Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Fr. Spilly’

Change From Within

January 25th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

A reader has kindly directed our attention to an article that appeared in the February 3, 2000 issue of the Diocese of Rochester’s Catholic Courier. In an article about the establishment of a local Call to Action chapter, Fr. William Spilly admits that he and the CTA chapter meeting at his parish (note the “we”) are working within the institution toward the unacceptable platform of Jim Callan’s Corpus Christi/Spiritus Christi. For those who may have forgotten, Mr. Callan was relieved of duties at Corpus Christi in 1998 for blessing homosexual unions, permitting a female “associate pastor” to quasi-preside and don a half stole, and openly inviting non-Catholics and non-Christians to Holy Communion. He was excommunicated latae sententiae in 1999 upon joining the schismatic Spiritus Christi church.

spilly CTA

Click to enlarge

“Father Spilly added that CTA members were united in their concern that the “progressive” positions advocated by Corpus under Father Callan’s leadership were no longer being advanced.
“Maybe Corpus Christi went too fast, too soon, and we wanted to see these issues come about in the church by working in the church,” Father Spilly said.”
-Catholic Courier, 2/3/2000

There should be no confusion about what Father means when he promotes “equality” for gays and women in the Church.

In related news, the local chapter of Call to Action is still alive and kicking. The CTA group protested outside of the DoR’s diaconate ordination in June. Below are photographs of the protest found on their website:


Bp. Clark takes a picture with his seminarians while a disgruntled CTA member pushes her way into the shot.


She appears to be holding a photograph of the “Rev.” Mary Ramerman, former “associate pastor” of Corpus Christi.


An earth-shaking crowd of four.

Fr. Spilly… AGAIN

January 24th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

Fr. William Spilly, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hamlin, has a long history of criticizing the Catholic Church and calling for change from within. In his latest critique, Father opines that the Church must promote equality for gays and women inside the institution.

One can only speculate what this so-called equality would entail.

spilly on gays and women in church


“Mass” at the Call to Action Conference

November 16th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

One more time on the CTA conference that Fr. Spilly promotes and attends:

It’s absolutely disgraceful that any Catholic priest would be associated with Call to Action.


Call to Action 2012 Keynote Speaker

November 11th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

In the previous post we explored Fr. Spilly’s promotion of the dissident Call to Action conference. Take a close look at the list of speakers Father was so kind to provide for us, specifically Patricia Fresen whom he references using the innocent sounding title “theologian”. Ms. Fresen was the keynote speaker at this year’s CTA. So, who is she? Apparently Fresen is a fake female bishop who helped establish the “Association of Roman Catholic Women-priests.”

The title of her address was “Less Pope, More Jesus.”

The bishopess Patricia Fresen

It makes Father’s attendance at, and endorsement of, CTA all the more disturbing.

UPDATE 11/12/12:

Here are some choice quotes from Ms. Fresen’s CTA speech.

1. “The present pope and the previous one are in schism … After all, a general council is the highest authority in the church, higher than the pope”
2. “The only way as I discovered in South Africa to bring about real systemic change is to do something against the system, and that’s what we’re doing [referencing the A.R.C.W.P.]. We claim equality and justice for women”

Related posts: one, two, three

Fr. Spilly Promotes Two Dissident Organizations

November 8th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

Fr. Spilly to attend CTA again

Fr. William Spilly, pastor of the declining St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Hamlin (now averaging 417 weekly attendees), boasted in his parish bulletin last weekend about his upcoming pilgrimage to the notorious “Call to Action” conference. Why is this a problem, you might ask?

Take a look at their homepage to discover CTA’s disturbing endorsements:

