On Dealing With Criticism

From an e-mail over at The New Continuing Anglican Churchman blog:

… So, after ten years of full time parish ministry, I have learned that clergy should not bother responding to e-mails like this. Because no matter the response, people with this attitude are not going to change their ways, and have a spiritual revival, and start coming to church, and supporting the ministry, etc. I’ve heard of innumerable troubles that clergy invite on themselves by answering people like this… spiritually dead people with hardened hearts. It is best for clergy to focus their energy on the people in their church who are responding positively and build the church from there. When repeated efforts to teach people fail – because they are not around, and don’t read anything you send – the only thing that you can do is pray for them, as taking them seriously any other way could put them in spiritual danger.

You can read the whole mail here. Sound advice.


Love One Another

However hard I try, I find it impossible to construct anything greater than these three words, ‘Love one another’ —only to the end, and without exceptions: then all is justified and life is illumined, whereas otherwise it is an abomination and a burden.

– Mother Maria of Paris


Ordinariate Togetherness

Writes Fr Andrew Bartus:

With the frequency of negative attention towards the Ordinariates, some wonder whether there is a pro-Ordinariate blog still out there. Anglican Patrimony is unashamedly pro-Ordinariate. It always has been, and always will be. As difficult as times may be for those trying to enter the Ordinariates, or for those even within them, the Ordinariates are the way the Church has seen fit to bring about corporate unity of Anglicans and Catholics. Yes, there are challenges and difficulties involved, and many perhaps seem needless and self-inflicted, but we are here to make the best of what we’re given – together. And doing it together, as a English Anglican priest once drilled into me, is the English way. 

Will everyone see things the same way or agree all of the time? Will the leadership always be perfect? No, of course they won’t. But working together to make progress in building the Ordinariates – which means working together to evangelize others with the Catholic faith and fortifying our own – is the purpose of bringing the Anglican patrimony back home into its proper ecclesial context. And as Father Phillips originally said to us well before all of this even started officially, the patrimony is the people.

The thing about the Ordinariates, is that for the most part we really aren’t given anything. We must build it ourselves. Thankfully, many dioceses, pastors, and local bishops have given to us very generously. I must say that the Diocese of Orange in my own case is a fine example of this generosity, and Bl. John’s in Orange County is slowly finding ways of cooperating more and more with the mission of the diocese and the wider Church in Southern California. It will take some years, I predict, before we begin to really look like a “normal” parish that most are used to, but if we don’t try – and try together – it won’t happen…

All of us in the Ordinariates are working hard to make the best of our respective situations – some of us have more resources than others. The leadership is under many constraints, depending on the situation, and most of the time are unable to disclose many important details that would otherwise help the public to better understand why they acted the way they did. Forming an opinion about someone requires all of us to step back and realize that we just do not know all of the background facts surrounding a particular situation; and even those few times where we might be in possession of information that shows someone made a bad choice – the right thing to do is to talk to that person privately and to offer to help them use what good came out of that bad decision for even greater good for themselves and the Ordinariate at large. This approach is much more preferable than making the entire Ordinariate suffer.

The key to all of this is charity…

Where We Are Going Now 

But this is not about placing blame, it’s about all of us in our own ways waking up and taking note and moving on – together. No doubt mistakes have been made by all parties involved and will likely continue to be made, but unless we wish to allow Satan to defeat us and give creedence to our detractors who predict the failure of the Ordinariates, we need to keep brushing off the dust of our fallen comrades, help them back up, and press on – together. And when we find ourselves lacking in wisdom and making a bad decision, we’ll find that they will be eager to treat us the same way.

We don’t have to remain in this situation of the Ordinariate being perceived as uninteresting and uninspiring at best – or being petty and irrelevant at worse. The world needs to hear about the good things happening in the Ordinariate on the ground, for that is the reality for the most part. It is truly an exciting time to live!

I will be sharing the story of the things going on at the mission parish I am honored to serve, and I expect that other Ordinariate priests will contribute stories as well. This won’t be a cheerleading session for the Ordinariates – I fully intend to be honest about the difficulties involved, but the difficulties will always be in light of the good we are trying to achieve.

