When the wives of three former Church of England bishops preÂsented them with chasubles after they were ordained priests in the Roman Catholic Church in WestÂminster Cathedral on Saturday, it was clear that this was no ordinary service.
It heralded the beginning of the Ordinariate and the appointment of its first Ordinary, Fr Keith Newton. The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Revd Vincent Nichols, desÂcribed it during his homily as “a unique occasion marking a new step in the life and history of the CathoÂlic Church”.
Fr John Broadhurst, former Bishop of Fulham; Fr Keith Newton, former Bishop of Richborough; and Fr Andrew Burnham, former Bishop of Ebbsfleet, became the first clerics to be received into the Ordinariate, which was set up for former Anglicans. They expect to be followed by more clergy and lay people.