  • PRO- GAY MARRIAGE: “We are deeply gratified that Governor Martin O’Malley has joined fellow Catholic governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Christine Gregoire of Washington in signing marriage equality legislation into law.” …and…“We are delighted that another Catholic governor has signed marriage equality legislation into law. Governor Christine Gregoire is a member of the ever-increasing Catholic majority that supports laws assuring fair and equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families.”…and… “We support marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people not in spite of being Catholic, but because we are Catholic. As Catholics, we believe that we are all beloved children of God, and we want the laws of our land to mandate fairness, justice, and equality for all.”
  • PRO- BIRTH CONTROL, ABORTION: “Stand up for women this July 4th and celebrate the fact that the United States promotes religious liberty for everyone, not just bishops.” …and… “The Bishops don’t want to offer contraception to employees at Catholic hospitals and universities, citing religious liberty. But what about the religious liberty and conscience of the employees who work at these institutions who are both Catholic and non-Catholic? Don’t they have a right to decide their health care options?”
  • ANTI- HIERARCHICAL, PRO-DISSIDENT NUNS: ““At a time when the church hierarchy is beset by scandal, faithful Catholics are looking for moral leadership and have clearly placed their vote of confidence with the sisters,” said Jim FitzGerald, spokesperson for the Nun Justice Project and Executive Director of Call To Action.”
  • PRO- HOMOSEXUAL ACTS, MASTURBATION: “The Vatican’s legalistic parsing of Sister Margaret Farley’s work will only enhance her well-deserved reputation as a gifted scholar. Rome’s attempt to steer Catholics away from Just Love will serve instead as a recommendation for all those who seek a sexual ethic rooted in justice and mutuality, rather than in platitudes and abstractions. The positions Sr. Margaret articulates resonates with many Catholics, who seek to live out the values of our faith in the context of real life.”
  • PRO- PRIESTESSES, INVALID ORDINATIONS, INVALID MASSES: “Thirteen cities across the country will see Catholics holding protest vigils during Holy Week in support of women’s equality in the Catholic Church, including woman priests. ” …and… “Sign this petition that will be hand-carried by Fr. Roy Bourgeois, his lawyer and church justice leaders to the Vatican in October as part of a delegation witnessing for women’s ordination.”
  • PRO- RADICAL FEMINISM: “In the last few weeks, we have seen one attack after another against those who help our churches and mission but are denied a voice on decisions that affect them: church workers. March 12th, marks the third anniversary of Bishop Morlino’s firing of Ruth Kolpack–a dedicated church worker who spent 26 years of her life serving her local parish in the Diocese of Madison, only to be fired because she would not recant her master’s thesis on inclusive language.”
  • ANTI- ROMAN MISSAL TRANSLATION REVISION: ” Catholics across the country are about to go through one of the most widespread changes since the reforms of Vatican II: the words we speak at mass are about to change. Call To Action wants to ensure Catholics know the real history behind the mass translations and the Vatican’s unjust maneuvers to get them done. “

And this is just the first page! If you delve deeper into CTA’s archives, you’ll discover a long and detailed history of positions at odds with Catholic teaching.

Former prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, had this to say about Call to Action:

“The judgment of the Holy See is that the activities of ‘Call to Action’ in the course of these years are in contrast with the Catholic faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint. Thus to be a member of this association or to support it is irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic faith.”

The long-tenured outgoing bishop of Lincoln, Fabian Bruskewitz, even went so far as to excommunicate members of CTA, with full approval of the Vatican. Yet here we are in the Diocese of Rochester, where diocesan priest Fr. Spilly is permitted to publicly acknowledge his membership in this anti-Catholic organization in a parish bulletin. Furthermore, Father links to CTA’s website on his parish homepage… and it’s the first link!
Surprise of all surprises, he also links to dissenting organizations such as Future Church and Voice of the Faithful. A couple years ago, the schismatic Spiritus Christi church could be found in his parish’s recommended links (see below).
Fr. Spilly reveals his membership in, and promotes, another questionable “Catholic” reform organization in this weekend’s bulletin column – Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. I’ll let Father speak to you about what this organization stands for:

Fr. Spilly on the Association of U.S. Catholic priests

Some highlights –
  • “Re-structuring the governing system of the Church that will ground its leadership in Christ-centered proclamation, service and love, avoiding any tendency of control and fear.”
  • “Accepting primacy of the individual conscience and an end to the present secretive processes where active and loyal members of the Church are perceived as “dissidents””
  • “Re-evaluating Catholic sexual teaching and pastoral practice that would recognize the profound mystery of human sexuality as well as the experience and wisdom of God’s people”
Perusing the Association’s website reveals other troubling comments:
  • “Bishop Tom Gumbleton spoke about how Vatican II changed his ministry from focusing on “saving souls” to answering the call to promote social justice.”
  • “Many of the comments expressed in these gatherings  are similar to those of previous gatherings.  The New Roman Missal was not greatly appreciated.  One mentioned that there was too much concern about the afterlife and not enough about here and now. Some mentioned that there was a sense of fear and intimidation in the church today.  “
  • “Using techniques from the Tampa schedule, the Cincinnati-area priests began with a session lamenting their experiences of the post-Vatican II Church followed by a session on hopes and dreams for the future.The lamentations were similar to those at the Florida gathering: abuse of power, fear, the Roman Missal debacle, the rift between younger and older priests, loss of vitality in the Church, hierarchical arrogance, lack of dialogue”
  • “The convention began with  a session in which priests were invited to verbalize their “laments” about their ministry … Their lamentations included recognition of a climate of fear, a distortion of Vatican II, the return of legalism and clericalism, the manner in which women are treated in the Church, stretching priests to the breaking point, struggles with the hierarchy, and loneliness.”

