Catholic section won't be ghetto, says Fr Keith Newton

Father Keith Newton Fr Newton says the ordinariate will not be inward-looking

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A new special section of the Catholic Church for disaffected Anglicans will not become a ghetto within it, the priest leading the group has insisted.

Former Church of England bishop Keith Newton said there were no "second-class Catholics".

He said he would seek to maintain good relations with Anglicans, and felt no bitterness towards his former Church.

The ordinariate is for Anglicans unhappy with the Church of England - and especially the ordination of women.

It allows Anglicans opposed to issues including women bishops, gay clergy and same-sex blessings to convert to Rome while maintaining many of their traditions.

'Pilgrimage'

Father Newton, 58, said there was a danger people would think the sub-section was an ex-Anglican ghetto within the Church, but wanted "to make clear it is not".

Speaking at a press conference in central London, the former Anglican bishop of Richborough said he wanted to build bridges, not burn them down.

He said: "I certainly do not look back on the Church of England with anger or bitterness, this move is part of my on-going pilgrimage and I want to keep doors open between those who are still in the Church of England and myself.

"Any way that the ordinariate can foster unity must be God's work."

Fr Newton was ordained at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday alongside former Anglican bishops Andrew Burnham and John Broadhurst.

He does not have the the title of bishop but has the right to wear a pectoral cross, a bishop's ring and a mitre. He will also be able to carry a bishop's crozier.

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