Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Ecumenism Gone Wild

July 22nd, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

Fr. Tanck embraces Sikh man

Tonight, the Rochester CBS and Fox affiliates are running a news story on the local Sikh community as part of its “One Community, Many Faiths” series. Sounds innocent enough. However, the entire piece is centered around an incident that occurred May 30th at St. Thomas the Apostle. In the story it is stated that the Sikh man, who happens to be a news reporter, encountered some tough words from the people at STA while taping Mass. According to this story, the man was innocently taping the Mass when the announcement of closure was to be made. According to the man, people said he ‘doesn’t belong here’ and ‘doesn’t believe in Jesus.’ Of course this news story did its best to portray the people of St. Thomas the Apostle in a negative light, while praising the diocese and their ecumenism gone wild. The story then goes on to show the diocese apologizing for this incident and casting it off as an “anomaly.”

Now here is the TRUTH behind this story as relayed to us by people who were there: Emotions were very high at this Mass because the diocese was making the announcement that day that their parish would close (which draws 500 people by the way). This news reporter was being a nuisance during the Mass with his bulky camera, and was asked to stop filming. He did not. It was then that tempers began to heat up. So basically, while the media and the DoR are doing their best to throw St. Thomas under the bus (i.e- the DoR said that the reaction of the people of STA to this disrespect for Christ was “not Catholic teaching” — exact quote), the truth of the matter is that this Sikh man was not showing respect for the people gathered there to worship our Lord.

Were things said that shouldn’t have been? Perhaps, though not to the degree that he claimed. Was disrespect shown for a house of God by the reporter? Most definitely.

What you see in the image at the top of this post is Fr. Norm Tanck, the “pastor” of Christ the King/St. Thomas the Apostle/St. Salome, embracing the local Sikh man who has cried “foul” against the people of STA. Our diocese has gone out of its way to apologize and kiss this man’s backside so as not to offend the local Sikh community. I ask the DoR, where is the same compassion for the peoples of St. Thomas and St. Salome? You want to displace these people and eradicate their traditions. You do not care whether or not these people remain in the Church after you shutter these church doors (as evidenced by the various percentages flying around where the DoR and IPPG guess how many will remain from STA/SS). Yet there is Fr. Tanck, embracing the Sikh man in an effort to make peace. Where, or where is this sense of compassion for the people who are truly being wrong here; the people of St. Thomas and St. Salome?  We orthodox Catholics of Rochester are treated like the scum of the earth, while the Sikhs and Moslems and Jews are embraced by this diocese!  Why is there more concern for the ~150 Sikhs in the area than there is for the ~850 Catholics of St. Thomas and St. Salome? Since when did ecumenism mean putting people of other religions ahead of your own flock?

"Rabbi" Tanck

Get your priorities straight, Bishop Clark, Fr. Tanck, and co.

Note: I am on sabbatical until August 1st. However, this story demanded an immediate comment.

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25 Responses to “Ecumenism Gone Wild”

  1. curmudgeon says:

    This story by Channel 8 was filled with half truths and distortions. I find it interesting in the week where false accusations of racism were a large issue, the local “news” puts forth a false accusation of prejudice against a whole Parish, without one Parishoner’s response. It wouldn’t be hard to find any witnesses. Go to any 11:30 Mass and you would find approximately 160 of them. Funny how the only one they interviewed from the Parish wasn’t even present when the incident happened, as he had high tailed it out of there seconds after making the announcement (Fr. Tanck). Yet they air one person’s account of what happened as truth, without any verification. Luckily, it was Channel 8 so, not counting myself and Dr. K, only 4 other people saw the report.

  2. curmudgeon says:

    For the record, one prejudicial statement was made. The aggressive and menacing reaction by the cameraman in response to said statement was curiously absent in the story.

  3. Got Orthodoxy? says:

    I am a parishioner at St. Thomas. This news clip shot of Father Tanck is the most I have seen of him in 5 months…so that’s what he looks like up close.

    The reporter and cameraman were both asked to leave very politely time and time again as they interrupted the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Finally, it did get heated. The derogatory statement did not reflect the entire parish and yet this piece alludes such — why did not Father Tanck defend the people of St. Thomas stating this? The diocese and Tanck are elated they can use this distortion against STA.

