New Bishop of East Anglia appointed

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal William Levada (Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Mgr Keith Newton and Bishop Alan Hopes (Auxiliary for the Diocese of Westminster and Episcopal Delegate of the Bishops' Conference of England & Wales for the Ordinariate), presenting a copy of Fr Michael Rear's Walsingham, Pilgrims and Pilgrimages Photo (c) Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

New Bishop of East Anglia appointed!

At last! Some movement on the episcopal scene! Pope Francis has today, 11th June 2013, appointed Bishop Alan Hopes, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, to become the fourth Bishop of East Anglia.

He is a great friend of the Ordinariate and a valiant defender of the unborn having led a 40 Days for Life vigil last year at Bedford Square and consequently suffered quite a bit of vitriol & abuse as was reported at the time by Caroline Farrow.

Afterward the vigil, Bishop Hopes provided this statement:
'The Catholic Church has always held that that all human life from the moment of conception to its natural ending must be protected and respected. In particular, relevant to this prayer vigil, the Church teaches us that from the moment of its existence, the unborn child has the inviolable human right to life.' 
'Together with Catholics, priests and laymen, and with other Christians, I offered my prayers for those women who are considering an abortion and also prayed that our society will come to respect the sanctity of the life of the unborn child.' 
'The large number of people who attended the prayer vigil shows that increasing numbers are opposed to our society’s “culture of death” and are horrified that in 2010 almost 190.000 abortions took place in England and Wales.' 
God's grace
'It has been reported that the 40 Days of Life prayer vigil in London has enabled some women considering an abortion to change their minds. Such a change of heart that leads to the saving of the life of an unborn child, is a demonstration of God’s grace – an outcome to be welcomed.' 
'It is also important that practical help and assistance is provided for women who decide against having an abortion. Such advice is available from counselling and support organisations with a Catholic and Christian ethos, including the City Pregnancy Counselling and Psychotherapy service and members of the Good Counsel Network.'
Alan Hopes, is a 69 year old Oxford born former Anglican, who converted in 1994 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He was educated at Oxford High School until he moved to London in 1956, when he attended Enfield Grammar. In 1963 he began a degree in Theology at King College, London, taking his degree in 1966. He then attended Warminster Theological College and was ordained priest in the Church of England in 1968. He served as a priest in the Church of England until 1994 when he was received into the Catholic Church and came home to Rome.

He was ordained priest in the Catholic Church in December 1995. After two years as Assistant Priest at Our Lady of Victories in Kensington, London, he became parish priest at Holy Redeemer and St Thomas More, Chelsea. In 2001 he was appointed as Vicar General. In 2002 he became a member of Bishops' Conference Committee on Liturgy and in 2005 was appointed as Chairman of the Committee on Liturgy.

Bishop Alan Hopes was ordained Bishop, and appointed as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Westminster, on 24th January 2003.

He is good and in all honesty, I was hoping we would get him in Brentwood where we have a lot of Ordinariate priests. I felt that his natural collegiality with the priests of the Ordinariate would make him the ideal choice for our diocese. Of course this appointment is an excellent thing for the Ordinariate as the National Shrine of Our Lady will be in his care!

It does beg the question why this took two years though, he is hardly a revelatory candidate!

The Catholic Church of England and Wales website reports the appointment as follows:

Bishop Hopes succeeds the late Bishop Michael Evans who died peacefully on 11 July 2011 after a long illness. Following Bishop Evans’ death Fr David Bagstaff has acted as Diocesan Administrator. Bishop Hopes will be installed as the Bishop of East Anglia on Tuesday 16 July at St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Norwich.

Learning of the appointment, Bishop Hopes said:
“It is with a profound sense of trust in God’s loving care for us, that I will undertake this new ministry as Bishop of East Anglia, entrusted to me by our Holy Father, Pope Francis. In this year of faith, and at the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Francis, it is an immense privilege to be called to follow in the footsteps of the late Bishop Michael Evans in serving and leading God’s holy people in this diocese. 
"I look forward with joy to working with the priests, deacons, religious and all the faithful who minister in the parishes, schools, chaplaincies and other pastoral and charitable ministries of the diocese in our common task of evangelisation. I am grateful indeed to Fr David Bagstaff who has been Diocesan Administrator for the past two years and all who have had supported him in this responsibility. 
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Diocese of Westminster where I have been a priest and bishop, in particular to Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor for their unfailing support, guidance and encouragement. I shall miss its vibrancy and the spirited clergy with whom I have been privileged to work.
“I look forward to working closely with our many ecumenical partners in seeking to respond to the call of our Lord Jesus Christ to love God and serve our neighbours. I also hope to engage with the members of the other faith communities and all people of good will. 
"As I take up this new apostolate, I ask for your prayers and support. I invoke the prayers of the patrons of the diocese, St Felix, St Edmund, St Etheldreda. In particular I entrust myself to the maternal intercession of Mary, our Lady of Walsingham, whose faith, trust and loving obedience is always the guiding light on our pilgrimage as disciples of Christ.”
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, said:
“I am delighted that Bishop Alan has been appointed as Bishop of East Anglia. I would also like to thank him for his considerable service as parish priest, vicar general and auxiliary Bishop in Westminster for the past 10 years. He is in our prayers as he prepares to continue his ministry in the service of all in East Anglia.”
East Anglia Diocesan Administrator Fr David Bagstaff welcomed the appointment:
“I am delighted to hear of the appointment of Bishop Alan Hopes. I am sure that he will be warmly welcomed in our Diocese, which has worked so hard to continue our mission of proclaiming the Gospel over the two years since Bishop Michael’s death. I am most grateful to the priests and people of the Diocese for their support, and am glad to hand over the responsibility for the Diocese to an experienced and trusted colleague who already has some knowledge of our Diocese and has expressed such joy in his appointment.”
With any luck, this means that the appointments have begun and we could have a raft of new bishops before the summer is out.

Now please be good to us in Brentwood Lord!!!

Bishop Alan Hopes Confers the Sacrament of Confirmation on the boys of St. Philip's Preparatory School at the London Oratory

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