Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Wanderer Article on Rochester Available at Renew America

May 23rd, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

If you have not already read Paul Likoudis’ fine article on the Diocese of Rochester printed in the most recent issue of the Wanderer, you can check out a reprinted copy at the Renew America website.

Click here for the article.

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32 Responses to “Wanderer Article on Rochester Available at Renew America”

  1. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    My 2 letters (one to Cardinal Ouellet and one to the Pope) will be mailed out shortly.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rOq18dDM3PXcOXyXMV4Ftd1biJmUikqWA-hCH62s9bw/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1#

  2. avatar Bruce says:

    Keep writing, Ben! And THANK YOU! The next bishop should do what Bishop Morlino did in Madison, WI…he called on the priests from the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest – who came in and promptly brought back orthodoxy, got rid of altar girls and lay ministers, and started working on vocations. This is what is needed in the DoR – http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/11/bp-morlinos-letter-to-dissident-parishoners/ AND http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/10/madison-wi-society-of-jesus-christ-the-priest/

  3. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Ben your letter is fantastic; absolutely fantastic. It is a message that should never be ignored, and I hope it won’t be. Diane

  4. avatar Scott W, says:

    Ben your letter is fantastic

    Ditto. And ignore the folk that will likely show up and counsel despair and defeat or the mendacious subtlety of “being realistic”.

  5. Ben, that is a wonderful letter. I am a recent convert, too — Easter Vigil 2008. As a former active Protestant, I am well aware of what Protestantism is, what it looks like, and so on. And I can assure you that what we are seeing in my parish, All Saints Parish, is an aggressive push to transform the Catholic faith to a Protestant sect. You have inspired me to write a letter, too.

    When I converted I remember thinking how wonderful it was to have the glorious magesterium to guide us — the fullness of the Faith along with Sacred Tradition and the Seat of Peter. I still believe that, but I mourn that our parish and diocese are under such a sustained attack from within. However, I refuse to give up hope. The heavenly Cloud of Witnesses surrounds us still.

  6. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Gretchen, I am a convert, too, as is Ben.

    You wrote: “…I am well aware of what Protestantism is, what it looks like…When I converted I remember thinking how wonderful it was to have the glorious magesterium to guide us — the fullness of the Faith along with Sacred Tradition and the Seat of Peter. I still believe that, but I mourn that our parish and diocese are under such a sustained attack from within. However, I refuse to give up hope. The heavenly Cloud of Witnesses surrounds us still.”

    That is exactly how I feel. I also embraced how wonderful it is to have our glorious magesterium, the fullness of faith, Sacred Tradition, the Seat of Peter. I left and never recovered the comforting arms of a fine Protestant “church family” in order to become Catholic. Because the Catholic Church is the Pearl of Great Price! Yes, even here in Rochester – where things appear to be more Protestant than the Protestant Church!

    What a shock to become a part of this Diocese that devalues their greatest gift, as a matter of Diocesan policy! Yes, our Diocese is sustaining a sustained attack from within. And your parish – its just an arm of our Diocese, whose agenda is to attack the great gifts of our faith.

    And they have been doing very well. They are winning many, many battles, but they won’t win the war. They are certainly having their day. But their days are numbered. Then their day will vanish. It will burn up in flames. And the Church will triumph, even here in Rochester. I feel that I have seen that the faith of the great masses of un-catechized people in Rochester exists. It is a small, buried mustard seed, and it will grow powerfully when watered and nourished under the leadership of our coming new Bishop. He will only need to be Catholic. The people will respond to Catholic truth, and faith in Rochester will flourish.

    And with a new Diocesan staff of people who have only nominally normal, basic good morals (and maybe more importantly: the absence of a personal agenda, and the absence of an “end justifies the means” motto) we will have more financial integrity and financial transparency and the people of the DOR will have some ability to put their money where their Catholic hearts desire. We will see cared-for parishes and the blossoming of parish-run schools. It will be the new Springtime! Blessed Pope John Paul II will be praying for us!

  7. avatar Nerina says:

    Ben – fantastic!

  8. avatar Zack in Poughkeepsie says:

    Thanks for the article. Whenever I tell people about the Rochester Diocese they look at me in disbelief now I can direct them to this article. It is truly amazing just how bad things have become. I guess you have to drive to the Buffalo Diocese.

  9. avatar DW says:

    What is wrong with female altar servers?

    Where in cannon law does it say female’s cant be servers?

