Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Groundhog Day in Churchville

January 29th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Ms. Charlotte Bruney has been Pastoral Administrator of St. Vincent De Paul in Churchville since May of 1998. That is more than twelve years. During her tenure as administrator, the people of St. Vincent have grown apathetic toward the local priest shortage, and have become confused into thinking that a Communion Service is a worthy alternative to the Holy Mass. Thankfully, Ms. Bruney’s tenure as leader of this parish is coming to an end this June… Or is it?

Several years ago, following the Corpus Christi schism, the Diocese of Rochester adopted a policy to prevent a priest or lay administrator from getting too comfortable in any one assignment and attaining a godlike worship by their congregation (not at all suggesting this is the case here). This policy limits the maximum number of years a person can serve as pastoral leader to twelve. Priests may serve two six-year terms, while lay administrators can serve three four-year terms. Ms. Bruney has served the maximum 12 years. However, now that her parish is clustering with two neighboring parishes, she is able to apply as leader of this new cluster and possibly continue at St. Vincent De Paul indefinitely. Talk about a convenient loophole in the bishop’s policy! Here are her comments from the latest St. Vincent bulletin:

“For the past several years I have been told that I would not be eligible to apply for the leadership of the cluster and I have resigned myself to that. Just since my return from sabbatical, I have learned that this is no longer the case; I am eligible to apply. That, you might appreciate, raises even more questions for me personally.

“That said, I will apply for leadership of the new cluster. I realize, however, the fact that I have been so firmly rooted in Churchville these past twelve and a half years (ten and a half with Fr. Ted as weekend sacramental minister) will be part of the discernment by the personnel board when making a recommendation to the bishop with regard to this appointment.”

If the Bishop’s policy is real, and not just an excuse to remove orthodox priests from assignments while the progressive leaders get to continue on forever (think Our Lady Queen of Peace/St. Thomas More cluster), then Ms. Bruney’s tenure in Churchville should be finished this summer. We’ll see what the diocese will do when they see her application sitting in the inbox. It is not right that someone can continue as Pastoral Administrator of a parish for as long as they want while others are forced to pack their bags after four, six or twelve years because of Bishop Clark’s policy. As the opening paragraph of this post demonstrates, the people of St. Vincent De Paul need a new leader. May they get one this June.

Tags: , ,


2 Responses to “Groundhog Day in Churchville”

  1. Bill Benton says:

    I read the entire article in Ms. Bruney’s piece. While she says she will apply, she also says “Don’t get your hopes up…” If a priest applies the priest personnel board the odds are he will get it, leaving the PA unemployed. I think the entire article should have been quoted to get the whole thought. Time will tell…

  2. Dr. K says:

    If a priest applies the priest personnel board the odds are he will get it

    I don’t believe this is true. I recall at least one priest applying for the St. Anne position before it was handed over to Sr. Joan Sobala. I think the same happened at St. Thomas More as well.

    Lay administrators, or lay “ministers”, do not enjoy any right to Church employments. Their positions are temporary, if not in some cases illegal, and a different bishop can easily do away with a number of these.

    I think Bishop Clark should consider the false hopes and expectations that he’s setting up for these lay ministers.

Leave a Reply

Log in | Register

You must be logged in to post a comment.

-Return to main page-