  4. Maureen says:

    And there was no mention of the contrition by the person who offended the cameraman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s just the nature of this heresy. Anyone beliving in the truths of the Catholic Church will suffer as has been repeatedly indicated. Those in power are constantly making those who adhere to those beliefs pay the price. But that’s what you get when the God of the heretics is their ideology. There is no real charity.

  6. Dan says:

    Thank God that we have Cleansing Fire to expose the truth in the Diocese of Rochester.

    Only 722 days until Bishop Clark will retire. The days are going by fast.

    Anybody going to Rome?

    I would like to find out what is the cost to post a message on a billboard that is as close to the Vatican as possible. Pope Benedict: The Diocese of Rochester needs your help!

    When the pictures of this billboard hit the Internet, they will spin around the world in an 60 minutes.

  7. Mike says:

    The following comment was rejected by Channel 8’s website as “too long.” It is 985 characters in length and they say their limit is 1,000. It looks like their computer programming is as messed up as their reporting.

    I run a blog. Let’s say I wanted to do a story on the local Sikh community and so I just walked into the Sikh temple – unannounced and uninvited – during a service with my video camera rolling. I would be a fool not to expect questions about my presence and even requests to either shut off my camera or leave.

    That’s what happened at St. Thomas. Your news crew took it upon themselves to interrupt a Catholic Mass during a very sensitive moment in the history of that parish. You inserted yourselves – unannounced and uninvited – into the midst of a grieving community and now seem surprised at the reception you received.

    Yes, a few may have made inappropriate comments, but – and your story conveniently omits this detail – those comments only came after several more polite requests to either leave or shut off the camera were arrogantly ignored.

    Had your news crew responded to the initial requests to leave these grieving people alone, none of this would have happened.

  8. Anonymous says:

    When the DoR closed Holy Trinity School, they refused to allow the media on our campus for several events. It is policy, we were told, that they are not allowed inside the church during Mass. Channel 8 didn’t complain then.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I like how at the end of the video Father Tanck basically says that they will work on reprogramming the people of St. Thomas to create more understanding.

    What an arrogant ass.

  10. TL says:

    Hello everyone, time to tell you about the derogatory comment referred to. When some of us took the reporter into the foyer and asked him to have the cameraman leave, one of the reasons stated was that he needed to uncover his head in a Catholic church. When he looked puzzled I clarified by saying “what do you think would happen if a man marched into a synagogue with his head uncovered?” to which he replied “I have no idea ma’m.” Finally the reporter was escorted out and I said “get your turbaned head out of our church.” That’s the derogatory comment, and I meant it as in uncover your head or leave, and it didn’t occur to me until later that it would be taken as a cultural slam. Well, the man screamed at me that I had just blasphemed his religion and he backed me down, yelling in my face. You see, the clamour everyone heard was the cameraman, not us. He was completely abusive and his reporter had to placate him and physically escort him from the building. For the derogatory remark, mea maxima culpa. Had I known it would create an opportunity for Fr. Tanck to make us look like jerks, I would have stayed home that day. And had I been given an opportunity to talk 1:1 with the cameraman later and apologize, I would have. But apparently Fr. Tanck would rather gossip with the press ABOUT his parishioners than to talk TO his parishioners. TL

  11. St Thomas Parishoner says:

    Shame on you again Father Tanck! This was not to go public & it did. Why is Father Tanck not defending the parishoners of St Thomas~ I saw what happened that day, this man was on the defense because he was asked to leave and so was the reporter. According to Father Tanck~the news was not given permission by the diocese to be there & film the announcement of our church closing that day. A few parishoners asked him to leave kindly they refused and an upset parishoner asked him to get his turban head out of there because she was at this point, very agitated. The cameraman went after HER (yes, Chetan was going to get physical with a women). The reporter had to block the cameraman off of her. The reporter was also yelling at this parishoner, disrupting our Mass, it was very upsetting. Why is our diocese turning this into something it is not– I can not beieve our diocese is turning this upside down!!! Another parishoner hugged the cameraman that day and apologized for the comment. Fther Tanck knew of this~and there he is hugging Chetan, what a phony!! How could you Father!! Remember Fther announced the closing of St Thomas before mass started that day and bolted from our parish site to Christ the King~This was a set up if you ask me. Fther Tanck, thanks for letting the public know the full truth!! How do you sleep at night.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Go charging into a mosque and see what happens to you.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Channel 8 owes St. Thomas an apology. Maybe a boycott of their advertisers would help.

