Bishop Vs “Catholic” Charities…

Bishop Vs “Catholic” Charities…

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has urged his clergy to support only those charities whose work is compatible with Church teaching.  

Bishop Egan wrote to his priests asking them to undertake a review of the charities they support by the end of the year.

Bishop Egan PortsmouthIn a letter he explained: “A number of people have asked me in the last couple of years since becoming bishop about third-party charities: which ones our parishes and the diocese itself can work with and support, and under what conditions. 

“After a lot of discussion and reflection, and having sought advice from those both inside and outside the diocese, I have decided to issue the attached guidance.

“I am reluctant to burden you with yet more work but I would like to ask you to undertake a review of all the relationships your parish has with external charities,” the bishop said, asking for such a review to be done by the end of the year.

In his guidance notes Bishop Egan said parishes should avoid raising money for charities that “engage in or closely co-operate with” initiatives promoting artificial birth control or abortion.

Another example he gave was Confirmation candidates volunteering to help at a soup kitchen or to redecorate a shelter for ex-prisoners. In this particular case, the bishop said, the charity also distributed condoms and gave abortion advice as part of its Foodbank boxes. In order to avoid scandal, he said, such volunteering would “need to be accompanied by a clear public statement distancing the Confirmation candidates from these activities”.

In a third example Bishop Egan described a charity offering workshops on “domestic dispute resolution” to schools. In this case, he said, the charity had also won an award from Stonewall for its transgender programmes and work with same-sex couples.

He said that working with such a charity in a way that suggested an endorsement would constitute “formal co-operation in gravely immoral acts”. If it were “impossible to so dissociate the co-operation with the charity from these issues” or if the “charity itself is so influenced by them in its other activities or thinking [then] … the virtue of prudence would counsel against any co-operation with them”, the bishop concluded.  Source


It seems clear to me that CAFOD is definitely in the frame (if only a Scots Bishop would similarly warn against Catholics supporting SCIAF) but why on earth doesn’t the Bishop go that extra mile and name them? All well and good alerting his priests to the importance of checking out charities but they should be given all the information available to educate themselves about the true nature of some of these organisations presenting themselves as “Catholic”. All too often these “charities” hold views and act contrary to Catholic teaching, particularly Catholic moral teaching.  So, I’m giving the Bishop seven out of ten for writing to his bishops on this subject, but he doesn’t merit full marks for failing to spell out – literally – the names of the charities of concern.  What about you – what mark do YOU give the Bishop out of ten?

Comments (31)

  • Christina

    That’s about right. ‘Guidance’ is one of those meaningless wishy-washy bits of new-church speak. One can’t disobey guidance, so nothing need really change. A Bishop should forbid his priests to work/collect for these charities in the name of the Church. Still, this Bishop, together with Bishop Davies, give me hope that at last the tide might be turning in the NO establishment and life among the false shepherds surrounding them can’t be easy.They need our prayers.

    March 21, 2015 at 11:23 pm
  • Frankier

    I was never happy with SCIAF after supporting an anything-but-gay parade in Glasgow in which even the Glasgow firemen refused to take any part, putting their jobs on the line.

    I have been reluctant also to keep contributing to HCPT since they started, in a Readers Digest style, to virtually demand that you donate to them. It starts before you even open the envelope and you are invited to tick the required box, starting at around £20.00. In the old days they were over the moon with a five shilling postal order.

    I just wonder how much actually goes to send a child to Lourdes. It certainly must cost a fortune to pay these third parties who most probably look on Lourdes’ miracles as figments of people’s imagination and the HCPT contract as a means of printing easy money.

    The annoying thing is that I feel guilty when I put their “demands” In the bin and this is what they play on.

    March 22, 2015 at 2:25 pm
    • editor


      Don’t feel remotely guilty. All of these alleged Charities are money spinning enterprises. They fly here and there to attend conferences (i.e. to talk to one another) and they spend a fortune in glossy literature, including the begging letters to which you refer.

      I make a point of not giving a penny to any professional Charity. And I sleep very easily as a result.

      March 22, 2015 at 4:03 pm
    • gabriel syme


      I remember that parade you mention, which some of the firemen refused to take part in (they courageously won out in the end, after being threatened with all sorts of disasters).

