Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Buffer Zone Against 5th Commandment

September 22nd, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

Did the 10 Commandments carved by the Finger of God have a footnote for buffer zones in which any of the commandments could be violated without penalty? No they didn’t, least of all the 5th Commandment against the unjust taking of life — of all life, including babies in the womb.

But the City of Rochester and the State Attorney General’s “office” have decided differently against the highly effective protests led by Jim Havens and the ROC Sidewalk Advocates, dedicated people who pray their hearts out monthly at Planned Parenthood’s death facility on University Avenue.

Read it here, and pray for those who pray for life in the womb:

Why the big guns against prayer and discussion? Because the ROC Sidewalk Advocates are carrying with them the two most dangerous weapons in the world: the Word of God and words of truth.


Retired Green Bay Bishop to do Reparation for Failure to Report Abuse

September 21st, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The National Catholic Register reported this morning that retired Green Bay auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Morneau  has asked to be relieved of his public ministerial duties so that he can spend the rest of his life in prayer for all victims and survivors of sexual abuse. Current Bishop Ricken has agreed to this request.

What do you think? Should this model be followed by other prelates, retired or not? By other clergy who knew what was happening, and not reporting it?


Open for Discussion: Episcopalis Communio

September 19th, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris
Episcopalis Communio, promulgated by the Pope on Sept. 15 [Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows], establishes that the final document of a synod assembly, drafted and approved by a special commission, can to be considered part of the ordinary magisterium.”
Your comments, please!

Governor Cuomo: Just Say No!

September 16th, 2018, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Governor Cuomo: Just Say No! By Nelson Acquilano

Why would the government ever legalize another addictive drug? Maybe someone should ask – or rather challenge – this governor on that very issue. After all, it was not in his political platform when he ran for governor. So, why now? More importantly, how can we stop him?


Marijuana has destroyed the dreams and quality of life for countless youth and families. And one of the greatest dangers of marijuana is that it is underestimated as a powerful pharmacologic, psychoactive, mind-altering substance. In this regard marijuana is not fully appreciated for what it really is – a strong drug of addiction that will have devastating effects on families.

Drug use affects everyone: family, friends, neighbors and all of society. It is not a personal, singular event. The use of drugs does not happen in a vacuum. Tens of thousands of individuals and families have been left emotionally bankrupt, even for life.

Marijuana legalization is not simply another public policy issue like taxes. Once enacted, legalization will have far reaching and permanent repercussions for our families – and on our children, forever.


Fr. Anthony Amato on the Crisis – Featured on ChurchMilitant!

September 11th, 2018, Promulgated by SamanthaGillenson

A recent homily from Fr. Anthony Amato of the Diocese of Rochester has certainly made the rounds, and it has now been reported on and featured on the news website!

We have obtained permission to link to the article from Fr. Amato, and you can find the article and his homily here:

Fr. Amato is grateful for all of our prayers and support.


Don’t Ask the USCCB to Act !

September 6th, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Hopefully, the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) will not act at all on the shocking gay seminary abuse, the rampant homosexuality among Church leaders, or the smug ‘tolerance’ of a ‘gay activist culture’ in parishes.  Whaaaat did I just say? Really?

Yes, the USCCB should have no role, because national conferences are myths without any substantial power, organizations behind which the majority of its members hide, making them less a bishop than they should be. The point which I have made repeatedly (most recently regarding “Is the USCCB Supporting Abortion?”) is based on the well-articulated words of then Josef Cardinal Ratzinger in The Ratzinger Report, before he became Pope Benedict XVI. I am not referencing that book just because I admire Pope Benedict XVI, but principally my own knowledge and experience of organizational dynamics tells me that his conclusions are ‘spot-on.”

Chapter 4 of the Ratzinger Report, entitled “Among Priests and Bishops,” makes the point so much better than I can; the best I can do is suggest we read and re-read Cardinal Ratzinger’s indictment of such national conferences, as exemplified by the attempt of the German Bishops in the 1930’s to come up with a statement against National Socialism (Hitler’s Party). “The really powerful documents … were those which came from individual courageous bishops. The documents of the conference, … were often rather wan and too weak for what the tragedy called for.”

The bishops “hold the fullness of the sacrament of orders;” they are the authentic teachers. Cardinal Ratzinger stated: “No episcopal conference, as such, has a teaching mission; its documents have no weight of their own save that of the consent of the individual bishops…. It happens … that with some bishops there is a certain lack of a sense of individual responsibility, and the delegation of his inalienable powers as shepherd and teacher to the structures of the local conference leads to letting what should remain very personal lapse into anonymity.”

As further evidence, Cardinal Ratzinger cites the statistics from Vatican II in 1963, where a total of 2135 bishops on the average participated in the meetings in the Aula. Of these only a little more than 200, 10%, intervened actively by taking the floor in the debate. The other 90% never spoke and limited themselves to listening and to voting.”

And, so, it would appear that the national conference structure, using lobbying, relationships and balloting can never be a substitute for the true courage needed from a bishop. Moreover, it is only one short step to allege that the national conference structure has deteriorated the backbone of many bishops who began with a heart for the flock, and courage for the Lord, and bound themselves up in the conference structure.  Perhaps keeping the USCCB out of this matter, will lead to a necessary strengthening of the successors of the Apostles, as the Lord cleanses His Church. Come, Lord Jesus.

What I do see in the current crisis is the emergence of strong individual bishops who speak out bravely, even knowing the risk they take in falling out of favor at the Vatican, and among their brother bishops. One by one, INDIVIDUALLY, they are stepping out, and that is far more desirable that being a vote in a conference held a few months later. Furthermore, the flock is starting to understand whether they have a real bishop or not. That is not to say that every bishop who sent a letter to his flock is showing enough courage; it is not hard to tell the difference. But little steps, or big steps, they are at least moving in the right direction.

