Cleansing Fire

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Happy Birthday to His Excellency, soon-to-be-retired Bishop Matthew H. Clark of Rochester!

July 15th, 2012, Promulgated by Gen

“Come, come, ye sons of art! Come, come away! Tune all your voices and instruments play, to celebrate, to celebrate this triumphant day!”

 

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71 Responses to “Happy Birthday to His Excellency, soon-to-be-retired Bishop Matthew H. Clark of Rochester!”

  1. avatar brother of penance says:

    Happy Birthday to Bishop Clark

  2. avatar Dr. K says:

    God is good!

  3. avatar Jesse Rodriquez says:

    Perhaps Martin Heidegger was inspired for a moment when he noted,
    “Time is the ultimate administer of justice.”

  4. avatar mbfitz says:

    I have no doubt that after having carried little Matt for nine months his mother rejoiced in his birth, now we too, having carried him for a somewhat longer period, are also thrilled to celebrate his birthday!!! May our Father in Heaven bless and keep him, BECAUSE WE NO LONGER HAVE TO!!!!! Yippi!!!!

  5. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    Anyone remotely familiar with Vatican politics realizes that promoting the candidacy of Bishop Perry on this blog is the kiss of death for his candidacy for the DOR.

    Just as a hint: Remember the ancient Roman saying: “He who goes into a conclave as a pope comes out as a cardinal”.

  6. avatar JLo says:

    I agree, Raymond. And as a site that identifies itself as walking with the Church, dead center with the Holy Father, it’s beyond comprehension that the folks in charge of these postings think they know best what’s best for Rochester and seek to impose that belief by this Bishop Perry thing. Stand back, cleansingfire, and wait on the Church. +JMJ

  7. avatar Gen says:

    I seem to recall everyone suspecting that Cardinal Ratzinger would be elected, the news outlets speculating as to his name, his policies, etc. We’re just using a little humor to keep a positive feeling in the air. And everyone should note that *we* are not the propagators of these rumors. Archbishop Chaput is.

  8. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I just don’t know. I remember that the ex bishop of Pittsburgh, Bishop Wuerl, was one of the authors of the scandalous document concerning homosexuality “Always Our Children. Bishop Clark was another author. It advised parents of children who exhibited same sex like attration, to let them experiment in the condition. Now, that bishop is now Cardinal in the most powerful capital in the world, Washington. And this was the archdiocese that just exiled a priest to Moscow, Russia, yes, Moscow Russia, for refusing the Eucharist to a lesbian who was openly celebrating her “marriage” to another woman.

    Just remember, the appointment process can be very corrupt. And I doubt the “Velvet ” mafia will not willingly let go of any power and influence, obtained over the last 40 years. It’s very diabolical.

  9. avatar Catinlap1 says:

    Let the rebuilding begin — literally and figuratively!!!

  10. avatar annonymouse says:

    Richard, pray tell where do you find the scandal in “Always Our Children?” It is a promulgation of the USCCB, mind you.

    I just went and read the document and find there nothing scandalous. It affirms all of the Church’s teachings. Perhaps you aren’t fond of its pastoral aims – love the child rather than reject him or her.

    I think you’ll be sorely disappointed by the selection of our next bishop, no matter how “orthodox” he is.

  11. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Annonymouse,

    The document was recalled and shelved. It is not an officual publication.

    Anyone telling parents to allow their children to experiment with a potentially deadly condition needs to be severely repromanded. The stakes are too high.

    Always our children has been used by Gay ddvocacy groups for years but , now, the official policy of the USCCB, disowns the document.

  12. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    “the official policy of the USCCB, disowns the document.”

    I always thought that the pope, along with and in conjunction with the bishops, determined what was a teaching of the Church and considered infallible..

  13. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    “And everyone should note that *we* are not the propagators of these rumors. Archbishop Chaput is.”

    Archbishops propogate rumors??????????????????

  14. avatar BigE says:

    @ Richard Thomas
    I see no evidence that the document “Always Our Children” was “shelved”. It was certainly recalled and slightly revised to its current form. But unless you have information to the contrary, what Annonymouse read on the USCCB website IS an official publication of the USCCB.
    http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/controversial_homosexuality_document_reissued_with_revisions_by_us_bishops/

  15. avatar Bruce says:

    Actually, what the DOR needs is at least a six month interdict, during which time every lay “pastor” is removed, oaths of fidelity to Catholic teaching are required of all priests and laity, and all churches previously wreckovated surveyed for proper rebuilding and/or demolition. During that time, Cardinal Burke should be the overseer with an army of FSSP priests at his side.

