Hundreds of disillusioned Anglicans are expected to defect to the Roman Catholic Church.
Fr Newton has encouraged Anglicans to join the Ordinariate – a special branch of Catholicism established by the Pope – to welcome protestant defectors.
The Ordinariate is a special structure established by Pope Benedict to welcome the disillusioned Anglicans.
The efforts of the Archbishop of Canterbury have not been enough to stop hundreds of Anglo Catholics making the split that he had hoped to avoid.
In mid-January it got off the ground with the conversion of three Anglican bishops who are now bringing others on board.
The Church of England says that 1,000 of its 13,000 parishes are opposed to the ordination of women.
The whole thing stinks to high heaven
Disillusioned traditionalist Father Ed Tomlinson
At St. Barnabas church in Tunbridge Wells, the parish priest says that a majority of his parishioners want to defect – and he’s considering going too.
Father Ed Tomlinson believes that traditionalists who oppose the ordination of women have been badly let down by Church leaders.
Yet the priest has been told by the diocese of Rochester that if he and his followers leave they will no longer be allowed to hold services, even on a shared basis, at St Barnabas – a nineteenth-century red-brick church where First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon was baptised.
The firm stance has infuriated Fr Tomlinson, the vicar since 2006.
“The whole thing stinks to high heaven,” he said.
“The Archdeacon made it abundantly clear that he does not want to entertain the notion of shared worship space and that he would resist my remaining here in any capacity.”
The Ordinariate talks of recruiting members in waves with the first beginning training at Lent and they hope many more will follow.
“A little acorn it may have been at the moment, it could grow into a mighty oak,” one local church-goer said.
“Was this the thing that started to undo the reformation?”
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