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Holy See establishes ordinariate in Australia

Pope Benedict XVI has established a personal ordinariate in Australia and named a Lancashire-born former bishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) to lead it.

The ordinariate, the world’s third for Anglicans wishing to become Catholic while retaining some of their Anglican heritage, is known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. It was erected today, June 15.

Fr Harry Entwistle, who was born in Chorley, Lancashire, was ordained a Catholic priest today and named as the ordinariate’s leader.

Fr Entwistle had previously served as a bishop in the TAC, a communion of traditional Anglican groups that had broken away from the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The 72-year-old priest studied at St Chad’s Theological College at Durham University and served as chaplain at Wandsworth prison in south-west London before emigrating to Australia.

He said: “Pope Benedict has made it very clear that unity between Christians is not achieved by agreeing on the lowest common denominator, and those entering an ordinariate accept the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith.

“Membership is open to former Anglicans who accept what the Catholic Church believes and teaches; former Anglicans who have previously been reconciled to the Catholic Church but who now wish to reconnect with their Anglican spiritual heritage and those baptised in the Catholic Church who have close family members who belong to the ordinariate.”

“As the ordinariate is in organic unity with the Catholic Church, Western and Eastern Catholics are welcome to worship and receive communion in an ordinariate Mass and vice versa,” he said.