  16. avatar Dr. K says:

    Raymond: “Anyone remotely familiar with Vatican politics realizes that promoting the candidacy of Bishop Perry on this blog is the kiss of death for his candidacy for the DOR.”

    The Holy Father will do what the Holy Father will do. I’m flattered that you think Cleansing Fire posting a “Perry Watch” counter will somehow influence the decision of the Supreme Pontiff.

  17. avatar Thinkling says:

    AoC is a pastoral document, not a doctrinal one (I am pretty sure the USCCB does not have the authority to write a doctrinal document). Here is a good frisking of what was scandalous about the original. At least one of the criticisms has apparently been addressed according to the NCR article, but from the small scope of total amendments made it is clear many have not.

    Exec summary: the document is scandalous because it enables the beliefs that i) sodomy may not be sinful; ii) man is made in the image and likeness of an identity politics group based on feeling and sentiment primarily, rather than God; iii) it is OK to abrogate part of the parental responsibilities to form one’s childrens’ conscience, under the pretense that the children can finish the formation themselves through “experience”. I may have missed more. Indeed I probably did…

    Clearly not all need be scandalized. But the potential is there and is great. All three of those points should be explicitly condemned. This document fails to do so and allows ample wiggle room for them to be entertained.

    AoC has indeed not been shelved. It is a central rallying document for (among others) Fortunate Families and their ilk. Last I checked it was mentioned on their home page as a point of reference and common creed. That is not proof positive of its deficiencies, but it should be a scarlet flag to any faithful.

    ——

    Can someone clue me in as to the +Chaput references? Rocco Palmo and my other contacts know nothing of this DoR connection. At least that they are willing to share with me 🙂

    ——

    BTW Ben your last post/intro for new visitors was fantastic. The quality of the site’s content and discourse (mostly discourse) has been a little, er, pining for new leadership stir crazy lately.

  18. avatar Dr. K says:

    The Abp. Chaput comments originated when a group of Rochesterians recently spoke with him and asked about the next bishop of Rochester. Reportedly, Chaput said: “Oh, well, the next Bishop of Rochester has already been determined.”

    Take that however you want.

    The Perry rumor has been there all along. The latest “gossip” claims that Clark was offered Perry as a coadjutor about a year and a half ago, but declined.

    Again, make of this what you want. It’s a rumor. Bishop selections are supposed to be bound by secrecy, but leaks happen all the time (remember when Mahoney’s coadjutor appointment was revealed well before it was made official?).

  19. avatar Thinkling says:

    Thanks Dr. K. I will charitably assume that if some folks heard the Archbishop say that, he was including the Holy Spirit among his possible actors.

    I do recall the Perry rumors here and from Tom Peters, but will take a grain a salt with these proceedings. Talk is cheap, but souls are not.

  20. avatar annonymouse says:

    There are varying degrees of authority as to writing doctrinal documents. Nobody here questioned the authority of the United States conference when they clarified the moral teaching over the Phoenix hospital abortion case a few years back.

    That said, “Always our Children” is indeed a pastoral document and neither makes new doctrine nor quarrels with established doctrine. It does not encourage any sinful behavior.

    It seems to me that many here should pick their battles more judiciously. I cannot see anything worth arguing in this pastoral document. It teaches love for sinners – I can’t see how anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ can argue with that!

    And the understanding of the Church whereby the Pope is some sort of Chief Executive Officer and the bishops are all underlings shows a bit of a misunderstanding of the structure of our Church. Surely the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and has supreme executive, legislative and judicial power. However the local ordinary is the shepherd of the local Church (diocese) and the national conferences of bishops as well as the local ordinaries have such powers in their spheres. They must, of course, act out of and in communion with the College of Bishops and the Bishop of Rome, but our leader is the Bishop of Rochester in communion with the Bishop of Rome and the College of Bishops. We cannot simply look past our own shepherd and hold only allegiance to the Pope.

  21. avatar annonymouse says:

    If it is true that the next bishop has been selected, then I would think it will be announced tomorrow.

  22. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Clearly not all need be scandalized. But the potential is there and is great. All three of those points should be explicitly condemned. This document fails to do so and allows ample wiggle room for them to be entertained.

    This is why it is ONLY the Pope and the bishops in communion with him can make doctrinal proclamations. Such things coming from the USCCB necesitates that one be very cautious when making decisions concerning right and wrong.