      However what did SCIAF have to do with it?

      Thanks if you (or anyone) can offer any advice!

      March 23, 2015 at 11:23 am
      • Frankier


        I don’t exactly remember what their participation was but every time I hear about SCIAF I always think of that homosexuals parade relating to the firemen.

        I have the feeling that they might have used it to feather their own nest in some way but I do remember it as the time that a so-called Catholic organisation was shown how to act Christian by a secular organisation..

        March 23, 2015 at 6:11 pm
  • crofterlady

    Christina, I agree about Bishops Egan and Davies. At least they are trying and yes, it must be very difficult for them due to the surrounding magic circle. At least they will be able to go to their Judgement with a clear conscience. However, I do wonder why they, and Bishops like Schneider, Burke, Pell etc., don’t join up the dots. They still bleat on about ecumenism, “Saint” JP11, “Blessed” John 23 rd (or is he a “saint too?”) fa de da de da…. They just don’t get to the conclusion. Still, they are the best of a very bad lot and may God forgive them: the bad lot, I mean….

    March 22, 2015 at 2:47 pm
  • Nolite Timere

    Slightly off topic but Bishops Egan and Davies have been recent speakers in the Bishops Lenten Catechesis in the Diocese of Paisley -every Sunday in Lent a Bishop has given catechesis sessions(approx 45 mins) followed by evening prayer and solemn benediction. By far Egan today and Davies last week have been the best speakers!! There has been standing room only in the Cathedral each week with over 1000 in attendance.

    Back on topic- it’s a good start, at least he is drawing attention to this very serious issue. I have been shocked at some charities suggested by Catholic teachers and head teachers when it comes to the dispersal of the school charity account.

    March 22, 2015 at 10:19 pm
    • editor


      I’d be very interested to hear some detail of what the two Bishops said in Paisley, so if you can find a few minutes to “spill” – please do!

      And I know what you mean about Catholic schools supporting unsuitable, to say the least, Charities – my own experience of placing a question mark over CAFOD when I taught south of the border, was something else as they say, although “they” don’t know the half of it! Yet, the facts about CAFOD speak for themselves…

      March 22, 2015 at 11:08 pm
      • Nolite Timere

        I missed the first couple of Catechesis first was Bishop Keenan who talked about dealing with the problems of the secular society. He was followed by Archbishop Brown the new Papal Nuncio to Ireland not sure what he spoke about.

        On the 3rd Sunday of Lent Bishop Gilbert visited and spoke on sin and it’s effects

        It was well delivered and he also added other parts not in the above link, and promoted the importance of regular confession and really the ba duces of the faith etc which for some in the audience would not be what they are used to hearing from the pulpit!

        On the 4th Sunday Bishop Davies spoke about Our Lord as the light for the world and how we shouldn’t be afraid to publicly proclaim this, and spoke about how everything in the Church needs to be refocused on this with appropriate worship, appropriate lifestyle etc. he certainly didn’t miss with his comments.

        On Sunday Bishop Egan talked about the Church as the ark of salvation and skirted around the theme of Extra ecclesiam nulla salus and again put this in a way that some might not be used to hearing. Like Bishop Davies he called for a more reverent and traditional liturgy across the Church.

        Every week following the catechesis part there had been evening prayer and Solemn Benediction which has been a huge grace and definitely a huge step in the right direction.

        This week is the final instalment with Archbishop Tartaglia discussing the role of Our Lady. Not sure if it’s worth going to, I might arrive in time for benediction!

        All of the Catechesis sessions have been videoed but it’s not clear when or where this will become available

        March 24, 2015 at 6:24 pm
      • editor


        Thank you for that synopsis of the talks – all very interesting indeed. I’m wishing I’d gone along now!

        March 24, 2015 at 9:49 pm
  • Christina

    Delighted to hear that, NT! I’m pretty sure that the thoroughly orthodox catechesis of these two prelates must have been an eye-opener for quite a few in those big congregations. As I said above, things are beginning to look more hopeful at last – probably the ill-wind of Papa Francis bringing some good he doesn’t intend!