If you have positive news to share on the ground of an Ordinariate community in your area, please send them to me and I’ll gladly share the good news.

And of your charity, please pray for our three Ordinaries and their leadership teams. The Holy Father has placed a large degree of trust in them and so should we; but they need our prayers and constant support.

The whole post is here, which is well worth reading in full.



Ordinariate Returns £1m Grant to Charity after Ruling

Oh dear.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has returned a £1 million grant to an Anglo-Catholic charity after the Charity Commission ruled that it was invalid.

The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, founded in 1862, gave the money a year ago to ensure that the ordinariate’s priests would not be left penniless. It represented almost half of the charity’s assets.

The Charity Commission, however, said the grant was invalid because most of the trustees who agreed to it had a “personal financial interest” in it. Five out of six of its trustees had already been ordained as priests in the ordinariate.

The commission also ruled that there was “substantial doubt” over whether use of the money would be consistent with the charity’s objects – ”the advancement of the Catholic faith in the Anglican tradition”.

The ruling contradicts the advice lawyers gave to the charity before it approved the grant.

The Charity Commission concluded: “We have been informed that the grant has been returned in full (with interest) by the ordinariate of its own volition.”

The Confraternity has about 120 priest members in England and 1,500 worldwide. It was founded by the Rev T T Carter, a prominent Anglo-Catholic.

UPDATE:   Statement

A grant of funds from the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has been returned.

The grant was awarded by the Trustees of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament following extensive legal advice in 2011.

Subsequently the grant was challenged and, as the result of an investigation by the Charity Commissioners, the Ordinariate has returned the funds of its own volition.

Until the conclusion of the investigative process undertaken by the Charity Commissioners, the charitable aims of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham precluded the return of the funds.

It is deeply regrettable that this generous benefaction is to be returned, but our sincere hope is that the conclusion of the legal process regarding this grant may now lay this issue to rest.


Note: No further comment will be made regarding this statement. For specific enquiries or clarifications, please contact the Communications Officer.


An Unkind Brother…

My fellow TAC Priest, Fr Anthony Chadwick, has decided to post a rather unkind (and dishonest) little ad hominem post on yours truly over on his blog.  I thought it rather ironic that he gives it the title: A little respite to the bitterness.

I left a comment – which I hope he will moderate. In it, I said:

… I always strive to live my life by a little dictum: ‘ if my conduct will not vindicate itself, it is not worth vindicating’ – William Carey.

I really have no idea what has prompted this ad hominem post of yours, other than to think it must have been due to my suggesting that you were (are) involved with Archbishop Hepworth in an ugly attempted subversive, mutinous, and schismatic act that has now been exposed for the world to see.

I’m just so glad that there are many other people out there who know me far better that he does.

Perhaps in the end, it all speaks more of him than it does of me?

UPDATE:  Since Fr Chadwick will not allow my comment – and why not? – to be posted, I reproduce it in full here:

… ‘bad-mouthed’? When, Fr? I ask you to produce but one example. I was (and have been) both kind and charitable in all my dealings with you, even offering my prayers for you in your particular situation. But then again, you know this Fr.

With regards to the accusation that you level against me for having allegedly ‘deleted comments from Deborah Gyapong’. Firstly, I never received any such comment (on the blog or otherwise). Secondly, I have found that woman to be a real lady (in every sense of the word), and I am only ever honoured when she takes the time to visit my lowly blog. Thirdly, I am not in that habit of deleting comments unless they insult a holy, pure and perfect God (and that includes His Son, Jesus Christ) and comments that are filled with hate-speech. In fact I have frequently maintained that anyone is free to disagree with me, as long as there are no vulgarities or offensive personal insults directed towards me and/or others. Such will not be tolerated.

So, say what you will… Fortunately for me in the dishonest picture you choose to paint of my person, you don’t know me well enough to make such rash judgments. Moreover, I always strive to live my life by a little dictum: ‘ if my conduct will not vindicate itself, it is not worth vindicating’ – William Carey.

I really have no idea what has prompted this ad hominem post of yours, other than to think it must have been due to my suggesting that you were (are) involved with Archbishop Hepworth in an ugly attempted subversive, mutinous, and schismatic act that has now been exposed for the world to see.