Storm in a Chalice
The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament used to be a quiet, pious little society for Anglo-Catholics. Its aims were (and are) to promote devotion to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar in the Anglican Communion. To this end, it made small grants to parishes all over the world to help them buy vestments, chalices, ciboria, monstrances etc.
The peace and quiet of the CBS has recently been rudely shattered. The Trustees voted to give one million pounds to the new RC body called the Ordinariate. This represents more than half the funds of CBS, and was done stealthily by five of the six trustees who had left the Church of England and become Roman Catholics and who changed the constitution to allow RCs to be members.
The membership of CBS was never consulted; in fact, meetings were cancelled so that they might not be consulted.
I’m glad to say that a veritable fire-storm has broken out in England. Large numbers of members have written to the Charities Commission, who regulate and investigate any illegal or dubious goings-on by trustees of charities. Similar letters are speeding their way to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the (RC) Archbishop of Westminster, the RC Bishop who is head of the new ordinariate, and even to members of Parliament. Various newspapers have taken up the scent (of the sewer, not the cologne!) and are homing in on the individuals who have perpetrated this underhand trick.
My own bet is that the normal RC Church will be so embarrassed by these deceitful Anglicans-turned-Roman, that they will pressurize them to return the money. If not, the CBS membership will certainly take the matter to the courts. Little old ladies who have given their widows’ mites so that Kenyans priests could have chalices are not going to watch meekly as the money goes to pay ex-Anglican priests on Anglican pensions – not to mention the ones with wives (part of their Anglican patrimony!) who earn considerably more than their husbands.