Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

The DoR Can’t Play Ignorant Anymore

October 2nd, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

If one wanders over to the Diocese of Rochester Mass times page, you will probably notice the following in big bold letters and highlighted in yellow:

Clicking on the link will open a press release which mentions the name for the merged Irondequoit parish, as well as the new Mass times and “last Sunday Mass” dates for St. Salome and St. Thomas the Apostle churches. If you recall, Bishop Clark stated in his official response to the St. Thomas appeal that, and this is a word for word quotation:

“My decree of May 26, 2010 addresses only the consolidation of the parishes. Should the Diocese of Rochester decide, in the future, to remove the church building as a place of worship, you will again have the opportunity to voice objections and propose recourse.”

If it is the case that Bishop Clark’s decree of Mary 26th, 2010 addressed nothing more than merging the five parishes into a single parish, then how can the DoR explain the following from their press release:

Bishop Matthew Clark recently approved the move to a new, single parish encompassing all the former Irondequoit parishes with three worship sites (Christ the King, St. Margaret Mary and St. Cecilia). As part of that transition:

  • The last Sunday Mass at St. Salome will be celebrated on at Sunday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m. followed by a reception at the church.
  • The last Sunday Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle, followed by a reception, will be on Sunday, Nov. 14, at a time to be announced.”

Bishop Clark claims that his decree only address the merger of the five parishes. However, the Diocese of Rochester has posted to their own website that Bishop Clark has given approval for two churches to be eliminated from the newly formed parish. The consequence of this is that two churches will cease to function as a “place of worship” since no Masses will be offered there.

A few comments:

1. Bishop Clark’s decree did not call for St. Thomas and St. Salome to be excluded from the merged Irondequoit parish. If this is not the case, then Bishop Clark lied in his response to the STA appeal when he states:

“Objection 1 asserts that the consolidation of the parishes in Irondequoit penalizes St. Thomas the Apostle above the others. That is not the case since the decree treats each of the current parishes in the same manner.”

This statement from Bishop Clark would be false since St. Thomas and St. Salome are not treated in the same manner if these two churches have all their Masses terminated while the other three do not.

2. If Bishop Clark granted approval to close St. Thomas and St. Salome at some point in time after the decree dated May 26, 2010, then he has failed to properly notify those effected through written decree that he has decided to close St. Thomas and St. Salome as “places of worship.” No decree has been publicly issued which calls for the closure of either parish. A decree must be issued so that the people of St. Thomas can appeal the move to eliminate St. Thomas as a Catholic church.

3. To eliminate Masses at St. Thomas and St. Salome without, or prior to the issuance of a decree from Bishop Clark is an assault on the rights of the lay faithful and a very un-pastoral action.

Fr. Tanck says in the news release, “These can be times of sadness and change but get ready!” The ones who should get ready are Fr. Tanck and the Diocese of Rochester. These shameful actions to backdoor close St. Thomas and St. Salome will surely be challenged. I firmly believe that the cause to save St. Thomas the Apostle will prevail if the parishioners fight it out until the end.

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2 Responses to “The DoR Can’t Play Ignorant Anymore”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rev. Norman Tanck, CSB, pastor of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, said he hopes people will see a
    bright future that combines all the best of the five former parishes into a new, stronger andunified community. He will lead a sacramental team that includes three other priests: Fr. Tim Horan, Fr. William Leone and Fr. Morgan Rice, CSB.

    OK, so let’s see. Four priests, plus Father Peter who could have been available, makes 5 priests.
    So, where is this priest shortage is West Irondequoit?

  2. Ink says:

    …Good question, Anon. By my calculations (as I sit here finishing my Calculus homework =P), five available priests for five parishes means one priest per parish. If they would like, they can rotate across the parishes and each say one Mass at each… I see nothing wrong with that…

    Oh, I’ve heard that there is a limit to the number of Masses each priest can say a weekend. Okay. I think it’s three. So. Five parishes, five priests. Three Masses each. Fifteen Masses. Rocket science? I think not.

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