Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

More From Fr. Norm Tanck

April 17th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

A reader has informed us that Fr. Tanck no longer permits parishioners to collect money for the St. Thomas the Apostle Benevolent Association (organization to raise money to maintain St. Thomas) on church property. Never fear, faithful readers, you can still send in your donations and be sure that they will go to support St. Thomas the Apostle parish, and not Christ the King.

If you wish to support the maintenance and care of St. Thomas the Apostle, please send a check or cash to:

Patricia Laufer
90 Lorraine Dr.
Rochester, NY 14617

To financially support the cause to defend the parish, money may be sent to the same address above. Be sure to write out checks for this cause to “Save STA.”

Cleansing Fire has also been sent a copy of Fr. Tanck’s upcoming bulletin insert to be distributed beginning with this evening’s Mass at St. Thomas. Here is a copy (click to enlarge):

Below is the text in case the image does not load:

“To: Parishioners of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish
From: Norman C. Tanck, CSB, Pastor
Date: April 18, 2010
Re: St. Thomas the Apostle Benevolent Association Procurator Mandate

My article on the front page of this week’s Cluster Bulletin (April 18, 2010) mentions that the Irondequoit Pastoral Planning Group’s (IPPG) recommendation to our Bishop Matthew will be presented at the April meeting of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese. Canon law requires that the Bishop consult the Council before he can make a decision regarding the erection, suppression or closing of a parish, or as is in our case, the merger of parishes to create a new parish [This is not just a merger — sure, maybe it is for Christ the King. For St. Thomas and St. Salome this is a closure]. Since the July 9,2009 meeting announcing the IPPG proposal (and I suspect before that time) groups of St. Thomas parishioners and others have been meeting to prepare a response, should the Bishop decide to merge St. Thomas the Apostle Parish with its neighbors [Notice the words he chooses to disguise the truth of the matter].

Since then a group has been formed and is seeking a 501 ( c ) (3) tax exempt status as a not-for-profit corporation. One of the intended purposes of this corporation, as stated in the April 2010 Veritas, is to be able to ask you to make your contributions for the support of the parish to it rather than to the parish itself. They say that contributions will be collected by them and that I will be informed of the total collected and that money will be offered to me by them to cover the costs of running and maintaining the parish. The truth of the matter is that no one from this group has ever contacted me to tell me of their plans, to seek my counselor ask for my approval [Treat others as you expect to be treated, Father. We have been told by more than one parishioner that you have canceled confessions before because you became angry at the St. Thomas parishioners. You also have written several negative comments about the St. Thomas people in your bulletin, both directly and indirectly. The entire time you have done nothing to defend St. Thomas and to keep it open. Yet you act surprised now that no one chooses to come to you to seek your counsel? I ask you, who would want your counsel?]. This insert in your Bulletin is to Let you know that the St. Thomas the Apostle Benevolent Association (STABA) is not a parish organization and does not have my permission to solicit funds in the name of or for the support of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish [Not only is he doing nothing to support the parish; he also does not want anyone else to try].

Since the STABA is not a parish organization, we cannot cash checks made out to STABA. Nor are we able to record your donation on your parish contribution record. I ask that you do not put any contributions to the STABA in the collection basket when it is passed during the weekend liturgies. Furthermore, the STABA does not have permission to solicit money on church property. In regards to the Procurator Mandate that many of you signed before and after recent weekend Masses, some of you have told me that you felt pressured to sign those forms or were told that it was a petition to save St. Thomas the Apostle [People have free will, Father]. The truth is that you were being asked to have someone represent you in canonical matters regarding the parish of which you are a member. The Mandate is more like a nomination; the Bishop appoints a procurator when requested. The qualification for that role is a doctorate in canon law or equivalent experience. If it was not your intention to have someone be your proxy or represent you in canonical procedures, I suggest that you contact those who asked you to sign their Procurator Mandate and have the original returned to you.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these issues.

Finally, I encourage us all to continue to pray that God’s will be done and that we maintain a spirit of charity , forgiveness and reconciliation. May the peace of the risen Lord and Easter hope be with us in these difficult times!”

It is great to see this passion on the part of the people of St. Thomas. It’s truly a shame that Fr. Tanck is unwilling to work with these people to keep St. Thomas open. I apologize for making the recommendation that the people abandon the parish as quickly as possible; it’s clear that to stay and fight for the good has been the best solution. Good luck St. Thomas the Apostle p
arish, you’ll be in our prayers.

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21 Responses to “More From Fr. Norm Tanck”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Doesn't Fr. Tanck know that his words will only cause more polarization and perhaps increase the number of parishioners who cannot accept the closing of their parish?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why don't we have an impassioned leader like Fr. Gagnier? He fights for his people. Look at what we have at St. Thomas. This guy can't wait to be rid of us!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am very disappointed with Fr. Tanck. He has been anything but pastoral throughout the entire process.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ask the people of Our Lady of Mercy Church about Fr. Gagnier.

  5. Anonymous says:

    AGREE! By dispersing to other Churches only validated their excuse to close St. Thomas. Come back and fill those pews.

  6. Anonymous says:

    T.V. STATIONS WHERE ARE YOU? Try hearing our side. Interview us! Let us tell our story, in our words. We won't B S you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Exactly right Dr. K! Who would want his counsel?
    The only STA parish meeting held regarding the IPPG recommendation to close the parish, Fr. Tanck just sat there with his head down in front of his distraught flock and didn't say a word. He has never personally addressed the parish about the matter except his indirect and sometimes nasty direct comments in the bulletin. The parish is leaderless…..a flock without a shepherd and the wolves are closing in and he is holding the door open. What does he expect! In reality it is the parishioner's parish home not his. God Bless their fight….A true pastor would be mentoring their efforts not belittling them.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Right out of the liberal playbook….marginalize and demonize your opponent. How sad that his perceived opponent is his own flock!

