Anglican bishop may join Catholics

Oct. 24, 2009 at 7:58 PM
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CHICHESTER, England, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A senior Anglican bishop says he is contemplating taking up Pope Benedict XVI's invitation to Anglican clergy to convert to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Right Rev. John Hind, bishop of Chichester, says divisions within Anglicanism have pushed him to consider becoming a Catholic, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

"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 re-ordained into the Catholic Church."

If he makes the switch, observers say it could trigger an exodus of Anglican clergy to Catholicism, the British newspaper said. Gay clergy and marriage are lightning-rod issues in the Church of England and the rest of the Anglican communion.

The pope's recent announcement that a new structure would be created to allow disaffected Anglicans to enter full communion with Rome, while maintaining parts of their Protestant heritage, followed secret talks between the Vatican and a group of senior Anglican bishops, the Telegraph said.

Hind said his conversion would depend on his previous ministry being recognized.

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