    March 22, 2015 at 11:15 pm
  • Christina

    Ed, re CAFOD, I was at a Mass S of the border where a quite shocking thing happened. An ICKSP priest was celebrating fhe Mass in an NO parish church, and he announced that the collection would be for a very good cause – I’ve forgotten what, and the big traditional Mass congregation gave very generously indeed. After Mass the PP came along, all smiles, as he saw the plate heaped with paper money, and he seized it saying it was his, as it had been taken in his church. It was the CAFOD collection day in the diocese, and he crowed that the addition of this relatively huge sum would enable the parish to win the competition for the parish in the diocese that collected the most. The ICKSP priest is a feisty one and there was a row! Unfortunately he eventually only succeeded in keeping half for the cause we had dug deep for. As our priest said, collecting for this awful charity is bad enough, but parishes set in competition with each other to collect most – how low can some bishops get?

    March 22, 2015 at 11:49 pm
    • editor


      Your story reminds me of the time I attended a diocesan TLM in England (will withhold details for fear of identifying the priest and causing him trouble, even at this distance in time and geography).

      The priest was well respected as a sound preacher, so I was horrified when he announced that he had a letter to read from the Bishop about the CAFOD collection to take place that day. I kept my eyes averted, not looking at him, and felt a mixture of disappointment and anger that he would read out the letter/take up the collection for CAFOD at this Mass.

      I felt I had to say something to him afterwards, so went into the sacristy to ask him why he had read out that letter, knowing all the publicity there had been about CAFOD’s support for contraception at a meeting in London when every member of their panel had attacked the teaching of the Church on birth control.

      The priest expressed surprise that I had apparently not noticed him shaking his head as he read out the letter. I said “no, I hadn’t” – I had looked away in disbelief, frankly.

      He then explained that at his novus ordo Mass that morning he had told parishioners that he could not, in conscience, encourage support for CAFOD etc. and would not read out the letter.

      In no time at all, some useful idiot zealot had phoned the Bishop to complain and the Bishop in turn phoned the priest to instruct him to read out the letter at all the rest of his Masses that day.

      So, once again, false obedience has a lot for which to answer.

      March 23, 2015 at 8:47 am
    • Peter The Rock

      There is no such thing as an NO Parish. There are Catholic Parishes in Communion with Rome, under the leadership of their Bishop. Every Parish, as such, is bound to offer the Ordinary Form of The Mass as it is the norm.

      A priest cannot celebrate Mass in a Parish, not his own, and have a collection for anything without the approval, and consent of its lawful pastor, and in Church and Civil Law it is the priest in lawful possession of the parish who has the moral, and legal – both civil and canonical – to oversee the divesting of its material goods i.e . collections and property.

      March 23, 2015 at 8:48 am
      • editor


        You absolutely refuse to recognise that there is a crisis in the Church. We are not going to spend ages again trying to convince you and providing evidence. Just Google “crisis in the Catholic Church” or explore this blog to find all the information you need. No liturgical rite is “the norm” in the Catholic Church that is only fifty years old.

        As for your support for collecting money for immoral purposes in Catholic churches, that speaks for itself.

        You need to read up on the key issues surrounding conscience, true and false obedience and so on.

        I really do not think you are going to be comfortable here. Take a read at this post and the other notes I have made when releasing your comments. If you think that I am going to continue repeating the same information or allow my bloggers to waste their time doing so, then you have really got to think again.

        All posts from you are going into moderation and unless they are adding to our discussions, they are going to be automatically deleted. I’m very busy, and am concentrating on other duties today, so I suggest you spend time reading and educating yourself on the crisis in the Church AFTER praying a rosary for enlightenment. If Buddhists can get it, so can you!

        Finally, I am getting emails from readers who are irritated by your comments and who are equally irritated with me for putting up with these disruptive posts. One wrote: “you have more patience than me, I wouldn’t give him the time of day”. Breaking News: I do NOT have patience and I have no intention of exercising what little patience I have any more. So, please – since it is unlikely that you will grasp the truth about the situation and will prefer to stick with your version of Catholicism – I strongly recommend that you disappear from the blog, for your own peace of mind.