A final thought regarding courage in the hierarchy. Courage is weakened by fear of loss. That loss might be money, title, reputation or influence. But there are many worse things to lose, like for a bishop to fail his flock and lose his soul, and also to lead others to hell. The risk is so much greater than losing organizational clout; this situation may well be the chance for bishops to seize the moment to reclaim their powers which have been institutionally whittled away by playing nice and not running with scissors.

Much as I truly try to respect copyright laws, I know that many who read this don’t have the Ratzinger Report on their shelves, and aren’t going to order it today. So, I will append to this post from Chapter 4 as an aid to digestion. Due to file size, and to keep the posted material a very small percentage of the book itself, it may be necessary to rotate the material over a few days, in which case it will be recycled so anything missed will come up again. Click on “Read the rest of this entry” to finish reading Chapter 4 of “The Ratzinger Report.” Read the rest of this entry »


Two Possibilities for Getting out of this Mess

September 5th, 2018, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Not to say there aren’t more (or better) ways than these, but here are a couple approaches for getting out of this mess…

1) Call on the Secular Government

Thomas Peters again – If the US Bishops Don’t Fear God, They Should Fear the Government

Those accused of these evil deeds, when they do speak, utter incoherence.

These men must not fear hell.

the Roman Curia, its cardinals and pope, will not self-convict. They won’t even self-investigate.

I have come to the difficult conclusion, along with Hugh Hewitt and others, that a government-led investigation into the Catholic hierarchy is probably the only means at our disposal to be an example for the universal church for how to uproot this network of corruption inside our church and yes, to get priests and bishops to begin speaking out and turning each other in, following the trail back to the loggia of Rome. 49 more state attorney generals and the Attorney General using every means at their disposal to discover which bishops and cardinals have endangered children by moving predator priests, have orchestrated cover ups to protect abusive priests and bishops and cardinals and have individually and collectively preyed upon young men and seminarians. Open up the files. Follow the paper trail. Deposition. Subpoena. Jail.

2) Perform the Numbers 5 Approach on all Bishops in Question

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:…

The man whose wife shall have gone astray,… but the adultery is secret, and cannot be proved by witnesses, because she was not found in the adultery:

He shall bring her to the priest…

And when the woman shall stand before the Lord, he shall uncover her head, … and he himself shall hold the most bitter waters, whereon he hath heaped curses with execration.

And he shall adjure her, and shall say: If another man hath not slept with thee, and if thou be not defiled by forsaking thy husband’s bed, these most bitter waters, on which I have heaped curses, shall not hurt thee.

But if thou hast gone aside from thy husband, and art defiled, and hast lain with another man:

These curses shall light upon thee: The Lord make thee a curse, and an example for all among his people: may he make thy thigh to rot, and may thy belly swell and burst asunder.

Let the cursed waters enter into thy belly, and may thy womb swell and thy thigh rot. And the woman shall answer, Amen, amen….

And he shall give them her to drink… And when she hath drunk them, if she be defiled, and having despised her husband be guilty of adultery, the malediction shall go through her, and her belly swelling, her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse, and an example to all the people.

But if she be not defiled, she shall not be hurt, and shall bear children.


Important 35 min. Righteous Anger Speech

September 2nd, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Here it is:

If you are short on time, start at the 10 minute mark. (It’s a bit of a slow start; you’ll want to go back later to the beginning.) Forget what you thought you knew about the Remnant and Michael Matt, and listen with a new set of ears. Please. It is a demo of “Expressing Righteous Anger.”


Some Other Troubling Statements in Vigano’s Testimony

September 2nd, 2018, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

The full document can be found here:

His Excellency Carlo Maria Vigano?
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
Apostolic Nuncio

The entire document is very unsettling. I can’t say it’s all that surprising to anyone who has followed the inner workings of the Catholic Church over the years. While most of the commentary on Vigano’s testimony has focused on sexual sins and the cover-up thereof, which certainly deserves attention, in this post I want to highlight a couple of other excerpts which I think puts a reality check on what can reasonably be done to remedy the current corruption in the Church. Consider me a pessimist when it comes to hoping that this situation will somehow resolve itself short of a significant upheaval that I really can’t comprehend.

re: The Society of Jesus

These characters are closely associated with individuals belonging in particular to the deviated wing of the Society of Jesus, unfortunately today a majority, which had already been a cause of serious concern to Paul VI and subsequent pontiffs.

This is a major problem as the influence of the Jesuits in the Catholic Church is without rival. According to wikipedia, “the Jesuits… manage a number of institutions, including 380 secondary schools and 190 colleges and universities”.

They also publish America magazine, “the only Catholic weekly magazine in North America, and is considered the leading Catholic journal of opinion in the country”.

re: the conservative/liberal*1 debate in this country, Vigano attributes these words to Pope Francis:

the Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized, they must not be right-wing like the Archbishop of Philadelphia

and later

the Pope replaced Cardinal Burke with Wuerl and immediately appointed Cupich right after he was made a cardinal. With these appointments the Nunciature in Washington was now out of the picture in the appointment of bishops.

In short, give thanks to God for giving us Bishop Matano at the moment he did… and prepare yourself and your family for the day when our next bishop arrives.

re: calls that the Vatican ought to open an investigation into these issues… I wonder how exactly the accused is supposed to also act as an accuser? How does that work? Of all the great gifts provided to our country by our English patrimony, I must say that the adversarial system of law is among the best. I’m not in any way suggesting the Church ought to change her form of government. I’m just noting that what we’re familiar with here in this country as far as how a trial works does not apply to the Church, especially when the top-most person is accused.

