Cleansing Fire

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I Can’t Think of Two Worse Bishops to Honor

March 5th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

…aside from Cardinal Mahony.

From the Catholic Courier:

Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark to be honored

Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark will receive Fordham University’s highest honor, its prestigious President’s Medal, during a March 6 ceremony in New York City. Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany also will receive the President’s Medal during the ceremony.

The medals to be awarded to Bishop Clark and Bishop Hubbard are in recognition of their service, which collectively includes nearly 70 years as bishops and 100 years as priests. Bishop Clark was ordained a priest in 1962 and became bishop of the Diocese of Rochester in 1979. Bishop Hubbard was ordained a priest in 1963 and became bishop of the Albany Diocese in 1977.

The medals to be bestowed are “a sign of our immense esteem and gratitude for your graceful and abiding witness through the decades that have wrought enormous challenges within and outside the church,” Jesuit Father Joseph McShane, president of Fordham University, wrote in a letter to the bishops. “You are both courageous leaders who have definitively embraced a preferential option for the marginalized and the poor, faithfully shepherding in a manner that renders you models of episcopal ministry. [GAG!]

Past recipients of Fordham University’s Presidents Medal include the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, who received the honor in 2008. Founded in 1841, Fordham is a Jesuit University with residential campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester.

How appropriate that these two men so closely connected be “honored” at the same ceremony. They have a legacy of destruction in upstate New York Catholicism that may never be repaired.

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30 Responses to “I Can’t Think of Two Worse Bishops to Honor”

  1. avatar Scott W. says:

    Oh boy. I hope no one goes off their meds.

  2. avatar militia says:

    But it’s from Jesuits so it doesn’t count.

  3. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    I feel so sad that my first cousin, Matthew Clark, is viewed this way…I have learned a lot about your feelings and the reasons for Ben’s blog members responses…why you see him in this light…..Thank you for that…still, I feel sad…Amen, Peace!

  4. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    whoops…punctuation mistakes…please look past those….

  5. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Excuse me, Bishop emeritus Clark is my SECOND COUSIN….

  6. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Fordham has been a bastion of the Culture of Death for years.

  7. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Richard, how does your fact relate to my feelings? Just wondering….

  8. avatar Bruce says:

    Speaking of which, any chance the DOR would be contracted and absorbed into another diocese?

  9. avatar Scott W. says:

    Speaking of which, any chance the DOR would be contracted and absorbed into another diocese?

    We’ve mentioned that before. Anything is possible I suppose, but obviously the DOR is in kind of a holding pattern until we have a new pope. Maybe if Cdl. Burke doesn’t get the papacy (which would be sweeeeeeet), he can run the DOR. 🙂

  10. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Sallyanne,

    I am sorry you are hurt by my post. I am filled with conflicting sentiments. On the one hand there is the perception of what had been done for over 30 years and the many people that were hurt by that experience. And if I could mention, there may have been many souls that could have been lost as a result. And you have your feelings.

    Can I say something nice about your relative. Yes, I can. And I pray for him frequently. How do I resolve what happened? Should I remain silent while others preise someone for conduct that was injurious to so many people. I will stand for correction.

    God bless.

  11. avatar Scott W. says:

    Correction: “(which would be sweeeeeeeet if he did)”. The nutty NCR and Andrew Sullivan would throw alone would be worth it.

  12. avatar CPT Tom says:

    I do believe the spinning of St Ignatius Lyola in his grave must be supersonic by now…wow. The Jesuit and supposedly “Catholic” Universities in the US have largely gone off the rails. *Sigh*

  13. avatar CPT Tom says:

    “You are both courageous leaders who have definitively embraced a preferential option for the marginalized and the poor, faithfully shepherding in a manner that renders you models of episcopal ministry. [GAG!]”

    Gag indeed! I really don’t understand what progressives in the Church use as indicators of success? Numbers of Churches and Schools closed? Highest drop in Mass Attendance, baptisms, weddings, etc? Really, how are these bishops considered a success by anyone…it makes my head hurt!

