Stephen Raine, a former Anglican priest, was ordained a Catholic priest this Sunday, July 3, in France
Newsroom (04/07/2022 8:00, Gaudium Press) The 73-year-old Englishman, Stephen Raine, was ordained a priest in the French diocese of Angoulême on Sunday, July 3.
Stephen Raine is a former Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism. As an Anglican priest, Raine exercised the ministry for almost 30 years.
From Anglicanism to Catholicism
He left the ministries in 2014 upon his retirement then settled in France in 2016 with his wife and son, both long-time Catholics.
Stephen Raine’s path of reconciliation with the Catholic Church began in 2018, when he renounced Anglicanism. He then received the sacrament of Confirmation, and at that time already expressed his desire to be ordained a Catholic priest.
In 2022, Bishop Hervé Gosselin and Bishop of Angouleme, decided to forward the request for Stephen Raine’s priestly ordination to the Holy Father the Pope.
Petitio and the Anglicanorum Coetibus Constitution
The “petitio” is a document sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that aims to request the priestly ordination of former Anglican ministers who are married.
In fact, in 2011, Pope Benedict XVI erected the prelature of Our Lady of Walsingham and wrote the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.
The document provides for dispensation from the vow of celibacy for Anglican ministers who, being married, convert to Catholicism and express a desire to receive priestly ordination.
Authorization from the Holy See
Fr. Eric Pouvaloue, who presented Stephen Raine at his diaconal ordination last June 24, explained that the pontifical dispensation “does not call into question the greatness, value and beauty of priestly celibacy normally in force in the Roman Church.”
The priest further stated that when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith authorized Stephen’s ordination, the bishop and other Christians already knew that Stephen was worthy to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. (FM)
Compiled by Florence MacDonald