  14. Mike says:

    Fr. Tanck has added his 2 cents worth over at the Channel 8 site. Was he even present at STA when this happened? He writes as though he were.

    See here.

  15. St Thomas Parishoner says:

    Father Tanck–why didn’t you & channel 8 interview the women who made the “derogatory” remark so she could defend herself?!! Shame on you Bishop Clark, Father Tanck, this is not right. This Diocese has its own agenda~wouldn’t you say. The truth always comes out.

  16. Nerina says:

    For those parishioners who witnessed this event, you are doing the right thing by flooding the comment box at Channel 8. The whole truth must be told. This was such a set up.

    @TL, we have all uttered intemperate things especially during the heat of the moment. It sounds like this reporter and cameraman were asked politely several times to leave the sanctuary. They make it seem like you were making an ethnic slur against the man’s head covering, when in actuality you were saying that head coverings on men are not traditional. How sad that the priest chooses to sympathize with outsiders and shame parishioners. Shame on him.

    I agree with Mike that Fr. Tanck’s comment on the Channel 8 site makes it seem like he was there. He even said that the reporter and cameraman left peacefully and THEN the commotion started.

  17. Nerina says:

    Oh, and I stopped watching Channel 8 after they did a story around the New Year about the latest exercise craze of….pole dancing. Yes, that’s right. Complete with camera work.

  18. Dr. K says:

    Oh, and I stopped watching Channel 8 after they did a story around the New Year about the latest exercise craze of….pole dancing. Yes, that’s right. Complete with camera work.

    Nerina — I remember that! I think it was on the other stations too. It’s almost as if that pole dancing aerobics company contacted every news outlet in town in order to get word about her business out there.

    Ben — It looks like your comment has been removed the site. This wouldn’t be the first time the Fox/CBS site has censored comments.

  19. benanderson says:

    wow – MINE was censored? I was completely objective. geez – I can’t imagine why they would’ve picked mine. I did include a link here, which is the only reason I can think of, but still. Mike’s link is still up at least.

  20. Dr. K says:

    I notice also that they removed the link on Mike’s user name.

  21. curmudgeon says:

    All – I have been busy this evening and have not had time to update here. I spoke with Fr. Tanck this afternoon to express my disappointment at the tone and tenor of the story and the role the Diocese and he played in the story. He stated he spoke with the reporters for 40 minutes that they distilled to a 30 second sound bite, but in those 40 minutes he made clear the situation was an anomaly and not representative of the Parish. At my specific request he posted on Channel 8’s website to say the situation was an isolated incident. He also told me in a follow up call he saw that the piece was slanted. I just wanted to say his post was in the spirit of defense of the flock. Please give him credit for his defense, as this was the only way I could think of where a public defense of our parish could be made by our pastor. Thanks.

  22. curmudgeon says:

    Nerina – Fr. Tanck’s line about the crew leaving the church peacefully was due to the distortion in the piece where they allude to a confrontation within the church proper, which never occurred. This statement truly was meant in the spirit of defense of the Parishoners and was an attempt to show not all was factually correct in the story.

  23. Richard says:

    One thing this has done is to strengthen the bond among the parishoners of STM. God bless and continue to hang together…For if you don’t you will likely hang separately…Ben Franklin during the continental Congress advocating 1775

  24. Nerina says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Curmudgeon. Credit given where credit is due. His post was a bit confusing to me when I first read the comments posted here about what happened. To me, I thought Fr. Tanck was saying that the crew left peacefully with the first request.

  25. Nerina says:

    Just an update regarding comments over at the Channel 8 site. It appears #2,4,and 5 were removed. And I loved Ben’s comment. Sigh.

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