        March 23, 2015 at 9:11 am
  • Peter The Rock

    With regards Bishop Egan he is surely subject to the norms of the Conference of Bishops for England and Wales, and he cannot unilaterally declare a national Charity Catholic or not, and C.A.F.O.D. is the legitimate agency in England and Wales, and they have routinely countered false claims about their activities.

    Editor: you are now really and very clearly showing your true colours. Each bishop is responsible for the souls in his diocese. These “Conferences” are yet another novelty of the past fifty odd years. It is noticeable, with bells on, that you support all the novelties, not Traditional Catholicism. You are not going to be comfortable here. I suggest you blog elsewhere. I’ve already deleted a post with personal remarks, and will continue to do so. And don’t start bleating about being “falsely maligned” here – if I want to “falsely malign” any Modernist, I’ll blankety blank do so! 😯

    March 23, 2015 at 8:51 am
    • Peter The Rock

      Pope Francis wants to strengthen, not weaken, Conferences, and make use of Synods.

      Editor: So what? He’s a shockingly bad pope, of course he’ll do all he can to undermine the Faith. Now, that’s the last of your posts in moderation – you’re now blacklisted. Bye.

      March 23, 2015 at 9:41 am
      • Therese


        Muchos gracias!

        March 23, 2015 at 5:29 pm
    • westminsterfly

      I see you’re back, Common Sense aka ‘Peter the Rock’. New identity, same old trolling. I don’t know about any ‘false claims’ made against CAFOD, but I am fully aware that evidence is in the public domain which has been thoroughly researched, documented, and which contains verifiable facts, showing that as a body, CAFOD has not always supported Catholic moral teaching – quite the opposite. And that evidence has never been effectively ‘countered’ by CAFOD or anyone else.

      Every time I see a post of yours CS / PTR, I am reminded of the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. You come on this blog, looking down your nose at everybody, telling us how faithful and loyal you are – not like us ‘rebellious and disobedient sinners’: “O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men . . . ” You are a real modern-day Pharisee. And if you had genuine pastoral concern for the souls of those who use this blog, you wouldn’t sneer and snipe the way you do.

      I think it speaks volumes for EditorCT’s patience that she allows you to continue to comment here, despite your pharisaical and worryingly obsessive fixation with this blog and those who use it.

      March 23, 2015 at 9:42 am
      • editor


        Thank you for that straight talking post and for your kind words about my patience in your concluding paragraph. However, my patience just ran out. I’ve spent most of the morning dealing with this troll and I am way behind with other duties, so thank you for your kindness but, as I say, my patience has now disappeared into thin air.

        March 23, 2015 at 9:47 am
      • Fidelis

        I am so glad your patience “has disappeared into thin air”. Reading the same old same old from that troll just annoys the life out of me.

        I am completely at a loss to know why these people want to blog here when they obviously can’t stand the place, they accuse you of being dishonest and censorship etc. yet they keep on coming back. I can think of blogs that I disagree with about loads of things and so I wouldn’t think of sending in comments. That makes me convinced that these trolls are only out to make trouble. I’m so glad you’ve banned him.

        March 23, 2015 at 11:52 am
      • Frankier


        I’m not so sure now that PTR is CS. He is a lot worse.

        The best treatment would be to ignore him and let him rave away until the foam clears.

        I wonder if, as he states, a PP has the moral and legal right to use any money collected in his church as he so wishes, do these rights extend to
        pilfering the collection to his own advantage?

        After glancing at PTRs recent remarks I am now beginning to weary for the return of CS.

        March 23, 2015 at 10:48 am
      • westminsterfly

        It’s academic now as Editor has blacklisted both CS and PTR (see her post above) But I’d lay money that they are one and the same. Exactly the same modus operandi. Whatever name he might care to re-surface as in future, you can spot him a mile off. It seems to me that he has a compulsion to do this sort of thing, so he might leave it for a while, but he’ll be back, because he can’t help himself. Sad really, isn’t it.

        March 23, 2015 at 11:01 am
      • Frankier

        I wonder what his next alias will be. Beelzebub maybe.