    I find that offensive and think that you should be ashamed to even bring that up. Its people with that philosophy which are holding the church back. Its hurtful, exclusive, and inappropriate. You will never build the church with an attitude like that, and thats exactly why Rome ignores those types of letters—

  10. avatar rob says:

    I dont understand the philosophy that most of you on this blog subscribe to that going back to the past will propel the church into the future. If the church does not keep up with the progression of culture- there will be no church.

    Christ came for the people– not the clergy; if the church does not remain a people centered institution ( knowing that the people are the body of Christ), then they may as well close all the churches.

    Right now- it appears the only thing this blog and the church leaders want to do is sprint back to a past— exclude women, reinstitute Latin (which nobody understands), hang all homosexuals, and cloak everything in secrecy. IS that really what you think Christ represents???????

    It seems instead of facing the problems of the world, the church is running from them.

  11. avatar Bruce says:

    Ah, what “DW” and “rob” seem to want to forget/ignore is that the dioceses around the world that are embracing Catholicism and tradition are the ones most flourishing. Bringing back the EF, reserving altar serving to males, and keeping priests reverent and in charge has not only increased parishioners in those dioceses, it has also increased vocations. Places like Lincoln are flourishing while the so-called “future” womenchurch of Rochester is literally dying if not dead already. No, DW and rob, YOUR time has passed. Your fruits are rotten and destructive and only the charge toward tradition (and yes, that means NO MORE lay pastors, female servers, or reckless teaching on homosexuality) will restore the faith. ARE YOU WITH THE CHURCH OR ARE YOU AGAINST HER? And remember, DW and rob, the Church is the Body of Christ. Either you’re with Christ or against Him. You decide.

  12. avatar Scott W, says:

    hang all homosexuals

    As us Sith Catholics would say, “your thoughts betray you”. I have yet to encounter anyone on this blog or in the general Catholic blogosphere that either says this or even subtlely implies that they want to hang homosexuals, and the fact that you thought you could jump over this and your other bus-sized premises like Evel Knieval and not have anyone notice says alot about you and little about anyone here. But I’ll be nice and assume you are having a bad day and recommend that you simply retract and apologize for these rash characterizations and we’ll move on.

  13. I dont understand the philosophy that most of you on this blog subscribe to that going back to the past will propel the church into the future.

    Enter straw man. This blog, at least from what I can observe, subscribes to continuity with tradition, which is the official “hermeneutic,” or lens, of the Church. (Vatican II called it “organic development.”) Dioceses that embrace this hermeneutic thrive; those which reject it in favor of rupture, e.g., Rochester, decay.

    If the church does not keep up with the progression of culture- there will be no church.

    The Church should form the culture, not “keep up” with it.

  14. avatar CPT Tom says:

    DW and Rob…

    Keeping up with the culture hasn’t worked out so well has it? Priest Scandal, dumbing down the teachings of the Church, the “welcoming” masses haven’t exactly led to a wealth of growth here in the Rochester Diocese, has it? The last 30 years has resulted in closure of the Seminary, closure of most of the Catholic schools in the City of Rochester and many more outside, and severe drops in baptisms, marriages and attendance Diocese wide that far out-pace any decline in population. The destruction and decay will take years to clear away after the change in bishop.

  15. Interestingly, Rob and DW ignore the converts who have been in that ‘progression of culture’ and can speak directly to that issue, then go on to raise false arguments and verbally attack those with differing views. If such progressive posters could just once address the issue with a modicum of thoughtfulness and reason…

    The argument that the culture has gone beyond the Church is a very weak argument. Perhaps that is why the responses include verbal attacks and deflection. Of course the culture has gone beyond the Church…and it is now in desperate need of conversion back to the eternal truths promulgated by the “Ancient of Days.” Or God, if you prefer.

  16. avatar Bruce says:

    Rich is correct. Catholicism played the major role in forming Western culture, and the loss of respect for the traditions of the Church has led to cultural decay. And on the hopeful demise of altar girls: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/04/review-letters-to-an-altar-boy-angelus-press/ AND http://allsaintstaylorsville.blogspot.com/2011/04/updated-what-i-say-to-my-altar-servers.html http://www.rev-know-it-all.com/2008/2008—08-03.html AND http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/05/quaeritur-altar-girls-dressed-as-clerics-what-to-say/

  17. avatar Anonymous says:

    Exactly what diocese in the United States has banned altar girls? If I remember correctly Pope John Paul II was the man who approved girls serving on the altar. My daughter happens to be an altar server and does a fine job, she also has absolutely no desire to be a priest, so don’t worry! The day the church tells us she can no longer be a server is the day I stop going to church.