Another train of thought I’ve had regarding the now accepted consensus that whistle-blowing in matters concerning sexual predators is better than the alternative, the culture of cover-up and secrecy. It now seems that most lay people and clerics alike agree that, in hind sight, it would’ve been better if more people spoke up sooner and more publicly rather than simply sweeping these issues under the rug. If this is true about sexual predators, I don’t see why it wouldn’t also be true about liturgical abuse, heretical teaching from the pulpit (as well as the complementary failure to transmit ALL of the teachings of the Church from the pulpit), unjust closing of schools and churches, financial corruption and mismanagement, etc. The principle ought to be the same for all of these issues as well. Matters should first be taken to the offender directly (depending on the crime), then to the person whose job it is to correct that person and take care of the issue, but if that person fails to act, then one is completely justified in going around them, going higher up the chain, as well as going public. This certainly doesn’t mean you can skip that first steps (NOTE: I haven’t posted one article about local abuse in the Diocese of Rochester since Bishop Matano was installed), but it does mean that those who say, “shut up – you’re doing more damage to the Church by speaking up” in all situations are unjustified. Prudential judgment certainly comes into play in all situations, but the “never speak up” attitude is completely without merit. I also happen to think it’s time for priests and bishops to stop playing the game of heaping praises on their heterodox brother bishops and priests. Let’s be real – THEY are the ones who have caused division, NOT the ones simply stating the facts that there IS a division.

I understand these revelations have shaken the faith of some good Catholics. I praise God that mine has not been. My faith in God and His Church has only increased since I’ve become Catholic. I look into my own heart and I see so much potential for evil. I thank him every day for bringing me into the fold of the Catholic Church, sustaining me with the Sacraments, entrusting me to the care of His Blessed Mother, and for showing me the example of so many holy people (historically in the Saints*2 and also presently in the faithful people and priests we have right here in Rochester.)

*1 conservative/liberal are obviously loaded terms. What I mean by a conservative here is someone who adheres to *all* of the Church’s teaching, while a liberal picks and chooses from Church teaching and assumes the parts they don’t like can/will change in the future.

*2 most of our favorite Saints lived amongst corruption as bad or worse than we’ve been exposed to. IOW – we have no excuse for not becoming as holy as God wills us to be.


In one corner is logic & communications, in the other….

September 2nd, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris


From transcript of return flight to Rome from Dublin:

Second question asked by Javier Romero:

“… The second, and you also spoke about in this in your address with the Prime Minister, is abortion; we have seen how Ireland has changed greatly in recent years and it seems that the Minister was satisfied with these changes, one of which was abortion. We have seen that in recent months, in recent years, the question of abortion has been raised in many countries, including Argentina, your own country. How do you feel when you see that this is a subject on which you speak out often, and there are many countries where it is allowed…

Pope Francis:

“I see.  I’ll begin with the second, but there are two points – thank you for this – because they are tied to the questions we are discussing. On abortion, you know what the Church thinks. The issue of abortion is not a religious issScreenShot815ue: we are not opposed to abortion for religious reasons. No. It is a human issue and has to be addressed as such. To consider abortion starting from religion is to step over [that realm of] thought.

The abortion question has to be studied from an anthropological standpoint. There is always the anthropological question of how ethical it is to eliminate a living being in order to resolve a problem. This is the real issue. I would only emphasize this:

‘I never allow the issue of abortion to be discussed starting with religion. No. It is an anthropological problem, a human problem. This is my thinking.'”

Thanks to “P” for her tip.


Monthly Prayer Requests for Priests – September 2018

September 1st, 2018, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

It’s time to print your September 2018 calendar. Thanks to the good folks at for providing these calendars freely available to all on the Internet.

Also, here are the Holy Father’s prayer intentions for September:

Universal: Young People in Africa
That young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries.


A Lone David vs. A Multitude of Goliaths – An Analysis of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

August 30th, 2018, Promulgated by SamanthaGillenson


UPDATE: Archbishop Viganò has provided another interview through Dr. Aldo Maria Valli reacting to the release of his testimony, which can be read in English through LifeSiteNews HERE.

“To be, or not to be? That is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them?”

William Shakespeare – Hamlet’s Soliloquy

“The question then is whether ’tis nobler in the mind
To be well-liked but ineffectual, or moral but maligned?”

Lyrics inspired by Hamlet’s Soliloquy – copyright Starkid Productions, from the musical “Twisted”


This author is well aware of how well-circulated the letter released by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has become, so today’s article will not be dealing with the content of said letter. Rather, we will be examining the motives behind releasing such a letter to the public, and what stands to be gained from it (if anything at all).

What does it mean to do the right thing? To the well instructed Catholic, the answer seems obvious: speak the truth boldly and clearly, no matter what the consequence. But in many situations, we find that those who should speak do not for a myriad of reasons. We can never be fully sure of their motives, but it does make things rather tumultuous for the everyday lay Catholic in the trenches.

However, there are some that do shout out the truth with a clear and firm voice, despite where the consequences may take them. One of those voices is that of Archbishop Viganò, and he has had much to suffer both before and since coming out publicly against a vast swath of those he claims are complicit or directly involved with the clerical sex abuse crisis ravaging the Church today.

As could be expected in the aftermath of such an inflammatory and blunt document, many priests, bishops, and cardinals alike are speaking out against Viganò, claiming that his words are false and his claims baseless, even going to far as to accuse him of being complicit in cover up himself! (Some notably have even gone on to say that their only comment is “no comment,” incredibly.) But if we are to be intellectually honest with ourselves, we have to ask one question: what would a man stand to gain by lying about something so perverse and dire? The answer of course, is absolutely nothing. Viganò stood to lose everything by going public with his story, his reputation and name run through the mud, and his credibility questioned and ridiculed. This was a literal no-win situation for him, and yet he did it anyway. So, logically we must ask the next burning question: why?

