Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


The Equivalent of a Middle Finger to the People of Rochester

April 11th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

At Bishop Clark’s retirement discussion at Peace of Christ, the bishop made sure that everyone present was aware that he is going to be the recipient of this year’s Lumen Gentium award from the Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development (I am unfamiliar with the organization). This information has been officially confirmed on the Diocese of Rochester home page. The following is a description of the award and selection criteria:

“The Lumen Gentium Award is given in recognition of distinguished pastoral leadership in utilizing planning and broad consultation processes; initiative and creativity in responding to parish or diocesan changing needs, and significant contributions to raising awareness of the principles of the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, which greatly influenced the role of laity in the Catholic Church.”

According to the diocese, the bishop has earned this award for his “nationally recognized” Pastoral Planning for the New Millennium (PPNM) program; a program whose fruit over the past twelve years has been approximately 30 closed churches, the appointment of 16 lay pastoral administrators to run parishes and direct pastoral care as pretend priests while our real priests serve as sacramental pez dispensers, and more than 36,000 souls leaving the Catholic Church in frustration and heartache. In other words, the bishop is receiving this award on the backs of countless Rochester Catholics who have suffered as a result of this man’s actions.

The following is a quote from the diocese’s director of Parish Support Ministries, Bernard Grizard, speaking about Bishop Clark’s PPNM program:

“Pastoral Planning for New Millennium was unique nationally “in that it offers to the people in the pews the key role of forming for themselves a plan for the future and then making recommendations to the Bishop. They truly have a voice.””

The above statement is a lie. The people in the pews do not enjoy a key role in planning for the future of their parishes, but rather are given the illusion of having a say in the process. These various planning committees have been composed of hand-picked yes men by the planning region leaders. Few if any people were permitted to serve on these groups who would offer resistance when it came to deciding to close churches. Look at the Irondequoit planning group if you require proof. Margi Ochs was hand-selected by Fr. Norm Tanck because she was going to implement his will when it came time to “reaching consensus.” Not surprisingly, she decided to support the IPPG decision to close St. Thomas the Apostle church. The people of STA were very unhappy about this betrayal and demanded a new representative. Fr. Tanck would not allow one. So much for the people in the pews having a voice, as Mr. Grizard dishonestly claims.

Listen folks who drink the DoR kool-aid, if you are in a position to influence pastoral planning in this diocese, the reason you’re likely there is because the priest or administrator expects you to do whatever they want. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the laity of Rochester have a say, because they don’t. In the end, it’s the bishop’s agenda that gets implemented in full. Meanwhile, he comes off as this great champion of the laity because he has fooled you into thinking you have influence over your parish’s future. Wake up and smell the roses! You are just pawns in a game. The role you serve is to take the heat off the bishop, so that parishioners will direct their anger at you instead of Bishop Clark.

Anyways, back to the award… Bishop Clark will be joining a distinguished list of Lumen Gentium award winners. You know, like Bishop Howard Hubbard (2000) and Bishop Kenneth Untener (1999), two men who have/had done a wonderful job attacking the Catholic faith in their respective dioceses. Also, the oft-dissenting Leadership Conference of Women Religious won the award in 2001. As you can see, our bishop will be entering a very exclusive club of progressive visionaries.

May Bishop Clark enjoy this earthly glory, because I am highly skeptical that our Lord will honor him for what he has done to the Diocese of Rochester in the life to come. Congratulations, Bishop Clark!

In related news, Diocese of Rochester pastoral planning liaison, Karen Rinefierd, will be giving a presentation at the same conference:

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10 Responses to “The Equivalent of a Middle Finger to the People of Rochester”

  1. avatar Torkay says:

    Too bad the SSPX doesn’t have a chapel in Rochester with which to nourish the starving faithful. But I have to wonder: what did the Catholics of this diocese do to merit the presence of this debased spiritual criminal?

  2. avatar Jim R says:

    This says it all:
    a 7 member Board one of whom is: Most Rev. Howard J. Hubbard
    Episcopal Moderator

  3. avatar anonymous says:

    Yes, It is Bernard Grizard. An ex-priest that the DOR inherited.

  4. avatar Monk says:

    Reminds me of Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. These liberals sure know how to honor themselves!

