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An account of a 1979 meeting with Bishop Clark

April 18th, 2012, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

What follows is a report from a lay person who attended a meeting with Bishop Clark in 1979. It was sent to me by James Likoudis who was at the same meeting and confirmed the accuracy of the author’s report written some years ago together with his later Postscript of 2004.


REPORT ON THE DIOCESE OF ROCHESTER, NEW YORK (August 1979)

This Report of a Meeting with Bishop Matthew H. Clark that took place in August, 1979, soon after his installation as Bishop, will be of historic and timely interest to all those faithful Catholics who have witnessed the disintegration of Catholic doctrine and liturgical and sacramental discipline in the years of Bishop Clark’s administration of the Diocese of Rochester. It was written by one of the lay people in attendance at the Meeting.

REPORT OF MEETING OF LAY PEOPLE WITH THE NEW BISHOP OF ROCHESTER, MOST REVEREND MATTHER H. CLARK (FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 1979)

We arrived at the Bishop’s Office, After as few minutes he greeted us, tall, slim, handsome, and invited us smilingly into his Office. Chairs were set up facing a sofa on which two of us sat. We had an intimation his smile was a contrived one, feeling sure he had already received an unfavorable briefing concerning us. After an exchange of pleasantries, Fr. P. Magnier, a Redemptorist priest, and the members of our group introduced themselves and informed the Bishop that an Agenda had been prepared for discussion. The Bishop was handed a copy of Msgr. George Kelly’s “The Battle for the American Church” noting that there was nothing to be brought to his attention that was not already covered in the book. He seemed to be pleasantly surprised to be offered the book.

We opened the discussion to express our hope that he might consecrate the diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and how inspiring it would be to Catholics of the diocese and in line with Pope John Paul II’s great love of Mary. One of our group remarked how the health and vitality of the Church always seemed to be linked with vigorous devotion to the Mother of God. It was evident that there had been a sharp decline in Marian devotion in the diocese. We already knew from one of the leaders of the Blue Army in the diocese that she had been told by the Bishop upon her plea that he consecrate the diocese to the Queenship of Mary that he did not believe in it and didn’t put much stock in private revelations like Fatima.

Noting that items #2 and #3 on our Items were particularly priestly concerns, Fr. Magnier was asked to continue. He spoke of the scandal of the Fr. Charles E. Curran Affair- how it had generated great confusion among priests and laity. He noted that Bishop Sullivan of Baton Rouge had forbade Fr. Curran to use Catholic facilities in his diocese, but in Rochester he freely spoke in the parishes and other places- without any public disavowal by Rochester church officials. In fact, Fr. Curran had received $30,000 from the former bishop, Bishop Joseph Hogan. At the beginning of his comments, Fr. Magnier expressed the gratitude of our group for allowing us to speak with him openly and frankly, and assured him that we were not there for any political motive or conspiratorial purpose, but simply to lay before him our concerns out of love for the Church and the diocese. One of our members added that it was known that Fr. Curran was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rochester, and that the failure to discipline him had had the effect of spreading Dissent in the Church, that such Dissent was now a formidable threat to the Unity of the Church, and that throughout the United States one increasingly heard reference to an “American Church”, i.e., one operating rather independently and autonomously, with only the loosest possible connection with Rome—that there was even a sort of incipient schism at work, as Msgr. Kelly had demonstrated in his book. Fr. Magnier then noted the recent troubles at St. Bernard’s Major Seminary, the resignations by Theology professors; and that Fr. Treacy and deacon McCluskey had openly professed themselves to be avowed Marxists. Then the Bishop interrupted, “Don’t say that unless you can document that, or you’ll be out of this diocese before you can repeat it.” The Bishop was really angry, he had lost his cool. It was a vicious attack on Fr. Magnier who himself was utterly shocked with the vehemence of an unexpected response. The Bishop kept repeating: “Don’t say such a thing (about McCluskey) unless you can document that- and no hearsay evidence”. Fr. Magnier said, “I’ve heard him myself about his Marxist views”. The Bishop dismissed that as “hearsay evidence”. At this point, it was obvious to our group (one priest and 7 laity) that our meeting had shattered on the shoals of the Bishop’s obvious animus toward Fr. Magnier and his clear defense of Tim McCluskey. One of our group, Joe Murray asked the Bishop quietly what he would consider adequate evidence- since “hearsay evidence” heard by those present was to be summarily dismissed. The Bishop went on to challenge Fr. Magnier that if he had any real evidence, to come to his Office with McCluskey and make his charges in McCluskey’s presence. The inference was clear that if Fr. Magnier could not do that, such charges were totally irresponsible.

