New Charity to Assist OLW Ordinariate

The following statement has been released concerning the launch of the Friends of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:

London 14 July 2011: Today a new charity was launched: Friends of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. The Friends is a company limited by guarantee (company number: 7680821) which was formed on 23 June 2011. The Friends was given charitable status by the Charity Commissioners on 1 July 2011 (Charity Number 1142667).

The aim of the Friends is to assist financially all aspects of the work of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Donations made to the Friends will, in particular, be used to support the 60 or so clergy who have left the Church of England to become priests of the Ordinariate. There are also considerable costs involved in the maintenance of buildings and in the administration of the Ordinariate. The Ordinary, the Right Reverend Monsignor Keith Newton, estimates that annual running costs of the Ordinariate will be at least one million pounds and, as the number of both clergy and laity increase, this will grow.

The Friends is asking all Catholics – whether they are cradle Catholics or converts – to support the Ordinary in realising the historic and momentous task that has been given personally by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to Monsignor Keith Newton. To share this burden with him the Friends is asking all supporters to set up a standing order at their bank to give the Ordinariate a regular, dependable, income.

A number of distinguished figures have consented to become Honorary Vice-Presidents of the Friends. These are Dom Aidan Bellenger OSB, Dom David Charlesworth OSB, LordDeben, the Grand Master of the Order of Malta Fra’ Matthew Festing, Sir Adrian FitzGerald bt, Sir Josslyn Gore-Booth bt, Father Ignatius Harrison Cong.Orat., The Squire de Lisle, Charles Moore Esq., The Duke of Norfolk, The Countess of Oxford & Asquith, The Duchess of Somerset, and Lord Nicholas Windsor. Mgr Keith Newton is the Honorary President of the Friends. The trustees are Mgr John Broadhurst, Mgr Andrew Burnham, Mr Michael Hodges, Mr Peter Sefton-Williams and Fr Mark Vickers.

Mgr Keith Newton said at the launch: “I have the responsibility for providing for the financial needs of the clergy and for their families being received into the Catholic Church. I appeal, therefore, to as many of you as possible for financial assistance to help me fulfil that responsibility through joining the Friends of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Please be as generous as you can.”

William Joseph, Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has also sent this message for the launch of the Friends of the Ordinariate: “I urge you all to assist the new Ordinary in the unique mission that has been entrusted to him by the Holy Father not only with your prayers but also with every practical support”.

For complete information about The Friends of the Ordinariate, go here.

Author: Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

4 thoughts on “New Charity to Assist OLW Ordinariate”

  1. Those who take a interest in the unbroken connections of the English to the Catholic Church will note the names of some of the supporters. The family line of the Duke of Norfolk goes back to Edward I and the family held to the Catholic faith throughout penal times (what is known as a "recusant" family). The present Duke is hereditary Earl Marshal of England, which means that he is in charge of great state occasions such as coronations, openings of parliament, jubilees and the like.

    The de Lisles have particular connections to the Rosminians, the Oratory and Cardinal Newman.

    Interestingly, Lord Nicholas Windsor is a great-grandson of King George V and the first male member of the Royal Family to swim the Tiber since Charles II on his deathbed in 1685. With the consent of the Privy Council, in 2006 he was married in the first legal and public marriage according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church of a member of the Royal Family since the marriage of Queen Mary I to Philip II of Spain in 1554.

    To English Catholics, the Ordinariate can be seen as a major step in the return to the one true Church of those who were wrested from that faith by acts of the state so it is important to see prominent Catholics lending their support to the process.

    Alas, the present Countess of Oxford and Asquith, is the Shakespearean scholar, not her predecessor, Margot Asquith, who on being introduced to the American actress Jean Harlow answered her question: "May I call you Margot? with the observation: "The 't' is silent, as in Harlow".

  2. One simple question arises: how would the powers-that-be prefer that we Ordinariate members make our donations? To the Ordinariate directly or via the Friends?

    1. Andrew, I have no idea. I suspect that Members of the Ordinariate will be encouraged to give directly and that FOTO will be primarily concerned with fundraising within the wider UK catholic community.
      Both organisations are registered charities in civil law terms.

      As you possibly know, priests are not considered employees of the church but officeholders and the Inland Revenue has a special tax office for Ministers of Religion! I'm not a tax expert, but as I understand it, income a priest receives directly from those to whom he ministers are considered emoluments of the office and taxable. I know that with the RC diocesan clergy being largely celibate, the dioceses aim to keep income directly received around the tax threshold which may be a much lower figure than a CofE stipend.

      Many of the Ordinarate clergy are married with children and therefore remuneration at the usual RC level would simply not meet basic needs, I would hope that the FOTO structure will enable a tax-efficient way of filling the gap.

      Jerome Lloyd of the "Old Catholic" Church in Brighton made some acid – and you may think uncharitable – comments recently:

      "It's no good people thinking they can leave the CofE one Sunday, walk down the road to the RC Church the next Sunday and everything can continue as it did before…..What I find incredible is the notion that people were expecting a house and stipend "from the off". The leadership should never have permitted such expectations. The rhetoric should've been big on sacrifice, the "cost of conscience" (pun intended) should've been explained and presented as a distinct reality aside from the "dreams" of what might be and the countless "possibilities". People should've gone with the expectation of nothing and themselves worked towards addressing that very likely situation, rather than relying rather presumptively on Divine Providence. But the leadership really is to blame, if blame is due. Their focus was big on numbers and hoped the rest would sort itself out. Naive? Certainly….I would simply add that the sums are so very easy: A congregation of 20 adults all of whom are earning an average wage could just afford one priest's salary if they ALL half-tithe. They would still not be paying for his house or his pension or the training of his successor. Neither would they be paying for the Ordinary or his trips to Rome. A congregation of forty to fifty may achieve all these things but could they then make a contribution to the running costs of the church building that they use?"

      What this particular schismatic cleric has chosen to ignore is that the Ordinariate was set up with the backing of the Universal Church in the person of the Holy Father himself and that he has asked the whole Church to support the process.

      In the UK there have long been Catholic societies (such as St Barnabas) who have helped individual CofE clergy to make the transition. But by setting up the Ordinariate the Holy See has taken up a much bigger venture and it is quite right that the whole body of the laity should be asked to step up to the plate to ensure that the canon law obligation imposed on the Ordinary to make proper financial provision for his clergy's needs are met.

      As an Ordinariate member you will know that the priests will minister not just to the faithful received with them but to the whole of the Catholic laity. And there is a chronic shortage of priests.

      You will also know that the RC church has seen a falling away in attendances, but it is not yet was bad as the CofE situation where in the past 40 years, the number of adult churchgoers has halved, while the number of children attending regular worship has declined by four fifths and where the average age of CofE congregations is now 61 years.

      Common sense says that the whole Catholic Church including the laity should ensure that each and every CofE clergyman with a vocation comes over without fear for the financial future. The labourers in the Lord's vineyard are worthy of their hire.

      1. My bishop, along with many (all?) American bishops, either individually or through a joint USCCB effort, routinely authorizes second collections when disaster strikes an area in the US (Joplin, Missouri most recently) or another country (Japan and Haiti, most recently). I believe these funds can be used to provide humanitarian relief through the local Catholic Relief Services offices or given to the affected diocese to rebuild or repair churches. The amounts raised in these second collections are definitely not trivial.

        The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales did provide some funds—£250,000, I believe—to the Ordinariate of OLW shortly after it was erected, but have they authorized a second collection in all Catholic diocesan parishes to provide start-up funds for the Ordinariate of OLW? Have any individual Catholic diocesan parishes taken it upon themselves to make donations to the ordinariate?

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