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Former Anglican bishops ordained in Catholic Church

In an unprecedented move, the Roman Catholic Church has ordained three former Anglican bishops from Britain, who converted to protest against female ordination in the Anglican Church.

Pope Benedict at Westminister Cathedral during his last visit to Britain in September 2010

The Vatican paves the way for Anglican conversions

Three former Anglican bishops were ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, making history as the first converts under a scheme launched by Pope Benedict XVI to accept disgruntled Anglicans.

The ceremony, at Westminster Cathedral in central London, was conducted by Bishop Vincent Nichols, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.

“Many ordinations have taken place in this cathedral during the 100 years of its history, but none quite like this,” Nichols said.

The three men – Andrew Burnham, Keith Newton and John Broadhurst – are all married with children and will be allowed to stay married under the new program established by the Vatican.

The ex-bishops are the first members of a special division, the Personal Ordinariate, which the Pope set up specifically for Anglicans, who oppose the increasing liberalization of the Anglican faith.

The ceremony was attended by hundreds of priests from England's Westminster diocese as well as three former Anglican nuns who were officially received into the Catholic Church two weeks ago.

Author: Gregg Benzow (AP, AFP, dpa)
Editor: Kyle James

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