Prominent Anglican bishop received into Catholic Church

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

Oct 15, 2021


By Luke Coppen

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

The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Anglican bishop of Rochester, England, has joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, The Spectator reported on Oct 14.

The magazine said that NazirAli could be ordained as a Catholic priest as early as the end of October within the ordinariate, a body created by Benedict XVI in 2011 for groups of former Anglicans wishing to preserve elements of their patrimony.

In an Oct 14 statement, the ordinariate said that Nazir-Ali was received into full communion by the group’s Ordinary, Msgr Keith Newton, on Sept 29, the Feast of St Michael and All Angels.

“With the permission of the Holy See, he will be ordained to the Catholic priesthood for the ordinariate in due course,” it said. Explaining his decision, NazirAli said: “I believe that the Anglican desire to adhere to apostolic, patristic and conciliar teaching can now best be maintained in the ordinariate.”

“Provisions there to safeguard legitimate Anglican patrimony are very encouraging and I believe that such patrimony, in its liturgy, approaches to biblical study, pastoral commitment to the community, methods of moral theology and much else besides, has a great deal to offer the wider Church.”

“I am looking forward to receiving from the riches of other parts of the Church, while perhaps making a modest contribution to the maintenance and enhancement of Anglican patrimony within the wider fellowship.”

“Ministry in the Church of Pakistan, in the Middle East generally, in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion, remains precious to me and I see this as a further step in the ministry of our common Lord and of his people. At this time, I ask for prayers as I continue to pray for all parts of the Church,” said Nazir-Ali.

In 2002, the UK media identified him as one of the favourites to succeed the retiring Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey. He was quoted at the time as suggesting that he was the target of a racist smear campaign and he remained as bishop of Rochester until 2009.

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

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