By Ononye VC
London, England, Oct 30, 2021
English Cardinal Vincent Nichols on Saturday ordained a former Anglican bishop as a Catholic priest.
The archbishop of Westminster described the ordination of Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali at an Oct. 30 Mass at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Gregory, Warwick Street, London, as “a moment of great joy.”
“The Church places such trust and confidence in the effectiveness of the ordained ministry. So that is why this ordination is a moment of great joy,” the cardinal said in his homily at the live-streamed Mass.
“It is a moment in which we ask the Lord to effect in you, Michael, a full inclusion into the ordained ministry of the Catholic Church. As the prayer we have just offered stated, here we seek to build on the fruitfulness of the priestly ministry you have faithfully exercised for so many years now.”
Nazir-Ali, the former Anglican bishop of Rochester, England, entered into full communion with Rome within the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on Sept. 29.
The personal ordinariate was created by Benedict XVI in 2011 for groups of former Anglicans seeking to preserve elements of their patrimony.
The 72-year-old who was once considered a possible future Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the world’s 85 million Anglicans, was ordained as a Catholic deacon on Oct. 28 by Archbishop Kevin McDonald, the emeritus archbishop of Southwark.
“For you, Michael, this journey has been rich indeed, in its geography, in your journey of learning, of prayer, of public ministry, and of decision,” Nichols said.
“We welcome you most warmly on this day, especially into the very unique company of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.”
Nazir-Ali was born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1949, and attended Catholic schools. He has both a Christian and a Muslim family background and holds British and Pakistani citizenship.
He was ordained as an Anglican clergyman in 1976, working in Karachi and Lahore. He became provost of Lahore Cathedral and was consecrated the first bishop of Raiwind in West Punjab.
Nazir-Ali was appointed bishop of Rochester, southeast England, in 1994.
Married with two children, he served as a member of the House of Lords, Britain’s upper house of Parliament, from 1999.
He took part in the second phase of the Anglican and Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC-II) and was a member of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission (IARCCUM).