After this blow-up, the Bishop said time was running out and if we were to go through our Agenda, we had better do so. We ran through the Agenda swiftly- delicately but firmly. We noted regarding the diocesan paper that we could not understand why it should regularly carry the columns of dissenter Andrew Greeley who had just been quoted in the press as declaring the U.S. hierarchy was “morally, intellectually, and spiritually bankrupt.” Fr. Louis Hohman (Episcopal Vicar for the “Courier-Journal”, the diocesan paper) and himself one of its regular columnists had written articles deviating from Catholic doctrine on original sin and Humanae Vitae. Fr. William Shannon, a prominent member of the diocesan Liturgical Commission, had even written a book against Humane Vitae. The very last issue of the “Courier-Journal” had even carried a letter by a certain Mr.Agnello decrying that “If all true believers had to do was follow Rome, then the Courier-Journal should merely serve as a paper of Papal reprints.”

One of our group spoke on the altar girls in the parishes which constituted an abuse clearly prohibited by the Church’s liturgical discipline. The Bishop was handed a recent parish bulletin from St.Augustine’s church where altar girls were specifically listed. We tried to stress the effect of liturgical abuses contributing heavily to the drying up of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life by our youth. Another member observed that our group indeed had a “litany of complaints” concerning liturgical abuses (including the massive use of women in the Liturgy- many giving Homilies at Mass) and that such might indeed seem to him unimportant, but that they were not such to many laity in the diocese. It was all too obvious that there was a “hemorraging from the Church” and that the declining statistics of Mass attendance in the diocese of Rochester (confirmed by Fr. Andrew Greeley’s statistics) provided ample evidence of said decline). As we proceeded through the other points on our Agenda, it did appear that the Bishop was listening patiently. However, the Bishop spoke to conclude our meeting by saying:

“There is no joy here. Among you I see only long faces. You are too negative. You have nothing good to say about the Church. Why don’t you talk about the Good Things happening in the Church. Pope John Paul II doesn’t have your kind of approach, and he radiates joy, and he is more aware than anyone of the
Church’s needs…”

This was a crushing finale. Afterward, we could not help thinking it was quite stupid of us to approach him with a serious Agenda for a serious discussion of serious matters. All he apparently desired was a pat on the back from sycophants, to be given gladsome tidings, to be told what a handsome Bishop and jogger he was (he had appeared prominently in the local press jogging with a Rosary in his hand), and to be reinforced concerning all the wonderful spiritual renewal going on in the diocese. He had been speaking to parents in our group whose children had lost their Faith, who had left the Church, and who had been scandalized by widespread liturgical abuses, by the heretical Catechetical texts in use in Catholic schools and parishes and by the corrupting sex education programs placed in Catholic schools. A pro-contraception physician (Dr. Gerard Guerinot who also performed tubal ligations) had been the chairman of the Diocesan Sex Education Committee. One of our members did attempt to reply that joy was something deeper than the superficial sentiments found in the Human Potential movement, that we did have a sense of joy- otherwise we would not have been active as Catholic laity in attempting to help solve serious problems in the diocese. But it was Fr. Magnier who replied trenchantly to the Bishop:

“You accuse us of having no joy. How do you expect these lay people to have joy when they are told that they can speak openly and frankly to their Bishop and then see you threaten to exile a priest for speaking openly and candidly ( not Fr. Curran who receives thousands of dollars from the diocese for fomenting rebellion against the Church)? How do you expect them to speak of the Good Things in the Church when you tell them there’s only so much time for them to get through a carefully prepared Agenda? How can they feel joy at the defection and loss of so many priests and religious from the diocese- and when they see what has happened to their children?

