Jonathan Goodall, Anglican bishop of the Church of England, announced on September 3, 2021 that he would step down a few days later to become a Catholic. He was Bishop of Ebbsfleet, a suffragan bishopric of the Diocese of Canterbury.
Jonathan Goodall was a Provincial Episcopal Visitor of the Anglican Church. Provincial visitors are nicknamed “flying bishops” because of their pastoral role vis-à-vis groups of traditionalist parishes.
He resigned after what he described as “one of the most testing periods of my life.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he accepted his resignation “with regret.”
Archbishop Justin said he was “deeply grateful to Bishop Jonathan for his ministry and many years of faithful service.”
Jonathan Goodall declared: “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.”
The 60-year-old former Anglican bishop is married to a musician and has two children. As assistant bishop he held episcopal office in various parishes and dioceses.
He finally added, “I look forward to serving the Church in the future in whatever way I may be called to do so.”
It should be remembered that the priestly ordinations conferred in the Angliacan rite were declared invalid by Pope Leo XIII. In the letter Apostolicae curae of September 13, 1896, he stated:
“And so, assenting entirely to the decrees of all the departed Pontiffs in this case, and confirming them most fully and, as it were, renewing them by Our authority, of Our own inspiration and certain knowledge, We pronounce and declare that ordinations enacted according to the Anglican rite have hitherto been and are invalid and entirely void.” The Sources of Catholic Dogma, Denzinger, no. 1966.
Since 1992, 12 Church of England bishops have converted to Catholicism, including Gavin Ashenden, former chaplain to Queen Elisabeth. Nine of them, to date, have been ordained priests in the Catholic Church.