Why do I write about all this? Take a look at the past two presidential elections. The candidate most at odds with Church teaching won both times, and with a majority of the Catholic vote! Look at our parishes on Sunday and see how empty they have become. Check out the various surveys of so-called Catholics where over 90% openly admit to using artificial birth control. Our nation is descending into cultural rot, and Catholics are going down with it if not leading the charge. Is it any wonder that so many Catholics disregard Church teaching when you have priests like Fr. Spilly openly challenging the Faith in their parish bulletins and homilies? I beg our Apostolic Administrator and the next bishop to put a stop to open dissent from Rochester priests. Unlike what Bp. Gumbleton said at the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests conference, the ministry of the bishop and priest IS to save souls. Please start doing it!

Fr. Spilly continues to bite his thumb at Church teaching

November 25th, 2011, Promulgated by b a

Perhaps Fr. Spilly would be interested in Romanorum Coetibus.

again, this link from Fr Z: So why don’t liberal Catholics leave the Church?

Better question – why are liberal priests permitted to do and say as they please? Where is the sense of order in our diocese? I wonder if the topic of renegade priests came up (or will come up) in Bishop Clark’s Ad Limina visit.

And a reminder that the idea women’s ordination is a done deal.


Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.

more from Jimmy Akin here.

Fr. Spilly accolade at CTA

November 8th, 2011, Promulgated by b a

Fr. Bill Spilly received recognition at the Call to Action Conference (see his own note about it here) on Saturday for his support of Roy Bourgeois, the excommunicated Maryknoll priest who is leading a personal crusade for women’s ordination. There may be other Rochester priests in the projected powerpoint list should anyone have the tenacity to watch the entire clip.


Call To Action: “Without fear of being judged”

October 29th, 2011, Promulgated by b a

The following bulletin article comes to us from Fr. Bill Spilly (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton).

“Without fear of being judged”? It amazes me how anti-intellectual the spirit of the age is. It is well known that “Call to Action” is beyond suspect. I’m getting lazy in my research, but feel free to get started by following these links:

This one won’t work (more on Rich’s departure later):

Rochester Priest Promotes “Call to Action” Conference

November 22nd, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

Fr. William Spilly, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hamlin and very good friend of Jim Callan (read the Studentbaker Corporation for more on that), speaks about his recent attendance at the notoriously dissenting “Call to Action” conference. Below is what he wrote about the event:

Fr. Spilly endorsement of CTA

Perhaps Fr. Spilly, and some other Rochester priests, could use a little refresher on why Call to Action is an organization of dissidents that is not endorsed by the Catholic Church and forbidden to operate on church property is most dioceses.

From their web site:
Home page:

  • “Call To Action Part of New Pro-LGBT Catholic Coalition!”
  • “US Catholic Bishop Elections Signal Continued Targeting of Gay, Transgender People”

FAQ page:

  • “laity and clergy are to be consulted in the formulation of church doctrine and discipline, including human sexuality, academic freedom, roles of the laity and liturgical issues”
  • the priesthood is open to all people: single, married, women, men”
  • “the people of a diocese should be consulted in the selection of their bishops.”

JustChurch program page:

  • “An online petition, initiated by the Women’s Ordination Conference, and supported by Fr. Bourgeois and coalition partners Call To Action/USA and Roman Catholic Womenpriests is gathering the signatures and support of thousands of Catholics across the country. Click here to sign the petition, “Break the Silence on Women’s Ordination. Shatter the Stained Glass Ceiling.””
  • “Ask your bishop to stand with the California bishops and make a similar statement in support of women religious in the United States” (this is  because they perceive the Vatican investigation into the life of women religious in the U.S. as opression)
  • “A month after firing Ruth Kolpack over her thesis on inclusive language and church teaching, Madison’s Bishop Morlino met with 350 local Catholics who testified to Ruth’s vibrant ministry and the injustice of firing her.