An Italian journalist and prolific author by the name of Dr. Aldo Maria Valli was contacted by Archbishop Viganò and heard firsthand the reasoning behind his going public with these accusations. The original article about his encounters with Archbishop Viganò was first written in Italian, but an accurate English translation has been provided by OnePeterFive, which this author will be referencing for comments from both Aldo Maria Valli and Archbishop Viganò. The translated document can be found HERE. (This author also begs your indulgence with the long quotations from the article to follow, as they are integral to the Archbishop’s story.)

Dr. Valli hosted Viganò in his own home multiple times to hear his testimony, for the Archbishop was afraid of prying ears overhearing the sensitive subject matter and needed the Doctor’s help in telling his testimony.

Dr. Valli invited the Archbishop over for dinner to talk things over with his family present (and the Archbishop’s consent), and he was struck by the man’s calm but troubled demeanor:

“…Viganò immediately begins to talk. He is worried for the Church, afraid that at its highest levels there are persons who do not work to carry the Gospel of Jesus to the men and women of our time, but rather intend to create confusion and yield to the logic of the world. Then he begins to talk about his long experience in the Secretariate of State, as head of the Vatican City Governatorate, and as nuncio both in Nigeria and in the United States. He drops many names and speaks of many situations. Even I, who have been a Vatican journalist for more than twenty years, find it hard to follow him at times. But I do not interrupt him because I understand he needs to talk. My impression is that he is a man who is alone and sad because of what he sees happening all around him, but not bitter. In his words there is never one ugly word directed toward any of the many people he speaks about. The facts speak for themselves. At times he smiles and looks at me, as if to say, “What should I do? Is there a way out?”

… He is a man with a profound sense of duty. At least so it seems to me. After just a few minutes, there is a harmony established between us.

My wife, who is a catechist at our parish, and my daughters remain literally speechless as they listen to certain stories. I always say, only half-joking, that good Catholics should not know how things function in the highest levels of the hierarchy, and this evening’s conversation confirms that. However, I do not for a moment regret having invited the archbishop to my house. I believe that the sorrowful testimony of this man, of this elderly servant of the Church, is telling us something of importance – something which, even in the midst of pain and confusion, can help our life of faith.

The archbishop says, “I am 78 years old, and I am at the end of my life. The judgment of men does not interest me. The one judgment that counts is that of the good God. He will ask me what I have done for the Church of Christ, and I want to be able to respond to him that I defended her and served her even to the end.”

  • Aldo Maria Valli on Archbishop Viganò’s testimony.

Archbishop Viganò later took his leave, stating that he would contact Dr. Valli again should they need to speak once more, which occurred one month later. Dr. Valli once again offered the use of his home for privacy, which the Archbishop accepted. So once more, the Valli played host to him for dinner and testimony:

“…But once again, after saying the meal blessing, the archbishop is an overflowing river. So many stories, so many situations, so many names. But this time he focuses more on his years in America. He speaks of the McCarrick case, the ex-cardinal known to be guilty of the most serious abuses, and he makes it clear that everybody knew, in the USA and in the Vatican, for a long time, for years. But they covered it up.

I ask, “Truly everybody?”

With a nod of the head the archbishop responds yes: truly everybody.

I want to ask other questions, but it is not easy to insert myself into the uninterrupted flow of dates, memos, meetings, names.

The heart of the matter is that Pope Francis also knew, according to Viganò. And yet he allowed McCarrick to circulate undisturbed, making a joke of the bans imposed on him by Benedict XVI. Francis knew at least since March 2013, when Viganò himself, responding to a question asked by the Pope during a face-to-face meeting, told him that in the Vatican, there is a large dossier on McCarrick, and he needs to read it.

With respect to our previous encounter, there is the new development of the findings that have emerged from the grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania, and Viganò confirms that the image created by the findings is correct. The sexual abuses constitute a phenomenon more extensive than anyone could imagine, and it is not correct to speak of pedophilia, because the overwhelming majority of cases deal with homosexual priests who go hunting for teenage young men. It is more correct, says the archbishop, to speak about ephebophilia, if anything. But the main point is that the web of complicity, silence, cover-up, and reciprocal favors extends so far that there are no words to describe it, and it involves everyone at the highest levels, both in America and in Rome.

We sit there, once again, stunned. Because of my work, we had a sense that there was some of this, but for Catholics like us, born and raised in the womb of Mother Church, it is truly difficult to swallow such a mouthful.

My question is thus the most naïve of all: “Why?”

The response of the archbishop freezes my blood: “Because the cracks of which Paul VI spoke, from which he said the smoke of Satan would infiltrate the house of God, have become chasms. The devil is working overtime. And to not admit that, or to turn our face away from it, would be our greatest sin.”

  • Aldo Maria Valli on Archbishop Viganò’s testimony.

Dr. Valli and the Archbishop then set a day and time to meet to hand over the memoir which the Archbishop has written. Dr. Valli never discloses the location due to keeping the confidence of the Archbishop, but the following takes place:

“…The archbishop shows up with sunglasses on and a baseball cap. He asks that my first reading of the document be done in his presence, right in front of him, so that, he says, “if something does not convince you, we can discuss it immediately.”

I read the whole thing. There are eleven pages. He is amazed at how quickly I read it, and he looks at me: “Well?”

I say: “It is strong. Detailed. Well-written. A dramatic picture.”

He asks: “Will you publish it?”

“Monsignor, do you realize this is a bomb? What should we do?”

“I entrust it to you. Think about it.”

“Monsignor, do you know what they will say? That you want revenge. That you are full of resentment for having been dismissed from the Governatorate and other things. That you are the crow who leaked the Vatileaks papers. They will say that you are unstable, as well as a conservative of the worst kind.”

“I know, I know. But that doesn’t matter to me. The one thing that matters to me is to bring the truth to the surface, so that a purification can begin. At the point that we have reached, there is no other way.”

I am not anguished. Deep down inside me, I have already made the decision to publish it, because I feel that I can trust this man. But I ask myself, “What effect will this have on the simplest souls? On good Catholics? Is there not the risk of doing more evil than good?”

I realize that I have asked the question aloud, and the archbishop responds: “Think it over. Make a calm evaluation.” We shake hands. He takes off his dark glasses, and we look each other straight in the eye.

The fact that he does not force me, that he does not appear anxious to see me publish everything, makes me trust him even more. Is this a maneuver? Is he manipulating me?

At home I speak with Serena and the girls. Their advice is always very important for me. What should I do?

These are days of questions. I re-read the memoir. It is detailed, but of course it is Viganò’s version of events. I think readers will understand it. I will propose the archbishop’s version, after which, if anyone has contrary arguments, he will propose other versions.

My wife reminds me: “But if you publish it, they will think that, by the very fact of publishing it, you are on his side. Are you okay with that?”

Yes, I am. Will they judge me to be biased? Patience. After all, I am biased. When I am a reporter, I report the news, and that’s enough. I try to be as aseptic as possible. But in my blog, I am already clearly taking a position, and the readers know well what I think with regard to a certain turn that the Church has taken in recent years. If afterwards somebody will present me with documents that prove that Viganò is lying, or that his version of the facts is incomplete or incorrect, I will be more than happy to publish these as well.

I call the archbishop on the phone. I tell him my decision. We agree on the day and the hour of publication. He says that on the same day at the same hour the others will publish it as well. He has decided on Sunday, August 26 because the pope, returning from Dublin, will have a chance to reply to it by answering questions from journalists on the plane.

He alerts me that the daily newspaper La Verità has now been added to the list of those who will publish it. He tells me he has already purchased an airplane ticket. He will leave the country. He cannot tell me where he is going. I am not to look for him. His old cell phone number will no longer work. We say goodbye for the last time.

And so it happened. Not that the doubts inside me are over. Did I do good? Did I do evil? I continue to ask myself this. But I am serene. And I re-read the words that Archbishop Viganò wrote at the conclusion of his memoir: “Let’s all pray for the Church and for the Pope, remembering how many times he has asked us to pray for him. Let’s all renew our faith in the Church our Mother: I believe in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church! Christ will never abandon his Church! He has generated her in His Blood and he continuously reanimates her with His Spirit! Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us! Mary Virgin Queen, Mother of the King of glory, pray for us!”

–Aldo Maria Valli

True to his word, Archbishop Viganò has since left the country, and to date, no one is sure of his exact location. This author only knows that because of his testimony, he is fearful for his life, and fled his home for that purpose.

This author must ask you dear readers, does this seem like a man spinning a lie for personal gain? I will allow you to draw your own conclusions.

It truly takes a mountain of courage for a lone David to speak out against the multitude of Goliaths, and to do so at great risk to oneself and one’s reputation. This author will leave you with the lyrics presented at the beginning of this article for you to reflect upon:


“The question then is whether ’tis nobler in the mind
To be well-liked but ineffectual, or moral but maligned?”


That, my dear readers, is the question that we must all ask ourselves in the midst of this crisis – and determine our paths according to how we answer it.


Meeting the Ordinariate in Rochester NY

August 30th, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The weekend of August 25-26, 2018 brought two bishops together in Rochester NY, under the theme of “Meet the Ordinariate,” for powerful discussion and exchange. A public meeting was held during which powerful witness testimony was given.

The presentation by Bishop Lopes can be found HERE. Bishop Matano is also reported to have given an excellent presentation on the Holy Eucharist, but we don’t have permission yet to publish it.  Following Bishop Lopes presentation were two testimonies by St. Albans’ members Dominick Zarcone and Andrew Jordan.

Special thanks to super videographer Bernie Dick, for his intense personal efforts to ensure great events like this one do not fade from memory.

Bishop Steven J. Lopes,

First Bishop of the

Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter



Station of the Cross re Bp. Malone

August 29th, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The Station of the Cross, parent station for WHIC 1460 AM and 92.9 FM in Rochester, and  WLOF 101.7 FM Buffalo, has issued a statement adding their voices to others calling for the resignation of Bishop Malone of Buffalo. Holy Family Communications summarized by saying:

“The mission of The Station of the Cross Catholic Radio Network is to proclaim the fullness of Truth with clarity and charity. Our position with regard to the recent investigative reports by 7 Eyewitness News is consistent and clear: there must be zero tolerance when it comes to covering up sexual abuse and putting predatory priests back into active ministry.

Bishop Malone’s response yesterday did nothing to refute the allegations against him, which are backed up by internal Diocesan documents in the recent investigative reports. We continue to call for Bishop Malone to resign and we additionally call for a full independent investigation with unfettered access to all Diocesan documents, such as Archbishop Carlson of the Archdiocese of St. Louis recently announced.” 

The article can be found HERE,  information on Bp. Malone’s press conference can be found THERE and further information from the BUFFALO NEWS.



Is the Tabernacle being used as a prop for a press conference?

ScreenShot549As part of the Station of the Cross News Release, note also that President Jim Wright was honored on   Catholic Day in Boston, and celebrated on the Jumbotron at Fenway Park.

Among the seven stations which are part of the Station of the Cross Network is a station in Boston, 1060AM.

Click here for more information on The Station of the Cross.



A Day of Penance by Priests

August 27th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull


As Cleansing Fire becomes aware of other prayerful events dedicated to the cleansing of God’s Church and purification of the priesthood, we will be honored to give space on this website. The first one to occur, for which we recently became aware, will be a Traditional Latin Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Spencerport at 9AM on the First Saturday, September 1 st, asking our Blessed Mother to obtain graces from her Son in order that the Church may be purified.

The next four First Saturdays will also have the Latin Mass offered by Fr. Peter Mottola at St. John the Evangelist for the same intentions, and to comply with Our Lady’s request to St. Lucia at Fatima.


Dear Robert Royal,

August 27th, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The following text has been corrected for an error in my posting earlier today. The publication being addressed should have been referred to as “The Catholic Thing” throughout, not by any other title. I apologize for the error in trying too fast to stem the email tide. Now I have just contributed to it!

An excellent article appeared on The Catholic Thing this morning, written by Robert Royal. The only problem we have with the article is its title: “A Cleansing Fire,” and the confusion it causes. Already I’ve received many emails today from readers of and I understand why. Please forgive me if I can’t respond to all; rather I share with you the email I sent earlier today to Robert Royal at CONTACT on The Catholic Thing website. I hope to receive a reply, and will share it with our readers when I do. Meanwhile, here is the text of my email to Dr. Robert Royal:

Hello Dr. Royal,

First, please let me say how much I admire your writing and your reasoned input on The World Over in particular. And, second, let me assure you that, as best I can perceive, we are on the same side. However, the title of your column today creates a problem for me and my staff at since we also have been writing for years, principally against the abuse of faith, and abuse of power, experienced in our Rochester NY Diocese for years under Bishop Matthew Clark.

Now, with relief under Bishop Salvatore Matano, we have been focused on the problems created by Pope Francis’ many actions over the last five years. We have an identity in our small part of the Internet with “Cleansing Fire,” which is dedicated to obeying Christ and His Church, and not for those who would defile her. So I believe we truly are on the same side. Our followers come from many parts of the world. Totally coincidentally, we have also just begun our return to Face Book.

So it is a problem for our being in the same sphere when you use a title essentially identical to the one under which we have been known for over 10 years. I hope you will sympathize with the confusion created by your using the title under which we have been faithfully functioning. (And I apologize for my error in my earlier post, citing the wrong title for your publication, now corrected.) Perhaps you would see your way clear to recognize our work (after you inspect our site), to mention the site, and that of course you have no intention to confuse our mutual work, just as we have none, and perhaps even to wish us well in our fraternal battle of loyalty to Christ our King.

In any event, we do wish you and The Catholic Thing many blessings on your work, and ask your indulgence of our little corner of the Internet. I hope you understand, with so many emails pouring into me this morning, my need to post this letter on the Cleansing Fire website immediately, and to correct our prior error, before waiting for the courtesy of your reply. Thank you.

Sincerely in Christ,
Diane Harris
Co-administrator of

(Reply is now posted as first comment.)


Thomas Peters: 7 Reasons Why I Believe Archbishop Vigano’s Accusations To Be Credible [Updated]

August 27th, 2018, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Click this link to read it all: 7 Reasons Why I Believe Archbishop Vigano’s Accusations To Be Credible [Updated]

It really isn’t worth snipping any of it, but I have to just to fill out the post a bit.

Make no mistake, we are living through a historic moment in the Church’s life….

I think the next steps here are simple: the claims made in the letter must be thoroughly investigated both by the secular and Catholic press and by competent ecclesiastical authorities …

There is now a coordinated counter-effort underfoot to discredit Abp. Vigano and his accusations, both by progressive Catholics and the mainstream media (led, of course, by the New York Times). They are attempting to discredit the letter primarily by attacking Abp. Vigano….

Even if it turns out Pope Benedict is guilty, I will and must accept that truth….

In the days, weeks and months ahead, we must continue praying and fasting for our Church.

And if you are a bishop, what you say or don’t say, do or don’t do, is something you will have to account for before the face of God.

Because only the truth will set us free.

May Jesus have mercy on us all.


Cleansing Fire is now (back) on Facebook!

August 26th, 2018, Promulgated by SamanthaGillenson

We here at Cleansing Fire have been thinking about how we could reach more people across the internet, and how to best get you the most up to date news and articles from our website. So, we have decided to open up a Facebook page for our website!

This page is being used as a trial balloon of sorts, as we know that many of our readers have and use Facebook each day to connect with the world and news around them. With this page, we hope to get you the latest news articles and posts from Cleansing Fire, while also reaching out to a broader audience among Catholics and non-Catholics from both Rochester and around the world.

Think about it: the latest news and updates from Cleansing Fire sent straight to your computer or mobile device! This page could be greatly beneficial to both expanding our audience, while also better informing you dear readers about what is new and upcoming on our website.

Please, go “like” and “follow” Cleansing Fire on Facebook, and spread the word to your friends! You will be happy that you did.

Author’s Note: We are aware that there is another Cleansing Fire page already in existence on Facebook. That page links to the previous “” website, which is no longer in use. For the sake of greater outreach to Catholics outside the Diocese of Rochester, we have since changed the name of the website to “” As such, we decided to make this page to fix that problem, provide a link to the current website, and to keep you dear readers in the know. We hope that you are happy with the results, and please privately message us on Facebook with your recommendations for the page. We will take the time to consider them and implement them as best as we can.