    That the USCCB released the original document says much about how it has been morally corrupted.

  23. avatar Abaccio says:

    If a new Bishop is announced at Roman noon tomorrow, I would be completely and utterly shocked. It’s not going to happen, annonymouse. I’d love to eat my words here, mind you, but I don’t think that’s really a risk.

    Always Our Children has no authority, and can be ignored completely. As can pretty much any NCCB/USCC/USCCB document. Bishops conferences have, honestly, even less power than individual bishops have. So, yes it’s crap, but so was most everything the conference put out until very very recently (Thanks for the bad memories, Cardinal Bernadin!)

    With all due respect to His Eminence, Cardinal Wuerl, I daresay he ranks among my least favorite appointments made by the Holy Father. (I was never particularly fond of +Levada, for instance, and I am very wary of +Muller. +Schonnborn’s continued prominence also gives me pause.) That said, they are all Cardinals (or soon will be named so, in the case of +Muller. As princes of Holy Church, the offices they hold deserve our respect and prayers. Bickering about the fellows won’t really accomplish much. Praying for them will. They are all fallible men, and none actually can make an infallible, ex cathedra statement. I assure you, the Holy Father knows more about these men than any of us do, and I trust that his judgment on these matters is perhaps better than my own.

    Finally, EVERYBODY knew +Muller was heading to CDF for months. Let’s not pretend like big appointments are as secret as they’re supposed to be.

  24. avatar Thinkling says:

    >>It teaches love for sinners – I can’t see how anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ can argue with that

    I agree. But it also hints, in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge way (borrowing language from the After the Ball crowd), that (say) one’s child’s buggery may not be sinful.

    A parent enabling their child to think buggery is not sinful is punching them a One Way Ticket on the Swimming With Screwtape Express. Perhaps for both of them. That is the antethesis of love. Notice I did not say teaching. I said enabling. The difference between wolf’s clothing and sheep’s clothing. But still a wolf underneath.

    So with respect to love this document is a Law of Noncontradiction Fail waiting to happen. It is of course not binding, but it is still profoundly confusing. If one is trying to safekeep their soul, one is advised to not be confused about these critical things.

    Fortunately there is a newer, clearer and more rigorous alternative. It spells out things explicitly, leaving less room for heretical seeing-what-you-want-to-see.

  25. avatar Bernie says:

    If a new bishop is appointed before Thanksgiving I think it will signal serious change is in the works for this diocese.

  26. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    I think this blog is starting to show some of the diversity that can be found in the Vatican.

  27. avatar brother of penance says:

    I trust Bishop Clark had a very happy birthday yesterday. Congratulations to the Bishop.

    It has been a number of years since I reviewed ALWAYS OUR CHILDREN.
    However, if my memory serves me, the document was never voted upon by the USCCB. It was the work of a committee.

    Moreover, any and all faithful Catholic ministers and/or health care professionals strongly discourage use of the words “Gay and Lesbian”. Using gay, for example, could indicate acceptance of gay culture, life style, gay political agenda or some other sociological, biological or even theological theory not proven and perhaps even hostile to Catholic moral teaching.

    The faithful Catholic experts encourage use of the terms “people with the same-sex attraction.”

    Whoever is appointed Bishop of Rochester will be the man we will love. He will be the Vicar of Christ in this Diocese. He will be the Shepherd for whom we will pray, with whom we will worship. And perhaps, just perhaps, the new Bishop will ask the Cleansingfire ‘community’ to meet with him and chat.

    Now, wouldn’t that be a sign of hope!

  28. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    Penance: “The faithful Catholic experts encourage use of the terms “people with the same-sex attraction.”

    Reply: The most “faithful” Catholic experts use the term “same-sex attraction ‘DISORDER'”.

  29. avatar brother of penance says:

    Raymond F. Rice, my brother, disorder is the most apt description of this particular attraction.

    Good catch.

  30. avatar Hopefull says:

    I don’t think we need to be checking the news every day for the appointment quite yet. Bishop Clark’s resignation was probably signed before he went on vacation, but dated July 15th. Since that was a Sunday, it would likely have been postmarked on Monday (the first “useful” day after a Sunday or Holy Day.) It was likely sent snail mail to the Nuncio, who would put it in the diplomatic pouch, as available. Then there is the whole sorting and delivery process in Rome. Please remember that Bishop Clark has many friends in Rome from his days there (otherwise the unexplainable is, well, unexplainable). So by the time it is received, copied, routed etc. likely it is into the do-nothing month of August. Thus, Bishop Clark can confidently schedule continuing events well into September. Then there is the need to show a respectful distance between retirement and naming a successor (just the opposite of business, where customers and employees are understood to scatter during a lame-duck process, and to need the direction of authority in situ).

