Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

It’s Called “Dissent”

February 22nd, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

We received a tip from a fed-up Assumption parishioner informing us that we should check out Deni Mack, the current Pastoral Associate at Church of the Assumption in Fairport. We previously posted about her illicitly preaching a homily in this post a week ago, and this post in November.

Ms. Mack, like Sr. Joan Sobala and Nancy DeRycke, has had ties to the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC), an organization dedicated to promoting the ordination of women, contrary to the definitive teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Ms. Mack is mentioned twice on this page of the WOC Website. Here is what is written there, emphasis added:

“After lunch our Witness Wagon took us to Rochester, to tour Susan B. Anthony’s home. At this time, Bishop Christina Mayr Lumetzburger and her husband Michael arrived along with her mother, sister, and niece. Many of us bought items in the gift shop labeled with Anthony’s oft quoted words “Failure is impossible”… We were now ready to partake in a delightful afternoon tea and pastries put together by Deni Mack and Denise Donato of Spiritus Christi Church. “

and also the much more interesting passage, emphasis added:

“For the first time in several decades, three of the foremothers of WOC — Gratia L’Esperence, RSM, Rosalie Muschal-Reinhardt, and Joan Sobala, SSJ, the very women who first envsioned (with Deni Mack [Mack being called one of the original leaders of the WOC movement, along with Sr. Sobala] and Marsie Silvestro) the first Women’s Ordination Conference — spoke to us. They told us about witnessing years ago to the bishops and at ordinations. I listened with open ears aware of the struggle and hope that went before me. That evening we were invited to supper at Spiritus Christi where Mary Rammerman and Jim Callan spoke and we presented Judy with a gift. At Spiritus Christi we all participated in a memorable Mass celebrated by Mary Rammerman, Denise Donato, Jim Callan and Christina Mayr Lumetzburger.

Notice how things work in the Diocese of Rochester. We have three prominent Women’s Ordination Conference advocates in our diocese still in “good standing” with the Church, two of which are leading parishes as de facto priestesses under the title “Pastoral Administrator”, or in Ms. DeRycke’s case, as self-anointed “Pastoral Leader.” A third prominent member, Ms. Mack, is serving as a Pastoral Associate. Why do so many supporters of heterodoxy and dissent have positions of power in our diocese? You can’t tell me that our bishop is unaware of their involvement with the WOC.

Perhaps it wouldn’t surprise anyone that Ms. Mack is a former member of Corpus Christi, a parish which engaged in heretical acts such as vesting laypeople in half-stoles and inviting them to elevate the chalice. In fact, the book “Standing in the Light: A Parishioner’s Story“, written by the soon-to-be-pretend-ordained Chava Redonnet of Spiritus Christi says (emphasis added):

“In 1982, Jim Callan invited several parishioners to become lay preachers. Among them were Margie Payne, Jim Smith, Sylvia Kostin, Irene Dymkar, Deni Mack and myself. We would preach at the noon Mass on Wednesdays, taking turns, and would meet monthly to critique each other’s homilies.

There is no attempt to even call this preaching a “dialogue homily.” These preachings were, and I quote, “homilies.” In fact, Ms. Mack literally wrote the book on illicit lay preaching:

By the way, check out the first review, emphasis added:

?With great enthusiasm I recommend Extraordinary Preaching. I have the privilege of serving as bishop of the local church to which these women bring such wonderful gifts. They have given strength and hope to my life, and I know they have done the same for thousands of others in our local church. They love and live the Word, have a deep reverence for the human story, and possess an uncommon ability to draw them together in a way that puts our hearers in touch with God and their own hearts.? ? Bishop Matthew Clark, Diocese of Rochester, N.Y.

Once again, you’re going to have a difficult time convincing me that our bishop is unaware about what’s going on. He has stated time and time again that he wishes that women could give homilies. We witness this weekly in our parishes, where laywomen preach illicitly during the homily in direct contradiction to the norms of the Catholic Church.

