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Former Anglican bishop becomes Roman Catholic

Ex-bispo anglicano Peter Forster, convertido à fé católica

Chris McAndrew, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

John Burger - published on 02/07/22

Peter Forster was a proponent of women's ordination but opposed same-sex marriage.

The fourth Anglican bishop to become Roman Catholic in the past year has been received into the Church, an Anglican newspaper in the U.K. reported.

Retired Bishop Peter R. Forster, who led the Diocese of Chester in the Church of England for 22 years, was received into the Catholic Church in a private ceremony last fall in the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland. Forster and his wife have settled in Scotland, the Church Times reported. Aleteia has been unable to reach him for comment. Another prominent former Anglican who became a Catholic, Gavin Ashenden, said he believes Forster wanted the development to be a private matter. 

Forster, 71, retired from his position as Bishop of Chester in 2019. There were allegations of his having mishandled a sexual abuse complaint against one of his priests. 

According to Ashenden, Forster differs from some other Anglicans who recently “swam the Tiber,” in that he was a committed evangelical Protestant, not someone who had been drifting more toward a Catholic outlook. He was an early proponent of feminism in the Church of England, appointing a woman as an assistant bishop of the Diocese of Chester, although he voiced concerns about how such changes would affect Catholic-Anglican dialogue. A member of the English Anglican-Roman Catholic Committee, he noted a “drift” in ecumenical relations “from a vision of full visible unity to an essentially debased vision of reconciled diversity,” the Church Times summarized.

But Forster, who was a member of the House of Lords, also spoke out against the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in the U.K.

“Some people will look at the tally of converts growing and simply be grateful that such people of proven spiritual caliber have set aside the tragic schism that wounded the body of Christ in these islands and the process of their reconversion,” Ashenden wrote in the Catholic Herald.

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