I will post some of this news story, and then comment below:
Anglican funds used to fund Roman Catholic OrdinariateThe 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.