Comments: friction over the Ordinariate

[I said the following over at Episcopal Cafe, apropos the CU President's resignation]

As someone who began working within TEC ecumenically ~25 years ago, inc. for (in God's Good Time!) union of the Church including the Church of Rome, it BOGGLES MY MIND that *anyone* could think that Anglicanorum Coetibus could FURTHER the ecumenical project, instead of (re the AC and Rome) damn near KILLING it. [Pardon the run-on sentence!]

I've heard said of attempts to revive ARCIC (Anglican/Roman Catholic International Consultation), "What is there left to talk about?" It seems to me that to ask "Rome, why did you stab us in the back?" is an appropriate place to renew the conversation (I'm not holding my breath as to the response, though).

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 5:43am BST

it is difficult to see how the Ordinariate will achieve financial viability. What is the age profile of the laity? I suspect they think they are a "first wave" and many more will follow if/when women bishops appear...but I cant see it. The laity are very attached to buildings and it seems pretty certain church sharing isnt on the cards. What is happening outside England? Not much,I judge.

Posted by Perry Butler at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 9:26am BST

Should one have some sympathy with Keith Newton and his ordinariands as they contemplate their financial difficulties? I have to admit that I find it very difficult indeed. Indeed the words 'bed' and 'lying on it' come to mind

Surely they knew that there were going to be serious financial difficulties? They knew that Rome had no money to support them, there was going to be none from the Church of England. Those priests who were below pensionable age were always going to have to wait for the Church of England pensions to be paid. Was no assessment done, didn't they have a plan, what preparations were made by those with dependent children for their financial maintenance? It looks as if there was a serious failure to anticipate what was quite obvious at the time.

Rather than trying by dubious means to get hold of the money given by CofE members for CofE purposes, perhaps they ought to be thinking of getting secular employment, perhaps there is a rich widow who would keep them, or perhaps their lay followers can get together to support them? Isn't this what schismatic sects always do?

Keith Newton is trying to justify the acquisition of the CBS money as being consistent with the aims of promoting the 'catholic faith in the Anglican tradition'. Since it is not yet at all clear what the Ordinariate is going to take with it from the 'Anglican Tradition' (apart from gin, lace and backbiting perhaps) the justification is completely hollow (let alone the act being distinctly dubious and certainly unethical and immoral). It further undermines the integrity of those who have joined it and their supporters left in the Church of England. It shows up completely the dubious nature of the ordinariate and the folly of the Roman Church in establishing it.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 9:41am BST

Sounds a bit like Iraq - i.e. no follow up plan once the invasion has taken place!
As to the purloining of CBS funds - I'm sure that Benedict XVI would not have wished his precious Ordinariate to start off in such a tainted way.

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 12:29pm BST

Richard, if you take a look at the comments being made on Facebook, you might join me in concluding that "gin, lace and backbiting" clearly remain the order of the day in Anglo Catholic circles - indeed it may be the essential feature keeping so many in the Church of England!

Posted by rose at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 12:30pm BST

Odd that Fr Barnes, though now an RC priest, signs his Church Union letter as a bishop?

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 2:34pm BST

"Rather than trying by dubious means to get hold of the money given by CofE members for CofE purposes" - Richard Ashby

Isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Our (formerly Roman Catholic) cathedrals charge Roman Catholic visitors entrance fees amounting to millions of pounds a year - for 'CofE purposes' - as William Oddie of the Catholic Herald points out:

Posted by A J Barford at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 4:35pm BST

The money should be returned. No matter how you try to paint it, it is THEFT. It is really not that different from the game being played all over the Anglican world by Right wingers. This money belongs to the Anglican CBS not the Roman Catholic Church or Anglican converts to Rome. The sooner this money is returned, the easier it will be for those who took it to decide what they plan to do with the rest of their lives as Christians. The entire movement has homophobia and misogyny as its' foundation. No good can come from this movement.

Posted by Chris Smith at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 4:58pm BST

The Church Times this week published a fairly substantial correction to Fr Williamson's letter which, for the sake of fairness ought to be reproduced with any reference to his letter! One begins to wonder if he has actually got anything right about the case.

WITH reference to the Revd Paul Williamson’s letter last week, con­cerning payments by the Confra­ternity of the Blessed Sacrament (CBS) in connection with the Ordinariate, Mgr Andrew Burnham has asked us to point out that the sum he received was to fund a mission post. He writes: “The per­son was part-funded by the Church Commissioners (CC) as a member of my staff and part-funded by For ward in Faith or the CBS be cause of wider national tasks. The money came to me as the Bishop of Ebbs fleet, because the person was paid by the CC and we reimbursed the CC for part of it. Very little of this was done by or through me, and I de rived no personal financial benefit.”
We have also been asked to clarify that Fr Pearson remains Superior-General; that the only new trustee is Prebendary Sam Philpott, a priest in the C of E. We are told that the CBS accounts do not contain the words “Church of England” in them; and that the sum of £12,000 was paid to a former Secretary-General, who is still an Anglican; the post is no longer paid. The current trustees or officers are not remunerated for their work for the trust. Editor

Posted by Swish new Church at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 5:05pm BST

Mr Barford. William Oddie's argument in his bitter article is quite spurious. There was no 'Roman Catholic Church' at the time of Henry VIII; there were those who went along with Henry's reformation, the vast majority of whom remained in their traditional places of worship, and there was a remnant, who did not and so excluded themselves and suffered all the penalties which we know about up to and including matyrdom. I am not excusing this fact, but this is what happened. Therefore there can be no charges of 'theft' against the Church of England which, whether we like it or not, is the continuing church in this land. This is no different to all those continental countries which had protestant revolutions and where the historic churches are in the hands of the protestant churches today. It is also worth remembering that many if not most of the great Roman Catholic cathedrals on the continent also make charges for admission, if not to the nave then to the shrines or other parts.

