An Anglican bishop has resigned his post to become a Catholic.
Bishop Jonathan Goodall has been Bishop of Ebbsfleet for eight years and officially steps down on 08 September.
He said: “I have arrived at the decision to step down as Bishop of Ebbsfleet, in order to be received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, only after a long period of prayer, which has been among the most testing periods of my life.”
Accepting the resignation, Archbishop Justin Welby said, “I am deeply grateful to Bishop Jonathan for his ministry and many years of faithful service.
“My prayers are with him and [his wife] Sarah, both for his future ministry and for the direction in which they are being called in their continuing journey of dedicated service to Christ.”
Jonathan Goodall is known to oppose the ordination of women. He has worked as a “flying bishop”, ministering to communities in Canterbury Diocese who cannot accept a female in the role.
He said, “Life in the communion of the Church of England has shaped and nourished my discipleship as a Catholic Christian for many decades.
“This is where I first received – and for half my life have ministered, as priest and bishop – the sacramental grace of Christian life and faith. I shall always treasure this and be thankful for it.
“I trust you all to believe that I have made my decision as a way of saying ‘yes’ to God’s present call and invitation, and not of saying ‘no’ to what I have known and experienced in the Church of England, to which I owe such a deep debt.”
Jonathan is the second bishop of Ebbsfleet to resign in order to become a Catholic. Andrew Burnham was received into the Catholic Church in January 2011 and was ordained a Catholic priest two weeks later.