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Ordinariate head ‘excluded from Reformation events’

Mgr Keith Netwon (CNS)

The head of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was snubbed from last week’s ecumenical commemorations of the Reformation, a leading Ordinariate priest has said.

In a letter to the Catholic Herald, Fr Ed Tomlinson asks why Mgr Keith Newton, who serves as ordinary of the group for former Anglicans, was not invited to be “part of the numerous ‘reformation celebrations’ taking part in the ecumenical landscape this week”.

Fr Tomlinson also wants to know why Mgr Newton had not been asked “to join the ARCIC [Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission] conversations despite his obvious importance as a former bishop of the Church of England now leading a body, the ordinariate, whose entire purpose is to enable Anglicans to become Catholic while retaining a distinctly English spirituality/patrimony”.

In the six years since the creation of the ordinariate, Fr Tomlinson says, “we have been routinely undermined by those in authority over us. Not a single church has been gifted to the ordinariate despite several closing each month. Why are so many of our clergy used to plug diocesan gaps instead of being enabled to flourish within the vision to which we were called?”

The Ordinariate confirmed to the Catholic Herald that Mgr Newton had not been invited to any ecumenical events, but added that it was “not aware of anything he would have expected, or wished, to have been invited to”.

They said that Fr Tomlinson’s letter is “an entirely personal opinion and in no way reflects the views of the Ordinary or of the leadership of the Ordinariate”.

Read the full letter in the November 10 issue of the Catholic Herald