  9. Matt says:

    It never ceases to amaze me just what a mean-spirited fellow he is. This is just plain ridiculous.

  10. Dr. K says:


    Don't expect them to care. The DoR has the local media in its back pocket. When the IPPG was going to recommend closure, a number of people attempted to contact our local media outlets with this information before the announcement was read. However, it was not until after the announcement was read on Sunday that they actually ran stories on this.

    What does this mean? The DoR is feeding the media the information, and the media is ignoring anything from the parishioners. The diocese is controlling the spin on the story.

    If this were an upset progressive congregation, the media wouldn't be able to control itself.

    ~Dr. K

  11. Anonymous says:

    Fr. Tanck is in the tank only for Christ the King Parish…period! I belong to St. Thomas and attended a Knights of Columbus meeting at Christ the King recently, and even the Grand Knight admitted that Fr. Tanck considers himself more the pastor of Christ the King Parish, rather than St. Thomas. He truly is a wolf in shepherd's clothing.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The media likes this bishop because he is pro gay rights and is virtually silent on abortion. He also spits in the face of the Vatican. No wonder, a culture of death bishop is supported by a culture of death society.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I still think this situation is news worthy.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Father Tanck is just being a good soldier and obeying Bishop Clark. You have to remember that the bishop controls where the priests work and live. Clark can make it comfortable or very difficult for a priest.

    All the blame for the closing of the parish has to go to Bishop Clark. He controls the diocese with an iron fist and makes the first and last decision.

    Don't waste your money on a canon lawyer because the corruption goes all the way to Rome and you will not win the case.

    If you want some good publicity, file a lawsuit against Bishop Clark challenging him and the New York State Religious Corporation Law, which gives the bishop 100% "control" (ownership) of the parish, school, rectory, convent, all of the contents of the buildings and the parish savings account.

    Call for a press conference in front of the parish on a Sunday morning when the news crews are slow.

  15. Scott/Mary says:

    Father Tanck is just being a good soldier and obeying Bishop Clark.

    Yes, I do agree with this statement. Obedience is the queen of virtues. But is it virtuous to be obedient to error? This situation is erroneous. What if Thomas Moore or John Fisher were "obedient"? They knew better. The people of STA know better also.

    Do not call the local media. They will misrepresent the people. They always do.
    My prayers are for the parishioners of STA they are being good and faithful servants.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Anon 8:25AM: You said, "Don't waste your money on a canon lawyer because the corruption goes all the way to Rome and you will not win the case."

    This is very scary. Is it your opinion, or is there proof?

  17. Dr. K says:

    I think that may be based on the failure of the Cathedral preservation effort.

    Bishops always get what they want.

    ~Dr. K

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is a Shame, that Bishop Clark manners and his behavior for years has been nothing less than devious! I can only say we shall all go toe to toe with God himself… I would encourage that Bishop Clark think and mediate on this issue alone strongly… as with this in his heart he would come to the realization, he should work on on keeping the parishes open and rekindle the hearts of parishioners to join in with the Roman Catholic church, instead of making the flocks scatter possible into other religion? Have people believe in their religious faith again, not to have distrust for the Bishop and the clergy! To propagate trust in God wants from each and every one of us, and not the new wave…. to do what ever we want and have no accountability from our actions in living a good healthy lifestyle as God as intended us to do… IS THIS THE TIME FRAME WE ARE LIVING IN, "THE GREAT APOSTATES…? Is the Bishop the bully leading his flocks astray, such as his priests, his IPPG, and etc.?????? I wish the Bishop would think about just exactly what he is doing as he looks at his heart and soul though his own eyes, relflection in the mirror,, eyes don't lie…. they are the WINDOWS to OUR SOULS! Jesus knows our every thought deed and action…even before it is made. Bishop Clark must be reminded that he is responsible for the messes he has caused hurting innocent people of his flock. He is far from a good representative of Roman Catholic Church … I say STA should stike out on its own, They do NOT NEED The Bishop to pull them down with him…. They are of strong faith and good moral values…. WWJD? (WHAT WOULD JESUS DO)?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the bishop is dancing with the devil.

    Remember that in the time of Thomas More and John Fisher, most of the clergy sided with Henry VIII. Nothing has changed.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I have to challenge Scott/Mary's previous comment to not call the media. Either the person doesn't know how to "work" the local media or he-she is on Bishop Clark's payroll.

    The Sacred Heart Preservation Committee made Sacred Heart Cathedral a household name with the help of the "media".

    At times there were 4 television crews down at the cathedral along with the Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper, WHAM, WXXI radio and the NorthWest Times community newspaper.

    Many of the reporters and cameramen were also opposed to the renovation, just like they are outraged over the parish and school closings.

    Fox News flew a camera crew into Rochester to do a special report on the opposition to the cathedral renovation.

    Bishop Fulton Sheen is known around the world and his Altar was jack-hammered and destroyed.

  21. Gen says:

    I think we would have to be careful of how the media spins this. The few times STA has been on, the only people interviewed were clueless elderly people (no offense) and the few folks who are fighting to close the building. Hardly fair in my opinion.

    This being said, the head of RNews, or YNN, is a devout Catholic sympathetic to the plight. Perhaps YNN would be willing?

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