henry VIII kicked the Catholic Church out of England? If that is so, how can Anglicans now say Catholics can't use the property that was theirs to begin with?

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