1st Scot Ordained for Ordinariate

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GREENOCK, Scotland, JULY 20, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is welcoming its first Scottish priest.

Father Len Black, 61, was ordained Sunday at St. Mary's Church in Greenock. Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley was the ordaining bishop.

Father Black was an Episcopal minister for 30 years. He was also the regional dean of Forward in Faith, a group of Anglicans with the desire to adhere to the Communion's traditional teaching.

About a dozen of his parishioners are expected to join the ordinariate with him, the Scotsman reported.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, he said: "The gift of ordination is a great privilege and honor, and for me it is also the culmination of a long journey into full communion with the Catholic Church made possible by the generosity of Pope Benedict."

According to the Scotsman, Bishop Tartaglia, who is overseeing matters related to the ordinariate in Scotland, saw the ordination as a sign of ecumenical progress.

"Although the group in Scotland is very small, when taken along with considerably more groups and clergy in England and Wales -- and with ordinariate arrangements coming into place soon in the United States and possibly in Australia later -- this begins to look like a new and visionary way of recreating Christian unity after years of ecumenical stalemate," he said. "It is marked by the striking originality, simplicity and generosity of a Pope Benedict XVI initiative."