Friday, February 20, 2009

A Note on Charitable Trusts

I had a long chat with a Catholic lawyer the other day who specialises in Charity Law, with a strong interest in Libel Law too, which is where he makes his money. Interestingly, he told me there is a little group of Catholic barristers and solicitors who are interested in exploring whether certain Catholic charities are fulfilling the obligations of their status as a charitable trusts.

Not unconnected to this Ttony has this little post up:

I pointed out last November here that the Tablet is owned by a charitable trust, the aims of which are:

a) to advance the Christian religion
b) to promote, present, and disseminate the teachings of the Christian religion and to promote understanding of the Roman Catholic faith, value and principles
c) to advance the education of the public
d) to pursue such other charitable objectives as shall not be inconsistent with the objects hereunto before set out.

And two of the people who work for the Tablet, earn very large salaries (one over £80K, one over £90K), presumably because of their responsibility for delivering the aims of the Tablet Trust.

If you think that Ms Curti's article about Fr Tim does not meet the aims of the charitable trust, it might be worth writing to its Chairman, Sir Michael Quinlan, at its registered address:

1 King Street Cloisters
Clifton Walk
W6 0QZ

If you are going to write you might also mention Robert Mickens opposition and negative criticism of the Holy Father which does damage the advancement of the Christian religion, if one inderstands Catholicism as mainstream Christianity, which it is numerically and historically.


Anonymous said...

It's in the post, Father, thanks for the address :)

Physiocrat said...

There is CAFOD's idiotic political wing too.

Anonymous said...


What is the exact name of the charitable trust?

I think this is a very good idea of how to counter this horrible occurrence.

Peter said...

An excellent idea. I suspect that the civil law authorities will take the view that the head of the Church in England & Wales is authority as to what is, or is not, consistent with the Catholic faith.
It might be possible to get a bishop to offer a view that would be authoritative. Bishop O'Donoghue of Lancaster springs to mind. It would then be for the charities to offer a "better" view.
Good luck

Fr Ray Blake said...

Mark, check Ttony's blog

Unknown said...

Dear Fr Blake,

I am an trainee lawyer in the City and wondered if you or your contact knew if there was an association for Catholic Lawyers at all ?

Given the infrastructure which the evangelical LCF has, I think we could do with one.


Anonymous said...

The personal attack on Fr Finegan in The Tablet is really beyond the pale.

Whatever one may think about the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, it is a valid option for a parochial Mass. As such the celebration of one such Mass out of a total of four for the Sunday obligation is certainly not excessive.

The objectionable parts of the article in The Tablet which should be the cause of serious concern are:

1. The article would only widen divisions in the parish when the Bishop is still in the process of trying to mediate betwen the parties to produce an amicable resolution of the various issues.

2. The clear partisan nature of the piece. Father Finegan`s defence of his position is dismissed in one sentence as a thirty seven page essay. Thre is no attempt to briefly summarise his position.

3. The subtle and not so subtle innuendoes about the personal character and actions of Father Finegan: in particular in relation to the use of Church funds (vestments, no published accounts); his so called "martinet" charater (the issuing of "rules" regarding silence in Church).

As regards the last point, there would appear to have been no attempt to seek Father Finegan`s views on these charges before publication and there has been no attempt in the article to present a justification on the part of Father Finegan.

One hesitates to use the word "malice" but it does seem that Father Finegan has been the subject of a totally unjustified and malicious personal attack.

One does not expect to see such an article of such a nature in a Catholic magazine which is given wide circulation through free distribution channels of Catholic parishes

As well as complaining to the trustees of The Tablet, should parish priests not reconsider whether they should continue to stock issues of The Tablet in their churches while the offending article continues to stand on the record without contradiction ?

Fr Ray Blake said...

mbyo 15,
I do not know but I understand Tribunus of "Roman Christendom" is a barrister, he will know.

Lmbsaflavin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yes, the Thomas More Society. Not sure of the present contact details though and they don't have a web presence.

As a chancery practitioner who specialises in charity law I have to say I am rather sceptical of the idea. And, indeed of anyone who claims to specialise in the field but needs to do something wildly different, like libel, to make money.

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