    Don’t let our church be Ruth-less!If you live in the Madison Diocese, you are asked to send in the Bishop’s Annual Catholic Appeal without money and with the words “Reinstate Ruth” written on the envelope.”
  • “Ask him to urge Bishop Morlino to reinstate Ruth and create just workplace policies for lay ministers. There are more than 30,000 lay ministers in our country who can be fired at a priest or bishop’s whim without due process.”
  • “Fr. Marek Bozek, pastor at St. Stanislaus Kostka parish in St. Louis, has been notified by the Vatican that he has been “laicized” for his efforts to keep the parish lay-led and inclusive to those normally marginalized by the church.Call To Action’s JustChurch campaign leader in St. Louis, Megan Heeney of the CTA-affiliated Catholic Action Network, invites all Call To Action members and other supporters who live within driving distance to worship with St. Stanislaus on Sunday, March 15th to show your support for Marek and this inclusive Catholic community.”

Furthermore, read any one of their newsletters to get the full scope of their hatred for all things Roman Catholic.

As you can see, it is troubling that a Rochester priest would attend one of these conferences where dissenters meet to high-five each other. It is even more troubling that he would promote this event in his bulletin space (above) and on his parish web site (below).

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton link to “Call to Action”

As for his effort to compare the oppression of women in Islam to some perceived oppression of women in Catholicism… where do these people get off making such claims? Do they not realize that in some Muslim nations, women are required to be completely covered from head to toe (save for their eyes) and can even be stoned to death for sexual crimes? Just drive down Lyell Avenue in the city and you will see a mosque located not too far from Holy Apostles church that has a sign outside indicating that there are two different entrances for men and women. It’s atrocious that anyone would try to compare the status of women between these two religions!

More of the same in Rochester, folks. There are far to many Jim Callan loyalists hanging around, running our parishes. This support for dissent is going to continue until: a) Bishop Clark receives an awakening and decides to put a stop to this, b) 2012 comes and we get a bishop who will stand up to these priests, c) The Spirit of Vatican II era priests retire within the next 10 years. Until then, this undermining of the Catholic Church will continue.

For other posts about this pastor, read here, here, here, and here.

“Father” Jim Callan?

June 3rd, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

Unless I missed the news story, Jim Callan is still an excommunicated heretic working for the schismatic Spiritus Christi denomination. From Fr. Spilly’s bulletin article:

Fr. Spilly on the Pope

April 21st, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

More “wisdom” from Fr. William Spilly, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hamlin:

“We should reserve judgment on the situation of possible cover-up on the part of then Cardinal Ratzinger and now Pope Benedict. I hope he explains his actions as soon as possible [He already has, Father]. Any type of cover-up in these matters will not help him or the universal church [Who says there is cover-up?]. Any delay in explaining what happened in Germany as Archbishop hurts the church and all members of the church [Again, he has already done this!]. Please continue to pray for all victims of sexual abuse and for the Pope and other bishops to come clean with what occurred [Fr. Spilly began his little piece of wisdom with “we should reserve judgment”, but he concludes with this. To pray that the pope will “come clean” suggests that one has already made up their mind that the pope is guilty].”

In image form:

Not a big fan of Papa Benedict, I would guess.

For a previous installment of “wisdom” from Fr. Spilly, click here.

Diocese of Rochester Parish Links to Dissenting Groups

January 26th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

For today’s second post about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church in Hamlin (led by Fr. Spilly), we will direct you to the links page of their parish Web site located at:

Below is a screenshot:

One will quickly notice that there are a number of links posted here that one would find on Spiritus Christi’s Web site; not the site of a parish which is in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church.

Let’s look at a few of the links found on the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton page, shall we?

#3- Call to Action (From the CTA Web site, CTA believes: “laity and clergy are to be consulted in the formulation of church doctrine and discipline, including human sexuality, academic freedom, roles of the laity and liturgical issues… the priesthood is open to all people: single, married, women, men”)
#12- FutureChurch (From the FutureChurch Web site, FC believes: “FutureChurch is concerned about the related issues of women in ministry, optional celibacy, inclusive language, and Church decision-making that involves all the faithful, as called for by Vatican II.”)
#17- Spiritus Christi (This one goes without saying. Disgusting that it would appear here, but makes sense considering Fr. Spilly is a good friend of Callan’s who was mentioned around seven times in his Studentbaker Corporation book.)
#26- Voice of the Faithful (The Rochester site no longer exists at the address they linked to, but here is what VOTF believes: “To shape structural change within the Church: We respect the teaching authority of the Church and recognize the role that the hierarchy should exercise in discernment. It is essential, however, that all the people of God be involved in this process of discernment. We will therefore devote ourselves to advancing meaningful and active engagement of the laity in the life of the Church.”)