One of our mothers present personalized this last comment, speaking of one of her children being taught in a Catholic school that Christ did not know He was God. How can mothers and fathers who see their children being catechized out of the Catholic faith feel joy?

The Bishop said, “You must be referring to the question of the human consciousness of Christ.”, and this in a tone apparently quite respectful of the work of Modernist Scripture scholars.

Our time was up. The Bishop commented that the matters presented were of different degrees of importance (a remark which we took as discounting any urgency to correct them). Now we were all standing, and asked for his blessing. As more pleasantries were exchanged, the Bishop apologized to Fr. Magnier for his (the bishop’s) savage attack.

We left bloody but unbowed, feeling that despite his apparent openness to us – as to all groups in the diocese- he nevertheless was biased against us from the start. We came away with the impression that we had had a meeting with a Jadot-appointed liberal bishop devoted to the pastoral policies of the “American Church”.

_________________________________________________
OUR AGENDA

  1. Consecration of the Diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
  2. Scandal of Fr. Charles E. Curran’s Dissent
  3. $30,000 given by Bishop Hogan to Fr. Curran
  4. Lack of orthdox teaching at St. Bernard’s Seminary; resignation of theology professors; Fr. Tracey and deacon McCluskey publicly avowed Marxists.
  5. First Communion before First Confession widespread
  6. Corrupt Planned Parenthood and SIECUS-type Sex Education in Catholic schools (Dr. Gerard Guerinot’s “Education in Love”sex education program NOT an education in chastity).
  7. Many liturgical abuses (altar girls, women reading the Gospel and giving Homilies, Self-service Holy Communion
  8. Widespread dissent in doctrine and morals by priests and religious: Rejection of Humanae Vitae; promotion of “On-going Revelation”, “Fundamental Option”, “General Absolution”, and Women’s Ordination.
  9. Erroneous teaching in Catechetical texts questioning the divinity of Christ, the doctrine of Original Sin, the Mass as a Sacrifice, and the literal physical resurrection of Christ.
  10. Radicalization of the women’s religious orders, especially the Sisters of St. Joseph.

POSTSCRIPT (September 2004)

The above is a Memo of a meeting held with Bishop Matthew H. Clark on August 31, 1979, soon after his installation as Ordinary. Members of our Rochester Citizens for A Decent Community together with members of the Blue Army, Concerned Catholics of Rochester, and the St. Pius X Chapter of Catholics United for the Faith together with Fr. P. Magnier, C.S.S.R., were present.

RESULTS:

  1. Redemptorist Fr. P. Magnier was removed from priestly service in the Diocese of Rochester soon after the meeting.
  2. Bishop Clark proceeded to ordain Deacon Tim McCluskey to the priesthood. Within a short time afterwards he abandoned the priesthood, and was also revealed to be a homosexual.
  3. Fr. Charles E. Curran remains “a priest in good standing”.
  4. Leading dissenter Fr. Richard McBrien whose columns regularly bring into question Catholic teachings and relentlessly attack the Pope and the Roman Curia remains a protected columnist in the diocesan paper by Bishop Clark who is clearly in agreement with Fr. McBrien’s “theology”.
  5. The diocesan paper “Catholic Courier” remains today an organ of theological neo-modernism and “social horizontalism” giving aid and comfort to the liberal priests, religious, and laity who do not support the teachings of the Magisterium and subordinate concern for Salvation to politicized “peace and justice” efforts.
  6. A pro-homosexualist ethos permeates the diocese ever since the notorious NACDLM Conference hosted by Bishop Clark.
  7. St. Bernard’s Institute which is Bishop Clark’s pride and joy is the source of much neo-Modernism and liturgical abuse in the Diocese. Its theological degrees given clergy and laity are not acknowledged by the Congregation for Catholic Education and have only civil accreditation.
  8. The Holy See’s recent documents calculated to stop liturgical abuses (“The General Instruction on the Roman Missal”, “Eucharistia de Ecclesia”, and “Redemptionis Sacrosanctum”) have yet to be implemented and enforced in the Diocese. Most laity are not aware what is and what is not a liturgical abuse.
  9. Churches and parishes continue to be closed or “clustered” (the step before closure).