In addition to Bishop Clark’s glowing review of Ms. Mack’s book, a Presbyterian Minister in Rochester (head of the church where Spiritus Christi holds their services) also wrote a review of interest. Here is what she said:

“The book is much more than a feast of excellent preaching; it is also a deep well of spirituality, a witness to the ?ordination by the Spirit? that is the fountainhead of true priesthood. Each woman in turn became a minister to me as I read her words and was moved, comforted, shaken and challenged by unexpected new understandings of the Word.”

This minister appears to be suggesting that the women preachers profiled in the book are ordained by the Holy Spirit, which is, and I quote, “the fountainhead of true priesthood.” This is a very interesting comment. Come on, the Protestants can clearly see what’s going on in the Diocese of Rochester, why can’t us Catholics? Laywomen in our diocese are essentially being elevated to near-priest status when they are permitted to preach homilies, run parishes, and take on significant involvement in the liturgy and certain sacraments.

If you think all of this so far is an eyebrow raiser, get a load of this next item. Ms. Mack is listed on the Gay Alliance of the Genesse Valley Website as a “lay presider/preacher for our song-filled Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word.” This can be viewed online here. This is not the first time that she has lead Liturgy of the Word services for this homosexual group, as the Website states that she “returns” to this role. Ms. Mack will also be leading yet another upcoming service for another Rochester homosexual group. This time it will be for “Dignity-Integrity Rochester” on March 14th. The ad for the upcoming service is seen below:

These services for Dignity-Integrity of Rochester are held at St. Luke & St. Simon Cyrene, an Episcopal church located in downtown Rochester. If you are still not yet outraged by all of this, you certainly will be after reading the following description of what these “Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word” services involve:

“On the second Sunday, our Liturgy of the Word is in the Roman Catholic tradition, and it is led by a layperson who has studied theology or has other suitable qualifications. The service has many of the elements of a Mass, with a few extra features thrown in [Oh? “A few extra features”?], but no communion. Nevertheless, it does fulfill your Sunday obligation, and it’s based on the Roman Catholic guidelines for Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest [A blatant abuse, and bold-faced lie. This does not in any way fulfill your Sunday obligation to attend Mass, and such services are only permitted when a priest is not available; not just out of convenience or other questionable motives…]. The presiders and homilists are people who would undoubtedly make great priests if the Roman Catholic church was fully open to the gifts of women and married men [Incredible dissent. Now it’s clear that the purpose of these services is to promote the “advancement of the laity” and let women and married men play priest. The Vatican needs to be made aware of this immediately. This can not continue]. Following the service, there is a coffee hour social starting around 6:15 PM.

For a sample of this Liturgy of the Word (including our prophetic “Liturgy of the Stones[See here]), visit the liturgical resource site STICKS & STONES / FLESH & BLOOD: Liturgical images and movements that speak to experience at”

This whole thing is disturbing. These Liturgy of the Word services for homosexual groups are called “Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest” and are mistakenly said to fulfill your Sunday obligation (see previous CF post on this topic). This group further states that these services give opportunities to preside to those who would “undoubtedly make good priests”. Women and married men are not ordained priests in the Roman Catholic Church. There is no “would make good priests” about it, especially when it comes to the ordination of women, which is clearly impossible based upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s worth mentioning that Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest MUST be authorized by the bishop. The persons leading such liturgies MUST have the bishop’s permission. This begs the question: Has Bishop Clark permitted these SCAP services for homosexual groups, and given permission for Ms. Deni Mack to lead them? I hope someone will contact the diocese to find out about this. The Diocese needs to be informed about these services, the nature of them, and how Dignity-Integrity views the role of these laywomen and married men based on what is written on their Website.

