Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ordinariate News: Former Anglican Bishop Ordained to Catholic Diaconate

Robert Mercer ordained for Ordinariate

Former Anglican bishop, Robert Mercer, has been ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Alan Hopes, Auxiliary of Westminster, for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, at Allen Hall seminary in London.

Mercer, who was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church on 7 January 2012, was the fourth Bishop of Matabeleland in the Province of Central Africa, before serving as a bishop of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada - part of the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, presented Robert Mercer for ordination, whilst other members of the Ordinariate, together with staff and seminarians from Allen Hall, were present for the celebration.

During his homily, Bishop Hopes said, “Robert, your life has been one of profound commitment and witness. Your formation and ministry within the Anglican tradition have provided you with a solid spiritual bedrock on which your life has been built. [...] You have been a bold witness to Christ and to the truths of Catholic Christianity - often at great cost to yourself".

"Coming into communion with the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate, you bring with you some of the spiritual riches that are to be found in the Anglican church. You take on a new mission in your ministry of bridge building – that of building bridges between the Catholic Church and the ecclesial communities of the Anglican tradition".

Mgr Newton, speaking after the ordination, said, "It is a great joy to be here today to celebrate Robert's ordination. We hope and pray that it will be an encouragement to members of the Traditional Anglican Communion - an assurance of the respect and warmth of welcome, which the Ordinariate offers to them and to all Anglicans who are faithful to the vision of Christian Unity".

The Reverend Robert Mercer will be ordained to the Sacred Priesthood on 26 March in Portsmouth Cathedral.