In short, as many Letters of protest by laity submitted to Vatican Congregations over many years have noted concerning the history of Bishop Clark’s stewardship, the state of Catholicism in the diocese of Rochester remains deplorable, and has only gotten worse.

IT IS THE CONTINUITY OF THE PATTERNS OF DISSENT, DECAY AND DECLINE ADVERSELY AFFECTING THE SPIRITUAL LIFE OF CATHOLICS WHICH HAVE CHARACTERIZED THE ADMINISTRATION OF BISHOP MATTHEW H. CLARK SINCE HE BECAME ORDINARY.
____________________________________________________________

END_REPORT

Fast forward 32 years and Same Sex “Marriage” is now the law of the land in New York State.  It seems quite apparent to me that the Catholic Church in New York State (most especially the dioceses of Rochester and Albany) actually helped create an environment where such a bill would be passed and applauded.  I find it unconscionable that the national Catholic media failed to report the whole story (see Mike’s post).

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31 Responses to “An account of a 1979 meeting with Bishop Clark”

  1. avatar Dr. K says:

    Interesting stuff here.

    Fr. Magnier served at Our Lady of Victory.

  2. avatar Thinkling says:

    Wow.

    This has been quite the day. First the SSPX and LCWR endgames, both seemingly on joyful trajectories but not without anticipated suffering. Then I just came from watching John Allen’s talk on persecution of Christians over at the Religious Education Congress. Then this sobering account.

    We live in interesting times. My prayers are with the people of DoR tonight.

  3. avatar Thinkling says:

    Surely you all will know Allen’s talk was what was at the REC. Not the persecution he talked about. Modifier Fail.

  4. avatar Gretchen says:

    The continuing fallout from our bishop’s tenure: At a small group discussion in our parish, one of our senior deacons declared that the Church is not apostolic. One of the laity declared it certainly was apostolic. ‘No, it isn’t!’ declared the deacon. Hearing the commotion, our pastoral administrator came in and intervened, telling the group that there is two ways of thinking about it.

    Such is life in 2012 in the DOR.

    Gretchen from SOP

  5. avatar Bruce says:

    Hey Gretchen, that does not surprise me in the least. The lay person should have asked the deacon whether he simply refused to say the Creed or just skipped the “Apostolic” part. Then, he or she should have whipped out the Catechism and pointed out how the deacon and the fake pastor were heretics.

    Not too much longer now and the heretics will be out on their backsides.

  6. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    I don’t want to “preach” on this one but:One should be very prepared when one is confronting some of the hierarchy. It can leave you with a sick feeling in your stomach and soul rather than a sense of grace filled connection and a feeling of peace.

  7. avatar Bruce says:

    A member of the hierarchy or the heresiarchary?

  8. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I wonder how manyyears it will talk for this nunsense to die out. I also wonder what efforts the current bishop and his henchmen and henchwomen will go to to keep dissent alive. Pray for a no nonsense bishop!..

  9. avatar Gretchen says:

    Bruce, it’s always hindsight, isn’t it? The things we coulda/shoulda/woulda said!

    Raymond, I agree with you. To borrow a phrase often used in a different context, “Speaking truth to power” can leave one feeling sick. It is not for those who are faint of heart.

    That’s why I appreciate this website so very much.

    Gretchen from SOP

  10. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    It is sickening when someone’s real motives that are sinful are revealed and the response of the sinner is diabolical anger for being discovered. Although actual sin has been promoted in many situatuions, much of this sinful agenda has been cleverly disguised and woe to those who expose the “naked” devil.

  11. avatar A Catholic says:

    The account was not surprising. That was a dark time for all of the Church but good things are happening everywhere and even in Rochester many dissenters have left, retired, or died off since 1979.

  12. avatar Abaccio says:

    When in Rochester, the two most important words you can know are “Anathema sit.”

  13. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Forgive me. Does this mean he doen not believe in the rosary, as well as Fatima? Does he believe in the intersessory power of our Lady. Did he ever lead the rosary in any event during his tenure? Did he ever participate in any celebration honoring oOur Lady? If not, then why was he being photographed holding a rosary? I don’t want to injure his name. But if someone did not believe in these assets of Our Lady and was then going around holding a rosary, then I would have to conclude this photo option was done for the purposes of deceit.

