Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

No Natural Disaster Could Cause This Much Destruction

February 19th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

A loyal reader has been keeping us abreast about proposed renovations to the church sanctuary of St. Mary in Honeoye, a small parish clustered with St. Matthew in Livonia. Both parishes are under the leadership of Fr. John H. Hayes (seen right). Fr. Hayes briefly spoke about the proposed renovations to take place at St. Mary in the February 7th bulletin. Here is a copy of that article:

(click above to enlarge)

Very interesting that their sanctuary is suddenly “a little tight for everyone” after some 40 years of using this particular configuration. Perhaps they need to make room for an army of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion or various liturgical ministers in the sanctuary?

Our reader sent an email providing us with the proposed renovation details, which appear to be going forward despite the protests by several parishioners (where have we seen this played out before?). Here is the reader’s email, emphasis added:

“At the meeting, last Sun., Fr. Hayes quoted from what he said was the Roman Missal justifying moving the tabernacle from the center to the side of the sanctuary. The choir is going to stand in the center where the tabernacle was (I don’t know if he quoted about that being ok.) [A friend] went to the meeting and suggested that the choir sit in the front pews instead of the center, but the priest said that this would take valuable space away from the congregation. ( The Sunday 8:30 am Mass is usually full because people come from St. Mathews for the early Mass.) Of course, he (and the “music director”) wouldn’t even consider putting them back in the choir loft! Many people were upset and even angry about it. One woman used angry language, all to no avail. The tabernacle is going to be moved to the side, the wooden high altar will be cut up to fit the tabernacle as a stand, the hanging crucifix will be taken down and used as a processional crucifix.

By the way, someone asked if there was a local church with this sort of arrangement and the priest cited Sacred Heart.”

No church can escape Bishop Clark’s path of destruction. Anyone who claims that Clark is pastoral and embraces diversity is a liar. What this bishop has really done throughout the years is force conformity; a conformity to his progressive vision for the Catholic Church. Take a look at the various churches which have been forced to move Christ out of the sanctuary, such as St. John in Spencerport, St. Andrew, St. Ambrose, and several others. Most churches which have had to relocate our Lord from the sanctuary to a broom closet were pressed by the Diocese of Rochester to make such a change. And what is this… they want to move our Lord to make room for a choir? Where does such a precedent exist in Church tradition for a sanctuary choir? Our sanctuaries have always been the holy of the holies, reserved for our Lord in the tabernacle, the altar, and in more recent tradition, the ambo or pulpit. To throw a choir in the sanctuary is to turn our Catholic Churches into Southern Baptist edifices, where everyone focuses on the choir, and Christ is only mentioned but his real presence never felt. Behold the glory of Christ-less progressive Catholicism. Behold Bishop Clark’s unrelenting scorched earth policy.

Below is an image of St. Mary’s sanctuary as it appears today, before the wrecking balls make their way in to the church:

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5 Responses to “No Natural Disaster Could Cause This Much Destruction”

  1. Bernie says:

    This pastor will have his way and then move on in a few years leaving behind a spiritually and materially impoverished congregation. It will also be a parish with an accelerated decline in membership. Hey, father knows best! Just shut up, sit down, and put your money in the collection basket.

    There is nothing that requires or even recommends that the tabernacle be moved off to the side; only what has to be if it is moved from a central location.

    Dr. K, you are right: the preferred location for the reserved Sacrament in Catholic tradition is on the center axis on, over, or behind the altar. That has always been part of our tradition. Once the persecutions and threat of desecration of the Eucharist during the early centuries had ended, the Sacrament could be safely reserved at the altar, in a cupboard below the altar or in a decorated container suspended above the altar. During the persecutions the Sacrament was reserved –for security reasons– in private homes of the congregation, away from the house church or church where the assembly worshiped. In periods of relative peace the Sacrament was reserved (again, for safety reasons) in a nondescript room of the church, away from the altar.

    I am happy, Dr. K, that you refer to the Holy of Holies of the Jerusalem Temple. That gets very little emphasis today from our clergy and liturgical experts and yet the comparison between the Christian altar and the Temple's Holy of Holies was commonly made in the earliest centuries. The High Priest of the Temple entered the Holy of Holies once a year with the blood of animals and emerged with the same blood that God had now made holy. The comparison with the Eucharistic sacrifice at the altar is obvious. But, the comparison with the Holy of Holies was made even stronger once the Sacrament was reserved at the altar. In addition, the ciborium over the altar became an architectural feature meant to further enhance the comparison. (The ciborium actually has several symbolic meanings but the connection to the Holy of Holies become the most obvious.)

    How can our clery be so seemingly ignorant of our liturgical tradition and Jewish roots? If you are a Protestant, of course, then talk of the Jersulem Temple and its sacrifices as shadows of the Eucharist are irrelevant. But a Catholic priest… God help us!

  2. Take out the high altar.

    Change the statue of the saint. Keep the banners.

    And you have St. Lucy's in Retsof.

    The Blessed Sacrament is on one side and the organ on the other side.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This priest is another pawn of Bishop Clark.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone remember the nonsense coming out of the Courier in the late 90's and early part of this decade. It was pearls of you know what from Bishop Clark and other diocesan leaders, touting, unlike the Vatican, the church in Rochester was one big HAPPY tent, open to ALL ideas and opinions. Boy did they buffalo more than a few people.

    But their actions speak louder than words. We trust not their words and are made nauseated by their deeds.

  5. Rob says:

    Bad attempt at humor: Maybe the priest is uncomfortable with his Boss watching what he's doing from over his shoulder.

    I'm not suggesting that he is a liturgical abuser, but many of the area's liturgical abusers like to move Christ out of the sanctuary so that they do not have the watchful eyes of God upon them when they make fools of themselves and act like game show hosts.

    ps- My word verification is "Jeessis."

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