Holy Father Donates $250,000 to the Personal Ordinariate of OLW

Great news for the Ordinariate in England and Wales!  Thank you, Holy Father, for your unflagging support for the reconciliation of Anglican Christians with the Holy See!

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1 MAY 2012



Pope Benedict XVI has donated $250,000 to support the work of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. The gift will help establish the Ordinariate as a vibrant part of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The news from Rome came to Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate, and read “The Holy Father has benevolently permitted a donation of $250,000”.

Responding to the gift, Mgr Newton said, “I am very grateful to the Holy Father for his generosity and support. This gift is a great help and encouragement as we continue to grow and develop our distinctive ecclesial life, whilst seeking to contribute to the wider work of evangelisation in England and Wales”.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established in January 2011 to enable Anglicans to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church whilst retaining essential elements of their heritage and tradition. It comprises around 1200 lay faithful and 60 clergy spread across the United Kingdom.

The Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Mennini, was instrumental in securing the Holy Father’s assistance. On the announcement of the gift the Archbishop said, “The Holy Father’s gift of $250,000 is a clear sign of his personal commitment to the work of Christian Unity and the special place the Ordinariate holds in his heart. I pray for the continuing success and development of the Ordinariate”.

Speaking of the need for further fundraising the Nuncio said, “I urge all those who share our Holy Father’s vision to lend their spiritual and material support to the Ordinariate, especially in these early days”.

Mgr Newton, in response to the remarks of Archbishop Mennini said, “The support and encouragement given to us by the Apostolic Nuncio has been very significant. We were very pleased to welcome him as the Principal Celebrant of our Chrism Mass: a clear sign of our deep desire to remain closely united the Holy Father”.

The Ordinariate welcomed over 250 new members this Easter. Bishop Alan Hopes will ordain deacons for the Ordinariate in Westminster Cathedral on 26 May 2012 at 10.00 a.m., and two men in their twenties were ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in London earlier this month.

Author: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organized the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. He is also the CEO of Three Fish Consulting, LLC, an Information Technology consultancy based in Orlando, FL. He can be reached via email at ccampbell at threefish dot co.

16 thoughts on “Holy Father Donates $250,000 to the Personal Ordinariate of OLW”

  1. As you probably know, a custom said to have originated in Anglo-Saxon England in the 8th Cebtury was to take up an annual collection for the missionary work of the Holy See. Known as "Peter's Pence", the custom of an annual offering for that purpose has spread world-wide. See Peter's Pence Today.

    Given all the worthy causes which compete for the Holy Father's attention, the size and timing of this gift might be said to be (i) a mark of the importance the Holy Father attaches to the Ordinariates as a means of bringing Aglicans back into full communion and (ii) an encouragement to diocesan biships and others where Ordinariates are established to help nurture the growth of the Ordinariates.

  2. The Holy Father setting the example I guess. Too bad it's not $250M$, they can sure use it from what I hear.

      1. I speak from England, and so am, perhaps, a little closer to the Ordinariate in England. I would not say that their financial situation is as desperate as some would make out. With the benefit of the income from hospital and university chaplaincies, and with many Ordinariate clergy serving in diocesan parishes, all Ordinariate now have a reasonable income.

        The problem arises in relation to further expansion. I understand that there are a number of young men wishing to study for the Ordinariate priesthood, and there are fees to be paid for these. Also it is likely that future groups joining the Ordinariate will be smaller and have a bigger ratio of priests to laity. Thus it will be more of a burden for the new groups to support a pastor.

        There is also the issue of the Ordinariate having their own principal church. When this happens, there will be costs associated with it.

        1. The small and scattered composition of the Ordinariate not only makes it insignificant but financially unviable as an independent entity. What serious seminarian would ever want to serve as a priest in such an obscure setting? Forgive my cynicism, but I suspect that some of these men might have been turned down by dioceses and are seeking a back door into the priesthood. Doubtless they play the traditionalist card! Given that they are likely to be allocated to diocesan posts in the future that won't get them far.

          1. You are being shamefully cynical. Since when a does a young man having a vocation think first about financial security? or personal comfort?
            + PAX et BONUM

  3. It is certainly true that the finances of the OLW Ordinariate are very stretched. The average stipened of a CofE vicar is around £16,000 plus free housing and a reasonable pension scheme. A catholic priest will have a stipend of around £8,000 with housing not primarily designed to accommodate a family.