I share Mr Oddie's distaste for having to pay to enter our great religious buildings. I had to pay £9 at Canterbury the other week, but I have to say that as both a tourist attraction and a spritual experience it was well worth it. My own cathedral is extremely fortunate in not (yet?) having to charge for admission. It is only through the generosity of the congregation and careful stewardship of resources that this remains possible. The average donation per visitor is 67p.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 5:57pm BST

"I had to pay £9 at Canterbury the other week"

... a rather steep sum to pay if you are a homeless Spanish migrant worker picking apples in the Garden of England.

Posted by A J Barford at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 9:00pm BST

Yes, someone noted elsewhere recently, and I can't find it to give proper credit, that it is arguable that the "Roman Catholic Church" did not exist until 1870, when Vatican I affirmed the "ordinary, immediate, and universal jurisdiction" of the Bishop of Rome.

I have also heard it stated that any claims to Anglican real property were dropped as part of the re-establishment of the Roman hierarchy in England in 1850 -- but I haven't been able to confirm that, in a quick search.

Posted by Christopher (P.) at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 10:04pm BST

The controversial grant by the former Anglican charity, the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament (CBS) may be legal, but whether it is moral or not is another question? The fact that the majority of the trustees of the CBS are members of the Ordinariate and that prior to their conversion to Catholicism, they changed the Confraternity from being an exclusively Anglican body into an ecumenical organisation is highly questionable.

The fact remains that under Catholic Canon law no priest can be a member of an Association which compromises their Catholic Faith.
Canon law section 278 states: Clerics are to refrain from establishing or participating in associations whose purpose or activity cannot be reconciled with the obligations proper to the clerical state or can prevent the diligent fulfilment of the function entrusted to them by competent ecclesiastical authority.

As the CBS promotes worship within Anglican churches of what we as Catholics see as bread it is highly problematic. The Anglican Church possesses neither the valid orders to confect a valid eucharist and then by implication the Blessed Sacrament, to worship our Lord. A fact acknowledged by the convert trustees when they recently accepted unconditional confirmation and ordination in the Catholic Church. Or are they suggesting their Catholic ordination was no such thing?

Whilst I believe that the Anglo Catholics who remain in the Society are genuine in their belief that the bread thay pray before is the body of the Lord, according to Catholic teaching and discipline it is absolutely not. Therefore it is totally unacceptable for a Catholic priest, to be a member of such an organisation, as there is no parity of cult in eucharistic worship between Anglicans and Catholics.

The unsuitability of a Catholic priest being a trustee of an organisation devoted to promoting eucharistic worship within the Protestant Church of England, when under canon law they cannot even concelebrate the eucharist with ordained Anglican ministers , or even to genuflect before an Anglo catholic tabernacle, is the reason for my complaint to the Charity Commissioners.

It is my contention that the issue is not just a legal matter for the secular courts, but a spritual matter for the Holy See, where the final episcopal authority over the ordinariate resides.

Posted by robert ian williams at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 10:40pm BST

The Protestant Church of England was reconstituted in 1559 by acts of parliament.The buildings owned by the Catholic Church were taken over by the newly constituted denomination. The Catholic remnant went underground and in 1829, as a precursor to emancipation agreed not to make a claim on any of the ancient churches and cathedrals.

Posted by Robert ian Williams at Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 10:51pm BST

So far we know that the Ordinariate has caused significant internal trouble for the CBS and the Church Union.

What of the Society of the Holy Cross, the Guild of All Souls, Walsingham, the Guild of the Servants of the Sanctuary, etc? Membership and leadership in these organisations are remarkably coterminous.

Posted by Philadelphian at Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 3:33am BST

Charging admission to churches is unfortunate. But note it happens on the continent as well. Does William Oddie's argument extend outside of England? I just checked, St Peter's charges 7 euros. Hmmm. Next time, I'll just refuse to pay and walk in.

Posted by Grumpy High Church Woman at Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 8:20am BST

"St Peter's charges 7 euros". St Peter's where?? If this refers to the Vatican Basilica it is completely untrue. Admission is free!

Posted by David Malloch at Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 8:41am BST

"The fact that the majority of the trustees of the CBS are members of the Ordinariate and that prior to their conversion to Catholicism, they changed the Confraternity from being an exclusively Anglican body into an ecumenical organisation is highly questionable."

This is simply incorrect. All constitutional changes are made by the Council General, not the trustees. Re the matter refered to, the changes were proposed and seconded by 2 members of the council, one a Bishop and the other a Parish Priest, both of whom remain members of the Church of England! The trustees changed nothing, they cannot do so!

Posted by David Malloch at Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 8:45am BST

Mr Barford:-
'...a rather steep sum to pay if you are a homeless Spanish migrant worker picking apples in the Garden of England'.

But I think that you will find that should both Mr Oddie and your Spanish migrant worker wish they can attend any service and experience the best in Cathedral worship free of any charge.