  18. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Gretchen from SOP says:

    You have inspired me to write a letter, too.

    That was my intent in sharing it 🙂

    dw says:

    What is wrong with female altar servers?

    Where does this question come from? I don’t see the topic mentioned anywhere – what am I missing?

    rob says:

    I dont understand the philosophy that most of you on this blog subscribe to

    you mean Catholicism?

    that going back to the past will propel the church into the future.

    I especially enjoy going back to the past and meditating on the mysteries of Christ. How bout you?

    If the church does not keep up with the progression of culture- there will be no church.

    the Church should certainly find ways to address the culture and in certain ways integrate into it, but “keeping up with” is a somewhat ambiguous term. Certainly the Church shouldn’t be a slave to the culture. Then she has nothing to offer.

    Christ came for the people– not the clergy

    actually he came for all of us. No idea what you’re getting at, though.

    if the church does not remain a people centered institution…

    sure. I think we could apply the 2 greatest commandments corporately – love God and love neighbor. In order to truly love God and neighbor, though, we must not compromise the Truth.

    it appears the only thing this blog and the church leaders want to do is sprint back to a past

    By “Church leaders” – do you mean our Holy Father? It would be good if you could clarify a bit

    exclude women?

    by no means – different roles doesn’t imply exclusion.

    hang all homosexuals

    I have a good relationship with more than one homosexual, but thanks for judging me.

    cloak everything in secrecy

    Actually, this is exactly the opposite of what we try to do here. My guess is that you are new here, so I’ll cut you some slack. But maybe you should peruse around a bit. We actually take a lot of slack for being too open.

    It seems instead of facing the problems of the world, the church is running from them.

    which problem exactly is the Church running from? Are you open to filling your mind with some more reputable sources like EWTN, Catholic Radio, National Catholic Register, or some other decent media? Or do you only pay attention to the naysayers. There are so many positives things going on in the universal Church today.

    have a listen to Bishop Tobin. I would guess that his profile matches fits your view the “Church leaders” you denigrate. And yet he launched a very successful campaign that brought many outsiders into the Catholic faith. Why would these people come to the Catholic Church if it’s so backwards?

    http://www.catholic.com/radio/calendar.php?type=month&calendar=1&category=&month=04&year=2011
    It’s one of the shows from April 20th, 2011.

  19. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    The day the church tells us she can no longer be a server is the day I stop going to church.

    If that’s true, may I ask – why are you Catholic? What is it that you believe in?

  20. avatar Anonymous says:

    No you can’t ask me why I’m Catholic its none of your business! I believe in equality for all of God’s children.

  21. avatar Bruce says:

    Anony-204144, it would appear that you did not bother to educate yourself by reading any of the links, let alone the Catechism. Men and women are equal in dignity, but they are not the same. They do not, and cannot, do the same things. That is not inequality, but rather reality. To deny that is to deny reality and God’s plan for human beings. Furthermore, if something the Church says or does makes you want to leave, then your faith is incredibly weak, for to be in the Church is to believe She is the Body of Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit. So, let us ask again, what is it that you believe in?

  22. avatar DW says:

    I dont believe anyone answered my question why females cant be altar servers.

    The gross inequality and division this blog strives to perpetuate makes me not want to be associated with the Catholic church anymore. After listening to all of you bicker about the rules and why the Catholic church of old should be brought back makes me never want to step into a catholic church anymore—-you are all so far off base about what church is all about. This is exactly the reason the pews are empty.

  23. avatar Scott W, says:

    I dont believe anyone answered my question why females cant be altar servers.

    Because no one to my knowledge disputes that. Is it possible you are confusing alter servers with lay administrator? They are not the same thing. Even most here will acknowlege that lay administrators are licit, but argue over the prudence of their application. Obviously I can’t stop you from smearing the participants here, but it seems like we ought to make sure you are not barking up the wrong tree.

  24. avatar PJL says:

    DW,

    Here is my attempt to answer your question. Fundamentality, the question is not whether or not they can or cannot be servers, it mostly a question of should or should not. For most of the history of the church (from my understanding) there were no altar boys. In the last hundred years or so it was considered a natural progression to introduce boys to a possible path to the priesthood by making them altar servers.

