An entire Anglican parish in England has decided to convert to Catholicism because it doesn’t agree with the idea of women bishops.
The parish of St Peter’s in Folkestone in Kent in the South of England is taking up an offer by Pope Benedict XVI a year ago to defect and throw in its lot with Rome.
Under the deal, the Anglicans will be able to hold onto some traditional policies. However, there are fears that there could be a mass exodus from Anglican ranks.
The news comes as an English Anglican bishop, John Broadhurst, announced he was converting to Rome.
He, too, opposes the concept of women bishops. He will be the fourth Anglican bishop to make such an announcement.
“The Pope has created a special enclave in the Roman Catholic Church for Anglicans unhappy with their Church’s decision to let women become bishops,” says the BBC.
Forward in Faith
Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham in London, is leader of a traditionalist Anglican organization called Forward in Faith.
“He is currently the ‘flying bishop’ charged with looking after traditionalist parishes opposed to women priests and bishops in the dioceses of London, Southwark and Rochester,” says the BBC.
The BBC article continues: “Our correspondent [Robert Pigott] says many traditionalist clergy are unhappy with the level of protection so far offered to them from serving under a woman bishop, but might hesitate in the face of a decision likely to cause them considerable personal hardship.”
The moves by Folkestone and Broadhurst come in spite of the fact that traditionalists in the Anglican Church have done well in elections to the governing body of the Church of England, the General Synod.
“Their success means, in future, they may try to block current legislation to introduce women bishops,” says the BBC.
“Traditionalists are claiming they have more seats on the synod, and could insist on the provision of male alternative bishops on terms acceptable to them.”