Vatican City (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Vatican has established the first Ordinariate for the Anglican faithful who wish to enter into communion with the Catholic Church. On 15 January, three former Anglican bishops, Keith Newton, Andrew Burnham, and John Broadhurst were ordained priests in the Catholic Cathedral of Westminster. Father Keith Newton will be the first Ordinary. The Ordinariate is dedicated to Our Lady of Walshingham, an important Marian shrine in English, and is placed under the protection of Blessed John Henry Newman, the Anglican theologian who converted to Catholicism in 800, made a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII, beatified by Pope Benedict XVI during his trip to Britain in September 2010

The personal Ordinariate is a new church structure created by the Vatican and provided by the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Benedict XVI "Anglicanorum coetibus. (11/09/2009 Pope approves special rules and structures to welcome Anglican clergy, including married priests). The Ordinariate allows Anglican communities to express full communion with the Holy See, while maintaining their specific pastoral and liturgical traditions.

The impact of the Ordinariate, and ordinations of January 15 will be significant on many members Asian Churches that are members of the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion has about 80 million members worldwide, and many local Churches in Asia and Africa that refer to it have followed the development of the British presence. They are sensitive to the possibilities offered by the Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum coetibus", particularly those in the Church of England who view with concern the changes to the secular tradition, such as the priestly and Episcopal ordination of women and gays.