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Two more Anglican bishops to become Catholic

Two more Anglican bishops will be entering into full Communion with the Catholic Church - bringing the number of bishops joining the new Ordinariate to five.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, today gave the following statement in response to the resignations of the suffragan bishops of Ebbsfleet and Richborough:

"I have today with regret accepted the resignations of Bishops Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton who have decided that their future in Christian ministry lies in the new structures proposed by the Vatican. We wish them well in this next stage of their service to the Church and I am grateful to them for their faithful and devoted pastoral labours in the Church of England over many years."

The Archbishop will now set in train the process for filling the vacant sees. In the interim, arrangements have been made for pastoral care to be provided by Bishops John Ford, Mark Sowerby and Lindsay Urwin for those who formerly looked to Bishops Burnham and Newton for their episcopal support and have decided to continue ministry in the Church of England.

Bishop Alan Hopes, who is also a convert from the Church of England, speaking on behalf of the Episcopal Commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, said:  "We welcome the decision of Bishops Andrew Burnham, Keith Newton, John Broadhurst, Edwin Barnes and David Silk to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate for England and Wales, which will be established under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.

At our plenary meeting next week, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales will be exploring the establishment of the Ordinariate and the warm welcome we will be extending to those who seek to be part of it. Further information will be made known after the meeting."

Source: Archbishop of Canterbury/CCN