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Leading Church historian to be received into personal ordinariate

Dr Edward Norman, the historian and former Canon Chancellor of York Minister, will be received into the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on Sunday.

In an article for this newspaper, Dr Norman explains the reasons for his decision to become a Catholic.

He argues that Anglicanism has “no basis for its authority” as its confession “varies from place to place and person to person”. He says: “At the centre of Anglicanism is a great void.”

He adds: “The Church of England provides a masterclass in equivocation; it also, however, is the residence of very many good and faithful Christian people who deserve respect – for their perseverance in so many incoherent spiritual adventures.

“To leave their company is a wrench; to adhere to the Catholic faith is to join the encompassing presence of a universal body of believers in whose guardianship are the materials of authentic spiritual understanding… I have immense gratitude.”

According to a spokesman for the ordinariate, the former Reith lecturer will be received into the ordinariate on Sunday following a “profound intellectual and spiritual journey nurtured and enabled by the Anglican tradition”.

The spokesman said: “Preserving those gifts and enriching them with the peace and communion offered by union with the successor of Peter is the most natural course of action for Anglicans who have a genuine desire for Christian unity.

“We are delighted to welcome Edward Norman, whose considerable academic standing bears witness to the seriousness with which he has taken this decision.”

Dr Edward Norman’s article about crossing the Tiber is available in full in this week’s Catholic Herald