    Since women cannot be priests one could argue it is sending a very mixed and confusing message to girls by having them serve mass. There are also studies that show there is a direct correlation between girls serving mass and boys not wanting to which can be attributed to the list of reasons for the decline of vocations.

    I think a fair question to ask while not being divisive is “should girls become altar servers if it means fewer priests?” Are there other equally rewarding ways which girls can contribute? I believe the answer is yes. Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should.

  25. avatar Mike says:

    The day the church tells us she can no longer be a server is the day I stop going to church.

    Ah, another ultimatum from a my-way-or-the-highway Catholic. How refreshing.

    Actually the use of female altar servers is a matter the Church lets each individual bishop decide for his own diocese. And, should a bishop allow the practice – and most U.S. bishops do – then it’s still up to each pastor to okay it for his own parish. (There’s much more on this topic here.)

    It is interesting to note that Bishop Bruskewitz of the Diocese of Lincoln permits only male altar servers. According to the Official Catholic Directory, between taking over in Lincoln in 1992 and 2009 (the last year for which data is available), His Excellency ordained 63 men to the priesthood. In the same period of time Bishop Clark ordained 24, despite running a diocese with more than 3 times as many Catholics.

    Put another way, Bishop Bruskewitz ordained 66.0 priests for every 100,000 Catholics in Lincoln, while Bishop Clark ordained 7.7 for every 100,000 Catholics in Rochester.

    That’s almost a full order of magnitude difference.

  26. avatar Scott W, says:

    As a moderator, I can tell which reader is commenting thanks to the blogging software, but our readers can not.

    Yes please, it’s annoying at best and sockpuppetry at worst.

  27. avatar Nerina says:

    Regarding female altar servers: I know that Fr. Z. has been discussing this issue recently in response to the promulgation of Universiae Ecclesiae which appears to forbid the use of female altar servers in the EF. Perhaps Jake/DW and his other “personalities” is confused because of that fact. I don’t know of anyone involved with this blog who doesn’t recognize the bishop’s right to determine whether or not altar girls will be allowed. Yes, some people have preferences and will make a case against their use in the NO, but at least they make a case. How about the supporters of altar girls? Make the case. Convince us. The EF is completely different and goes by the rules in place at the time of the 1962 Missal (at least, I believe that’s the interpretation of the instruction for Summorum Pontificum,)

    And I must say, this statement:

    The day the church tells us she can no longer be a server is the day I stop going to church. comes across as angry and belligerent. As if the person is just daring someone to tell him(or her) that his daughter can’t serve anymore. If this is the final straw for someone, then he or she has been poorly formed in the Faith. Unfortunately, so many people are in this same boat.

  28. avatar Dale Price says:

    No you can’t ask me why I’m Catholic its none of your business!

    When you get a moment, crack open the Word and ponder the First Letter of St. Peter, Chapter 3, verse 15.

  29. avatar Dale Price says:

    The gross inequality and division this blog strives to perpetuate makes me not want to be associated with the Catholic church anymore. After listening to all of you bicker about the rules and why the Catholic church of old should be brought back makes me never want to step into a catholic church anymore—-you are all so far off base about what church is all about. This is exactly the reason the pews are empty.

    “I dislike that man. I must get to know him better.”

    –Abraham Lincoln.

    For decades now, Bishop Clark professes to be a forwarding thinking man, one who shares most if not all of your views. He has been trying to mould his diocese accordingly, and yet the pews are indeed emptying. Rapidly. I beseech you to consider the current trajectory of the Diocese of Rochester, the closing or consolidating parishes, the dearth of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and honestly ask yourself if there might be a problem with the vision of the Bishop and his appointed leaders.

  30. avatar Raymond Rice says:

    What I really think is that we ought to have an annual blog picnic in July in the Rochester area!! What incredible nuclear energy we could create with all of us knocking each others atoms together!!! lol

  31. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Raymond,
    I’ve actually been considering such an idea in my head. If others agree – I’d be up for trying to get something together.

  32. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Wow, Ben, I just read your link at the top of this comment page. Its an excellent letter. Very well said! I have so many of the same sentiments!

    I am going to a wedding later next month and will see again many members of my old Protestant Church. My friend asked me who I want to sit with. I said anyone who loves their faith and loves God! I am so looking forward to fellowship with people who are more Catholic than the Catholics! More Catholic than the DOR leaders! And the poor (not their fault!) 30-years-uncatechized DOR parishioners!

    Yes, the DOR climate makes it VERY difficult to evangelize DOR Protestants!

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