A new church era will begin in Australia on Friday with the establishment of the Catholic Church's Ordinariate for former Anglicans, reports The Australian.
One of the first moves will be the ordination of Traditional Anglican Communion Bishop Harry Entwistle, 72, to the Catholic priesthood in St Mary's Cathedral, Perth, on Friday evening by the Catholic Archbishop of Perth, Tim Costelloe.
Most of the 70-strong congregation of Bishop Entwistle's St Ninian and St Chad's Church in Perth will follow him into the Ordinariate, making it the first Australian parish to join the new community.
Other bishops, priests and parishes are expected to follow, including the Church of the Torres Strait and four priests and a bishop from the TAC group in Japan.
Bishop Entwistle (pictured), who declined to be interviewed ahead of the ceremony, is considered one of the frontrunners to be announced by the Pope as head of the Ordinariate, a position that will carry a similar status to that of a Catholic Archbishop.
He is a former Anglican prison chaplain in Britain and Australia who joined the TAC in 2006 over doctrinal differences with the Anglican Church.
In a recent statement, the president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, said the new community would "have the status of a diocese and will be known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross under the patronage of St Augustine of Canterbury".
Catholic Church open for ex-Anglicans (The Australian)