Thinking Anglicans

Charity Commission asked to investigate grant to Ordinariate

Updated Tuesday evening

Ruth Gledhill has broken a news story in The Times which is behind a paywall. But the story opens this way:

The Charity Commission has been asked to investigate a £1 million grant made to the Ordinariate, a new Roman Catholic organisation for defecting Anglicans, by a 150-year-old Anglican charity.

Trustees of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, founded in 1862 as part of the High Church revival in the Church of England, voted the grant through a few weeks ago, thus divesting their charity of more than half its total assets of £1.85 million.

The grant has prompted an outcry among Anglo-Catholics who have remained in the Church of England.

Shortly before the grant was made, the confraternity changed its membership rules, allowing Roman Catholics to become members for the first time…

No doubt other media reports on this will appear fairly soon. But meanwhile here is the original letter from the Superior-General of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, to the membership. Copied in html below the fold.

Update

See The CBS Affair by Peter Bolton which contains more background information.

Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament

REPORT FROM THE SUPERIOR-GENERAL ON A GRANT TO THE ORDINARIATE OF OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM

1. In December 2010, the Superior-General received an approach from the Rt. Revd. Keith Newton, then Bishop of Richborough, asking whether it was within the remit of the Confraternity to make a financial grant to the proposed Ordinariate. The Superior-General sought legal advice on the matter, which indicated that the Trustees had a power to make such a grant and that the charitable Objects of the Confraternity were likely to encompass the purposes for which the Ordinariate was to be established; the Trustees were advised to revisit the issue once a civil law entity had been established that could receive any grant, should an application be received.

2. On 15th January 2011, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was erected. Shortly thereafter, the Trustees received a formal application for financial assistance to the Ordinariate from the Ordinary, Mgr. Keith Newton, to provide for theological teaching, learning and development and for the support of priests in the Ordinariate.

3. At their meeting on the 10th February 2011, the Trustees considered that application carefully and at length. It was unanimously agreed by all the Trustees to make a grant of one million pounds (£1,000,000). However, in view of the possibility of such a grant being challenged, it was also decided to seek additional legal advice from leading counsel.

4. At their meeting on 19th May 2011, the Trustees noted that the Ordinariate had been established as a civil law entity in the form of Charitable Company number 1141536. The Trustees also noted that the Opinion of Mr. Hubert Picarda QC confirmed the propriety, under charity law, of the proposed grant to the newly-registered charity.

The Trustees agreed that they had the power to consider the request and to make a grant for the purpose requested; that the Objects of the Ordinariate was compatible with the charitable Objects of the Confraternity and specifically the advancement of the Catholic faith in the Anglican tradition; that making a grant would be in the best interests of the CBS, in furthering its charitable objects: that a substantial grant might be a helpful signal to others contemplating offering financial support to the Ordinariate, thus increasing the likelihood of the charitable objects of the CBS being secured.

5. Accordingly, the Trustees resolved at the meeting on the 19th May to give effect to their decision to make a grant of £1,000,000 to the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, registered charity 1141536, on terms to be agreed between the parties.

Father Christopher Pearson, Superior-General
for the Trustees

Registered Charity No: 1082897

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Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

The objects of the CBS as on their website include:-
‘The Confraternity is established for the advancement of the catholic faith in the Anglican Tradition…’. It’s going to be interesting to see whether the Charity Commission sees the Ordinariate as ‘in the Anglican Tradition’.

I see that the Superior, Secretary and Treasurer are in the Ordinariate. It’s hardly an organisation within the Church of England anymore. I wonder what its founders and supporters think nof that?

peter kettle
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peter kettle

Checking both the CBS website and the list of convert priests published earlier this year by the Ordinariate, it would appear that at least 4 of the 6 trustees are already priests in the Ordinariate! Other Anglo-Catholic societies ought to watch out!

Paul David Dean
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Paul David Dean

Very rich indeed, especially as our Roman Catholic friends don’t recognize Anglican orders as valid and consider our sacraments utterly null and void. No more money for CBS me thinks.

Rose
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Rose

I’ve just managed to look at the CBS constitution and it has as an object to maintain the catholic priesthood which it defines as male in a male apostolic succession. Surely it is more likely (and more honest) to secure that object in the ordinariate than in the CofE. Surely that is what the trustees had to consider – how to best secure the object. The money is for the objects not the members?? I think that is how english charity law works???

