The Tablet article that announced the appointment of Bishop Alan Hopes to the Ordinariate in England and Wales also had this to say:
Another important issue to be resolved concerns the funding of the clergy. Some Anglican clergy own properties; some don’t. But all will leave behind their Church of England final-salary pensions. Priests within the ordinariate will be paid and housed by it, and there are rumours of Anglo-Catholic benefactors bank-rolling the operation to make it viable.
But wherever the money comes from, the stipends will be relatively small and ordinariate priests will be allowed, and may even be encouraged, to take on secular work. The St Barnabas Society, which looks after Anglican clergy who are reordained as Catholic priests, said it will offer financial and pastoral support to ordinariate clergy.
Secretary of the society Fr Robin Sanders admitted that finding employment might be hard for clergy who hadn’t worked outside the Church for years.
Yes, money is an issue. In 1992, there was no Ordinariate option. Priests had to find dioceses who would take them on, and, in several cases, a wife and children also. Sometimes bishops made extravagant promises that were not lived up to, others shrugged and admitted that though they were desperate for priests, they hadn't got the funds to support a whole family.
Catholic priests get paid a great deal less than Anglicans and, as I remarked on a post on the Anglo-Catholic blog a few months ago, the money comes from all sorts of strange corners. Married priests do manage, but, like the rest of us, they have to forage a bit to put together a decent wage. Those concerned would do best to speak to one of the married Catholic priests.
The Ordinariates will be in a different situation. There is unlikely to be compensation as there was in 1992, unless Parliament can again be called on to intervene. The Ordinarates' desire for independence will mean that in fairness the ordinary dioceses cannot be directly called upon to bankroll something which will bring them no discernible benefit. Here, I think, the role of Bishop Alan Hopes is going to be crucial. If the first man to lead the Ordinariate were to be a recent Tibernaut, he would find it immensely difficult to establish relations with the dioceses, and I think that these relations are going to be key to the success or failure of the project. Alan Hopes already has all the right contacts. Let me unpack that.
Even if the Ordinariate finds ways of persuading wealthy benefactors to help out, or manages to bring with it funds from various currently-Anglican societies, there is still going to be a massive initial investment that will have to be made in the matter of things like houses, before one can even think about clerical salaries. The Ordinariate is going to have to be fairly reliant, one way or another, on the co-operation of ordinary Catholic dioceses; there is no way that it can establish itself, let alone survive, in a hortus conclusus.
But with some co-operation, this ought to work fine. One set of resources that most Catholic dioceses have right now (and could be persuaded to share) are houses, mostly in parishes that have lost a resident priest and sharing now one priest with the neighbouring parish. The Adur Valley is in this situation, having two houses. However, these houses are not owned (for the most part) by the diocese but (according to Canon—though not Civil—Law) by the parish. This means that the parish has the right in Canon Law to use its house to benefit itself, whether by accommodating a priest, or else by collecting rent from it. A diocese that wanted to take that house away to accommodate an Ordinariate priest (and maybe a family) would feel the wrath of the parish unless the parish were to derive some real benefit. The benefit need not be great. One Sunday Mass and one from time to time in the week need be all that was required—the pastoral work would continue to be the responsibility of the local diocesan priest. In other words, this could be a better deal than the common house-for-duty arrangement in the Church of England, because an Ordinariate priest would not, potentially, need to undertake pastoral work in the diocesan parish, but could concentrate on building up his own, Ordinariate, parish, and/or by supplementing his income in other ways. He could also use the diocesan church buildings to begin his congregation since it seems unlikely that the Church of England will permit buildings to be shipped over the Tiber. This will only work if the Ordinariate clergy are willing to work alongside diocesan clergy. If they hold themselves aloof, things will be very much more difficult.
And, of course, the various TAC congregations around the world will already have their entire set-up running and functioning, and will not need this sort of arrangement.
There are various chaplaincies that can be obtained. I see that Jeffrey Steel de Cura Animarum has got himself a school chaplaincy. Now, he's got a big family and seems to be managing fine (or well enough, anyway). To diocesan priests, who are getting more and more stretched, the idea of a chaplaincy in their parish being taken by an Ordinariate priest should be be a very desirable thing. Not just schools, but hospitals, prisons, airports, military bases, can be sources of income if properly negotiated, and need not prevent the establishment of Ordinariate cures of souls. Many of these chaplaincies are now being staffed by lay people; to have a priest doing the job would be wonderful.
My friend writes that there is an expectation that wives will need to work, and possibly be the larger breadwinner. In these days of recession this is an unfortunate necessity; indeed it is not something that the Church imposes, but has become the norm in the world, part of our modern way of life. I guess it all depends on the standard of living required. But I have to say that for the Latin Church, celibacy is the norm, and has been so for a very long time. I do not think that people and their whole families have the right to expect to be maintained in the standard to which they have become accustomed on a single clerical salary when the Church dispenses them from the necessity of celibacy—not that this is what my friend was asking for.
I do not understand that reference in the Tablet quotation about losing final-salary pensions. Perhaps someone can explain it. I cannot think that it means that all pensions for years already worked are to be taken away: that would surely be illegal.
And what about taking up tent-making? Some may feel it necessary to take a secular job to supplement their income. Unless one is really trying to support a family of ten single-handedly, and stay entirely away from the diocesan system, I do hope that this isn't going to be necessary. But it might, I suppose, especially in the early days before ordination. I cannot really make any comment here, because each person knows his or her skills and inclinations. It might, again, we worth contacting your local Catholic diocese to see whether they have any jobs available. Parishes and schools often need office help of various kinds, and this may provide just enough to tide people over. Invigilation (proctoring, to our transatlantic brethren) in schools can also be a good find for those who can get free during the day.
No doubt people can come up with other ideas. But what might be apparent is that clergy might initially have to be prepared to be nomads on the earth; the Ordinariate is a wholly new thing, without history or financial backing. It's going to take a while for it to get to the point where it can guarantee a living to all its clergy. With God's grace it will get there sooner rather than later, but a lot of this will depend on how the layfolk will also make the transition. On that, we need to wait and see.