Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Unethical, high-handed and very Roman

I will post some of this news story, and then comment below:

Anglican funds used to fund Roman Catholic Ordinariate 
The grant will go a long way to establishing the fledgling Ordinariate as a going concern Mary Turner for The Times by Ruth Gledhill Religion Correspondent The Times July 5 2011 

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.Counsel's advice was sought by the confraternity before finalising the grant, a substantial sum which will go a long way to establishing the fledgling Ordinariate as a going concern.Many priests have converted before retirement age and with little or no guaranteed income to replace their former Church of England stipends. A further grant of £10,000 was also made to the three Anglican nuns from Walsingham who left their order and went over to the Ordinariate.Father Paul Williamson, an Anglican priest from Hanworth, south-west London, a "ward superior" in the confraternity, has lodged a formal complaint with the Charity Commission about the grant and has also written protest letters to the Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols and to Pope Benedict XVI, under whose personal remit the Ordinariate ultimately falls.He told The Times: "This grant of £1 million to the ordinariate is an outstanding disgrace. For 150 years, members of the Church of England have given money for the objects of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament which were to provide tabernacles, chalices and vestments for parishes of the Church of England."Father Pearson said last night: "The Trustees considered an application for financial support for the ordinariate very carefully, with the assistance of advice from leading counsel. We agreed 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. 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 financial support to the Ordinariate."

Two problems are to be found in this mess.

Yes, the whole ordinariate gang have demonstrated, in this sordid affair, the high-handed Roman arrogance we have come to expect. And, whether that sounds ecumenical or not, it is sadly true on an objective level. As with the appointment of Cardinal Levada to head their entire approach to Anglicans in Anglicanorum Coetibus, despite his very bad reputation as a protector and re-assigner of pederast RC priests when he was Archbishop of San Francisco, the RCC authorities seem oblivious to the reality of public scandal. They simply do not care about looking bad, in this case thoroughly unethical.

But, can the Church of England Anglo-Catholics make their "outcry" with credibility? Whatever hopes they may hold to of winning over their national church to their ideals, can they honestly say that the money left to their organization 150 years ago was left by anyone who might have foreseen the current condition of the Church of England? The money was left behind, was it not? by people who meant to further the work of a truly Christian church, one without the numerous heresies and apostate practices they now engage in.

Here, in the United States, survivors have successfully sued universities on behalf of deceased relatives whose money had been willed for specific uses, because those universities had used it differently from what was specified in those wills. The Episcopal Church lives off of huge endowments left by people whose faith is no longer the teaching of that "church." The Continuing churches here teach and practice that faith; the Episcopal Church does not. Perhaps some legal action is called for on behalf of those faithful departed who would not have wanted their contributions misused: but, that would not justify any attempt simply to  misappropriate it, even in the name of a good cause. It would still be unethical.

Getting back to this C of E business, the ordinariate people have acted in a scandalous and unethical manner; but no one comes out smelling like a rose on either side. The money has been misappropriated by people who think they have the right to do any damned thing they please because, as they see it, they have God on their side. The people on the other side have been trying to make a grand meal out of dog's breakfast, yes; but at least they have not stolen the money.


Canterbury Anglican said...

One of the key issues that emerged from this was the claim, by the trustees, that the Ordinariate was the *only* means by which the 'Catholic faith in the Anglican Tradition' could be advanced and a valid male-apostolic succession maintained. Clearly, they don't get out much. Perhaps the ACC in the UK should approach them for the other million pounds thats left?


H. B. Winn said...

Some of the Anglo-Catholics leaving the Church of England for Rome were 'affirming catholics' which means they were either homosexual practitioners themselves or approved or were willing to tolerate same-sex partnered priests with spousal benefits granted by the state church, but were not willing to tolerate women bishops. This was a straining at a gnat, yet swallowing a camel sort of position.