  14. avatar Jim says:

    Jim M. here: Ben, this account from 1979 is chilling to say the least, but not surprising. I know that Joe Murray fought very hard in those days to dialogue with Bishop Clark on a variety of issues, but to no avail. I know people, and even have written the Bishop myself about certain issues of Catholic teaching back then, but all of these letters seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Bishop Matthew Clark was a progressive bishop from the beginning. I was in the seminary for a short time and personally knew Tim McCluskey. I really didn’t think at the time that he should have been ordained, because of the way he treated people… even outspokenly nasty to some of the more conservative professors at the old St. Bernard’s Seminary. Anyway, let’s pray for new beginnings and opportunities in our Rochester Diocese!

  15. avatar Hopefull says:

    I have not had a huge amount of interaction with Bishop Clark, but the comments about his anger really hit a note with me. There seems to be an outward facade of graciousness, of peacefulness, of acting almost holy. But it seems to me to be a veneer and I perceive there are triggers which produce real and, IMO, unjustified anger. It seems to be launched from time to time without a transition phase of increasing, visible upset, or perhaps when a particularly sensitive unexposed nerve is touched.

    From what I’ve seen, the anger seems to arise out of anything remotely challenging his opinions, or opposing the diocese’s “hidden agenda”. Thus, there becomes no way to have honest and forthright dialogue. Rather, the attempt to have truly open discussion may result in retaliation, or be quickly squelched. The bishop acts like he is listening, yet it seems like water over a stone. In more than 3 decades, how much of significance has he ever changed his mind on? I think not much.

    Perhaps some of what we’ve seen from otherwise good priests who accommodate rather than confront the unreasonable is from their fear, and that doesn’t occur unless they have seen others being punished or verbally lashed. A reassignment to a remote corner of the diocese for a “time-out”? Embarrassment in front of peers? Being investigated or audited by some diocesan department which can make life uncomfortable? Being reduced from pastor to sacramental minister or the shame of being put under a female “administrator?” There are many things a bishop can do within canon and civil law to make a priest’s life miserable.

    Why is it that not everyone seems to believe that every priest removed actually did something wrong either? Priests can be set up. No wonder so many in DoR have private email addresses and try to keep their computers out of diocesan hands, or have their own personal computers which don’t belong to the diocese? They are wise.

    These are just a few observations, but it is consistent with bullying at very high levels, and it spills down to lower levels and parishes. This is my opinion. Maybe I am wrong. I wish I were wrong.

  16. avatar Scott W. says:

    Thinkling said: “Then I just came from watching John Allen’s talk on persecution of Christians over at the Religious Education Congress. Then this sobering account.”

    My question is: Did he once again imply that the debate over the new missal translation was a waste of time? Frankly, the persecution of Christians abroad is the most serious issue, but in the YouTube of Allen’s speech he ended up using the inarguable (persecution) to smuggle in debate point-scoring in the arguable (the translation). To wit: If the missal had been rejected as his NCR toadies wanted, would he have said anything about it? I don’t think so. Everyone keeps telling me how Allen is the one bright spot at NCR but I must be missing it. Between his Taliban Catholic remarks and his utter failure to acknowlege the war here at home to keep sound doctrine and practice from being watered-down to non-existence, he is one dim bright spot imho.

  17. avatar Thinkling says:

    To ScottW, not sure if you are addressing me directly but I’ll give it a shot regardless.

    I am not seeing anything objectionable in his mention of the translation. His point seemed to be rather than all the navel gazing and hemming and hawing about the translation coming was petty, and not indicative of a good perspective. I do not see anything objectionable about that.

    Not long ago, This Rock printed a letter from someone literally whining about all the things wrong with the fixed translation. It was so excessive that Jimmy Akin (who wrote the original Informational article the writer was responding to) actually wrote a very patient response to the letter itself. I for one would not have been that patient, rather would have said, get over it. Translation better (good), Rome approves (good), let’s do it and move on. Allen was adding, let’s move on, people are getting killed.

