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Ordinariate priests honoured by Pope

Mgr Robert Mercer with Mgr Keith Newton, left, and Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster

Pope Benedict XVI has elevated three priests of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham to the rank of chaplain of His Holiness (monsignor).

Mgr Edwin Barnes, Mgr Robert Mercer and Mgr David Silk have all received the honour from the Holy Father, recognising their former ministry as Anglican bishops.

Mgr Barnes and Mgr Silk were received and ordained via the Personal Ordinariate in 2011, while Mgr Mercer was received and ordained earlier this year.

The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, said: “By establishing Personal Ordinariates, Pope Benedict is seeking to be generous in making provision for those Anglicans who wish to come into the full communion of the Catholic Church. In every possible way he has sought to recognise the fruitful Anglican ministry which we undertook before entering the Catholic Church; this honour for these three distinguished men is a further sign of our Holy Father’s love and warmth toward this project.”

The announcement was made this morning as the clergy of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham met for their summer plenary at Allen Hall, the diocesan seminary of the Archdiocese of Westminster.