Charity Commission rules CBS grant to Ordinariate is invalid
The Charity Commission final decision is available in full here.
Our review concluded that:
- The decision to make a grant to the Ordinariate was taken at an inquorate meeting, the majority of the trustees having a (financial) personal interest in the decision. It was also in breach of the charity’s governing document.
- The meeting being inquorate, the decision was invalid. There was no valid exercise of the power to make a gift to the Ordinariate and the payment was unauthorised.
- The gift is held upon constructive trust by the Ordinariate for the Confraternity.
- The objects of the Ordinariate are wider than those of the Confraternity. A gift given to the Ordinariate without restriction could be used for purposes which have no connection with the Anglican tradition at all.
- The precise meaning of Anglican Tradition is unclear but there is substantial doubt whether the Confraternity could make a grant to the Ordinariate (even with restrictions) which could be applied by the Ordinariate consistently with the objects of the Confraternity.
- The Commission therefore considered the trustees of both charities were under a duty to take action to ensure the repayment of the money.
An example of the complaints sent to the Charity Commission can be found here.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento (T.A.) on Thursday, 28 June 2012
At the time of the grant being made, those members of CBS who authorised the grant to be given to the new Ordinariate were already, themselves, intent on leaving the Church of England for the Roman Catholic Ordinariate – set up by the Pope to accommodate those in the C.of E. who did not agree with the Ordination of Women.
This seemed at the time to be an extraordinary step to be taken by Officers of the CBS, which was an organisation set up within the Church of England for purposes of promoting catholic practice within the established Church. The fact that some members thought that, with the advent of Women’s Ordination, the Church of England had departed from what they saw as ‘catholic practice’, did not seem to be sufficient reason to alienate funds built up by the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament in order to trasfer them to the Ordinariate.
With this decision by the Charity Commission, justice is now seen to be done, and the funds must be transferred back to the CBS.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand