Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Red Mass

October 1st, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

The Democrat & Chronicle is reporting that the annual Red Mass was held yesterday at Sacred Heart Cathedral with Bishop Matthew Clark presiding.

The Red Mass was at one time sponsored by the St. Thomas More Lawyers Guild and was held at Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph Church, thus making attendance convenient for the police officers, judges, court employees and large number of lawyers who work in the downtown area.

Following the completion of “renovations” in 2007 the Red Mass was moved several miles out of the downtown area to Sacred Heart Cathedral, with attendance reported to have fallen off sharply. A YNN video clip of yesterday’s liturgy shows perhaps 3 dozen people present:

The formal involvement of the Guild also seems to have ended with the transfer of the Red Mass to the cathedral (see here). Indeed, the Guild currently makes no mention of the Red Mass in its online listing of upcoming events.

The Guild writes that it

… was founded in 1975 and one of its purposes is to provide a forum whereby the Catholic position on moral and legal issues may be presented to counter the pervading secular humanism.  Of primary concern is fidelity to the teachings of the Pope and the Magisterium.  The Guild is supportive of the protection of all human life (source here).

Given that commitment to the Pope and the Magisterium it would be surprising if the Guild had not locked horns with Bishop Clark at some time during his 32+ years tenure as the Bishop of Rochester. That event occurred in 1997 and resulted in the Bishop reportedly accusing the Guild of “undermining his authority” and telling them “that henceforth they cannot hold meetings or disseminate literature without his permission.” That story is available here.

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4 Responses to “Red Mass”

  1. avatar Jim says:

    Jim M. here…I guess Bishop Clark shouldn’t be too surprised if only three dozen people showed up for the St. Thomas More Lawyer’s Guild Red Mass. If Bishop Clark surpressed and disciplined the organization back in 1997, then he should realize that: “What you shall sow, you shall also reap.”

  2. avatar Dr. K says:

    I see more people in the sanctuary than in the chairs.

  3. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    The guild constantly upheld the teachings of the Majesterium and co-sponsored forums on Catholic teachings. It is well documented that the guild published articles concerning Bishop Clark in local newspapers that pointed out his heretetical ways.

    So this treatment against the guild is no surprise. It was not a way to foster community and good fellowship. Most in the guild and the police and fire sdepartment find the mass at the Cathedral impossible to attend due to work.

    Is that the purpose behind having a mass so far removed from the beneficiaries?

  4. avatar Macchabee says:

    As an attorney who has attended the Red Mass down town for many years, we were disappointed in the Bishop absenting himself over many years. The Thomas More Guild preserved the Red Mass in this diocese keeping the tradition alive. Wherever it is celebrated, it is a good thing that the bishop undertook the Red Mass in an official capacity. But it is also the lawyers’ Mass as well and their input should at least have been given consideration.
    Whether liberal or oonservative all should be entitled to the respect of their bishop,just as he is entitled to our respect, loyalty and indeed love.
    Jesus had in his entourage a quisling tax collector named Matthew and also Simon the Zealot a radical anti Roman revolutionary. The dividing of His church into progressive liberal to be applauded and conservative traditionalist to be deplored is a tragic state of affairs. Further the division between insider and outsider, rich and poor and along ethnic lines as well is a scandal. The dividing line was a crack, but, I hope I am wrong has it not become a chasm?

    So we wish the bishop every blessing and good thing and hope that he recognizes that we all are his sheep.


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