Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Reading Between the Lines

August 28th, 2009, Promulgated by Dr. K

If you’re interested in the St. Thomas/St. Salome/Christ the King situation in Irondequoit, check out Fr. Tanck’s latest letter on the front page of his cluster bulletin. Basically, this article tries to comfort the parishioners in the cluster (and perhaps prepare them for future events) by comparing our problems with the problems of other religions. Fr. Tanck tells the story of two Baptist parishes in Kentucky, one predominately white, the other predominately black, and how they overcame their differences to worship together as one community in a single worship site. Keep the following in mind while reading his article, especially the passages below: St. Thomas and Christ the King are two completely different parishes. The former embraces orthodoxy and tradition, while the latter has a much more progressive outlook, relatively speaking.

Here are two passages with added emphasis. Look for the parallels between the situation in Irondequoit and the parishes in this story, and notice what was the outcome of the parishes in the story (foreshadowing in Irondequoit?):

“Last Sunday night I saw on the ABC news a story about two Baptist congregations in Louisville, Kentucky that were merging. One was an all-white congregation and the other all-black that had decided to become one community in one facility. Motivated in part by their financial situations, both churches saw an opportunity to “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.”

“The two churches, St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church and Shively Heights Baptist Church have very different worship styles. The all-white congregation has an aging membership but a large church and ministry center. The black community has a much younger and growing membership. The pastors said in their interview that they thought that, once all the details are worked out it will be a match “made in heaven”.”

There is one more thing I’d like to bring up before I forget: Why are small Eastern Rite parishes within Monroe County able to survive with pitifully low collection and attendance numbers, while medium to large parishes (200-500) in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester are struggling to keep themselves afloat with collection totals that are 3-4 times as high as the Eastern rite parishes? Maybe a CF reader can offer an answer to this. It sounds like there is some terrible financial management going on in the DoR.

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10 Responses to “Reading Between the Lines”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I've been noticing this pattern from Fr. Tanck in his bulletins and his homilies. He is more or less trying to quell a riot, because he already knows in his mind what's going to go down, and how it will happen. That's why all the proposals from St. Thomas and St. Salome are being shot down. That's also why he has to resort to name calling.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That whole passage is absurd. In other parts of the country with devoted Bishops, the Church is growing (especially in the south!)or at least holding steady. Why should the northeast be any different? You are correct, a defeatist attitude does no good. I recommend starting a Perpetual Devotion to the Eucharist somewhere in the Diocese.

  3. Anonymous says:

    P.S. – Your blog is excellent. Have you thought about doing an Albany edition? Bishop Hubbard pulls some of the same shenannigans as Clark. I could go on for hours about it…

  4. Sed says:

    Why would he tell a story like that UNLESS he plans on closing churches?

    The writing is on the wall for St. Thomas and st. Salome, and it sickens me.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Some orthodox priests supplement their incomes with part time jobs. But that's their salary concerns.

    There are plenty of Christian congregations with less than 500 members that seem to get along just fine. Some of them even buy and worship at former catholic churches. But then again, they don't have to send their money to Buffalo Road.

    Time for a little downsizing at the Pastoral Center.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The problem is that we have to pay for a bloated bureaucracy as the above poster describes. Our next bishop should trim the fat and kick the lay leaders to the curb. For every lay administrator, the cost of salaries are doubled. Now instead of just a priest, a parish has to pay for a Sr. Joan, a Fr. Tyman, and a youth minister. Not that this is the case at St. Thomas, but it's a problem for a number of other parishes.

  7. nyyankeegirl says:

    Off the topic, but Fr. Corapi has a brand new website and is offering a pre-sale of the dvd's of the buffalo conference. This new site is much more comprehensive than his previous site, and even has a page to pray the rosary with Fr Corapi. Here is the link to the new site:

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the link nyyakneegirl! I can't wait to get my copy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The moral of the story is that Bishop Matthew Clark wants to cash in on the sale of the Church properties, money in the parish savings account and any stock certificates in the parish safe, that most parishioners don't know about.

    Holy Family Church on Ames St. in the City of Rochester was listed for sale with an asking price at over a million dollars. Some of the parish properties in the suburbs will easily approach one million dollars.

    The sad part of the story is that the Bishop really doesn't care what happens to the parishioners, especially the parishioners who will try to protect house of the Lord.

    I believe that public access Channel 15 in the City of Rochester and Channel 12 in Monroe County is available to anybody who wants to do a half hour TV show, to expose the corruption in the Diocese of Rochester and to promote these great Blogs.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Father, why don't you just close the parishes already and stop lying to everyone.

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