I was ordained a Catholic Priest (Wednesday 15th June, 2011) by Bishop Alan Hopes, in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich, and a Catholic Deacon in the Church of our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge (Thursday 28th April 2011: see Report).

 

The Bishop said of both myself and David Skeoch with whom I was ordained:

'Allen and David, the Holy Catholic Church recognizes that not a few of the sacred actions of the Christian religion as carried out in communities separated from her can truly engender a life of grace and can rightly be described as providing access to the community of salvation. And so we now pray:
Almighty Father, we give you thanks for the many years of faithful ministry of your servants, Allen and David, in the Anglican Communion (or the Church of England), whose fruitfulness for salvation has been derived from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church.'

 

Cardinal Hume had used a specially devised prayer for the ordination of Graham Leonard (1994) with the approval of the then president of the Holy Office, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.  It was used again at the ordination of a group of twelve former Anglican clergy in 1995.

Bishop Alan used this same prayer in Cambridge as part of the rite of the election of the candidates prior to his Homily.

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bishop ordinands

At my admission to the Priesthood, Bishop Hopes refered to ' an Ordination Mass in 1967 in Rome, of a number of priests from England.' Here 'Pope Paul VI said very beautifully, something which is true of our own Celebration today:

Today’s Ordination is distinguished by special; circumstances: these new priests have been chosen among a people who in the course of history have been, to us in Rome, a cause of special drama: divided from us by half a world; but then, under the auspices of Pope S Gregory and S Augustine, most dear and close to us; later with immense pain, torn asunder from us; finally in recent times marked by new friendship and new hope, that people strongly and sweetly draws itself to our very heart.