Your Spaniard might well also find that the churches in this country are still mostly open and free of charge whereas in his they are often locked and only open for services.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 9:16am BST

"What of the Society of the Holy Cross, the Guild of All Souls, Walsingham, the Guild of the Servants of the Sanctuary etc? membership and leadership in these organisations are remarkably coterminous" - Philadelphian

Philadelphian, you have made a sweeping statement and crass generalisation about the organisations to which you allude. As far as I am aware, but correct me if I am wrong, Fathers Houlding and Dunkley of SSC, Bishop Lindsay Urwin and Father Stephen Gallagher at Walsingham, and the headship of the other organisations you make reference to, are all still very firmly within the Church of England and nave made no overtures whatsoever to the Ordinariate. Indeed, Father Houlding is a member of the General Synod, recently elected. Please avoid making erroneous claims borne of mere prejudice against the organisations and what they represent.

Posted by Benedict at Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 4:21pm BST

With respect to the Catholic Societies, for the most part there are not "parallel" affirming versions and membership is mixed. Anglo-Catholics of a "liberal" persuasion on gender end up in the SCP (the North American body has a spikier rep than the mother province) and Company of Servers rather than the SSC and GSS, and it doesn't take second sight to predict the reaction of the Catholic League to the ordinariate, but there is only one CBS, SOM, GAS, OLW, and SKCM for Anglicans of whatever shade of opinion of matters of current contention.

Posted by Geoff at Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 7:16pm BST

Don't worry.. Rome are going to rule that membership of the CBS by a Catholic priest is unaceptable, as they did on the SHC.

Posted by Robert ian williams at Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 9:38pm BST

We were at Walsingham for the Youth Pilgrimage last week. I think it's no secret that the last 12 months at Walsingham have been remarkably difficult. It still poses me a problem as a member of SCP that my female SCP colleague cannot concelebrate there (so I won't), but they were last week trying their damnedest to be as inclusive as they could. Credit where credit's due to +Lindsey and Fr Stephen. Their room for manoeuvre is very limited.

Posted by david rowett at Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 11:31pm BST

I take the point about 'gin, lace and backbiting', but I would be interested to know what part of the Anglican tradition members of the ordinariate think they are keeping. I assume it is not the Book of Common Prayer and the Authorised Version of the Bible. At one time members of the Church of England who wanted to assert their 'Catholicity' put these as far away as possible. I knew one church where, admittedly during an interregnum, the 'Mass' was simply an English translation of what was being said at the local Roman Catholic church. If this sort of thing still goes on, there seems little point in talking about retaining anything from the Anglican tradition.

Posted by Christopher at Monday, 8 August 2011 at 11:57am BST

Robert this posting must be (one of) your best ever ! An absolute hoot !

Posted by: robert ian williams on Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 10:40pm

Worshipping bread eh ? Who would have thought it!

You have brought me a little cheer. Thanks ever so.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 8 August 2011 at 1:48pm BST

Sad you find the spiritual realities of people's souls so trivial and funny.

From a Catholic perspective Anglican orders are defective, so how can a Catholic priest be a member of a society promoting " eucharistic adoration " in the Church of England?

Posted by Robert ian Williams at Monday, 8 August 2011 at 10:11pm BST

Well, Laurence, that is what the Vatican and her adherents teach.

We are no priests, these are no valid sacraments... etc.

I think the particular obstacle raised by RIW may well have merit in Canon Law.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 8 August 2011 at 11:13pm BST

Robert did I use the word 'trivial'? Just hilarious (so hardly trivial :) Your drama queen antics don't take me in for one moment either :)

all that huffing and puffing !

Martin I am happy to be in some sense a minister of gospel- and hope I've done a bit of good here and there.As for 'validity' I have no such concept, and its hard to imagine how it could apply to a sacrament which is an action between people in relationship. Even if only a one-off.

The relationship and feelings may be difficult or fraught - but that's true in church and out, innit ?

Btw my experience of RCs is that I have been received with openness in all kinds of ways and welcome to recieve communion and also to give it, both in the UK and elsewhere.

Its different on the ground where people ar in relationship however brief or otherwise the encounters, from on-line where we are restricted to words -and typed words at that. Typed can = hyped !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 9 August 2011 at 12:03pm BST

Perhaps Mr. Barnes should have realised early on that a charity like the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament is specifically registered as an Anglican organisation not geared to the needs of a schismatic entity like the R.C. Ordinariate.

And as for Robert I Williams' ungracious comment, it is perhaps time he recognised that his mentor, the Pope, 'hath no jurisdiction in England'.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 11 August 2011 at 1:21pm BST

Father Ron, I am confused by your comment. Could you state in what way CBS is "specifically registered as an Anglican organisation"? I am a member and do not understand what you mean? Registered with whom? Is it registered with the synod or the CofE or something? Or is it registered as part of the CofE with the charity commission? And does the law or the charity commission have a policy on perceived schism?? And if what you say is correct, how is it that CBS legal opinions from leading charity lawyers say something very different? I'm not wanting to argue, I'm just confused as to what you mean and the basis on which you comment??

Posted by Rose at Friday, 12 August 2011 at 2:58pm BST

I fail to understand what is hard to grasp here. The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament was established to promote the Catholic tradition within Anglicanism. The Ordinariate was established to decimate the Catholic tradition within Anglicanism and to promote a pallid museum piece Anglican ghetto Tradition in Rome.

Posted by Malcolm French+ at Saturday, 13 August 2011 at 2:45pm BST

Rose, I'm sure that Fr Ron will answer for himself but my reading of the history of the Catholic movement in the CofE would be that the CBS was set up to be explicitly OUTSIDE of the established Church of England because, at the time of its foundation, Priests were being sent to prison for doing far less "Catholic" things than adoring the Blessed Sacrament.