    I pray that the new Pope gives us a shepherd who can rebuild the diocese and the faith in the region. It will take a person of stout heart and ability

  14. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Salllyanne,

    One more thing. St. John’s gospel wrote about Judas. In it he calls him a thief. Now, I am assuming Judas had many relatives. How did they feel when they read and heard about their relative being described in such a negative way? I am not trying to hurt you but am only trying to give you an example of what happened to someone at an earlier time.

  15. avatar Dr. K says:

    Even if we ignore all the negative effects of the reigns of Bp. Clark and Hubbard, can it be said with a straight face that these two men have done more for the poor than other bishops of the United States? What have these two done that goes so far above and beyond any other American bishop to qualify them for this award?

    Isn’t this award just a friendly slap on the back for promoting progressive/dissenting positions?

  16. avatar JLo says:

    Yes, Dr. K, it is a message of congratulations from a disgraced university and an order of religious largely off the true path and that makes Jesuits such as Fr. Mitch Pacwa weep I’m sure. What is “awarded” in such places does not deserve our attention, and I doubt those two bishops will take their awards with them into Eternity. I’ve heard it said there are no pockets in a shroud and the only thing we take with us is the love we gave; but that is love as taught by The Lord. Few there are anymore who recognize the differences between the love he taught and the emotional hogwash that passes for love today. It’s doubly distressing when such are bishops and priests of the Church who haven’t a clue. I won’t deal with it… I leave that where it belongs, with God… but we must always defend truth and speak against the unholy ACTIONS of such clerics. Like Richard, I pray for Bp. Clark by name, but I hate his stewardship of the DOR. It was destructive and souls endangered if not lost. His cousin should spend time praying for him, too, and give all personal hurt to God, maybe even offering it up FOR her cousin. Pray for Holy Mother Church, Bp. Clark Cousin, even as you pray for all those who are off the rails. A new day always dawns; and though we may be small in number (if truth be told, as B16 once said), Christ’s Church is alive in spite of strange earth-bound “honors”. +JMJ.

  17. avatar Sassy says:

    As I mentioned previously, at least Notre Dame continues to atone for past mistakes. This year’s commencement speaker was just announced:

    http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/sbt-notre-dame-commencement-speaker-cardinal-dolan-archbishop-of-ny-20130306,0,5761083.story

    Go Irish!

  18. avatar Sassy says:

    Actually, was Fordham the university that had a rogue nun who was preaching very poor Cathechism?

  19. avatar Hopefull says:

    We all, but especially priests and bishops, should be very wary of receiving the applause of the world, its awards and accolades. When the world lauds a member of the clergy, it is a danger sign that it is the world that has been served. It is a confirmation, to be feared not to be coveted.

    Matthew 5: 10-12: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

    It is the righteous and those of true spiritual stamina who can turn down or ignore the awards of the world. But the longer one has served the world, the harder it is to turn down its awards. I think of Mother Teresa going to Stockholm to receive a Nobel prize and using her moment on stage to preach against contraception and abortion! Anybody know what Bishop Clark or Bishop Hubbard said of significance on receiving their awards and having a podium moment for God?

  20. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Richard,

    Thank you for your response. Like I said, this blog has helped me to understand. I don’t know WHY, but I think there might be a reason for all of this…let’s wait…maybe the answer will come in time…

    Peace..

  21. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    God works in mysterious ways…possibly, the DOR is special. Possibly, God has a plan. If he does, it will become known….

  22. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Hopeful said:

    Matthew 5: 10-12: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

    Food for thought…Peace…

  23. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    I really don’t understand what progressives in the Church use as indicators of success?

    ”winning national attention and making international history”
    http://cleansingfire.org/2011/03/ecumenical-and-interfaith-dialogue-we-have-much-to-celebrate/

  24. avatar annonymouse says:

    Sassy – yes, your memory is correct. (Sister) Elizabeth Johnson is a Fordham professor and author of “Quest for the Living God,” a book panned by the USCCB not too long ago. Perhaps by honoring Bishops Clark and Hubbard, this is Fordham’s way of expressing their displeasure at the Conference’s bold attempt to teach the Faith and uphold orthodoxy.

