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Anglican bishop resigns to join Catholic Church


Catherine Williams - From the Office of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet|Wikipedia|CC BY-SA 4.0

Zelda Caldwell - published on 09/03/21

Bishop Jonathan Goodall is the first Church of England bishop in a decade to convert to Catholicism.

An Anglican bishop has resigned to join the Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby announced today.

Bishop Jonathan Goodall, who served as Bishop of Ebbsfleet for eight years, is the first Church of England bishop to become Catholic in a decade.

“I have arrived at the decision to step down as Bishop of Ebbsfleet, in order to be received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, only after a long period of prayer, which has been among the most testing periods of my life,” said Goodall in a statement.

“Life in the communion of the Church of England has shaped and nourished my discipleship as a Catholic Christian for many decades. This is where I first received – and for half my life have ministered, as priest and bishop – the sacramental grace of Christian life and faith. I shall always treasure this and be thankful for it. 

“I trust you all to believe that I have made my decision as a way of saying yes to God’s present call and invitation, and not of saying no to what I have known and experienced in the Church of England, to which I owe such a deep debt,” he said.

Goodall served as a provincial episcopal visitor, also known as a flying bishop, “to minister to clergy, lay people and parishes who do not accept the ministry of female priests or bishops,” reported the Guardian.

Flying bishops were created after the Church of England voted to allow the ordination of women in 1992.

In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI allowed married Anglican priests who convert to Catholicism to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. Goodall is married, and has two children.

Upon accepting Goodall’s resignation, the Archbishop Welby said, “I am deeply grateful to Bishop Jonathan for his ministry and many years of faithful service.  My prayers are with him and Sarah, both for his future ministry and for the direction in which they are being called in their continuing journey of dedicated service to Christ.”

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