  5. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Torkay, we don’t need SSPX. Yes, we are suffering from a very worldly dissenting bishop, and widespread maniulative and dishonest leadership is the norm in the DOR. But the priest can be sinning, he can be worldly, he can be unchaste, he can be lying, he can, like Judas, have turned himself over to the devil, and yet the validness of the Mass does not depend on his holiness. So we have a valid Mass to attend (and we can’t all drive to the few good ones so it may be a goofy Mass we attend, but its valid). We have Daily Mass available if we can make it. We have confession and we have Eucharistic Adoration and we have the rosary and we have EWTN. We have a lot to sustain us. Think of places in the world where its much worse trying to practice our faith.

    As Jesus prayed and loved and suffered for Judas Iscariot even when Judas had given himself completely over to evil, so we have to pray for our dissenting bishop, priests, lay administrators especially those who are so obviously and arrogantly on a path so far from God, because some will be saved; and only God knows who. We need to pray for them and all the sinning people in our lives until the last moments. We can offer our suffering up for their salvation. And we can rejoice that Bishop Clark’s days as our leader are numbered. Springtime is coming! We must turn inward toward God to be strengthened and be ready spiritually for God’s goodness to begin to work renewal in our diocese.

  6. avatar Raymond Rice says:

    They that plant in tears shall reap in joy!!

  7. How to destroy a diocese by pitting one parish against another.

    How to tell parishoners that they are no longer viable. But keep sending the diocese your money.

    How to sell off church property in 3 easy steps.

    How not to be leaders.

  8. avatar Torkay says:

    You might be surprised to learn that the SSPX does not contest the “validity” of the Mass – assuming the Canon is correctly celebrated. What it does contest is the Catholicity of it. And no wonder, since most Catholic theology was stripped from the traditional Mass to create the new Mass, in order to avoid offending Protestants. Perhaps this article might be of interest:

    BTW, how you can be comforted by having to attend a “goofy” – yet supposedly valid – Mass is beyond me, I confess, since the “goofiness” of it tends to destroy its validity. You may not need the SSPX, but you, and all Catholics, most assuredly need Tradition to nourish your faith and your soul. I hope you find your way back to it.

  9. avatar Diane Harris says:

    I spent over 25 years in strategic planning, and I have never seen a worse job than what Karen Rinefierd presided over with Fr. Ring in OLOL. People were named by councils to the planning team and removed and replaced with Fr. Ring’s “picks.” The planning was held in secret (no minutes, almost no attendees allowed) and that went on for 33 months.

    I’ll give just one example, and save the rest for longer posts. A “secret subcommittee” was established by that planning team consisting of two people from St. Theresa, a staff person who is now at St. Louis (!) and a pilgrimage friend of Fr. Ring’s from St. Jan’s. They met for months to decide which church to close — St. Mary or St. Theresa. Note, there was no one from St. Mary on that secret subcommittee, and no one from St. Mary, not even the parish council knew that the planning team had this secret subcommittee going! When I asked Fr. Ring how he could do such a thing, he said: “You can’t prove I knew anything about it.” Guess which church they said should be closed? Answer: the one with the most money, St. Mary. It also happened to have 26 children in Religious Ed, while St. Theresa had none. But money, I believe, is the real reason for closing and could have been done by decree. It didn’t need to waste 20 people’s time for 33 months, and cause deep, irreparable divisions among parishioners.

    Forums were held at churches not threatened with closure. And Karen Rinefierd didn’t allow any real input, dissent or criticism of her plan. She’s the mouthpiece for the Bishop, and when anything came up creative, or new, she could just say “The Bishop will NEVER approve that.” End of discussion.

    They got to final recommendations without even doing financial analysis to see if it worked. That speaks volumes about incompetent planning. Truly, there was NO consensus at all (and I’ve heard that from other parishes as well.) People from churches not threatened with closure just voted against the others. The biggest lie of planning was that it came from the people, and if I understand correctly that is what the Bishop’s award is all about. What a farce! He might as well be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize; it would have about as much meaning.

    We should remember that the people giving the award apparently comprise an organization whose members would be out of work if they ever had to do any real planning. They have to “award” incompetent planning, or someone might find out how much damage they are really doing.

  10. ‘Robin Hood’ pastoral planning courtesy of the DoR.

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