    What I think each day is “Oh, our new bishop is out there “somewhere” saying Mass today, eating lunch, praying, taking his shoes off, asleep.” He is a man to whom we need to direct our prayers. The very best use of this interregnum is to pray for our new bishop, whoever he is, wherever he is, and for whenever he comes to us.

  31. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    “Actually, what the DOR needs is at least a six month interdict, during which time every lay “pastor” is removed, oaths of fidelity to Catholic teaching are required of all priests and laity, and all churches previously wreckovated surveyed for proper rebuilding and/or demolition.During that time, Cardinal Burke should be the overseer with an army of FSSP priests at his side.”

    Why need an army when only a few Catholics will be left to carry on the faith??? What do you think you would accomplish with this method? Why do you want to break them and then what??

  32. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    I read Hopeful’s comments and realized that the next bishop’s selection process will be like the election of many of our popes. He will bow his head and say that he accepts the the will of God through the Holy Father’s will, knowing that, given the circumstances, he could probably have a shortened lifespan and have to deal with an immence amount of personal pain and anguish. He will also have to face rejection, vilification and dissent. In sum and substance he will have a “tailored” and personal way of the cross. If he tries to please everyone, he will get nothing done. Are we going to be “Simons” or the jeering crowd??
    So, instead of arguing over the aggendum he will be developing with the aid of the Holy Spirit and whether or not he will be meeting our expectations or not, we ought to have some empathy for him in his new position. This living martyr of the Church in Rochester should be prayed-for for his giving the response to the apostolic delegate of “be it done unto me according to your word”.

  33. avatar Chrysostom says:

    Thanks to Hopefull and to Raymond for your insightful and logical comments today; there is definitely much to meditate on in your words.

    I can’t even imagine the immense amount of courage it will take for someone to take up the cross of shepherding this poor diocese. I like to think of the months between now and his appointment as a time for the Lord to be building up the new bishop’s strength and wisdom. For this, he should be in our daily prayers.

    In addition to the obvious problems that the new bishop will have to face, he will most likely have to deal with much of his flock resenting him for not being Bishop Clark, and yet another group resenting him for not being Cardinal Burke.

    On a lighter note, I love the “Perry Watch”, but I remain fearful that he might be chosen to replace Bishop Bruskewitz of Lincoln, NE (a few months ago, I was even afraid that he might be sent to Buffalo…).

  34. avatar annonymouse says:

    National conferences have powers to promulgate norms and rules when that power is delegated to them. These are our bishops – we oughtn’t ignore them (or say that what they teach is “non-binding”) any more than one ought ignore our Roman teachers.

    CleansingFire, you look sort of silly with Bishop Perry’s picture on the home page – as if he were a foregone conclusion.

  35. avatar y2kscotty says:

    Perry Watch? No way that Perry will be the next bishop. Dolan will not recommend someone from Chicago [You demonstrate your ignorance by assuming that our next bishop is restricted only to who Dolan recommends]. Look, you had this Perry thing before – over a year ago… and, guess what, all your predictions amounted to nothing. So, please, get rid of the “Perry Watch”. I think it will be some pastor from NYC.

  36. avatar y2kscotty says:

    Regarding the choice of the next bishop: The Pope will not name Perry. He doesn’t want to turn us into another Scranton (http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/why-did-bishop-scranton-pa-resign). I predict that the next bishop will be more conservative, but not one to alienate, but rather to bring people together. He will not be a pit-bull attack dog [Bp. Perry is not a pit-bull attack dog].

  37. avatar Abaccio says:

    Scotty,

    With all due respect, your ignorance regarding +Perry is somewhat astonishing. Have you ever heard the man preach? He is brilliant, humble, and pastoral. Tell me where you see him acting as a pitt-bull attack dog. The man is perhaps less of a “pitt-bull attack dog” than the wonderful Archbishop Chaput, who, incidentally, just got named to a Cardinalatial See last year. So, that argument makes no sense.