All of this information raises several questions:
1. Why do so many Pastoral Administrators and Associates in our diocese have ties to the Women’s Ordination Conference? Why are these women permitted to preach when a requirement for preaching is that the person is orthodox in faith? (support for women’s ordination making this orthodoxy doubtful)
2. Has the Diocese of Rochester, namely Bishop Clark, authorized Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest to be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal for homosexual groups? Who has been authorized to lead such services if this is true?
3. How can the diocese justify Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest (SCAP) when this provision only applies to situat
ions where no priest can be found, and no Masses are being held within a reasonable traveling distance?
4. How can the diocese justify SCAP services when the group they are provided for views these services as a chance for women and married men to play priest?
5. How can the diocese justify SCAP services that fail to follow the rubrics for such a service, and include a “Liturgy of the Stones”?

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36 Responses to “It’s Called “Dissent””

  1. Anonymous says:

    The City of Rochester sure is a popular city of shame.

    First you become known as the Killing Capital of New York State, with all of the murders taking place.

    Now you are the "Capital of Liturgical Abuse" in the United States.

    Shame on Bishop Matthew Harvey Clark.

  2. Scott/Mary says:

    Dr. K.
    Another disturbing incident took place when Deni Mack was posted (not sure of her title) at St. Gregory's in Marion several years ago.
    On Holy Thursday, after the Mass of the High Priest, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was coming to a close, Deni was the one who got up, took the Blessed Sacrament from the monstrance and started to pass Our Eucharistic Lord around the congregation. There was about 15-20 people (including my aunt) who was totally taken by surprise and who didn't know how to handle this abuse. Deni Mack is an enemy of the faith who has been allowed to scandalized the faithful for way too long.

  3. Gen says:

    That is obscene. Who is she to pass around, let alone even touch, the Body of Our Lord? This is sedition, not just dissent. Such contempt cannot continue uncontested.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That's the sound of my jaw hitting the floor. I think this woman may actually be a bigger dissenter than Joan Sobala and Nancy DeRycke combined! I don't think Joan or Nancy are leading Sunday Celebrations for dissident gay groups that view these people as priest-substitutes.

    What's more, if you watch all of the Assumption videos online, she ALWAYS wears that purple scarf. Does she wear it because it resembles Mary Ramerman's stole? Someone needs to sit her down, and straighten her out. Someone needs to sit Fr. Palumbos down and tell him to retire. Enough of this. These people are going to create schism if we don't stop them now.

  5. Rob says:

    We're still feeling the aftershocks of Corpus Christi's schism in many parishes across the diocese. 1/3 of the people decided to fight for change from outside the institution, 1/3 were Protestant and went elsewhere, and 1/3 stayed to fight for change from within. The situations at St. Mary and Assumption are examples of the 1/3 who stayed to fight from within. Corpus Christi had long been the precious favored child of Bishop Clark, who nurtured and protected them when several people tried to expose their misbehavior and bring the parish back in line with the rest of the Church. He was heartbroken to see his efforts go up in smoke when the Vatican finally took action in 1998. Ever since then, he has been protecting the Corpus people who decided to remain in the Church, appointing them to high jobs in the diocese and many of our parishes. The bishop 100% agrees with the Corpus vision pertaining to homosexuality, the role of women, and Church governance. I don't think there is anything out there that will disprove this assertion. The Corpus Christi corruption of our parishes is not going to end until Bishop Clark is removed as bishop. The former Corpus parishioners will continue to infiltrate our parishes, one by one, and force their vision for the Church upon all of us. It will start with a homily here and a homily there from a lay person, but it will become so much worse as they assist to mold the parish to be the "inclusive" kind like Corpus Christi. Our diocese is dancing with the devil, and you guys are exposing every last bit of it. There is still plenty out there, but I trust that Cleansing Fire and its readers will work to expose the rest of it in Bishop Clark's final years. Let no stone remain unturned in this quest to show how corrupt and filled with stinking dissent our diocese has become.

    Good work guys. This is tough work, and I'm glad that I don't have to do it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This bishop does not love the Catholic Church. Call it uncharitable, but I have yet to see evidence that the loves the Church. He's always trying to change the Church to be something that it is not. I think he'd be much happier as an Episcopalian.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Women's ordination is heresy by the way, Deni Mack. The Catholic Church has made it known that it is a teaching to be definitively held.

