Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Who said St. Anne couldn’t get any worse?

July 3rd, 2009, Promulgated by Dr. K

Enters Gina Downer (top left on front page), the new cluster Pastoral Associate for St. Anne and Our Lady of Lourdes parishes. I did a quick Google search of the name, and here is what came up:

From a pdf article entitled “Behold! ‘Those Persons’ are Your Neighbors!” available at the Gates Presbyterian Church website, we find the following in a typed sermon dated 7/15/2007 (emphasis added in boldface):

Three days ago, I received an e-mail from Gina Downer. Many of you remember Gina and George, who worshipped with us for a couple of years before they moved to the east side of the city to be closer to their daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren. I asked her if I could read part of her e-mail, omitting any reference to Gina and George. She replied that I was to read this to you with attribution.

Hi Ralph,
I need to write to you because George and I thought of you after reading Pope Benedict’s remarks in yesterday’s paper. On behalf of George and myself and a LARGE number of liberal Roman Catholics, we apologize for the Pope’s insensitivity and ignorance. I don’t know what to say except that I am embarrassed by his remarks for the past two weeks. … I hope you and the congregation of Gates Presbyterian Church can forgive the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. He doesn’t speak for all of us. WWJD! [What Would Jesus Do!] Jesus welcomed all … I don’t know why the Pope doesn’t. I guess all we can do is pray that the Holy Spirit can breathe newness into his heart and soul.

We are active at St. Mary’s Church-downtown… we are both singing in the choir. I hope you are well and enjoying the summer.

Blessings and Peace, Gina

In my response to Gina Downer?s e-mail, I told her how the Gospel reading for today, the one that will be read in every Roman Catholic Church in this country today, ? that the reading was about Jesus? definition of neighbor as found in the tenth chapter of Luke. I told her a little of Sally?s read of Bryson?s book and mine of Michener?s. In her response, she added words all of us might echo today:

I am shocked by how human beings treat other human beings in this world. What makes people think they are better than other people?


My prayers for the people of St. Anne. It is going to get a lot worse before it will get any better.

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16 Responses to “Who said St. Anne couldn’t get any worse?”

  1. Gen says:

    My lunch lurches ever upwards. This has to be the most disgusting thing I have seen this summer.

    Then again, I haven't been to Mass at St. Anne's lately. It's been almost a year since I journeyed to OLV.

  2. Nerina says:

    What comments by our Holy Father is she talking about? I love how people try to separate Jesus from his Church (in her "WWJD" reference). Pope Benedict has addressed this approach to the Faith many times. I suggest Gina become more familiar with his writings and try to avoid the mainstream media as her only source of information.

  3. Rob says:

    Wow… that was my first impression, and what is still going through my head as I write a comment.

    I have a few concerns with this e-mail of hers to the pastor of Gates Presbyterian.

    1. Where are this woman's loyalties? Is she Roman Catholic, loyal to the Holy Father in Rome, or is she a part-time Catholic, part-time Presbyterian? I am troubled to see a Roman Catholic Pastoral Associate writing to a Protestant minister to bash the leader of what is allegedly her Church.

    2. How "large" are these numbers of liberal Catholics? She put large in uppercase letters, so she seems to be suggesting that most Catholics except for a small minority think and feel like her. I don't buy that idea.

    3. She apologizes for the Pope's "insensitivity" and "ignorance"? Those are nasty comments to make about the holy successor of St. Peter. And with what authority is she apologizing on behalf of other Catholics? She is certainly not apologizing for me, I love our Pope.

    4. And she's "embarrassed" too? Well, you know what Gina, I'm embarrassed that you would go running to complain to a Protestant minister about the Holy Father.

    5. Now she's asking for the forgiveness of her Protestant friends?

    6. "He doesn't speak for all of us" says Gina. WRONG. Pope Benedict most certainly does speak for all of us Catholics. He is the leader of our Church!

    7. "What would Jesus Do?" — The same tired liberal clich?. How about what did Jesus actually do? We do not and can not know what Jesus would do, we only know what he did do, as described in the Holy Bible. Speculation is unacceptable.

    8. The Pope hasn't "welcomed all"? What is that supposed to mean? She's beginning to talk like one of the screw balls at Spiritus Christi.

    9. The Pope is inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit appears to be saying "fix the mess that the Church is in." "Newness"… what a crack.

