An internationally renowned Anglican bishop and former chaplain to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is leaving the Anglican Church to become a Catholic.
Bishop Gavin Ashenden will be received into full communion by Shrewsbury’s Bp. Mark Davies on the fourth Sunday of Advent at Shrewsbury Cathedral, England.
From the standpoint of the online Anglican-Episcopal world, this is probably the most significant “Tiber swimming” since Greg Griffith did so five years ago. That led in part to Stand Firm in Faith’s disappearance from the internet, something that is only now coming back. What George Conger and Kevin Kallsen plan to do with their Anglicans Unscripted series now that Gavin has left the Anglican world remains to be seen.
My own opinion–and it comes from someone who did the same thing many years ago–is that I can’t think of a worse time to do this than now, with the current Occupant in Rome. Although Gavin’s sentiment that “I came to realize that only the Catholic Church, with the weight of the Magisterium, had the ecclesial integrity, theological maturity and spiritual potency to defend the Faith, renew society and save souls in the fullness of faith” resonates, the actualities of the Church–especially in the West–have made each Papal transition a nail-biter, and now we’re at the point where at least a good part of Roman Catholicism is entering a wilderness all too familiar to those of us who started out in a Main Line denomination.
No matter what, my prayers are with him and his family.
Update: now we have some of the answer re Anglicans Unscripted: