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Ordinariate to be established in January, bishops confirm

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Fr Marcus Stock, general secretary of the bishops' conference (Photo: Mazur/

The Personal Ordinariate for ex-Anglicans in England and Wales is to be established in January, it was announced today.

The bishops’ conference of England and Wales said in a statement that the Ordinariate would be set up in January and an Ordinary would be appointed to take charge of the new structure.

In the same month the five Church of England bishops who announced their resignations two weeks ago will be received into the Catholic Church.

Following that, if their petitions are approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), they will be ordained first as Catholic deacons and then as priests. This is expected to happen before Lent, and will enable them to prepare clergy and laity to be received into the Catholic Church during Holy Week.

Ex-Anglican clergy whose petitions to become Catholic priests are approved by the CDF will be ordained around Pentecost, the bishops said.

The bishops added that they expected the Ordinariate to “enrich” the spiritual life of the Catholic Church.

They said: “In responding generously and offering a warm welcome to those seeking full ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church within the Ordinariate, the bishops know that the clergy and faithful who are on that journey of faith will bring their own spiritual treasures which will further enrich the spiritual life of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. The bishops will do all they can to ensure that there is effective and close collaboration with the Ordinariate both at diocesan and parish levels.”