    Allen’s mistake about his Taliban Catholic neologism wasn’t coining it or using it. It was in not helping take it back from dissenters who perverted its meaning to mean simply ‘faithful’. Yeah to that extent he did blow it. If you really cannot appreciate how much better Allen is than his colleagues, I could suggest you read some of them. But on second thought take my word (and the others you refer to) on it — I wouldn’t wish a reading assignment from the rest of the Reporter on my worst enemy.

  18. avatar Scott W. says:

    Thinkling, thanks for your response and trying. I’ll let it slide, but I’m not hopeful that when the next issue favorable to traditionalists comes up Allen won’t dive down the escape hatch that “people are dying, so that issue isn’t important.”

  19. avatar JLo says:

    Since this has gone to comments on NCR, I’d like to add one: NCR endlessly takes whacks at Catholic teachings of all kinds and most explicitly rejects Catholic teachings on sexuality. It is an embarrassment to all faithful Catholics in its name and content. It actually carries ads by pro-abortion and anti-Catholic groups… VERY dirty money in their treasury! I surely believe in knowing what the enemy is saying, but not even that intention would have me reading NCR… even its name is a lie. Waste of valuable time, that rag. The Catholic League agrees: http://www.catholicleague.org/national-catholic-reporter-vs-catholic-church/
    +JMJ

  20. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Hopeful,

    Could such outbursts be diabolical in nature. It seems that one’s conscience must be tweaked when discussions like this come up. Could hiding the truth and promoting evil arouse such emotions. It just doesn’t sound like such anger is of this world. And how does one feel after being the object of such anger. I must be like an oppressive cloud now hangs over the person to whom the anger was directed.

  21. avatar Hopefull says:

    Richard Thomas,

    Your comment is very astute, but I can’t say for sure that is the situation here. But if someone is “in charge” of himself (or herself) then they usually have a range of behaviors under their control, to be most relating and most effective, hopefully even most virtuous. Those who can’t exhibit a range, but quickly lose control may be under another influence. It might be a mental illness, it might be drugs or meds, it might be something diabolic. I don’t have enough data in this situation to know. When the outburst happens in church, or at someone soon after communion, or with vitriol after someone of power has been called to task, no matter how gently, it seem more likely to have evil influence. But it would be hard to prove conclusively.

    The rest of your post makes an important point, about how the object of such anger must feel. I think this is a big reason why people leave the church, especially when a pastor is the source of such hostility. I do sympathize with their pain, and would say that at first I experienced some of that, but it only showed why prayer is important.

    Christ makes it quite clear that the pupil is not greater than the teacher. If the religious establishment spat on him, what can we expect? But prayer is transformational. The very attack is the proof that we are working on the side of the Lord, and while it is not easy to see our participating in His pain as a gift from Him, nevertheless it is a gift to share in His work. So instead of being “oppressive” it can actually become a source of joy, acknowledgement of our service to the Lord. This will not make sense to everyone. So be it.

  22. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Hopeful,

    I read what the “spiritual leader” writes in his collum in the Courier and it has no bearing, except in exceptional circumstances, as to what he is doing as our leader. It’s leke he is trying to appear as a nice and compassionate man but his actions speak volumes as to his real nature.

  23. avatar Soldato di Dio says:

    All I can say is that the observations made by those who attended the meeting are 100% correct and that the situation in the diocese now can only be described as diabolical. That having been said, and someone else may have said this already so I’m agreeing with that person, we MUST pray for the bishop and those around him because we’re not being orthodox, faithful Catholics if we do not. We can complain, but we must follow the complaints with fervent prayer for the conversion of those in authority here and we must pray for a new bishop who is not only saintly, but who has the courage and strength to deal with the devil once he arrives here. Furthermore, faithful Catholics must openly stand behind our new bishop when he comes, welcome him, publicly support him, do whatever he needs in order to help him fight hell itself.