Posted by Swish new Church at Saturday, 13 August 2011 at 8:22pm BST

Rose, I am not a member of C.B.S., though I have hitherto been sympathetic towards their attitude towards the catholic claims of the Church of England. My understanding has always been that CBS was registered as a charity, sharing the aims and objectives of the historic Church of England,

Grants from C.B.S. have been received by at least one New Zealand parish, providing vestments and eucharistic vessels for the celebration of the Holy Communion in accordance with CBS's stated tradition, which has always been claimed to be in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of the historic Church of England. I know of no other disbursements outside of the Anglican Communion - apart from this recent disbursement to a Roman Catholic-sponsored entity which is not Anglican.

Statements made on this thread by R.I.Williams clearly spell out what one former Anglican who is now a Roman Catholic thinks about the implied 'catholicity' of C.B.S. - which questions any connection between the Confraternity and Roman Catholicism. Mind you, he may not be considered to be your common or garden R.C.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 13 August 2011 at 10:07pm BST

I think my argument is still cogent.

The Ordinariate trustees of CBS rejected their Anglican orders and accepted unconditional confirmation and ordination in the Catholic Church.

They are now part of an organisation promoting "eucharistic" worship of bread in the Church of England.

Its a violation of Catholic Canon law...278 section 3. Indeed in the past Rome forced Catholic priests who joined SSC , to leave.

They can't have their bun and keep their penny..oops million!

So far I have had to complain about this, an abuse of using the KJV bible for oaths at an ordination and there are other issues, best left out of the public eye.

Posted by Robert ian Williams at Sunday, 14 August 2011 at 7:29am BST

There is a very telling advertisment in this weeks Church of England Newspaper...

It is an advert for a "conservative Evangelical parish" in Christchurch, NZ.

Underneath it says applications to Bishop Victoria Matthews.

Posted by robert ian williams at Sunday, 14 August 2011 at 7:41am BST

Robert Ian Williams seems to be rather fixed in a siege mentality and wanting to drive wedges between the Ordinariate, the Church of England and the Catholic hierarchy in the UK. The situation has changed dramatically since 1992 and the SSC situation. We now have an Apostolic Constitution which requires us to build bridges and, crucially, which refers to Anglican Bishops, Priests and Deacons. For Anglican Clergy and Laity wishing to enter into full communion with the See of Peter the Ordinariate is now the NORMATIVE route for them to follow. It is the only route which fully values, recognises and upholds their previous ministry and catholic witness in the Anglican communion. No Lay Person and no Priest is asked to deny ANYTHING of their past, the Priests do not resign their orders and in the re-ordination services there is a beautiful prayer which upholds and values all that has gone before. I am only sorry that such a provision was not available many years ago but I thank God for the generosity of Pope Benedict XVI for creating the Ordinariate.

RIW, may I humbly suggest that you look up the Fr Faber hymn "There's a wideness in God's mercy", there is a fabulous verse which those inclined to quote excerpts of Canon law ought to learn by heart!

"But we make His love too narrow
By false limits of our own;
And we magnify His strictness
With a zeal He will not own"

Posted by Swish new church at Sunday, 14 August 2011 at 9:20am BST

Rose, not all of the explanations provided in answer to your initial question are correct.

CBS managed to avoid registration as a charity until 1999, when registration was required by a new Charity Act. In order to register, a constitution was written and subsequently approved by the Charity Commission. The constitution defined priesthood as male in a male succession, which was not the doctrine of the CofE. The initial draft of the constitution had the wording "Church of England and churches in communion with the Church of England". This was rejected unanimously by the Council General and the words "Catholic Faith in the Anglican Tradition" we substituted. This was because the Council General envisaged a time when the Catholic Faith in the Anglican Tradition would be lived outside of the Anglican Communion. Note that we are talking about 1999: at that time most members of the council were quite elderly and had been involved a long time - they were very aware of the history of the movement and its beliefs.

Posted by David Malloch at Sunday, 14 August 2011 at 10:15am BST

'Swish New Church', thank you for your eirenic comments on R.I.W's misunderstanding of Gospel Mercy and its capacity to cover all situations.

I doubt R.I.W. would accept that Father Faber had anything worthwhile to contribute to Catholic Truth, being a priest of the Church of England when he wrote that wonderful hymn. R.I.W has 'jumped the fence' and nothing will dissuade him from his new understanding of Anglicanism as a can of worms.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 14 August 2011 at 6:34pm BST

David Malloch makes a good point and, indeed, casting one's mind back the talk was of a "free province" or a "Third Province" for those who could not accept the Ordination of women and this thinking was later formalised in the book "Consecrated Women?" edited by, now Bishop, Jonathan Baker. Such a free province would have, if formed, begun serious ecumenical dialogue with the See of Peter immediately. A re-establishment of Communion with the See of Peter would mean a de-facto break with Canterbury and in this scenario the Council General of the CBS would want to be able to continue to fund the "free province". Anyway, the General Synod would never agree to this. (The Ordinariate, by the way, is in effect the "Free Province" just arrived at by a different route!)

Furhermore, when Women Bishops are created in the CofE and the putative Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda is formed it may have to act outside of the established Canons of the Church of England but, because it is in the "Anglican tradition", the CBS could support it. Hats off to the CBS Council for its foresight!

Posted by Swish new church at Sunday, 14 August 2011 at 6:37pm BST

I am trying to do no such thing. The Catholic church affirms the ministry of all Protestant ministers, who offer their ministry in sincerity.
Ordination to the Catholic Church priesthood is absolute and unconditional.