    Do you honestly believe that Cardinal Dolan:
    1) has a whole lot of influence in the matter? He is three steps removed from the decision. (Diocesan Bishop, Metropolitan Archbishop, Apostolic Nuncio, Congregation for Bishops, Holy Father.)
    2) has a bias towards his own priests? The new Bishop of Buffalo came from Maine.
    3) Cardinal Dolan doesn’t have a wonderful relationship with Cardinal George? Cardinal Dolan was in Milwaukee before he was appointed to New York, which is a whopping 92 miles from Chicago. Cardinal George served as President of the USCCB prior to the election of Cardinal Dolan. We have seen a wonderful continuity between the two men.

    Finally, we have already heard (and disagreed with) your rant about Bishop Martino, we don’t need to hear it again.

  38. avatar annonymouse says:

    What’s a “cardinalatial?” Chaput has not been named a Cardinal (yet) that I am aware of. Must be something different.

  39. avatar annonymouse says:

    With a new nuncio, it is almost certain that our Metropolitan, Cardinal Dolan, will have some influence in the selection [The Holy Father can appoint anyone.]. I too think it’s unlikely that we’ll be sent someone from Chicago. NYC or Philly, perhaps, or more likely (IMO) someone who is already successfully running a diocese.

  40. avatar Mike says:

    Paul Likoudis, in his 2002 book Amchurch Comes Out – The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda, provides some background on the preparation and publication of Always Our Children (excerpts are from pages 73, 78-79 and 86) …

    Just ten days before National Coming Out Day on October 11, 1997, when homosexuals publicly proclaim their perversity, the Administrative Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops released Always Our Children, a “pastoral” letter affirming their belief in the unscientific notion of homosexual “orientation” and advising parents of homosexual sons and daughters to accept them as they are — even if it means accepting their homosexual lifestyle at the cost of remaining silent on Church doctrine.

    Here was a prime instance of homosexual agit-prop at work: for the document took nearly every Catholic by surprise, even many bishops, who had no idea the document would be released without some preliminary discussion, or even a chance to review it privately!

    Time line of a pastoral

    Always Our Children was prepared by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family Life, chaired by Dolores Leckey, a long-time dissenter from Humanae Vitae, and headed by Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien of Phoenix, a diocese long-plagued by serious problems of clerical pedophilia. The origin of the pastoral, Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Tom Gumbleton told the Washington Blade just after its release, went back to 1993, when 15 bishops wrote a letter to the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin asking for “help” they could offer the parents of gay children.

    Though the NCCB, as is standard policy, would not disclose the authors of the pastoral letter, Fr. Robert Nugent, a founder of New Ways Ministry, revealed — before the release of the document — at a September 10 retreat held at the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange Mother House in Orange, California, that he was a consultor for the pastoral, along with Fr. Peter Liuzzi and Fr. James Schexnayder, director of AIDS services for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Oakland and a long-time militant west coast gay activist.

    The pastoral had been in the process of preparation for at least two years, but unlike the bishops’ famed “women’s pastoral” there was no opportunity for public input and almost no information disseminated about it to the public prior to its release.

    The first indication that Always Our Children, “approved” by the Administrative Committee of the NCCB on September 30, 1997, was a “work in progress” appeared in an item buried in the “Agenda Report” prepared for bishops for their November 1996 plenary meeting in Washington, on page 43 in the report by the Committee on Marriage and Family.

    Following is what the committee report says on this:

    “1. MINISTRY TO FAMILIES IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS: HOMOSEXUALITY

    “The Committee has drafted Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions to Pastoral Ministers, after two years of study and consultation. The document is an attempt to reach out to parents who are trying to cope with the discovery of homosexuality in an adult child, and to urge them to recognize that the Church offers enormous spiritual resources to strengthen and support them. After reviewing the draft in September [1996], the Administrative Committee [of NCCB] asked for certain revisions, including a `preamble’ stating that the message is not intended to endorse (however implicitly) a homosexual lifestyle. The Administrative Committee asked that the document be placed on its November agenda.”

    Significantly, and underscoring the secrecy behind the project, it was not listed explicitly under the “priorities & plans” section of the Agenda Report, which usually summarizes proposed projects, allocates funding, etc.

    One bishop who subsequently banned the use of the document in his diocese, speaking anonymously to The Wanderer, commented:

    “I can’t imagine a more impolitic time for this document to come out, especially after the Dallas trial and so many reports about pedophile clergy … As a bishop, I’m also shocked by its release, since it comes less than a month and a half before our national meeting. Why should there be such urgency in releasing it before our entire body has a chance to discuss it? I can only conclude that the Administrative Committee was frightened by the idea of discussing this in the open, and so they pushed it out the door.