The Uncinctured Priest

August 23rd, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Be warned. This post may be more explicit than polite. But it really needs to be said.

cinctures 3Dear Father,

If you refuse to wear God’s cincture, you will wear the other one.

No priest goes uncinctured, no matter what he may think.

There is always one waiting to tie him up quickly, given the invitation.

What is the invitation? One such invitation is given by a priest’s deliberately leaving off part of his vesting, the cincture, and thus leaving off one of the specific protections of his vocation, the related prayers and his promises to God.

The current issue

Last October, I posted a lament: “Whatever happened to full vesting?”

At the time, the complaint was more about the lack of obedience among some priests, and about noticing that sloppy vesting often accompanies sloppy celebration of the Mass. Only dimly was I aware of the larger issue, one of much greater concern, which now has come to recognition due to the ramifications of the recent sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Bur, first, for those who don’t know, let us review a particular element of vesting. For centuries, the vestments worn by a Catholic priest at Mass have included the cincture, a rope-like device, usually white, tied at the waist. After donning an amice and alb, the cincture is tied. For more information on the requirements, please see Vatican text and footnotes below. Just a little reading of the Old Testament, Leviticus in particular, will shed light on how important vesting is to God. After all, He personally designed what he wanted those priests to wear.

Each vestment worn by the priest at Mass has its own symbolism, and a prayer specified to be said while vesting.  When the priest ties the cincture he prays for sexual purity: “….Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of purity, and quench in my heart the fire of concupiscence, that the virtue of continence and chastity may abide in me.” Or, in Latin: “Praecinge me, Domine, cingulo puritatis, et exstingue in lumbis meis humorem libidinis; ut maneat inme virtus continentia et castitatis.”  The priest, about to bring the Body and Blood of the Son of God to the altar, prays for the virtue of continence and chastity.


Now, let’s be practical. Does a mother want her son to be an altar boy to a priest who refuses to wear the symbol of sexual purity? Should a parishioner accept advice from a priest who can’t obey the Church? Should a parish put financial resources into the hands of a priest who seems to flaunt his disinterest in keeping his ordination promises? The answers are easy.

Beyond the immediate warning to the parish, one must ask “WHY” doesn’t a priest deeply desire to invoke the prayer for purity, unless he is advertising that in some way he is sexually available. Regarding the disordered subculture of homosexuality, can one not ask if there is some kind of signal being given? In this time of such gross sexual corruption, reported from seminarians to Cardinals, which ultimately will have great cost to the Church, its patrimony and the souls of many members, what priest can afford to visibly denigrate the public perception of his faithfulness to his promise of celibacy?  To whom is he sending a message by his disobedience?  To be even more frank, for whose attention is he trolling?

In a different arena, does an insurance company continue to offer insurance to priest defendants against future accusations of sexual abuse if those defendants have a history of refusing to wear the Church’s symbol of sexual purity? Plaintiff attorneys would have a field day against such defendants in a court of law.  It is easy to imagine a one-act Kafkaesque play on the antics of such cross-examination.


Personally, I have walked away from attending any further Masses with a priest who regularly wears only the vestments of uncintured alb and free flowing stole (with some rather strange colors thereon). His look reminds me of the Protestant women ministers who dress to make a statement of sorts. So, if one has a parish priest regularly vesting poorly for the Lord, accompanied by an unknown, even mysterious, meaning behind his neglect, we can’t say we haven’t been warned. And, especially, parents should look for such signs as a caution regarding their trust.

There is more to say about cinctures, which I will probably do in a future post. But for now, perhaps, some can’t bear very much more on this issue. Pray for our priests, all of them.

Additional Information: Liturgical Vestments and Vesting Prayers:

The Vatican Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff states the requirements in paragraph 4, and in FOOTNOTES 4 and 5 regarding possible exceptions:




A “Word” on the Crisis: The Bishops’ Response

August 21st, 2018, Promulgated by SamanthaGillenson

“Truth is singular. Lies are words, words, and words.” – Doctor Who, copyright BBC, 2012.


While the preceding quote happens to come from a television show based in the realm of science fiction, this author happens to think that it is particularly applicable to the times that we Catholics are finding ourselves struggling through in our daily reality. We desperately search for and cling to words for comfort, hoping to find some solace in the letters on a page or the speech issued forth from lips of authority. When we finally do receive those words though, are they truly our panacea to the sickness of these horrendous, sinful crimes that have been committed in our diocese and throughout our beloved country? Or are they merely a placebo?


To know for sure, first we have to identify the root cause of the crisis. The easiest way to do that is to look at the statistics of the crimes committed, and then work backwards and find a clear pattern. (This also happens to be the way that the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe conducted their research prior to releasing their expose on the clerical sex abuse crisis that shook the Church in 2002.)


In the PA Grand Jury Report, there were 257 identified cases of predator priest activity. These cases are further broken down by the sex of the victim, which is then broken down by the age of the victim. Provided below is a graphic breakdown of all the gathered information according to these specifications (sourced from LifeSiteNews), after which I will break it down for clarity:




For the sake of organization, we will start with the first category presented, “Total Heterosexual Predation.” Of all 257 total cases documented, 58 cases consisted of priests preying on female victims. Of these 58 cases:

  • 15 cases (6% of total cases documented) were “pedophile” in nature (the victim is a pre-pubescent child).
  • 41 cases (16% of total cases) were “pederast” in nature (the victim is a pubescent, sexually developed child).
  • 2 cases (1% of total cases) were committed against adult female victims.

In total, we find that these 58 cases of priests preying on female victims to represent 23% of total cases documented.


