Friday, October 30, 2009

Catholic conversion remains on the cards, says former Bishop of Rochester

Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, has refused to rule out converting to the Roman Catholic church.

If he did it would be one of the most high-profile conversions to come of Pope Benedict XVI's move to allow disaffected Anglicans full union with Rome.

Dr Nazir-Ali, who retired as the Bishop of Rochester in September, said: "I won't rule it out or rule it in. I wait with interest to see that the details of the offer are."

He was speaking over the weekend at a London conference of 500 traditionalists, who were welcoming the Pope's surprising initiative.

They voted in favour of consulting parishes on whether or not to split from the Church of England to join the Catholic church, but decided they could not act further until details of the Apostolic Constitution were published.

Worldwide up to 400,000 Anglicans, upset with the ordination of women bishops and homosexual clergy, could convert to the Catholic church.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was only informed by the Vatican a week ago about its plans.

The lack of consultation has prompted his predecessor, Lord Carey of Clifton, to criticise the Vatican's handling of the announcement as "inexcusable". +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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