        March 23, 2015 at 6:15 pm
  • westminsterfly

    This article is 10 years old, and although CAFOD is under different leadership now, none of the facts in it have ever been disputed or disproved.

    A more recent blog posting about CAFOD’s support of dissent, with links, is here:-

    March 23, 2015 at 9:52 am
    • Molly Malone

      Westminster Fly,

      I’d read the Christian Order article before and the evidence they present is damning. I hadn’t seen the blog from Catholic & Loving it, but he’s a very solid young Catholic man who is very sound on moral matters, although he’s a modern Catholic so won’t be sympathetic to the old Mass (although I could be wrong.) That was great that he organised a petition to try to stop CAFOD’s support of a group promoting abortion. CAFOD is up their neck in it.

      March 23, 2015 at 1:45 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Fr Hunwicke, of the Ordinariate, comments on the BBC providing homosexual MP Conor Burns (who lives in +Egans diocese) with a platform to attack +Egan as “legalistic” due to his warning about unscrupulous charities.

    Burns had previously attacked the Bishop for stating that Catholic politicians who vote for un-Catholic legislation should not receive Holy Communion.

    (I like Fr Hunwicke a lot; he is very pro-SSPX, openly admitting he has a “soft spot” for them – so we can forgive him his shady Church of England past haha!).

    March 23, 2015 at 12:37 pm
    • Molly Malone

      “so can we forgive him his shady C of E past”

      LOL! I’d say so!

      March 23, 2015 at 1:46 pm
  • Christina

    Frankier, subject always to contradiction, I do believe that a PP has the right and duty to control the collections taken in his church, as he has the right and duty to control any literature left there. I have never known of an instance where a visiting priest took up a collection at a traditional Mass without having asked permission from the PP, and such collections usually go to the parish, which is fair enough considering that the priest has been helpful – often very helpful – in allowing for the celebration of the traditional Mass. I think it was the size of the collection and the ‘competition’ that had influecnce in the case I mentioned. As for CAFOD collections, I knew a PP who never took up that collection in his church – instead he sent it to a mission in India, but he did so with the permission of his local ordinary. I’m sure that there are others who have taken the trouble to research CAFOD’s activities.

    Editor, thank you so much for your action with regard to PTR and CS. Many a time I’ve looked in on the blog and checked out hastily as soon as I’ve seen the tedious long lists of alternating posts between CS and one of our best.

    March 23, 2015 at 12:41 pm
    • editor


      Editor, thank you so much for your action with regard to PTR and CS…

      Add to that, Tom, Followthetruth, Truth Rules, dismayed, and goodness knows how many others in the past day or so. Talk about obsessed! If only I were 30 years younger, I’d be flattered 😀

      March 24, 2015 at 9:51 pm
  • Patrick

    just a brief post, which is hopefully the harbinger of an extensive article I am preparing on so-called Christian charities.

    I am a fervent believer that the climate has changed naturally since the world began, I am in the process of exposing the great current adoration of the pagan goddess Gaea by our Catholic Bishops, and the imposition of catastrophic man made global warming dogma into our churches and schools.

    Our present Pope is apparently about to endorse the ‘greatest scientific fraud’ for the upcoming Paris gathering of the IPCC.

    The support of SCIAF, CAFOD, GOAL, SAVE THE CHILDREN, CHRISTIAN AID and others for the pro abortion and forced sterilization policies of the UN and IPCC, to reduce the worlds population to ‘save the planet’ from global warming, is not only a crime against man, but should be abhorred by anyone professing to be a Christian.

    I agree it would have been good if Bishop Egan had named names, but like all figures in public life, he is probably scared of the ridicule attached to anyone brave enough to profess doubts about the great global warming scam.

    Editor: I have removed your surname as I’ve found that most times, new bloggers didn’t mean to have their full name published. However, now that I’ve approved this post, your future comments will go up automatically, so I suggest that next time to sign in, BEFORE you comment, you navigate to My Profile on your dashboard, then scroll down to where it says “publicly display name as…” and type in Patrick, then scroll down to where it asks you to update or save changes. It’s up to you, of course, and if you wish me to revert to your full name, let me know and I’ll do that. Catholic Truth at your service!

    March 26, 2015 at 2:56 pm

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