  24. avatar JLo says:

    I so agree with Soldato di Dio in the hope that our new bishop is not only saintly, but a man of courage and strength. I would add the hope of the virtue of wisdom, agreeing with Mother Teresa when she said, better the virtue of wisdom than of piety. And of course we must continue to pray for Bishop Clark always, that his heart be converted and his ears open to hear the voice of the Lord… which is our own fervent prayer for ourselves. To quote another giant of our times, St. Pio, prayer is the best armor, the key to God’s heart. We always have much to pray for. +JMJ

  25. avatar Hopefull says:

    Top journalist to return for Ministerium (touted as a “Celebrity” on front page of today’s on-line Courier)

    John L. Allen, a nationally known Catholic journalist, will make a return appearance at the Gathering of the Ministerium. The eighth-annual event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:3 [sic] p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, at the Double Tree Inn in Henrietta.

    Allen will continue his keynote address from the 2011 Gathering of the Ministerium on “The Future Roman Catholic Church.” Allen serves as correspondent for National
    Catholic Reporter and Vatican analyst for Catholic News Service.

    The Gathering of the Ministerium was instituted in 2005 for people who serve in various leadership positions across the Rochester Diocese. Participants are invited by Bishop Matthew H. Clark. Approximately 400 people attended last year’s event.

    For details, contact St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry at 585-271-3657 or http://www.stbernards.edu

  26. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    Hopeful:
    Do you know anyone who went to Allen’s last talk??? I’m somewhat interested but want to know if he will be strictly reporting, reporting with analysis, merely propogandizing, or playing to the crowd.

    thanks.

  27. avatar Hopefull says:

    It isn’t just “news” is what I’ve heard. The “angle” seems to be about changing the Church and pitching his books. He’s a reporter for the NCR, so you kind of know what to expect. Last time I think he pitched his book “Future Church.” Here’s an excerpt from a 1-star review on Amazon:

    “Predicting the future of the Roman Catholic Church must surely be futile. After two thousand years, its pretty obvious that its existence is here to stay, and will quite conceivably even convert the entire world. The reason for this, is the church’s mandate, to save souls, of which, it knows a great deal. John Allen will make money for himself and his publisher, but that won’t save his soul. Furthermore, using the Church to make money will certainly not save his soul….”

    Another 1-star reviewer’s last paragraph states: “Why is the Amazon reviewer of this book, J. Spurlock, “truly amazed that more people haven’t reviewed this book”? The book is a bunch of liberal nonsense which is why no one is reading it and, ergo, why there are so few reviews Mr. Spurlock. Libs can never predict the future accurately because their suppositious reasoning assumes everyone thinks as they do and therefore what they want out of the future, everyone wants, so whatever ideations and prognostications about the future a lib has, must be how the future will unfold – so goes lib-logic. This book is no different. Ignore what is has to say, how it selectively uses data and the dubious logic it employs. If you want to see the future of the Church, your money is better spent on a fortune teller.”

    Or maybe he’s coming to hype his book on Cardinal Dolan. He sounds like a 1-man fan club, hyping the good Cardinal by saying, e.g. that if he weren’t the “American Pope” that he’d be running for the next Catholic President of the U.S. Just a bread-buttering exercise, I would say…. View his soundbite at

    http://www.amazon.com/People-Hope-Archbishop-Timothy-Conversation/dp/0307718492/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335655211&sr=1-1#_

  28. avatar Thinkling says:

    Wow, the any-idiot-with-a-keyboard syndrome strikes again. They know almost as much about the actual content of the book as Kathleen Sebelius knows about religious liberty SCOTUS cases.

    Hopefull, what was your impressions of those two books? I would love to compare notes.

  29. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Poor man. He thinks the longevity of the Church is the Church;s mandate. It’s all about Jesus who said He will be with Her until the end of the world.

  30. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    It is frightening knowing to what extent the bishop went to protect those marxist priests. Was father that much a threat? Evidently, the bishop thought so and made sure he was removed from the diocese.

  31. avatar Hopefull says:

    Hi Thinkling,
    I did not read any of Allen’s books, nor do I plan to do so. I value my time and shelf space too much to do so; and 24 hours is not enough in the day! What I have discovered on Amazon is that the earliest posts seem to be “set up” when the book is published; then it takes time in advertising, marketing, selling and someone actually reading before criticism starts to get posted. So I tend to put much more value on the negative responses, rather than the friends or staff posting kudos very early. Thus, I simply looked for the 1 and 2 star ratings to offer relevant input. So I can’t help much by comparing notes, but I hope this explanation is useful to you and to others.

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