Moving on, we come to the category of “Total Homosexual Predation.” This category accounts for 189 documented cases of priests preying on male victims. Of these 189 cases:

  • 29 cases (11% of total cases) were “pedophile” in nature (the victim is a pre-pubescent child).
  • 155 cases (60% of total cases) were “pederast” in nature (the victim is a pubescent, sexually developed child).
  • 5 cases (2% of total cases) were committed against adult male victims.

In total, we find that these 189 cases of priests preying on male victims to represent 74% of total cases documented.


The remaining 10 cases can be broken down into 9 cases of priests having or producing child pornography, and a singular case involving a priest with a male foot fetish.


The data clearly shows that the vast majority of cases are HOMOSEXUAL in nature, and most of those against sexually mature pubescent BOYS. So, with all of this data at hand, why are we not hearing these words from the letters and speeches of our bishops and cardinals?


Having collected a sample of Bishops and Cardinals letters and verbal responses to the PA Grand Jury Report, we can see what words they use in common, and more importantly, what words they do NOT use. (Please note that many prelates have not commented on the current crisis, or that this author is unable to find a reliable account of their words at this time. If you do not see a particular prelate listed, that is why.)


The following prelates’ words were used towards this sample:

  • Pope Francis (Using his letter addressing the crisis dated August 20th, 2018).
  • Cardinal Blase J. Cupich (Archdiocese of Chicago).
  • Archbishop Charles J. Chaput (Archdiocese of Philadelphia).
  • Archbishop Alexander K. Sample (Archdiocese of Portland, OR).
  • Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger (Diocese of Albany).
  • Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila (Archdiocese of Denver).
  • Bishop David J. Walkowiak (Diocese of Grand Rapids).
  • Bishop Robert C. Morlino (Diocese of Madison).
  • Bishop Salvatore R. Matano (Bishop of Rochester).


Using a simple find and search option in scanning the written documents, we can easily see the commonality of the words that these prelates use to describe the current crisis, and what they plan to do about it. The following are the number of times any particular word appears within their text, if at all:

word chart

  • Of all of the prelates, only TWO mention “homosexual” in their words, and of those, only Bishop Morlino uses it in the context of abuse by homosexual priests being the problem of the crisis. He also is the only prelate to use the words “pedophile” or “pedophilia” in ANY context. Pope Francis notably does not use ANY of these words in his letter.
  • Most of the prelates’ use “child” or “children” multiple times under multiple contexts, with only Bishop Scharfenberger not using them at all. Pope Francis only uses the word twice, both in the context of protecting children, ensuring their safety, and listening to their pain.
  • Surprisingly, HALF of the prelates sampled do not use the word “prayer” at all, with Archbishop Sample leading the pack with 10 uses. (Some of these came from citations of applicable prayers.) Pope Francis is the second most prolific user of the word, coming in with 7 uses, all in the context of offering prayer.
  • “Penance” is only used by three prelates, and then only sparingly: Archbishop Sample, Bishop Morlino, and Pope Francis. The Pope notably uses this word always in conjunction with the word “prayer,” i.e. offering prayer and penance.
  • Finally, the usage of the words “investigate(s)” and “investigation(s)” was used by a little over half of the prelates, with most of the context of those words being cooperation with current investigations by the USCCB. (Bishop Walkowiak is the ONLY prelate to use the word in the context of an investigation by his own diocese and cooperation with local authorities.) Pope Francis used these words ZERO times in his letter.


This analysis of words is not only brutal, but also damning. This author was frankly aghast as she researched and read through all of these documents to bring this information to you readers. If any of you would like for this author to send you the original documents so you can read them for yourselves, you are more than welcome to email me at, and they will be happily provided for you.


Most of the prelates call us to prayer in unity with Pope Francis, citing his recent letter to that effect dated August 20th, 2018. However, what is prayer without concrete action? We cannot expect to see change if we ourselves are not willing to act towards that change!


Sadly, most of the prelates sampled do not give concrete plans for what they will do to correct this widespread problem of homosexuality in the priesthood, with only Bishop Morlino outright stating that it is the cause of our current crisis.


Perhaps most damningly, Pope Francis himself gives NO reassurance that concrete plans and actions will be taken in the face of this crisis. Neither does he identify the root of the problem as homosexuality in the priesthood. Rather, he says this:


“Clericalism, whether fostered by priests themselves or by lay persons, leads to an excision in the ecclesial body that supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today.”


This is a disgrace coming from the mouth of the Vicar of Christ. (Notably, Cardinal Cupich also seems to be espousing the above claim.)


Dear readers, this author begs you to contact the bishops and cardinals (yes, even the Pope), and to tell them that they have your support to call out the crisis for what it truly is: a homosexual infiltration of the priesthood, preying upon innocents and actively being covered up by complicit clergy. This must be done PUBLICLY. Anything less would be a farce in the face of this terrible sin. Those guilty of such crimes (or those guilty of being complicit by help, covering up, or being knowingly silent) must be removed IMMEDIATELY and face canonical punishment as well as a civil trial by the local authorities. These predators, no matter how lowly or elevated they may be in the hierarchy in the Church, must be exposed and brought to justice. Such evils are NEVER to be tolerated, and we must shout from the pews, NO MORE.


In conclusion, dear readers, it is up to us, the laity to hold our authority figures accountable, and to make the future that we wish to see in our beloved Church. Christ our Savior is the Word made Flesh, and we must always proclaim that Word for all to hear. That includes standing up and taking action to see that his Church is well defended from those who would harm her, both from without and from within.


If we and the prelates don’t speak in defense of those who were victimized, we become complicit ourselves.


We must speak the Truth, the words of the Word made Flesh… or else we are left with little more than “words, words, and words.”