Cleansing Fire

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“I feel personally responsible for the closing.”

December 21st, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

Thus were Bishop Matthew Clark’s words in recent days regarding the closing of Louvain’s North American College, known in recent decades for a dazzling display of schismatic-embracing lunacy.

This statement made me pause and think to myself, “the bishop thinks he’s personally responsible for the USCCB’s decision to close Louvain, but what about his own churches, schools, and institutions?”

  • Does the Bishop feel “personally responsible” for the closing of St. Thomas?
  • Does the Bishop feel “personally responsible” for the closing of St. Salome?
  • Does the Bishop feel “personally responsible” for the >50% decline in attendance in Henrietta?
  • Does the Bishop feel “personally responsible” for the destruction of St. Anne Church?
  • Does the Bishop feel “personally responsible” for the closing of St. Andrew and Our Lady of Perpetual Help?
  • Does the Bishop feel “personally responsible” for the closing of Mother of Sorrows’ school?
  • Does the Bishop feel “personally responsible” for the standing-room-only situation at Our Lady of Victory?
  • Does the Bishop feel “personally responsible” for the closing of church such as Holy Rosary and Holy Redeemer?
  • Does the Bishop feel “personally responsible” for the closing of St. Augustine?
  • Does the Bishop feel “personally responsible” for the failure of the “Spirit Alive!” program?

Does the Bishop feel “personally responsible” for anything that he has actually been “personally responsible” for?

He ought to. After all, it’s what his legacy will be in two years. Come now, Bishop Clark – don’t feel burdened by the USCCB’s decision to pull the plug on Louvain. You’ve got problems in your own diocese to worry about. After all, you are “personally responsible” for scattering the flock. And that’s not opinion, folks. That’s fact.

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14 Responses to ““I feel personally responsible for the closing.””

  1. avatar Dr. K says:

    He was one of the few bishops who actually sent seminarians there!

  2. avatar Jim R says:

    To claim personal responsibility for failures for which you are indeed personally responsible requires integrity and humility. Has His Excellency actually claimed responsibility for the closures and other matters you referenced above that are his responsibility? You imply he hasn’t. I wonder why not? My guess is that it would hit too close to home.

    To claim personal responsibility for matters for which you are not personally responsible either implies an official responsibility or a misplaced sense of responsibility. Hmmm. I guess he had a vote at USCCB so he had some sort of official responsibility. Did he actually vote for the closure? If he did, at least he has some basis for the claim. If not, it’s very perplexing. His Excellency actually sent seminarians (he had some to send????) That seems to indicate he was NOT responsible since he was supporting it. Peculiar, at best!

  3. avatar Abaccio says:

    “If only I’d been more persuasive and had convinced the rest of the country to dissent from those old fogies in Rome…I feel personally responsible for not turning the rest of the country into Rochester!”

  4. avatar Jim says:

    Gen, you hit the nail on the head with this piece! I don’t think Bishop Clark would take personal responsibility for anything of importance in this diocese. He doesn’t have a compassionate bone in his body for all of the chaos that is going on here: closed parishes, lost souls, a diocese littered with confusion and despair. I feel jealous when I hear of men like Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, taking on a “Catholic” pro-abortion hospital. We need change, and the sooner, the better!

  5. Bishop Clark should take full responsibility for which he is actually responsible for-the closings of churches and schools under his tenure.I know for a fact that a long-time devout male parishioner offered to pay for any debt that was incurred by St. Andrew Church so it could remain open.He was also joined by some members of Transfiguration Church who offered financial help also, but all of their offers were declined. If there was a problem with the heating bill, the parishioners should have been made aware. Fans to bring down the heat from the ceiling and tasteful plastic covers mounted on stained wood frames could have been made for the stained glass windows in the winter.One woman parishioner stated that a glass bubble could be used in the wintertime. The D.O.R. did not suggest any of these recommendations even though the church attendance was very good, particularly at the Sunday morning mass,and the collection and income were the highest at St. Andrew Church. St. Andrew was renovated within the last ten years, is handicap accessible, and had a brand new state of the art handicap bathroom put in during the summer, yet its the church from our original parish cluster which is picked to close.
    The second Sunday morning mass (most attended)used to be at 10:30 A.M.at St. Andrew Church. The D.O.R.told Fr. Mike that he was celebrating too many masses on a weekend and needed to get rid of one. So one mass was scheduled on a Sunday.So the time for the most attended mass went from 10:30 A.m. to 9:30 A.M. When the new mass times were published this weekend,the Sunday mass has been moved up another hour after renovations to 8:30 A.M.at Annunciation.That’s one way of encouraging people not to attend.If there is a certain amount of attendance at the 8:30 A.M. mass, will they change the time to 7:30 A.M. after a year?

  6. avatar Jim says:

    christian 1954, rescheduling the Mass times is just a ploy to encourage people not to attend Sunday Mass. Prior to three years ago, St. Thomas the Apostle had a very well attended 9:30 am Sunday Mass. After the cluster disaster in 2007, the Mass times were changed to 8:00 am and 11:00 am….done purposely to “divide and conquer the congregation.” Now, fast forward to 2010…The Irondequoit Disastoral Planning Committee says: “Ohhh, you don’t have a lot of people attending Sunday Masses…we think you should close!” It’s really sinful… the nonsense that these people are allowed to get away with!