    This person is one who needs a careful eye to be kept on her. Her loyalties seem to be divided, and she has no problems with calling herself a liberal Catholic and attacking the Pope. That's a recipe for disaster (of the Mary Ramerman variety) if you ask me. Not saying she'll go get ordained, but she seems to have the same questionable loyalty and respect for the leaders of the Church that Mary had. I hope the people of St. Anne will stand up to her if she tries anything over there. Do NOT let her preach.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Only one word comes to mind to describe this woman's rejection of the authority of the Papacy: heresy.

  5. Gen says:

    Would someone be willing to send this to the appropriate people at Buffalo Rd? A pastoral associate cannot publicly criticize the pope and get away with it. Even Joan Sobala has never called the Pope "ignorant."

  6. Sed says:

    Gina Downer, as she stated, used to sing at St. Mary's downtown. As some may know, St. Mary's has long been a hotbed of liberal thought. It has at one time or another had visitors such as Sr. Joan, Nancy DeRycke, Ray Grosswirth, Fr. Lawlor, and others.

    Here is an image of Gina singing with the choir for the 175th birthday. She is second from the right: http://www.catholiccourier.com/images/local_news/09_0603_M1_stMary175.jpg

    That is most certainly the same person in both the St. Anne Our Lady of Lourdes bulletin image, and this Courier image.

    Yet another liberal mind has been picked from the tree of St. Mary's parish of New Age.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Food is now all over my computer screen after reading her letter to Rev. Ralph English. Is this what Catholics do? Do they badmouth the Pope to Protestant pastors?

  8. Gen says:

    Didn't you get the memo?

  9. Gen says:

    Anyone want the bishop's number? Here it is: 328-3228 ext 1225

    You'll probably receive a secretary or some other minion of darkness, but hey, at least you can try if you so choose.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Gina Downer has to resign from her position of Pastoral Associate.

    She just lost all of her credibility.

    On July 10, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19692094/

  11. Anonymous says:

    So is this woman a Catholic or a Protestant? From the memo she wrote, it sounds like the latter.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Cleansing Fire for exposing these frauds for what they really are. Without this site, it may have been years before these statements were ever discovered and revealed. Instead, we know them now. Before this person becomes a Pastoral Administrator. Thank you for all that you do. Continue to expose these frauds, continue to entertain us, continue to be a beacon of light for the lost and scattered sheep of the DoR.

  13. Dr. K says:

    The following may also be worth checking out: click here.

    "People unable to attend the Dec. 14, 2005 prayer service in Rochester, NY but who express their solidarity in thanksgiving for the faithful, loving service of gay priests and in recognition of the heroic struggle of gay and lesbian Catholics as they continue their journey with us." (Basically what this is saying is it lists people who wished they could have attended a prayer service for homosexual priests and other homosexual Catholics)

    Ms. Downer is listed #54 on the list, and Fr. Tyman is also present at #66. In addition, a few other Rochester sisters can be found. Did these people forget that the Vatican has stated that homosexual persons should not be ordained to the priesthood?

    Here's a refresher:
    "In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question[9], cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture"[10]. " (From: "Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders")

    ~Dr. K

  14. Anonymous says:

    If this woman is truly a Roman Catholic, and not a Protestant in Catholic's clothing, she should not be attacking the Holy Father. She also should not be "apologizing" for the Roman Catholic Church for proclaiming herself to be the Church of Christ. This ecumenism crap has got to stop. If we can't call ourselves the one true faith, then we are all wasting our time and shouldn't even bother holding any beliefs. If you don't believe in your religion, what's the point?

    Also, what is it with dissidents gaining power in the DoR? Is the only way to get a parish job in our diocese to speak out against the teachings of the Church? I'm shocked at this one, even for Sr. Joan Sobala this was a low blow.

  15. Bernie says:

    Only in the diocese of Rochester can you be rewarded with a job after calling top official "insensitive" and "ignorant."

  16. Anonymous says:

    Does Gina Downer expect the parishioners to continue to give her a paycheck and benefits each week, after she verbally attacked our Holy Father, Pope Benedict? This woman has to go.

    What if another Diocese of Rochester employee published a letter stating that our local Bishop is an "alleged" homosexual? Do you think that the employee would have a job on Monday morning?

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