The former assistant Bishop of Newcastle, Paul Richardson, has been received into full communion with the Holy See, I am pleased to reveal. Richardson – also a former Anglican bishop in Papua New Guinea and diocesan bishop of Wangaratta in Australia – was received into the Church at the chaplaincy at Durham University last month.
He tells me that his conversion is not the product of recent controversies. “I would have become a Catholic even if the Church of England wasn’t ordaining women bishops,” he says. “In a sense I feel it’s what I’ve always been, so this is like coming home.”
Richardson, 63, is not planning to join the Ordinariate, but hasn’t ruled out ordination as a Catholic priest – “You can’t just jump in and say ‘I want to be ordained’. I think I have to let the Church guide me over that,” he says.
Here is Paul Richardson’s page on the website of the Anglican diocese of Newcastle, where the bishop chaired the diocesan board of education. He now lives in London, where he attends Mass daily at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark. “I’m very happy just being an ordinary Catholic,” he tells me.