The Ordinariate has in the views of several persons, has taken a very dubious course with the million pound donation. As I point out, no Catholic priest can belong to an organisation which encourages the worship of bread in the Church of England.

The Ordinariate is an option for some Anglo catholics ( 900 out of at least 50,000).. but a person converting from Anglicanism, can come in through their local diocese. I could become a member of the Ordinariate, but I have not the slightest wish to be part of a group..especially a group which after less than six months is mired in controversy...or who wants to serve me up a regurgitated Cranmer.

Posted by Robert ian Williams at Sunday, 14 August 2011 at 9:36pm BST

The Ordinariate is not a third province. Its rejects the Anglican claim to be a church and branch of Catholicism, by virtue of its subscription to the Universal Catechism. It is a few hundred laity and a disproportionate number of laity, who represent a kind of Anglo Catholic theme park, which will be presented shortly with a liturgical tradition, a mish mash of Cranmer and Sarum! From this they hope to attract some cradle in the United States of America where the Anglican use is 90 per cent cradle Catholic!

By the way any third province would have included Reform and they would have vetoed and stymied any attempt at reunion with Rome.

I'm happy for the few Anglo Catholics who have found a home in the Catholic Church via the Ordinariate, but the granting and acceptance of over half the assets of the CBS is an extremely dubious practice.

One supporter of the Ordinariate , described it to me as looting the Egyptians! I find that dishonourable.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Monday, 15 August 2011 at 6:57am BST

"The Ordinariate is not a third province. It rejects the Anglican claim to be a church and branch of Catholicism, by virtue of its subscription to the Universal Catechism." - RIW -

What a load of cod's-wallop you do talk, Robert!
Why on earth would the Ordinariate, then, seek to retain something of the 'Anglican Patrimony'?

Really, Robert you'll have to do better than this. People will begin to question what is your motive for contributing to 'Thinking Anglicans' - other than to denigrate the Church into which you were baptized. Remember, Anglicanism was the part of the Body of Christ which formed your early understanding of Christ and His Church.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 15 August 2011 at 3:01pm BST

RIW, you are a true Protestant! The Holy Father has created the Ordinariate but you always seem to think that you know better. You have done your damnedest to undermine it with comments, complaints and direct criticism which is disloyal to the Church which you claim to hold in such high regard.

You are right about Reform which is why the VERY first thing that the brains in FiF (Fr Kirk) advocated was for the Free Province to divide into 2 provinces - an evangelical and a Catholic one. You really just were not in on the thinking in Anglo-Catholic circles at that time and, it seems, you have now lost touch with the Roman Catholic Church too but there's a wideness in God's mercy which is good news for all of us!

Posted by Swish new church at Monday, 15 August 2011 at 10:54pm BST

It is not to be disloyal to question the pastoral practice of a diocese or of an ordinariate.

I believe the Ordinariate leadership have acted wrongly over the CBS grant.Indeed disgracefully.

Undermine the ordinariate!....they are doing it themselves.

let the courts that its where this matter is going.

Gosh a divided third province. The "orthodox " split at birth..what a testimony!

swish, I find it dubious that you hide your real name..everything I have done is in public....

Posted by Robert ian Williams at Tuesday, 16 August 2011 at 11:19pm BST

The CBS was completely right to make provision for the the continued adherence to their objects now that it is absolutely clear that there will be no chance of either reconciliation with Rome or sacramental assurance in the CofE once Women Bishops are created.

"Let the courts decide"!, Do you read the bible?

Anonymity - Indeed RIW you have a point but I have seen the evidence of your campaigns and institutions in newspapers and from your letter-writing campaigns setting yourself as judge and jury over other people's souls and do not wish to expose myself or my family to your evangelical zeal for purity.

Posted by Swish new church at Wednesday, 17 August 2011 at 10:25am BST

As a loyal Catholic I also realise that Catholics can make mistakes, even those in pastoral positions. The Catholic Church does not teach pastoral competency on a local level as a Divine gift.That is why we have the scandal in Cloyne.

I believe and have respect for the rule of Law and feel the Courts should decide. However I hope that behind the scenes those in authority in Rome will make the Ordinariate see sense.

Not only will they tell them to return the money, but also tell Ordinariate priests that they can not be a member of the CBS.

Posted by Robert ian Williams at Wednesday, 17 August 2011 at 5:48pm BST

Unlike "Swish new church" I think the £1million diverted to the Ordinariate was not a proper use of the funds and I believe the money should be repaid - and will be repaid.

If indeed this donation was made to make the provision "Swish new church" claims then why leave £850,000 or does the Ordinariate propose to take that too?

RIW can hardly be blamed for criticising this novel development of Roman Catholicism's grasping and underhanded manner - though I think he was ill advised to welcome it in principle when it was announced - I think he is feeling the members of the Ordinariate will bring dishonour to his Church and (for once) I think he is correct.

I also think his point on the Canon Law prohibition on RC priests belonging to such groups has merit.

But I regret that this will not just be a matter for the Ecclesiastical Courts (Swish new church seems to unaware the RCC has so many!) - I think this may well end up in civil litigation and possibly in the criminal court.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Wednesday, 17 August 2011 at 10:05pm BST

The facts do not support any suggestion of illegal activity. This will not end up in Court, nothing illegal has been done! You might not like the grant and there are 12 people activily foaming at the mouth about it on Facebook (and a few hundred watching silently who's views we do not know) They are not interested in facts (factual posts which are not anti-CBS or anti-Ordinariate quickly get deleted) or the Objects of the Charity, most never bothered to join and they are just using it as an excuse to "knock" the Catholic Church and the Ordinariate in particular.