David Malloch
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David Malloch

“150-year-old Anglican charity” – is it? Or is it an independent organisation. Does the constitution tie it to the CofE? I am interested because early members (eg Fr Tooth) went to prison for defying the CofE. CBS promotes benediction. 39 Articles?? If all CBS advocates can be realised in the ordinariate; and if it is less likely not more likely to be fulfilled in the CofE, then doesn’t charity law say something about using money in the best way to further the aims.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

It is clearly theft from the Church of England. Can the Charity Commission retrieve the money?

badman
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badman

Surely the Ordinariate is about the advancement of the Anglican Tradition in the Roman Catholic church, whereas the objects clause is about the advancement of catholicism within Anglicanism.

The two things appear to be diametrically opposed.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

So much to thieve and so little time left (until the careless stewardship of ++Rowan Williams ends).

Robert ian Willaims
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Robert ian Willaims

The Vatican has made it very clear that the Ordinariate is Catholic, with an allowance for some modified and cleansed liturgical fragments from Anglicanism. Just like the Methodist Service book which also has Anglican fragments.. this is a loot and they have also taken over the Church Union. Note how it is not even advertising in the Church of England newspaper anymore. It is still chaired by Fr ( formerly Anglican bishop ) Barnes and most of the staff are now ordained in the ordinariate.. like the editor of the Church Observer, Fr Heans. Msgr Newton feels this is a… Read more »

peter kettle
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peter kettle

Rose’s post: The money is for the objects not the members??

But the money is being used to support, inter alia, 4 of the members, (the trustees I identified in my earlier post)which I think is dodgy!

Robert ian Williams
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Robert ian Williams

More on Church Union… Church Union being milked by Ordinariate Look whats’s been going on behind the scenes. read the original basis of the charity and the revised 2008 aims….. Charitable objects A) TO DEFEND AND MAINTAIN UNIMPAIRED THE DOCTRINE DISCIPLINE AND POSITION OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE WHOLE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF CHRIST; B) TO PROMOTE STUDY AND RESEARCH AND THE DISSEMINATION OF LITERATURE IN ALL BRANCHES OF THEOLOGY AND ETHICS, AND IN THOSE DEPARTMENTS OF PHILOSOPHY, SOCIOLOGY, PSYCHOLOGY, AND NATURAL SCIENCES WHICH ARE CLOSELY RELATED TO RELIGION;(FOR FULLER DETAILS SEE DECLARATION OF TRUST… Read more »

DAvis d'Ambly
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DAvis d'Ambly

Legal or not it’s all rather slippery.

JCF
Guest
JCF

What badman said.

If the Confraternity had been organized “for the All-Male Priesthood”, that would be one thing. As is, the stipulation of same can only be seen as a (self-serving) *amendment* of the original charter.

All praise to the Blessed Sacrament in *Anglican* tabernacles! (Romans, go {ahem} fund yourselves!)

Rose
Guest
Rose

Ian:

“to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church” Anglicanorum Coetibus

“Catholic faith in the Anglican Tradition” CBS Constitution

CBS Constitution was written 1st, so maybe the Holy Father decided on the wording of Anglicanorum Coetibus to get his hands on CBS funds. OR maybe it just so happens that both use very similar wording and CBS trustees needed legal advice as to whether this new context had implications for the charity?

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

This will end badly.

Clearly The trustees now working as priests in this new Roman Catholic group are themselves going to benefit from this large gift. I do not think that quite proper.

Peter Bolton has it right, the Roman Catholic bishops will stop this – it is a serious cause for scandal.

Joe
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Joe

Let’s make sure that proper complaints are made to the Charity Commission. Let’s also hope that Rowan will raise his voice: if he is at all respected by the RC Church, he ought to be able to persuade them that they themselves ought to require Msgr Newton to return the funds pronto. Badman seems to have got it exactly right: ‘Surely the Ordinariate is about the advancement of the Anglican Tradition in the Roman Catholic church, whereas the objects clause is about the advancement of catholicism within Anglicanism’….

A J Barford
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A J Barford

“Ruth Gledhill has broken a news story in The Times which is behind a paywall”

It’s a shame Ruth’s journalistic skills are hidden behind Murdoch’s anti-democratic paywall – a great loss to the blogosphere.

With the phone-hacking scandal engulfing News International, it is to be hoped that she can be rescued from the evil empire Wapping by a headhunter of a more ethical going concern.

A J Barford
Guest
A J Barford

Now that the Ordinariate is so handsomely endowed, surely the time has come for the Forward in Faith fathers to go the whole hog?

This would allow the church at the centre of the most populous town in the Diocese of Peterborough, for instance, a golden opportunity to return to the fold.

A J Barford
Guest
A J Barford

If the Church of England Investment Fund for Pensions is exposed to News International’s share price, this might be another reason for FiF to take advantage of the Ordinariate offer.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Trouble is Martin, the Ordinariate is entirely independent of the English/Welsh hierarchy.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

One wonders whether the rank and file of C.B.S. was consulted on this decision – to divest this honourable Society of more than half it’s net worth?
Investigation might prove that the consenting Officers `of the Society are member of F.i.F. – and not necessarily representative of the membership in toto. Many Anglo-Catholics are not desirous of amalgamation with the Roman Catholic Church in it’s plan for incorporation of the Church of England. What a blow for remaining loyal Anglo-Catholics!

A J Barford
Guest
A J Barford

“remaining loyal Anglo-Catholics!” – Ron Smith

That’s a contradiction in terms, isn’t it Ron? The truly loyal ones are those swearing allegiance to Rome, aren’t they?

A J Barford
Guest
A J Barford

A lot of the criticism levelled at the Contraternity is unjustified, as its grant-making has been entirely benevolent. It seems to me that its objects conform entirely with the intention of the Ordinariate, ie.’the advancement of the catholic faith in the Anglican Tradition’. A good starting point for looking into a charity in depth is the Charity Commission’s website, http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk, where statutory accounts are filed each year – just punch in the charity number: 1082897 On reading through, the only place where you might cringe is section 14 of the notes to the accounts on page 16, where the investment… Read more »

robert ian Williams
Guest
robert ian Williams

You can dismiss Reverencd Williamson as a trouble maker but I think he has a case.

This is doubly troubling to a Catholic ,as the Ordinariate are running their own show, and Rome is a distant hand.

Catch a glimpse of what a third Province would have been like.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“”remaining loyal Anglo-Catholics!” – Ron Smith That’s a contradiction in terms, isn’t it Ron? The truly loyal ones are those swearing allegiance to Rome, aren’t they?” – Posted by A J Barford

Are you serious? [Or am I just sarcasm-impaired here? O_o]

The only thing “Anglo” about the Ordinariate, is the signature on some of the “monsignors” pension checks…

Dicky mint
Guest
Dicky mint

‘Advancement of the catholic faith in the Anglican tradition’ was not the original aims. The devious council and Superior general changed it some 12 months ago, so you are right in one sense, the aims of the ordinariate falls within the aims if CBS. Had these men of doubtful morals not changed the aims of the CBS, then this money wouldn’t have changed hands so easily. Call themselves priests… Representing Christ to his church!!!??

Adrian F Sunman
Guest
Adrian F Sunman

This is bad and will end badly. Many years ago I was rather rudely turned away from a CBS meeting, at which someone I knew was giving the address – because I was technically a Methodist in those days. Imagine, if you will, my outrage on reading about this latest saga in Friday’s Church Times. I’ve no issues either with the Ordinariate or the R C Church under whose umbrella it falls. However I imagine the money in question has been given to CBS over the years by loyal Anglicans, believing fairly enough, that the money would be used for… Read more »

A J Barford
Guest
A J Barford

“Anglican objects”

Didn’t you ever come across J H Newman?

Adrian F Sunman
Guest
Adrian F Sunman

Yes, I have a volume of his sermons somewhere.

Kay Wisniewski
Guest
Kay Wisniewski

Is this not partly a problem because secret organizations makes things difficult? If we do not know a ship is heading for the shoals because it does not show up on the radar, how do we warn it off? Or have I misunderstood? I am a Yank who believes that open and aboveboard usually works best.