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First Anglicans announce plans to become Roman Catholic under new Ordinariate

Bishop  Broadhurst

Bishop Broadhurst

An Anglican bishop and a small Anglican parish in Kent have announced their intention to  become Roman Catholic under the new Ordinariate offered by Pope Benedict. Both have decided to convert because they object to moves in the Church of England to allow women bishops.

Bishop John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, and leader of the traditionalist group Forward in Faith, announced his decision at its national assembly on Friday.  St Peter's Church, in Folkestone, Kent, which is affiliated with Forward in Faith, announced its decision on Saturday.

Bishop Broadhurst told the Forward in Faith meeting: "I intend to resign as bishop of Fulham before the end of the year. I am not retiring, I am resigning. Secondly, I expect that I will enter the ordinariate when it is established."

The parish church council of St Peter's said it had resolved to join the ordinariate and "is anxious that this should be made as easy as possible." 

The parish has about 40 worshippers. In interviews with the media on Sunday,  several parishioners said they were not sure they would be joining the exodus. One woman said: "although I am not happy with the idea of women bishops, I am not sure I  am ready to become a Roman Catholic and accept beliefs such as the infallibility of the Pope."