Death of Mgr Graham Leonard, former Anglican Bishop of London

This news just in from Damian Thompson at the Telegraph:

I’ve just heard that Mgr Graham Leonard, the former Bishop of London who became a Catholic and was made a (married) Monsignor by Pope John Paul II, has died.

Mgr Leonard, 88, was a formidable and dignified champion of the Anglo-Catholic cause in the Church of England; when he converted to Catholicism after the vote to ordain women priests, he was ordained priest conditionally, having persuaded the Vatican that he might already possess valid orders by virtue of an Old Catholic apostolic succession.

Mgr Leonard had originally hoped that he could bring with him Anglican priests and faithful who could worship together after their reception; as it turned out, the time was not yet ripe. But it is now. The Ordinariate scheme, currently taking shape, will be a fitting memorial to this inspiring priest.

Personally, I had always hoped that the good Monsignor would have been made a Cardinal. I liked the thought of the Leonards being announced upon their arrival at an official function as: “His Eminence, Graham Cardinal and Mrs Leonard”. May he rest in peace.

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