    Shouldn't her heresy result in her not preaching and not being a pastoral associate? Anywhere else it would.

  8. Gen says:

    It's charitable to correct someone who is in error, Anon 1:39 – it's only non-charitable when someone takes it upon themselves to "change the institution" at the expense of so many hundreds of souls.

    What is the cost of all the "reform" seen in Rochester? What have we gained?

    Not one thing. We have lost vastly more than we have gained – and that's assuming that we gained anything at all. We haven't. Name one positive thing that Bishop Clark's administration has done, save allowing the Carmelite sisters back in, that actually built up the Church.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The Carmelites are a powerhouse of prayer. Please donate to them.

  10. We need an episcopal Davy Crockett to pay a visit to Assumption in Fairport and then onto Buffalo Road.

    I totally agree with the Carmelites being a powerhouse of prayer. They do need donations.

  11. Gen says:

    I should think that the persecuted Church in China takes precedence over a reign which will end automatically. It's awfully bad here, but what's worse: murdered bishops replaced by phony state-appointed bishops, or an old hippie who can't let the past just die?

  12. Yes, Gen. That really puts things in a very "catholic' perspective. You're right, look at what the Vatican has to deal with daily, the Church universal. Look at China, Iraq Catholics, etc.

  13. Anonymous says:



  14. Joe says:

    I can't stand Church of the Assumption. My family left a few years ago and we're now attending Masses at Holy Spirit. It's a bit of a drive for us, but at least I don't feel like I'm putting our souls in peril by attending a parish where dissent and rule breaking is the norm.

  15. Gen says:

    Excellent, Joe. I wish more would follow that example. People need to wake from the stupor of complacency.

  16. Ben Anderson says:

    wife was watching mama ang last night and said come here, listen to this.

    grossly paraphrasing:
    "you have a bad bishop or a bad priest? Well, stop following along like sheep. I bet if your priest told you all to stand on your head during the consecration you'd all do it."

    I quickly searched youtube for the clip, but to no avail.

  17. Ben Anderson says:

    I'm not sure if I accept the "Rome doesn't have time for us" mentality. Sure there are more important priorities, but if Rome doesn't have time for us than you're basically making the case for a locally autonomous church aren't you? If that's true, then they need to re-org a little bit so that someone has time for us. The more likely speculation I've heard is that they either don't know all the facts or they are choosing not to act. If the latter, I assume it's because they think it's better to let it die on it's own than to have papal intervention (which could result in an uprising). I'm not saying I agree with that mentality, but it seems the mostly likely explanation as to why Rome allows such things to happen.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The parishioners better keep on eye on the money down at Father "Sparkle Sparkle's" parish. At his previous parish, thousands of dollars came up missing several times and what a coincidence, he was always playing the stock market on his computer.

    When this information was brought to the attention of a member of the finance committee, Father "Sparkle Sparkle" was transferred to his current parish.

    Note to Father and our Bishop too, there is an old saying and it goes like this: what goes around, comes around.

    You just never know, when it is going to bite you.

  19. Gen says:

    Ben, you're putting words in my mouth, and I don't like how they taste.

    I didn't say "Rome doesn't have time for us." I said that they have priorities, and that this problem will resolve itself. I have friends in Rome, and they give credence to this.

    I didn't even imply tacitly that there should be an autonomous Church – that's scandalous and schismatic, and something to which I will never add my voice.

  20. Ben Anderson says:

    I didn't mean to slam what you said – was just trying to flush out these ideas …

    how is "Rome doesn't have time for us" different than "Rome has priorities" (which I assume doesn't include us)? Isn't it the same thing?

    Of course I know that you're not proposing an autonomous Church, but isn't that almost what you'd need if Rome never intervened? Hypothetically speaking, if the remaining orthodox parishes were closed and the only remaining parishes openly promoted women's ordination and "homosexuality is not a sin", then what would one be left with?

  21. Matt says:

    one would be left with a good reason to move from this wretched place

  22. Gen says:

    Rome has priorities = we'll get done what needs to be done, but in time.