    “That’s disgusting — a typical example of the criminal activity they engage in.”

  41. avatar Abaccio says:

    Cardinalatial Sees are those Diocese whose Archbishops traditionally are named Cardinals. +Chaput will almost certainly be named a Cardinal either 1) the last conclave prior to April 2015, or 2) the first conclave thereafter.

  42. avatar annonymouse says:

    Thank you, Abaccio. Learn something new every day. Yes, Abp. Chaput will undoubtedly receive a red hat.

    I didn’t think the naming of Cardinals had anything to do with conclaves, by the way. A bunch were just named early this year, for instance. But you seem to be more aware of how these things work than I.

  43. avatar Abaccio says:

    Oops! I should have said “consistory.” It’s 95 degrees outside. I have Vatican, The Board Game on my mind. I’m just an idiot. Pick any excuse you like! (Though, I daresay I prefer the first two to the last.)

  44. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    With all that is going on in the DOR, it’s going to take a saint to turn this around. The next bishop will face fierce opposition from many of his priests, most nums, many deacons and a slwew of lay people who are embedded in the diocese.

    Needless to say, the possibility of open rebellion is a real one.

    Loo at ex bishop of Syracuse, Moynahan who simple removed Fr. Mc Brien from the diocesan newspaper. We wes greeted with a petition, signed by over 40 priests, released to the press, proclaiming a desire to keep Mc Brien.

    It influenced the poor bishop’s later actions. To keep Mc Brien off the paper, he had to appoint a priest, who was a dissenter, to a very high position of authority, in the diocese.

    Sadly, most priests in Syracuse are very liberal. They believe in situational ethics and refuse to preach about pertinent catholic teachings concerning sexuality.

    We need to pray for all bishops. We hope the new bishop has the courage, wisdom and guile to bring the diocese back to Christ.

  45. avatar Bernie says:

    I’m one of those who thinks the new bishop will refrain from ‘cleaning house’ but will make some significant adjustments like preserving current leadership roles for laypersons but trimming their participation in the liturgy. I doubt we will see the appointment of any new pastoral administrators. I would be surprised to see lay preachers yanked from the pulpit entirely but I also doubt you will see any new faces. In many cases I suppose the strategy will be to tighten slightly and then allow attrition to end the most offensive practices. More orthodox individuals will be promoted and encouraged; I would not expect disciplinary confrontations.

    I would guess the new bishop will be smart, personable, visible -and a teacher. To a large extent, the new fellow is going to have to win over the minds as well as the hearts of the people in order to turn things around. As far as school and church closings go, I have no idea what will happen. I personally expect the decline to continue for several more years but that a new bishop will come on strong to turn it around.

  46. avatar Mike says:

    Bernie,

    I pretty much agree with your predictions and I pray you’re right on the money about the new guy being a teacher. As things stand, this diocese has more than its share, not of uncatechized laity (although there are plenty of those), but of mis-catechized laity. It will take an excellent teacher with a lot of patience to get around the entrenched dissent in much of the clergy and parish staffs to reach these people, many of whom I believe would respond to the truth, were it presented to them clearly and with charity.

    There is, however, one problem I believe he will have to address early if he is to have any hope of success. As long as St. Bernard’s effectively functions as the French Road Heresy Factory it will continue to turn out cadres of deacons and parish professionals who will undermine his efforts. That is something he simply cannot afford to let happen.

  47. avatar annonymouse says:

    It is my experience (admittedly based on a very small sample size) that there are some faithful and relatively orthodox folks slipping through the cracks to graduate from St. Bernards.

    And deacons, if memory serves, take some sort of oath of fidelity to the Bishop AND his successors. So I would hope that deacons will be supportive of the new bishop and not undermine his efforts.

  48. avatar Bernie says:

    St. Bernard’s is definitely a problem, I see your point. Might be a good idea to start there.

  49. avatar Mike says:

    annonymouse,

    You’re right, of course. I did not mean to imply that every graduate of St. Bernard’s is a dissenter. I know that some orthodox folks do manage to get through pretty much unscathed, as I know some of them.

    This reminds me of a conversation I overheard about a dozen years ago. I was taking Dr. Premnath’s Old Testament course at St. Bernard’s and most of my classmates were 1st year diaconal candidates and their wives. During a break two of these couples were discussing how difficult it can be to remain faithful to Church teaching and one of the guys said, in effect, “I’m just going to keep my head down and my mouth shut these next few years so that I don’t give anyone a reason to throw me out.”

