Oh snap! Didn’t see this coming! A senior Anglican Bishop in England has indicated he is ready to convert! This is not one of the breakaway factions or even the TAC. This is just a regular ol’ Anglican Bishop. The Telegraph:
The Rt Rev John Hind, the Bishop of Chichester, has announced he is considering becoming a Roman Catholic in a move that could spark an exodus of clergy.
Bishop Hind said he would be “happy” to be reordained as a Catholic priest and said that divisions in Anglicanism could make it impossible to stay in the church.
He is the most senior Anglican to admit that he is prepared to accept the offer from the Pope, who shocked the Church of England last week when he paved the way for clergy to convert to Catholicism in large numbers.
This is most unexpected, at least for me. I expected most of the mainstream – but traditional – Anglicans to play hard to get for a while. Perhaps they still will, but not Bishop Hind. I suspect that he is saying what many others are thinking.
Now Bishop Hind, the most senior traditionalist in the Church of England, has confirmed that he is willing to sacrifice his salary and palace residence to defect to the Catholic Church.
“This is a remarkable new step from the Vatican,” he said. “At long last there are some choices for Catholics in the Church of England. I’d be happy to be reordained into the Catholic Church.”
While the bishop stressed that this would depend on his previous ministry being recognised, he said that the divisions in the Anglican Communion could make it impossible to stay.
“How can the Church exist if bishops are not in full communion with each other,” he said.
This is going to be real interesting. Fr. Longenecker adds:
This is truly momentous news. I know of no other precedent in modern times of a sitting bishop in the Church of England to make such an announcement. They usually wait until their retirement or resignation to announce their plans. John Hind is not even one of the ‘flying bishops’ who look after the traditionalists. If he and the other bishops in the Church of England act courageously and do as they say they will do we may be witnessing a truly historic re-alignment in Western Christianity.
Like I said, real interesting. Stick with CMR as we will continue to cover the amazing Canterbury Tailspin.
Update: Check out this paragraph from TAC Primate John Hepworth via Rorate Caeli. If this is true it could be earth shattering.
Already there are stories circulating that the Patriarch of Moscow has urged his ecumenical negotiators in the Vatican to hurry in order that the Anglicans do not get too far ahead. They’re probably apocryphal, but we do know that the Russian Orthodox Church is very close to achieving unity with Rome. It is the largest of the Orthodox churches of the East. We also know that the Orthodox are watching the Anglican process very closely to try to assess the extent to which Rome is serious about tolerating many different traditions of Christianity within the scope of the Catholic Church. I have had conversations with members of the Greek Orthodox Church and the Coptic Church about the parallels between their conversations with Rome and ours. Christian unity throughout the world is at a very similar moment. Conversation and co-operation are beginning to evolve into forms of organic unity that still protect diverse Christian traditions of worship and spirituality.