Does anyone know how many paid-up Associates of the CBS that there are?

It seems to me (from the 5 page Q&A on the CBS website and other sources) that the Council General and the Trustees have been extremely careful and taken legal advice from a distinguished London Law firm who backed-up their position by seeking a written opinion from Hubert Picarda QC who is not only a specialist in Charity law but has also written the standard text book on the subject. If, and it seems very unlikely, it turns out that their advice was flawed then it will be the lawyers at fault, not the Trustess. This may not stop Fr Paul Williamson attempting litigation but this will certainly stop him (and is a jolly-good read!) - .

The test that the CC will apply is of good governance, that decisions were properly made and recorded, and adherence to the Objects. The Trustess are elected by the Council General and once elected may refer ONLY to the Objects of the Charity when making grant decisions.

None of the Trustees personally benefit from the grant and, as to "indirect benefit", a symetrical and equivalent argument can be made that any grant to the Church of England is of an "indirect benefit" to the Trustees who are members of the CofE. It is the very nature of Charitable Trusts that the Trustess will support things, subject always to the Objects of the Charity, which they either know of or are connected with in some way. It is quite difficult for a Charity like the CBS to make a grant WITHOUT there being some perceived "indirect benefit". Ironically, the only trustee who was has received money directly from the Trust is the former Secretary who is a Priest in the CofE.

I understand that the assets of the CBS in January 2011 was over £2 million so there is still a million left to support the work of the CBS. Check out their website you can read past editions of the Quarterly magazine and see the many things which they support. I am proud to be a life-member of the CBS and I'm delighted that it is attempting to bridge the Anglican - Catholic divide.

PS: Simon Sarmiento is to be congratulated on allowing a free expression of views on here. Whoever is running the CB Sacrament Facebook page quickly deletes anything which attempts to give a balanced view.

Posted by Swish new Church at Thursday, 18 August 2011 at 1:22pm BST

I think Swish new Church misunderstands legal opinions, I have commissioned and drafted more than a few. They do not give those who commissioned them any indemnity, nor are those who draft them liable if a court sees the law differently.

Of course, the facts are not always those disclosed to the lawyer who opinion has been sought, indeed I would say that this is frequently the case.

I would suggest that the Charity Commission's remit is now much larger than that suggested by Swish new Church, Recent cases have shown that the Commission is empowered to investigate the veracity of claims made by charities and test by gathering evidence to see if they are true.

As a matter of interest claims made by a Catholic Charity and by the diocesan bishop were (after investigation) dismissed by the Charity Commission as being economical with the truth.

Swish new Church makes claims about the "benefit" coming either directly or indirectly to those Ordinariate priest who diverted the monies. I believe this is a crucial matter and it is not answered by his example.

I think all this rather academic - I am confident that the Roman Catholic Church will see that the money is repaid - they will not wish to see this shadow cast over them.

Ordinariate priests are allowed to work in civil jobs to support their ministry, does anyone know if any of those who took up the "generous offer" are now gainfully employed? Or is the £1million liberated from the coffers of the CBS keeping them all?

RIW is not alone as a Roman Catholic in high dudgeon over this matter ......... Though i must admit that RIW is often in high dudgeon over something!

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 18 August 2011 at 5:58pm BST

Note how swish focuses on legality and not morality.

He is oblivious to what is going on behind the scenes and the ruling to come from Rome
preventing Catholic memebership of the CBS.

Posted by RRobert ian Williams at Thursday, 18 August 2011 at 8:55pm BST

If the police do take more than a passing interest in what has gone on then I have strong fears that despite Swish new Church's claim that "The facts do not support any suggestion of illegal activity" there may be new facts that come to light that might make some lives very difficult.

Let us suppose that the meeting at the Gin and Lace public house where I imagined this whole jolly wheeze was dreamt up back in say 2008 was followed by a series of emails laying out how the objects of the charity might be changed to achieve the goal of helping to finance this little project of His Holiness.

Now if those emails fell into the hands of investigating officers ......... Well, I think that depending on who wrote those emails there might well be a case to answer. I do not exaggerate when I say that to some a course of action might seem just careful planning while to others it is evidence of simple fraud.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Saturday, 20 August 2011 at 9:19am BST

Just to conclude.

I am sure that Swish new Church and others will want to dismiss my arguments and in truth I too hope that nothing comes of my speculation.

But there is one aspect of this whole sorry mess that does not bode well for those embroiled in this plot and that is the secrecy surrounding the Ordinariate. A secrecy that left both Westminster and Lambeth embarrassed and rattled.

And it was more than just secrecy there was denial, cover-up. When I was told the plans for the Ordinariate back in June 2008 I rang the Ecumenical Officer for the Anglican Communion and laid out what I had been told.

Some time later I had a message from Gregory Cameron saying that he had taken this up at the highest level and that scorn had been poured out on the suggestions. he will confirm this if you anyone wishes to ask him.

To those looking at a scheme to enrich the Ordinariate even while it was being officially denied might again look somewhat less than wholesome.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Saturday, 20 August 2011 at 9:47am BST

Martin Reynolds, please put up or shut up! Have you a single shred of evidence that a single CBS Trustee had any knowledge whatsoever of Anglicanorum Coetibus before the press conference at which it was announced?

