Former Bishop of Rochester Swims the Tiber

Former Bishop of Rochester Swims the Tiber

Michael Nazir-Ali, former Church of England Bishop of Rochester and Senior member of GAFCON UK, has swum the Tiber to become a Roman Catholic.  The official announcement about his reception said he will soon be ordained as a Roman Catholic priest.  This is the second time in 30 days that a bishop within the Church of England has changed allegiances.

According to the announcement from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Nazir-Ali was received into the Roman Catholic Church on the Feast of St Michael & All Angels (28 September 2021).  

In his personal statement, Nazir-Ali said, “

“I believe that the Anglican desire to adhere to apostolic, patristic and conciliar teaching can now best be maintained in the Ordinariate. Provisions there to safeguard legitimate Anglican patrimony are very encouraging and, I believe, that such patrimony in its Liturgy, approaches to biblical study, pastoral commitment to the community, methods of moral theology and much else besides has a great deal to offer the wider Church.


I am looking forward to receiving from the riches of other parts of the Church, while perhaps making a modest contribution to the maintenance and enhancement of Anglican patrimony within the wider fellowship.”




It is unclear as to how Mr Nazir-Ali sees significant agreement between the theology of Council of Trent and the Formularies of the Anglican Church.  The Decrees of the Council of Trent were in response to the Protestant Reformation.

In 1994, Graham Leonard, former Bishop of London, was the last prominent member of the episcopal bench to become Roman Catholic.