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    Gen,
    Ugh! that picture…….it ruined a perfectly good night!

  8. St. Andrew parishioners were the most vocal at the NE pastoral planning sessions. You see where that got them.

  9. Jim, I agree with you.
    Interstate Catholic, I was there at one of the NE sessions for parishioners “Building Our Future Together” as the new pastoral administrators call it. St. Andrew Parishioners, including me, were quite vocal. I talked with other parishioners who attended one of those sessions, and they told me they were quite vocal also. In addition to being vocal, we did a lot of writing on the posters they put out. At the session I attended, one devoted male parishioner took up an entire poster to list the reasons why St. Andrew Church should remain open, and why it should remain open over Annunciation Hall.I took up an entire poster and listed my reasons for the same. Other parishioners that were there wrote their comments in favor of St. Andrew over Annunciation Hall also.Parishioners who attended other sessions did the same.
    Many letters were written to the Bishop and members of his board by St. Andrew parishioners in favor of keeping St. Andrew Church open over Annunciation Hall.In the long run, none of it mattered. The representatives from our parish stated they made comments favoring advantages of St. Andrew and they were told it was not a criteria. They also said that time was taken to read all of the comments from the NE sessions, of which St. Andrew parishioners numbered many, and they made their decision to close St. Andrew anyway. Apparently, the planning process was just a charade.

  10. avatar Jim says:

    Yes, christian 1954, it IS all just smoke and mirrors. Last spring, at St. Thomas, we were handed a survey to complete at Sunday Mass, asking us our opinion whether we wanted to: 1. Keep St. Thomas the Apostle open as a worship site, 2. Keep St. Thomas open as a separate parish with its own identity, or 3. To close it, and cluster with the other Irondequoit parishes. Nearly 90% of the parish respondents chose the first two options. Guess who won! St. Thomas celebrated their last Mass on Nov. 14th.

  11. avatar Finbar says:

    My family attended the 5:00 p.m. Mass at Holy Cross church on Christmas Eve. We had hoped that Father Tanck would have allowed one single Mass for folks that liked going to the beautiful Saint Thomas the Apostle church. The church with plenty of parking and plenty of pews. Attendance would have been (at least) 1,000 and plate offerings would have been (at least) $10,000.

    Multiple requests for a single Christmas Mass to Father Tanck were basically ignored.

    Holy Cross church, located just across the river from Saint Thomas the Apostle was packed beyond comfort. Several hundred people stood in the back and along the sides. Parking was a nightmare. Many elderly people, tired from standing left after communion.
    Once again the Diocese of Rochester, led by Bishop Matthew Clark has proven to be tone deaf to the spiritual needs of its flock.

    Given the choice of making Catholics comfortable during the beauty of Christmas Mass and raise considerable donations in the process or cramming people into too few pews this predictable Diocese, once again showed its complete and utter disconnect with reality. Bishop Clark’s resignation or upcoming retirement cannot come soon enough.

  12. avatar Former STA Parishoner says:

    Shame on Bishop Clark. We attended Holy Cross mass this year and to think that STA was empty and could have accomodated the elderly people we saw having to stand………..shame on you Bishop Clark and Father Tanck. I sure miss Msgr. Burns.

  13. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Wow. These comments are a true picture of Bishop Clarks legacy. He has done the same thing everywhere, all over these diocese, over all these years. The very same thing. I did not know all the sad stories of these different parishes And basically they are all the same tragic stories.

    I remember as a new convert meeting a new Catholic neighbor who chose to commute with her young family quite a ways to St Helen’s in Gates because, though she just moved a long ways away from it, she did not want to go to the local parish where they were beginning the DOR rennovation/change implementation she had just been through at St Helen’s, where for sometime they had to fight and fight against changes imposed by the diocese in all the sneaky, dishonest ways they do it, and she could not handle going through it again. She was just plain weary of it.

    And I saw that same weariness among so many Catholics I met, a weariness pointing to Bishop Clark and his strident administration. As a newcomer to Catholicism and to how thats lived out at the DOR, that Bishop Clark legacy was consistent and clear as day (night?). Having come from a Baptist tradition where funds were raised ethically and people truly had input in how things were done, the DOR dictators (posing as coordinators), in contrast, seemed truly evil.

    The parishioners participating with their input in their own demise through committees and meetings and surveys and votes reminds me a lot of “Building Based Management” in a school where I taught before I became a Mom. That was the big buzz-word in education then. It meant all teachers were required to serve on time-consuming “Building-based Management Committees” to supposedly “run” their own schools. But we actually just put in time, lots of precious-yet-required time away from our true classroom-related work, on these committees (and we teachers just wanted to figure out what they required of us so we could get it done and get back to our classroom as quick as possible). Lots of input but the result was to implement the plans of the District Office – but we had to put in the time so it could look as if it was our choices. That’s how it is in the secular world, and thats the very same secular way the DOR is run.

    And the common thread among these progressives is bitterness about the power of the hierarchy in Rome! Its because they covet that power – they are jealous of any power that thwarts their access to being a totalitarian dictatorship.

  14. avatar Anonymous says:

    No one is feeling responsible for the closing of the College ! It’s a shame how people are treated at this moment in Louvain.

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