    I don’t recall that guy’s name now and don’t know if he made it all the way to ordination. I hope he did.

  50. avatar Scott W. says:

    Finally, we have already heard (and disagreed with) your rant about Bishop Martino, we don’t need to hear it again.

    Indeed. Cleansing Fire could have a post about Lance Berkman’s batting average and someone would find a way to work in the entirely unsubstantiated gossip about Bp. Martino having to leave for being too zealously orthodox. Oi vey.

  51. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    “St. Bernard’s is definitely a problem, I see your point. Might be a good idea to start there.”

    Reconfigure it as a school! ! None of our seminarians go there so why keep it as an excessive level of expense for education for the diocese. With the bumper crop of seminarians we hope will be coming in, send them to GOOD schools and for the love of God, teach them to preach, say the divine office, and maybe be seen once or twice making a holy hour in Church. Use the real good ones to teach classes as adjuncts of St Bernard’s and confer degrees from there. Most priests can set aside a couple of hours a week to teach; might even find it exhilerating.

    “I’m just going to keep my head down and my mouth shut these next few years so that I don’t give anyone a reason to throw me out.”
    LOL: This was the thinking that got a lot of people through Old St Bernard’s on Lake Avenue years ago!!

  52. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Check out tonight’s ChurchMilitant.TV at:

    http://www.churchmilitant.tv/daily/?today=2012-07-18

    The lower of the two screens (news) should be visited at the 5:11 mark regarding Bishop Clark’s resignation.

  53. avatar y2kscotty says:

    I was NOT accusing Bishop Perry of being an “attack dog”. I was merely stating that if anyone thinks that DOR will get such a bishop, they are wrong. Indeed, Bishop Perry is probably in line for his own diocese, having been previously touted as a possibility for Milwaukee and Denver (both of which were given to other bishops). Whether it’s Rochester or somewhere else remains to be seen. But I expect that it will be someone from the North East. I still think it’s unseemly to have this blog openly touting Bishop Perry. Why not call it “Prayerful Watch for new Bishop”?

  54. avatar Scott W. says:

    I was NOT accusing Bishop Perry of being an “attack dog”. I was merely stating that if anyone thinks that DOR will get such a bishop, they are wrong.

    Even a Lhasa Apso would be an improvement over the current situation.

  55. avatar Dr. K says:

    I was merely stating that if anyone thinks that DOR will get such a bishop, they are wrong.

    Denver installed that kind of bishop yesterday.

    having been previously touted as a possibility for Milwaukee and Denver

    Why would an Auxiliary Bishop receive an archdiocese over a man who has been a diocesan bishop and proven himself in that capacity? Rochester is actually a perfect fit for Bp. Perry.

  56. avatar BigE says:

    @Ray Rice
    St. Bernard’s is a school, and is self funding. Students that go there pay their own tuition or are subsudized by their parish. So there shouldn’t be any “excessive level of expense” for the diocese that I am aware of other than deacon guys whose tuition IS funded by the diocese.

  57. avatar Mike says:

    Here’s the transcript from the ChurchMilitant.TV news item mentioned by Diane Harris a few comments back …

    Controversial Bishop Retires

    The shepherd who has created one of Catholicism’s most liberal strongholds in America … is retiring.

    Bishop Matthew Clark … head of the diocese of Rochester New York for 33 years … has hit the mandatory age of 75 … and will finally be submitting his resignation.

    During his tenure … Clark has been censored multiple times by Pope Benedict … has supported dissident theologians like Fr. Charles Curran … hosted multiple gay and lesbian Masses … and has expressed his support for the ordination of women.

    Also under Clark … nearly 72% of the diocese’s Catholic elementary schools have been closed … and enrollment has dropped nearly 80 percent.

  58. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    He should be happy. He was the one who said “Catholic schools were irrelevent in today’s world”, so he accomplished his goal of destroying them.

  59. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    Mike:”censored multiple times by Pope Benedict”.

    I think he may have been CENSURED many times by the pope. But he probably should have been censored more often by the pope too. 🙂

  60. avatar Eliza10 says:

    This day has finally come. I am so happy.

    Thanks for the transcript, Mike, as the video is not on the link anymore.

    “Also under Clark … nearly 72% of the diocese’s Catholic elementary schools have been closed … and enrollment has dropped nearly 80 percent…”

    This is the fruit of Clark. He is the scourge of the fruitful, the blight of this orchard. And that blight will soon be leaving! And Lordwillng the next Gardener will take care of the plants, not kill them… That is my hope, and it comforts me.