    Rome doesn't have time = we're on our own, they can't/don't want to deal with Clark.

  23. Persis says:

    In response to yor coments @ 12:04pm, especially "they can't/don't want too…"

    Could it be that Rome does not see the problems (as they are perceived by some here in the DOR) as something so serious that it needs to intervene?

  24. Anonymous says:

    If this isn't serious, I don't know what is. They need look no further than what happened at Corpus Christi. That could have been prevented, but it wasn't. Callan and co. were left in charge far too long, and were able to mold the minds of the people and make them willing to risk their souls for them and their cause.

  25. Gen says:

    They know how serious the things are. The pope knows personally of what's going on. I have received letters from the Secretariat of State saying exactly what I have said – "Wait and pray."

    Oh, Rochester is infamous for its contempt of papal authority. Don't think that error is in the eye of the beholder. Error is black or white – you're with Rome or you're against Rome. "He who is not with me is against me." There are dioceses, and not a small number of them, who are actually loyal to Rome. These dioceses are seeing increasing vocations, rising attendance at Mass, greater numbers of Baptisms, etc . . .

    Persis, Rome has intervened, several times in fact. Pope John Paul II called Bishop Clark to Rome at least twice. Then-cardinal Ratzinger laid down the law very clearly – however, a certain someone will keep pushing the envelope until the day he retires.

  26. Gen;

    How about an excommunication? That would remove His Excellency rather quickly. Why wait? It would only bring the confrontation sooner.

    Perhaps Rome is afraid of any "legal" problems His Excellency could cause. I don't know what legal leverage Rome could impart in this country, but it could mean all "loyal" Catholics could turn their backs on His Excellency without any guilt. It would clearly show who stands with Christ and His Church and who doesn't

  27. Anonymous says:

    This cancer has to be removed from Rochester.

    If we, by the grace of God, get a true faithful replacement bishop, all who are faithful should be expected to assist him in prayer and deeds to begin to flush this you know what down the toilet. There are going to be a lot of whiners and they will do anything to subvert Christ and any attempts to reform this corrupt body..

  28. Louis E. says:

    So will a replacement be announced the day Clark's retirement is accepted,or will there be a sede vacante period,as just ended in Ogdensburg?(How ever will the consultors be able to choose an interim administrator,between Sobala and Brogan and DeRycke and Mack?)

  29. Gen says:


    I think there will be a sede vacante period, but I think it will be quicker than other dioceses.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Help me. Who governs if a sede vacante happens. Does te retiring bishop still govern until his replacement is installed? THANKS.

  31. A board of councilors runs the diocese until a new bishop is installed and takes possession of the diocese, not just named to it.

  32. Louis E. says:

    Unless the Pope names someone (it can be the retiring bishop) as apostolic administrator,the College of Consultors,a canonical body,has eight days after the vacancy to elect an administrator (in Ogdensburg the man chosen was later named the new bishop…and Bishop Cunningham,before being named to Ogdensburg and then transferred to Syracuse,had been the elected administrator in Buffalo after Archbishop Mansell was named to Hartford).

    If the College fails to name someone (and it has to be a priest or bishop,hence my hypothetical deadlock between those four women),the metropolitan Archbishop is entitled to name someone (he can not name himself,but the Pope sometimes names a metropolitan to administer a vacant suffragan see,as happened recently in Scranton).

  33. Anonymous says:

    Mack is old, like Joan Sobala. This generation of dissent will wither away and return to the dust from which they came. Then their souls will come before the Lord. I do not profess to know the mind of God, but I can't envision things going well for those who turn against the Church he created out of their own selfish desires.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Here's the real questions. Has this "fills the Sunday obligation" claim been reported to either the bishop or to Rome?

  35. Raymiebaby says:

    If “Rome ” were to remove Bishop Clark from his ministry, it would be an admission that they had made a mistake in selecting him for the episcopacy.. When does “Rome” ever admit to mistakes???

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