It is probably true that certain CofE Diocesan bishops were involved in secret conversations with Rome and it may well be true that the Bishop of Beverley was also involved - but they are the Hinge & Bracket bishops of SWISH and not (ironically) part of the Ordinariate.

CBS trustees do not move in such exalted circles. So, where is your evidence re clandestine meetings in Gin palaces and scheming? In your desire to make wild allegations, it is not fraud which emerges but libel!

Posted by David Malloch at Sunday, 21 August 2011 at 3:45pm BST

Re the alleged conspiracy since the alleged 2008 gin party working out how to change the objects: Martin is in Dan Brown's league when it comes to ignoring facts. The objects have not benn changed!

Posted by David Malloch at Sunday, 21 August 2011 at 5:29pm BST

Of course things have changed as the Ordinariate is not Anglican in any authentic sense. An Anglican is a Christian in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Ordinariate members are former Anglicans and its liturgical tradition will contain " purified" Anglican fragments tagged on to the canon of the Roman rite.

That a charity donates a million pounds to a group of 860 persons, when there are tens of thousands of Anglo Catholics remaining in England and hundreds of thousands in other lands is problematical. It is totally disproportionate and any thinking person can smell a rat. I also repeat that no Catholic (let alone priest) can legitimately be in an organisation promoting eucharistic worship in the Church of England.

The ex Anglo catholics who form the Ordinariate saw the writing on the wall, and have been making provision for years. As one insider told me, "It's despoiling the Egyptians."

As a "thinking catholic" I have a right to balanced and loving criticism of what i see as wrong in the Ordinariate. i could technically join, but what I have seen so far repulses me.

Posted by Robert ian Williams at Sunday, 21 August 2011 at 11:16pm BST

The Holy Father in Anglicanorum Coetibus EXPLICITLY requires that those who join the Ordinariate retain, maintain and teach their Anglican Patrimony. If you really think that liturgy is the only area in which one finds that Patrimony then you seriously undervalue the richness and diversity of the Anglican Tradition which, thank God, the Holy Father has identified and is offering a safe home for before it is extinguished in the head-long rush into modernity by the CofE. The Patrimony is in thought, art, architecture, music, literature, pastoral work etc etc.

Membership of CBS is less that 2000 people - so the tens of thousands of "so-called" AngloCatholics that you speak of aren't interested in the Blessed Sacrament? Either there is a shameful ignorance of the CBS amongst the tens of thousands or, perhaps, there are not that many Anglo Catholics left, certainly not many "Orthodox" as opposed to "affirming" ones!

There is no rat to smell. CBS can service all the requests for grants, which meet the Objects, from the £1m left for many years to come.

If the Holy Father personally approved an Ordinariate Deacon singing the Gospel in Madrid I don't think your condemnation is being given much attention anywhere that matters.

As I said before, the provision they were making was for a third Province and a break from the CofE. Almost all the Anglo Catholic made similar moves and, indeed several of them have made substantial grants to the Ordinariate including Catholic League and Forward in Faith. Church Union and GSS are considering grant applications.

There is no despoiling going on. £1m is a tiny amount and is much less than the CofE will save in just one year from not having to house and pay the (approx 35 stipeneded) clergy who joined the Ordinariate.

Those joining the Ordinariate are not asked to reject or deny anything of what has gone before please try to get your head around this. This is NOT the same as "individual submission" this is a corporate act in which individuals board the coach and travel together.

From your writings and actions so far surrounding the Ordinariate I am confident that any application from you to join would be rejected - you wontonly misunderstand, misrepresent and attack it at every oppurtunity so I suspect it will to thrive better without you. The repulsion is mutual I'm sure!

Posted by Swish new Church at Monday, 22 August 2011 at 6:38pm BST

Martin Reynolds, I fear that the Anglican Communion has yet to wake-up to the damage which it has inflicted on the Ecumenical dialogue with Rome. Cardinal Casper, a goog friend of Anglicans has been quite candid:

"I have already addressed the ecclesiological problem when bishops do not recognize other’s episcopal ordination within the one and same church, now I must be clear about the new situation which has been created in our ecumenical relations. While our dialogue has led to significant agreement on the understanding of ministry, the ordination of women to the episcopate effectively and definitively blocks a possible recognition of Anglican Orders by the Catholic Church."

(Full text delivered at 2008 Lambeth Conference can be read here:

The professional Ecumenists have been happily chatting and getting nowwhere for 40 years or more. It suits some of them very well to make no progress (yes Rome and Canterbury!) and to pretend that ARCIC III is part of the ARCIC I and II project. It is not. The discussions now are about maintaining good diplomatic relations but the fact of the Ordination of Women as Priests and Bishops means that "effectively and definitively" there is NO CHANCE of a corporate reunion. The hope of reunion was enshrined in those photographs of Pope Paul VI removing his Episcopal ring and giving it to Abp Michael Ramsey. The situation is SO different now and the Ordinariate is Pope Benedict's response to those in the CofE who trulely desire to be in communiion with the See of Peter and, to be true to their Anglican Tradition which entered into discussions with Rome a lifetime ago.

Posted by Swish new Church at Monday, 22 August 2011 at 7:02pm BST

Swish new Church argues a million pounds is a tiny a charity which only has £1,850,000 in total assets, I would argue it's actually a huge ammount. As I say there are many more Anglo- Catholics out there, who could benefit and yet 860 persons are given £1,000,000! Totally disproportionate.All the more sinsiter , when one considers the CBS leadership have joined the Ordinariate and signed the cheque.No Catholic priest or lay person can legitimately be a member of the CBS..please await the ruling from Rome.

