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UK Ordinariate given start up funds by Anglican charity

UK Ordinariate given start up funds by Anglican charity

The bulk of the money Roman Catholic Church raised to start up the Ordinariate in the UK came from an charity created to promote Anglo-Catholic mission within the Church of England.

According to the Church Times (and Ruth Gledhill in a Times story behind a paywall) the Charity Commission for England and Wales has been asked to investigate a grant of £1 million by the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament to the Ordinariate in the UK.

Apparently leaders of the Confraternity, who were at the time Bishops and clergy of the Church of England but who are now Roman Catholic, decided to use funds set aside for work within the Church of England to help fund the start up of the Ordinariate–which by design is meant to help Anglicans become Roman Catholic. To do this they had get their trustees to agree to tweek their understanding of the mission of the group.

Here is the Church Times report:

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said: “Concerns have been raised with us regarding the Con­fraternity of the Blessed Sacra­ment. We are currently considering these to establish whether there is any regulatory role for us.”

The Confraternity, a registered charity, was founded in 1862 to support the Catholic revival in the Church of England. The Charity Commission website states that its charitable objects are “for the advancement of the Catholic faith in the Anglican tradition”.

The present Superior-General, Fr Christopher Pearson, now a priest in the Ordinariate, has reported that, in December, the Ordinary of the Ordinariate, Mgr Keith Newton, then the (Anglican) Bishop of Richborough, approached him “asking whether it was within the remit of the Confraternity to make a financial grant to the proposed Ordinariate”.

The Ordinariate was formally established on 15 January. Shortly afterwards, the trustees of the Confraternity received a formal application for financial assistance to the Ordinariate from Mgr Newton, “to provide for theological teaching, learning and development and the support of priests in the Ordinariate”.

The decision to donate £1 million to the Ordinariate was “unanimously agreed” by trustees at a meeting on 10 February. It was also agreed at the same meeting, “in view of the possibility of such a grant being challenged . . . to seek additional legal advice”.

The trustees agreed “to give effect to” the decision to grant the £1 million at a meeting on 19 May.

The secretary-general of the Confraternity, the Revd David Waller, said that drafts of the decision were “circulated and approved” by the council-general, at its AGM, when it met on Thursday of last week.

Mr Pearson said: “We agreed that the Objects of the Ordinariate [were] compatible with the charitable Objects of the Confraternity, and specifically the advancement of the Catholic faith in the Anglican tradition. We agreed that making a grant would be in the best interests of the Confraternity, in furthering our charitable objects.

“We also hope 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 Confraternity being secured in the long term.”

The Confraternity’s £1 million donation is more than half of their 2009 £1.85 million fund balance. UK Roman Catholic dioceses had agreed to contribute £250,000 to a fund to help start up the Ordin­ariate.

Thinking Anglicans also points to this item from The Tablet:

The head of the Ordinariate for England and Wales, Mgr Keith Newton, admitted this week that the group is struggling financially three months after it welcomed its first members into the Catholic Church from the Church of England. This month the group will have to start paying its clergy and other bills are piling in, Mgr Newton told The Tablet on Tuesday. In addition a recent grant of £1 million to the Ordinariate from an Anglo-Catholic group, Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, has been challenged and is under investigation by the Charity Commission.


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If your fidelity is good enough for Bishop Bruno, that’s good enough for me.

Beyond that, it’s clear you really don’t know me at all . . . but if you’d like to: jcf1899 at gmail dot com

JC Fisher

LA Episcopal priest

JC Fisher,

Do you know what a nasty word “popoid” is?

How does one update that handle? (Not that it needs done now)

Are you aware now — were you aware when you joined the Episcopal Church– that within the comprehensiveness of Anglicanism there is something called Anglo-Catholicism? That movement had its roots and its essence in the recognition that the Church of England had been deracinated in the Protestant Reformation and its aftermath. (not to mention the “Church of Ireland”!) I am sure that you appreciate some of the fruits of that movement– think of weekly communion, vestments and candles on the altar for starters. How about that St. Francis Day blessing of the animals or his statue in the garden?

Our reunion with the greater part of the Catholic Church seems for many of us (obviously not all of us) a natural progression and outgrowth of our Anglican Catholic faith. The Holy Father has in Anglicanorum Coetibus made a generous gesture to us separated Catholics. I’m sorry that the Archbishop of Canterbury and my own bishop aren’t leading the way, but I can continue to hope, right?

As to your inquiring mind, I trust you share or at least aspire to that great Anglican trait of tolerance. I differ with the leadership of the Episcopal Church and am still a priest in good standing. Why? Because I am faithful in my work as a parish priest and Bishop Bruno is broad minded. Does that bother you? If so, again I’m sorry for your lack of Anglican comprehensiveness and tolerance.

Anyway, don’t get too upset about losing numbers. There are no doubt more Catholic>Anglican conversions than vice versa. I will take only two other Episcopalians with me when, God willing, I am received into the Catholic Church. Those two are my daughters who have always been taught that they are Catholic Christians first and Episcopalians second just like their mother is a Catholic Christian first and a Melkite second.

I for one do not intend to do anything to hurt or publicly criticize the Episcopal Church once the Ordinariate is established. I am confident that I will still have friends among Episcopalian clergy and laity; I am assured of their prayerful support as things move forward. Believe it or not there is wide sympathy for the Catholic Church among Episcopalians just like there is much sympathy for TEC among progressive and other Catholics.

Ss John Fisher and Thomas More, St. Edmund Campion and all the Martyrs of England and Ireland, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Blessed John Henry Newman, Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day pray for us!

Keep on inquiring, JC Fisher.

Still LA Episcopal priest

Fr. Bill Ledbetter


Fr Bill,

I note your continuing use of the handle “LA Episcopal priest”. Does the “Episcopal” therein bear ANY continuing allegiance to The Episcopal Church? [You know, the one that considers it emerged, cross The Pond, from a liberated-from-Rome Ecclesia Anglicana, (as opposed to the version in the Popoid canard you just presented)]

Inquiring minds—

JC Fisher

[And Wot Dave Said]

LA Episcopal priest

Can’t get more Anglo-Catholic than being part of the reconciliation of the Church of England to the rest of the Catholic Church.

Alternatively, think of it as a small bit of compensation owed for all those, churches, monasteries, convents and cathedrals that were expropriated (stolen) by Henry.


Fr. Bill Ledbetter

Dave Paisley

Ah, the not so sweet smell of corruption… All these conservative defectors sure know how to raid the cupboards before they leave. Better check the silverware too.

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