Theology pertaining to sexual and homosexual acts is much more clear and direct than eucharistic ceremony (with silver chalice liturgy with vestments) and sacerdotal priesthood theology which are more the product of tradition and practice. If not for Constantine, who hated the Jews and their feasts and did not want to continue those, the church might still see the Eucharist as a Passover meal served by parents in homes, with every father the priest of his home. Hebrews states that Jesus alone is the priest after the order of Melchizadek and there is no further need for a sacrifice of blood.

The sex of priests and bishops is of less import if one does not subscribe to the sacerdotal/sacrifice transsubstantiation interpretation of the Eucharist. However, Scripture trumps Tradition.

The affirming Anglo-Catholics have chosen the Eucharist/Sacramental Priesthood and ignored the Scripture on sexuality, manhood and fatherhood. When you wink at or approve of one form of sin, it is likely that such lawlessness will be present in other areas such as financial misdeeds and substance abuse.

So seems to be with the ordinariate, and so seems to be with the Episcopal Church and Jefferts-Shori who have been violating canons to practice affirmative action admitting a self-confessed homosexually inclined child/youth molestor to the priesthood while being in possession of a psychiatric evaluation stating he is likely to re-offend. (http://accurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2011/06/troubling-questions-raised-by-bishops.html)

Wonder if the ordinariate travelers and the Church of England have covered up for child abusers in their midst as well? If so, that news will certainly surface little by little when former choir boys and acolites come forward as adults over the decades as it has recently in the Roman Catholic Church. (http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AbuseTracker/)

As Shakespeare wrote, 'the evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.' Unless sin is confessed, repented, renounced and set aright, it lies fallow and festers until it is dealt with rightly.

There may be more to come from England. The light of the Truth, Love and Life of Christ is carried by the Holy Spirit and He knows when and where these are violated. He will not give peace and rest until all is reconciled and His work is done.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

H.B. Win wrote:

If not for Constantine, who hated the Jews and their feasts and did not want to continue those, the church might still see the Eucharist as a Passover meal served by parents in homes, with every father the priest of his home.

The Church never practiced any such thing. Never was the father of each house acting as priest, serving the Eucharist for his family. You have left the facts of history to chase a fairy tale. Read I Corinthians 11, and Acts 20:11 in light of it. Then read Justin Martyr's Defense. Then read the Didache. The list of historical primary sources are too numerous to list here; it ought to be enough that your idea contradicts I Cor. 11.

Also, what evidence supports your theory that Constantine hated Jews? You may have some evidence to back that up for all I know, but I cannot think of anything to support the charge.

Hebrews states that Jesus alone is the priest after the order of Melchizadek and there is no further need for a sacrifice of blood.

Please support your use of the word "alone," and then explain why you think it is relevant to the traditional role of the πρεσβύτερος and the ἐπίσκοπος. Also, your idea that each man was the priest in his house would be just as contrary to your asserted sola.

However, Scripture trumps Tradition.

Your use of the word "Tradition" seems inconsistent with the general meaning of παράδοσις as used by St. Paul in II Thes. 3:6, which set the stage for its positive meaning in the Church, which is distinct from man made traditions (such as we see in Matt. 15:3). Man made traditions might contradict God's commandments; but, Apostolic Tradition and Scripture are inseparable. They speak with one voice.

I assume your use of "Tradition" did not deserve the higher case "T" that generally means something true and right. I think you meant "traditions" of men, perhaps beginning in Medieval ceremonies rather than in the practice of the Universal Church in Antiquity.

Forgive me if I seem to be hitting you hard; but, I must challenge ideas that seem too simplistic and inaccurate in detail. History is a science, after all, that makes use of the evidence.

Joe Oliveri said...

Some of the Anglo-Catholics leaving the Church of England for Rome were 'affirming catholics'. . .

Is there any evidence, beyond anecdotal, to support this claim? (I hope there isn't.)

AFS1970 said...

Now this claim by those within CoE is interesting, because it is essentially the same claim made on this side of the pond by TEC. The money was left to us and even if we change from the purpose the money was left for, it is still our to spend.

Those of us in the continuum are in a sticky situation on this one, how can we support keeping the money from Rome without also supporting TEC's keeping said money from actual Anglicans?

That is a fence that I do not wish to straddle.