As the Vatican sserts Ordinariate members are Catholics and NOT Anglicans.

It's what some Ordinariate members call " spoiling the Egyptians." Did you hear that Martin? You are not Welsh you are an Egyptian!

I doubt if there will be even 500 persons in the second wave(trickle). In fact reliable reports show that the tide is already trickling back in.

Anglican patrimony? It is still not stated coherently what that consists of!

Is it the 1662 Book of Common

Is it the 1662

Is it the 39

Is it Synodical Governmemnt with lay representation and clerical
Rather you give vague

Architecture... you have taken no buildings with you.

Music...not one Ordinariate group has an ability to recreate the Cathedral choirs.

My writings and concerns about the Ordinariate are all legitimate and made in a spirit of Christian love. I am only widening the debate.

Do I become your enemy that I tell you the truth?

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Tuesday, 23 August 2011 at 6:53am BST

RIW: Truth, what is truth? You state your opinion with great confidence but with no evidence, truth will emerge in God's good time. Patrimony? Read Card Kasper's address at Lambeth 2008 address- the Curia know the Patrimony and understand that it's way more than the BCP.

Interestingly the Vichy Bishops in the CofE who have formed "The Society" have a governing council which contains only Bishops. That ain't in the Anglican Tradition so they have blown any chance of getting grants from the CBS!

Posted by Swish new church at Tuesday, 23 August 2011 at 11:01pm BST

" I also repeat that no Catholic (let alone priest) can legitimately be in an organisation promoting eucharistic worship in the Church of England."

- Robert Ian Williams - neophyte R.C. -

Here again, Robert, you are maligning the catholicity of the Church of England - the Church community of your Baptism & Formation. To say that 'no catholic can legitimately be in an organisation promoting eucharistic worship in the Church of England is, simply, your fabrication.

As a priest of the Anglican Communion - with historic ties to the Church of England - I defend the catholicity and apostolic origins of the Anglican Communion Churches.

Get your facts straight, Robert; or forfeit your own claim to being what you call a 'thinking catholic'.

In any case, such a title might just be limited to the sodality which gave rise to the origins of this blog: 'Thinking Anglicans'.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 24 August 2011 at 2:09am BST

Swish new Church..... are you saying that the Anglo- Catholics left within the Church of England who have joined together in the Society of St Hilda and St Wilfrid will get no CBS grants!Forgive me , if I have misunderstood. Also, please forgive me..if you think I am anti the Ordinariate per se. That is not the case. I feel it offers a home for some Anglo-Catholics. I just feel very strongly about the CBS grant and what has happened.

Dear Ron,

You know I come from the Evangelical wing of Anglicanism, which I would contend is being true to the Protestant theology of Cranmer. That is why I know that Anglo-Catholicism is an invention of the nineteenth century and has no real continuity with the seventeenth century high Church divines who were staunchly Protestant in their ecclesiology, if not somewhat higher in their eucharistic beliefs.

The Evangelical Anglicans I know, throw away the left over bread and unfermented grape juice ( I kid you not) after communion.Yes I know that goes against the Prayer Book rubric introduced in 1662..but before that the left over elements were for the private use of the curate...see the 1552 and 1559 Prayer Books.

Posted by robert Ian williams at Wednesday, 24 August 2011 at 4:35pm BST

I don't think His Holiness gives two figs for your defence of the CofE Fr Ron Smith. A Pope has declared in his own words "absolute judicare et penitus dirimere" that Anglican Orders are null and void. RIW - as a faithful RC believes this - but even if he did not, it remains the official view of his Church irrespective of your passionate claims.

So, I believe his view of ROMAN CATHOLIC canon law does have merit. To a "right believing" Roman we are no priests our Masses are evil frauds and our tabernacles stuffed with naught but bread!

It would be impossible for a RC priest of any flavour to be part of a Charity that gave money to assist in the veneration of BREAD! But perhaps Swish gives us an inkling of the future where ONLY Ordinariate groups will now qualify for the money - they have not just diverted £1million - they grabbed THE LOT!

As to ecumenical relations - it's funny but those who come BOTH ways are somewhat cynical and more than a little miffed that our Churches still talk - but as Archbishop Tutu would have it, talking to others is what Anglicans do best. I might suggest that this is THE HEART of any Anglican patrimony ....

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Wednesday, 24 August 2011 at 9:29pm BST

No doubt we will discover what "Anglican Patrimony is at some point...but it does seem pretty vague, and you would have thought some idea of what it was would have been made clear before the Ordinariate was set up! The priests I know who are in the Ordinariate ( including Mgr newton who I have known since theological college days) never seemed particularly keen on things Anglican and often bemoaned the state of the C of E.The real problem remains...the viability ( esp financial) of such a curious institution which has 850 laity, some 61? clergy, weak visibility ( no buildings) and limited possibilities for growth.I still cant get my head around what the Roman authorities thought they were doing in setting it up....they must have assumed the numbers of potential converts was far greater than it is ever likely to be.And surely the flying bishops overestimated the numbers who would follow them.

Posted by Perry Butler at Thursday, 25 August 2011 at 9:52am BST

They were duped by the fall guy, Hepworth who invented a communion of 400,000.The more circumspect FIF kept quiet and let the world media do all the rest.

Anglican patrimony..the Vatican has said some flowery things. Bit like a lover who says , you
are gorgeous darling, but please have a face lift, dye your hair and change your appearance to suit me!

Posted by Robert ian Williams at Friday, 26 August 2011 at 3:48am BST
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