All of the above are dissenting groups, Spiritus Christi obviously being schismatic. These links do not belong on the parish links page of any Roman Catholic Web site. They should be taken down immediately, for all of these Web sites encourage dissent, and at times, heresy.

Dissent in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Bulletin

January 6th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

I was holding off on adding Fr. William Spilly to our list of Rochester personalities who have signed the dissenting “What If We Just Said Wait” petition to delay and fight the revised English translations of the Roman Missal, but he just took an almost unthinkable step. Rather than just sign his name to the petition (which he has indeed done), Fr. Spilly has gone as far as to encourage his parishioners to oppose the Missal translations through his parish bulletin. Talk about guts. What follows below is the entirety of Father’s bulletin article. A scanned copy is available below in case I made a typo in transcribing the letter.

When is the Diocese of Rochester going to put its foot down and end the blatant and open dissent from its priests, administrators, deacons, and religious? So far the following have signed this petition: 13 priests, 2 deacons, 12 religious sisters, 18 lay ministers (including Charlotte Bruney and Barbara Swiecki, two “Pastoral Administrators” who run parishes), and countless laypersons.

This open and bold dissent needs to end now.

Here is Fr. William Spilly’s plea for parishioners to oppose the new translations, and sign the online petition (all emphasis is his):

“Now that the holidays are over, we get back to normal, if there is such a thing. I would like to bring your attention something that is about to happen in our American Church, possibly by the year 2011.

Several years ago, the American bishops and other English-speaking bishops began to consider new translations of the parts of the Mass. This was undertaken by liturgical experts of the International Committee on English in the Liturgy. Unfortunately, the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments did not agree with the work done by the International Commission, and overturned their work.

Since Vatican II, there was an understanding that translations used in the Mass would be done according to the principal of “dynamic equivalency,” which allowed for translations according to their meaning. The Vatican Congregation said the new translations would be done according to the translation of “formal equivalency,” which involves a literalist approach of the original Latin texts.

According to the Rev. Michael Ryan, pastor of St. James Cathedral in Seattle, Washington, ‘what is at stake… is nothing less than the church’s credibility. It is true that the church could gain some credibility by giving us more beautiful translations, but clumsy is not beautiful, and precious is not prayerful.’ Some of the new translations would include, when I say ‘The Lord is with you,’ you now say, ‘and also with you.’ The new translation would have you respond, ‘And with your spirit.’ Others include, ‘consubstantial with the Father’ (in the Creed); ‘oblation of our service’; ‘send down your Spirit like the dew-fall’; ‘He took the precious chalice’; and ‘serene and kindly countenance.’

Rev. Ryan has started a website called His statement of concern is as follows: ‘We are very concerned about the proposed new translations of the Roman Missal. We believe that simply imposing them on our people — even after a program of preparation — will have an adverse effect on their prayer and cause serious division in our communities.

‘We are concerned that adopting translations that are highly controversial, and which leaders among our bishops as well as highly respected liturgists consider to be seriously flawed, will be a grave mistake.

‘For this reason we earnestly implore the bishops of the English-speaking world to undertake a pilot program by which the new translations — after a careful program of catechesis — can be introduced into some carefully selected parishes and communities through the English-speaking world for a period of one (liturgical) year, after which they can be objectively evaluated.

‘We are convinced that this approach will address the concerns of those many bishops who feel they have lost their voice in the matter and that it will give a voice to the People of God whose prayer is at stake and who accordingly have the most to gain or lose by the translations

‘We realize that a pilot project of this kind is unprecedented but so is the process by which translations have been approved.’

If you would like to sign your name to this effort, as I already have, please go to the website mentioned above, read the article by Rev. Ryan and an editorial in the National Catholic Reporter, and sign your name if so agree.

Peace to all of you,
Father Bill”

Here is a scan of the bulletin page which contains the priest’s column:

Below are all of the Diocese of Rochester priests, deacons, religious, and lay “ministers” who have signed the petition opposing the revised English translations. Even one name from a DoR leader on this petition would be too much, but we have several:

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If one wishes to seek answers about all these leaders signing this petition, here is the pertinent contact information:

Bishop Matthew Clark

Pastoral Center

Diocese of Rochester

1150 Buffalo Road

Rochester, New York 14624

or call:

(585) 328-3210

Some good questions to ask: What does the diocese have to say about this? Does the diocese agree with or support these voices of dissent? Will the diocese address this topic and fully support the decision of the Vatican and the USCCB? What will be done to stop our leaders from leading this revolt against the Church?

If you contact the bishop, be sure to send along the list of names and a link to the “What If We Just Said Wait” site.