Tuesday, July 8
CHURCH OF ENGLAND BISHOP PETITIONS ROME
Bishop Burnham, a name delightfully similar, if completely unrelated, to Bishop Brennan
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, is to lead his fellow Anglo-Catholics from the Church of England into the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic Herald will reveal this week.
Bishop Burnham... has made a statement asking Pope Benedict XVI and the English Catholic bishops for "magnanimous gestures" that will allow traditionalists to become Catholics en masse.
He is confident that this will happen, following talks in Rome with Cardinal Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Kasper, the Vatican’s head of ecumenism. He was accompanied on his visit by the Rt Rev Keith Newton, Bishop of Richborough, the other Canterbury "flying bishop", who is expected to follow his example.
Bishop Burnham hopes that Rome will offer special arrangements whereby former Anglicans can stay worshipping in parishes under the guidance of a Catholic bishop. Most of these parishes already use the Roman liturgy, but there may be provision for Anglican prayers if churches request it.
Anglican priests who are already married will not be barred from ordination as priests, though Bishop Burnham would not be able to continue in episcopal orders, as he is married and there is an absolute bar on married bishops in the Roman and Orthodox Churches.
Read it all
It would be really, really awesome if the Anglicans are received as a sui iuris Church, so that we would have an actual non-Roman Western Rite (as opposed to the vestigial Mozarabic Rite or the localized Milanese rite), though that seems unlikely from the details provided here.
(Tip of a biretta-worn-with-tippet-surplice-and-hood to Damian Thompson via Fr. Z)
Update: Some commentators aren't so sure