    Since the Ordinariate is assimilated to a diocese for these purposes it also has a canonical obligation to provide for its priests at retirement. The burden will be greater than for the Catholic Church because of the fact that retired clergy will have dependents. At present the Ordinariate has 60 priests. A further 20 are expected to be ordained this year. It does not take a genius to work out what sort of capital fund will be required to provide pensions for, say, 100 clergy.

    1. Yes, in number of Priests it is very comparable to a typical Welsh or Scottish diocese (English ones are larger) : it has roughly as many Priests as Wrexham or Menevia, 10 more than Galloway, 20 more than Aberdeen or Dunkeld, and twice as many as Argyll.

      + PAX et BONUM

    2. C of E stipends are in fact around £22000, but it needs to be remembered that Catholic Priests have many of their household bills paid by the parish so that direct comparisons cannot easily be made.

  4. The British Ordinariate is broke but I don't believe the situation is desperate. A significant number of the clergy have Church of England pensions and others are on the verge of drawing them. The rest will eventually be able to draw pensions dependent on their years of service. The able-bodied have all found jobs and accomodation as chaplains and parish priests. Some live in Church of England retirement properties.and none are on the breadline.

    As for the laity, Anglicans (bar Evangelicals) are not used to giving sacrificially due to the Church of England's endowments and the payment of stipends from central sources. The majority of lay members of the Ordinariate are widely scattered and only occasionally worship corporately; they have to support the local Catholic parishes they belong to.

    The Church in England is not a rich body and it is fraught with local financial problems. For instance, the Archdiocese of Westminster has launched an appeal to put it in the black; all extraneous causes have momentarily been suspended untl it is concluded. Many Catholics see the Ordinariate (assumng they have even heard of it) as a financial incubus. Rich Catholic grandees are still subscribing to pay for the Papal visit and the major part of their support maintains the Bishops' Conference. In a depressed economic climate there is not enough to go round. As for second collections, these place a serious burden on parishes and most Catholics would prefer to support, for instance, CAFOD, the missions and the Apostleship of the Sea..

    1. Church of England members do have to support their priests from their own giving as the historic endowments only contribute 17% of C/E income and this is mostly used on pensions. My own parishes pay 6 times my salary into diocesan funds. Although we are paid centrally the money comes from the parishes.
      The main problem the Ordinariate faces is that many groups are tiny. The Lancashire Group for the whole of a county has 1 priest and 2 laity. No wonder there is a financial problem.

  5. The new entrants from the TAC, however, are used to a different situation and are well accustomed to self-funding and living on air if necessary. It is most heartening and encouraging that the Holy Father has made this money available to the Ordinariate.

  6. As some might expect, the situation of the various groups does very quite widely In the CofE, if one divides the published average weekly Curch attendances by the number of churches in use one gets a figure somerehwere aroud 60 per church.
    But very many of the churches are in depopulated rural areas and so the average figure is misleading.

    If one looks at Catholic parish statistics one finds many parishes celebrating a vigil mass on the Saturday and 2 masses on a Sunday – say 9am and 11 am – with congregations totalling 500 or so for the week.

    There are a number of Ordinariate groups of more than 40 members but as Father Barry (abu Father Ed) says, some others as yet are very small in number.

    But the former parishes whence most of the Ordinariate came were pretty good at missionary activity and generally bucked the Anglican trend of declining attendances – so here is good reason to be hopeful for further growth.

    1. Yes, the average figure for Anglican churches is very misleading. We too have some large congregations. On the other hand, if I had 60 in one of my churches I would have 150% of the population of the parish in church, and that's ignoring the presence of Roman Catholics and Free Church members. Conversely our local RC church seats about 60 with one Sunday mass. It is not only the C of E that has declining numbers. It is true of all the major churches with the exception of some Pentecostal and House Churches.

  7. I have often seen comments by Catholics to the effect that a married priesthood would be unaffordable. Yet a typical Catholic parish has hundreds, often thousands of parishioners. If incoming Anglicans adopt the giving patterns of their host parishes the Ordinariate's financial problems are likely to be long-term.

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