  25. avatar CPT Tom says:

    Ben…well there is that…I guess I didn’t understand being a poor ignorant papist 😉 Viva Christo Rey Yours in Christ!

    –Cpt Tom

  26. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Sallyanne,

    The quote from scripture was concerning those who faithfully preached the gospel. They waer to expect harsh treatment and possible persecution. History is filled with men and women who paid the price for their catholocism.

    I am afraid that I have trouble applying that phrase to those two men as well as any dissenters. For “I have to say” they have not been faithful in their ministry of teaching and promoting the Catholic faith and they have followed the footsteps of heretics.

    Are you able to apply that phrase to those individuals and groups that were hurt by these two men for simply upholding the Catholic faith……like the Catholic Physician’s Guild and the St Thomas More Lawyers guild as well as the many people who fought the unsuccessful fight in attempting to stop the Cathedral renovations and the hundreds of people who fought unsuccessfully to stop their parishes and Catholic schools from closing.

    What about the membors of ZOAR who were forbidden to bring the group “Courage” into the diocese to help them lead chast lives and help them deal with Same sex Attraction.

    And what about those families exposed to the scandals of lay homilies, promotion of birth control, women’s ordination and poor catechesis and their anxiety about their children not being taught the faith and their children leaving the Church?

  27. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Richard,

    I don’t know. I’m trying to make sense of it all. I do believe that there is a reason behind all of this. I believe that God called Bishop Matt to the Church. It’s obvious that he tries to reach out to all just as Jesus did. Has anyone actually had a one-on-one with him and asked him why? Just wondering.

  28. avatar annonymouse says:

    SallyAnne – Jesus did, indeed, “reach out” to sinners – as this Sunday’s Gospel tells us, He broke bread with them, incurring the wrath of the Pharisees and scribes. As He breaks bread with us sinners, too.

    But that’s not all Jesus did. The PURPOSE of His reaching out to sinners was to call them (and us) to REPENT (see Mark 1:15)! I ask you – where in all our Diocese’s “reaching out” has there been any call to repent of sin?

    For example – it’s wonderful to invite same-sex attracted people to Mass at the Cathedral. It is what Jesus would have done. But where was the call to repent that Jesus would undoubtedly have made loud and clear (“now go, and do not sin anymore”)??

  29. avatar Rich Leonardi says:

    Even if we ignore all the negative effects of the reigns of Bp. Clark and Hubbard, can it be said with a straight face that these two men have done more for the poor than other bishops of the United States? What have these two done that goes so far above and beyond any other American bishop to qualify them for this award?

    I’ll wager it comes to one key term: “the marginalized,” which is sufficiently amorphous to cover preferential victims like loud-n-proud homosexuals, ‘wannabe priestesses, and pelvic dissenters of all stripes.

  30. avatar true faith says:

    While I may disagree about certain decisions done by Bishop Matthew Clark’s second in charge, business strategist and dictator, Father Joseph Hart, I think that Bishop Matthew Clark was a compassionate man. I applaud him for his zero tolerance towards child sex abuse in the Diocese and his dealings of priests’ abuse of others. Bishop Clark’s zero tolerance for sex abuse in the church and all the decisions , arrests and defrocking that it has entailed has not been done in many other dioceses. He is my hero in this aspect and we should all give him a “Bravo” and well done for his action in this horrific crime against innocent lives which has gone unchecked in other dioceses. Although the lives of those who were abused at the hands of priests will always be affected into adulthood, the arrests and defrocking of priests has brought a sense of closure and justice for many of the victims.

    I wish that Bishop Clark had been more aware of the questionable dealings of Father Joseph Hart who proudly referred to himself as the CEO of The Catholic Diocese and enjoyed making unilateral decisions without any input from others. Many of Father Joseph Hart’s dealings with both priests and parishioners were less than charitable and left many to wonder if he needed a conversion to The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Bishop Matthew Clark remediated many of Father Joseph Hart’s decisions but one person can’t be everywhere at all times.


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