  61. avatar JLo says:

    Once more into the fray about this Bishop Perry counter you have going. If it’s not Bishop Perry (and given the world of possibilities open to the Holy Father, any guess is a long shot), what will cleansingfire then say to and about our new bishop? … Welcome, New Bishop, even though we OBVIOUSLY really wanted the other guy!

    You may all think it’s funny and fun, but think it through again, please. The day we get the news and it is not Bishop Perry… what will cleansingfire blog that day?

  62. avatar Dr. K says:

    The day we get the news and it is not Bishop Perry… what will cleansingfire blog that day?

    There will be rejoicing and choirs singing whether it be Bp. Perry, Bp. Sample, or any other faithful priest or bishop.

  63. avatar brother of penance says:

    Can someone comment about what appears to be a nightmare?

    Watch this episode of the Vortex. Determine if Michael’s facts are accurate.

    Then, please help me to make sense of out of this bureaucratic challenge to the Lord’s Hierarchy in the USA.

    Thanks

    http://www.churchmilitant.tv/daily/?today=2012-07-21

  64. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    The USCCB needs to be disolved. First it ws the Campaign for Human Development giving millions to organizations promoting contraception, abortion and homosexuality.

    This organization is run by microclones of Bishop Clark. The power of the liberal establishment is very great. Don’t ignore them simply because a few bishops are now appointed who are faithful to the majesterium.

    I will not give one dime to my diocese or any second collection for any of these organizations.

    Simply scandalous.

  65. avatar Mike says:

    JLo,

    You should know that Bishop Perry is not the unanimous first choice among the Cleansing Fire staff to be our new bishop. While I have absolutely nothing against him and believe he would be an excellent choice, I do have another candidate in mind.

    For the time being he will remain in pectore but I can say that he is currently a priest in another see, is a humble and holy man, is fully faithful to the Magisterium, is an accomplished speaker and, most importantly, is and excellent teacher of the faith who is not afraid to address the “hard sayings” in a forthright, yet charitable manner. This man has all the qualities that one hopes to find in a bishop and I fully expect him to be one some day. Whatever diocese he is called to will be blessed to have him.

  66. avatar JLo says:

    The USCCB routinely embarrasses Catholics (at least this Catholic) even in mundane pronouncements like movie reviews. Their news releases regarding our political life in America often reflect a peculiar political agenda, not our Church’s life in the world as it should be lived; and at such times, the bishops appear rather naïve, or at best, uninformed. There is no reason for the USCCB, no gain for the Church and the faithful; but even as they have proven themselves not beneficial and actually sometimes harmful to the Faith, once you give such an inch (as the Vatican did in allowing such confabs), it’s really hard to get rid of them… take a look at the United Nations, another costly mess that does nothing beneficial for those who believe in American life in liberty.

    As to Bishop Perry, Mike, I do not say what I say because of the bishop!! You don’t need to roll out his resume to me!! I speak against the posting of him as a welcome sign when we have no idea whom we will be welcoming! I think that might just be embarrassing to the bishop who actually will arrive. I just don’t think it’s appropriate or even nice. +JMJ

  67. avatar Scott W. says:

    I like the counter and I think it IS the charitable choice, because the brutal truth counter, The anybody-even-a-trained-monkey-rather-than-Bishop-Clark Watch, would actually be inappropriate and not nice.

  68. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    JLo’You are correct. These bishops should have gone against the O’Bama administration with no holds barred. Like a tiger. Instead, they are like “girlie men”, protecting the “Church of Nice”.

    But this is our cross. Who knows how this will fall out? I do remember that during the time of Communisn in Russia, the Orthodox Church was in kahoots with the government on a lot of issues. I guess you have to compromise your principles. I cannot fathom the early church doing that.

  69. avatar BigE says:

    @Richard Thomas
    If the early church hadn’t compromised it’s principles, circumcision would still be required for all Christians.

  70. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Big E.

    Some Church laws are man made but still carry the approval of Christ: Whatever you bind on earth.

  71. avatar Thinkling says:

    For those of you still thinking of a timeline for the acceptance of +Clark’s retirement and the naming of a successor, we can observe the news from our neighbor Erie.

    While the Pope has the authority to expedite this process (or not, e.g., Lincoln), perhaps you’re gonna need a bigger counter.


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