Ordinariate returns £1m grant
29 June 2012
The money was given to the ordinariate by the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament (CBS), an Anglo Catholic group. Several trustees of the CBS who left the Church of England for the ordinariate authorised the payment.
A review by the Charity Commission concluded that the decision to make the grant 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. It also determined that the objects of the ordinariate are wider than those of the confraternity and as such, a gift given to the ordinariate without restriction could be used for purposes unconnected to the Anglican tradition. The purpose of the CBS is the “advancement of the catholic faith in the Anglican Tradition”, it noted.
The ordinariate was set up by Pope Benedict XVI for disaffected Anglicans who wanted to retain their religious heritage.
This response, reported here in the U.K. ‘Tablet’, from the Roman Catholic Ordinariate in the U.K., to the Charities Commission ruling that the illicit grant made by the Anglican Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament (CBS) to the RC Ordinariate should be returned immediately , seems very swift and uncomplicated.
The fact that it was mainly departing members of the Executive of CBS who were destined to join the Ordinariate (established by Pope Benedict for disaffected Anglicans) – that authorised the transfer of accrued funds of an Anglican organisation devoted to the purpose of upholding ‘catholic’ principles in the Church of England – has obviously influenced the decision by the U.K. Charities Commission to order the repatriation of the Funds to the rightful owners (CBS) in the Church of England.
It is entirely fitting that the Roman Catholic organisers of the Ordinariate should respond so quickly to the demand for repatriation of the One Million Pounds belonging to CBA. Justice has now been seen to be done on this important issue.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand