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.
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