(SACNS Europe News; Catholic Watchdog South Africa)
Sacred objects and those given and inscribed as gifts to monks at abbey sold like items at a garage sale, when they downgrade premises! The Catholic Herald suggests it may have been better to give them back to donars or find them another home.
"This week’s print edition of The Catholic Herald, in this week’s Charterhouse column, contains a very remarkable article which you will not have seen on this website. It is a stinging critique, by John Gummer (also now confusingly known as Lord Deben), of the actions of the 11 Benedictine monks of Ramsgate Abbey, and in particular of their abbot. The Ramsgate Benedictines have moved into smaller and more manageable premises: and on doing so, they have put up many of their treasures for sale by auction. (For the Herald’s news report, see here.)
“What has shocked many in the Catholic world,” says Lord Deben, was “to put on the secular market the sacred vessels made for the abbey or bequeathed to it by generations of the faithful: chalices used by generations of abbots and inscribed by their donors”:
I went to the viewing to find heartbreaking examples of impiety. Under a table was a cardboard box full of assorted “silver plates and dishes”: the catalogue’s misdescription of patens inscribed in memory of those who loved the abbey and the Faith it had nurtured in them… There were altar candlesticks with the Benedictine insignia, monstrances and reliquaries, incense boats and cruets, higgledy piggledy with games trophies, sports cups and school shields.
Yet most outrageous of all were the chalices and patens. A recusant cup… was pushed in on a shelf of holy vessels displayed as if they were of no more account than a range of golf club tankards. Yet once they had held the blood of the Lamb. Given by the faithful, taken by their shepherds, now left to be bought by whoever, for whatever.
“If the monks felt that they no longer needed what they had been given,” Lord Deben concludes, “they should have given [it] where it could be used and valued”. There is frankly not much more to be said; and many will share his anger and disgust."
The Catholic Herald COMMENT & BLOGS "The monks of Ramsgate have shockingly put on the secular market sacred vessels given by generations of the faithful" 'I believe this is one example of a failure of witness to the faith by today’s religious' By WILLIAM ODDIE on Monday, 13 February 2012