Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Goodbye CleansingFire

February 22nd, 2019, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

I started blogging about a decade ago for 2 main purposes:

1) To expose and highlight the rampant heterodoxy I was encountering at the local level (following the protocol of canon 212). I’m not talking about minute theological nuances here. I’m talking about outright promotion of the homosexualist agenda, women priests, the use of artificial contraception, as well as liturgical abuses as blatant as women playing priest, using questionable matter for the Eucharist, and a total disregard for the sacredness of the Eucharist and the Mass in general.

2) To highlight and advertise the good things that were going on in the Diocese and the Catholic world in general. The world wasn’t nearly as connected back then (at least I wasn’t) and to many of us we didn’t realize that there *were* good things going on not that far away from us and that we could do more than simply bang our heads against the wall.

It was a different world then. Since that time, for us here in Rochester anyway, it’s almost like BXVI and Bishop Clark switched places. I have had no reason to post anything regarding purpose #1 since Bishop Matano came here – praise God for that! Also, pretty much every group in the Diocese has their own digital presence, so the need for #2 has pretty much gone away as well.

That leaves me with just a few potential purposes to continue contributing here:

3) Posting stories of my own interest as I continue to dig into Catholic tradition (at the speed of a tortoise these days). Even if I did have the time for this, CF probably isn’t the best venue for it anyway.

4) Offering links/quotes/comments as to what’s going on at the highest levels of the Church, but I just don’t see the benefit in doing so here myself. That’s not to say that others shouldn’t, but given the gravity of the situation, I’m very cautious to offer any of my own comments without spending considerably more time and energy than I have at this point in my life. It seems the path forward is getting narrower and I certainly don’t want to push others one way or another.

I would be amiss if I failed to remind you (and me) to devote time to (in no specific order) your duties in life, mental prayer, daily Mass, praying the Rosary, spiritual reading, praying the Breviary, reading the documents of the Church, and the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. You may even consider joining a lay fraternity of some flavor. To name a few local groups – there are Lay Franciscans, Lay Carmelites, Lay Dominicans, Opus Dei, and others. Feel free to add more in the comments.

With that said, I wish to say goodbye to the CleansingFire crew. I thank everyone who has contributed here (admins, posters, commenters*, etc) and to those who carry on the torch, my prayers will be with you.

* yes, even those who have vehemently disagreed w/ me 🙂

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7 Responses to “Goodbye CleansingFire”

  1. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Brother Ben,
    Thank you for your past posts and comments.
    Thank you for the ways I was encouraged by you to use my own name publicly to speak truth to power.
    Thank you for the times you posted my multi-issue book reviews given your it expertise and my lack thereof.
    Most of all, thank you for your witness to the faith in so many fruitful ways.
    Best regards always to you and to all of your beloved.
    Dominick

  2. avatar Mary-Kathleen says:

    Thank you, Ben, for all you have written and shared and for the time and effort spent to do so. Vaya con Dios.

  3. avatar raymondfrice says:

    got room for the diaconate in your life???

  4. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Friends of Cleansing Fire,

    I’d like to use this opportunity and this platform to thank Ben Anderson for the incredible work he has done over a decade for the good of our Church, and for the good of souls. He has been very generous with his time and technical expertise, and most especially with his good counsel.

    I owe my own joining Cleansing Fire, back in 2011, to Ben’s astute observation that the Homiletic and Pastoral Review Journal had just published an article, critical of Bishop Clark’s book “Forward in Hope.” Ben called my office to see if I were the same “Diane Harris” who had written the article, asked for permission to reprint it on Cleansing Fire, and thus my first post on CF was 8 years ago next month. Thanks to Ben.

    There have been several crisis points in the interim which bring us to where we are today. The first was Bishop Matano’s appointment to be the Shepherd of the Diocese of Rochester. I hope not a day goes by that I don’t thank the Good Lord for making that happen. It was a ‘crisis point’ for Cleansing Fire, in a good sense, because it wasn’t clear to the staff what to expect next. Had we finally achieved the crucial objective of the blogsite? Was it time to shut down? Should we become more of a local bulletin board, duplicating in a sense, to some degree, what the Courier does? Or should we continue at least for a while, as a resource to Catholics in other dioceses who are in the kind of difficulty in which Cleansing Fire had been created? That was about the one year mark of Pope Francis’s papacy, and the words “Who am I to judge?” had already been uttered.

    At that point, there seemed to be the possibility of the need for more involvement of the laity not just in the local Church, for peace and comfort of parish worship, but maybe also the challenge of being a lay voice in the larger Church. At least as we proceeded, all the possibilities were open. Given the developments that occurred, from “Buonasera” on the Vatican Balcony, to a Sex Summit being held at this very time at the Vatican, the Cleansing Fire site has been increasingly involved as a voice of the laity, even if only from the small corner of Rochester, NY.

    As we wish Ben well in his life and work, with gratitude for the huge difference he has made to all of us at Cleansing Fire, it is also a good time to recommit that this is all a work for God, and only a work for God, and not for ourselves. Amen?

    Sincerely, Your Sister in Christ,
    Diane Harris, CF Administrator

  5. avatar christian says:

    Thank you Ben for your contributions to Cleansing Fire over the years. You have challenged us to think deeper, pray more earnestly, and take increased risks and decisive actions with regard to the challenges the faithful faced in the Church of today. You also imparted good advice and great resources to parents to use in raising their children.

    I think you have been open to posters’ opinions and have encouraged us to share information and resources with others on this site. You have also taken the time to make a personal connection and offer up heartfelt prayers, which have been deeply and sincerely appreciated.

    In conclusion, I give you the words of Numbers 6:24-26:
    “The Lord bless and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

  6. avatar BigE says:

    Good luck in your future endeavors Ben.
    I was certainly one of those who “vehemently disagreed with you”….
    …but I always enjoyed our exchanges.
    And I always learned more about myself and our faith through them.
    Keep working hard for God!

  7. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Thank you Ben. I am sorry to see you go.

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