Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

What Other Job Allows an Employee to Give Themselves a Promotion?

May 21st, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Last year, Nancy DeRycke arrogantly anointed herself the “Pastoral Leader” of Church of the Good Shepherd. Now the pastoral administrator of St. Anne/Our Lady of Lourdes, Sr. Joan Sobala SSJ, has done the same.

From the latest St. Anne bulletin:

Does Sr. Joan Sobala have permission from Bishop Clark to change her title, or has she done this on her own non-existent authority? Keep in mind that the two Diocese of Rochester laywomen to have promoted themselves to “Pastoral Leader” (Sr. Sobala and Ms. DeRycke) are affiliated with the Women’s Ordination Conference.

The following directives from Ecclesiae de Mysterio are relevant here:

“It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as “pastor”, “chaplain”, “coordinator”, ” moderator” or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or Priest. (58)”


(58) Such examples should include all those linguistic expressions: which in languages of the various countries, are similar or equal and indicate a directive role of leadership or such vicarious activity.”

One more year until these priestesses head to the unemployment office. 2012 is quickly approaching.

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13 Responses to “What Other Job Allows an Employee to Give Themselves a Promotion?”

  1. Scott W. says:

    [Cue Voice of Saruman}: “Against the power of Mordor, there can be no victory.”….err…”Rome doesn’t care!” 😀

  2. militia says:

    I guess any job in which the boss is wimpy, has no sense of responsibility, exercises authority as power rather than serving, or is hog-tied by some secret something? We all (justifiably) talk/write as if the Bp. is in charge. Suppose he isn’t? Suppose it is really wannabee Bp. Joan behind it all? After all, most women will understand how utterly ridiculous is the claim that a man “knows what women want.” It hasn’t been solved in 7000 years, as most married men can testify. And most women would have to admit that they don’t even know how to unravel the complexity of woman. It is still a great mystery and will be. Does the Bp. have any idea at all how silly the sounds?

    Maybe Sr. Joan and other would-be priestesses are the puppeteers, pulling the strings of the absurdity of any man announcing that he knows what women want. Oh, my, and one who has spent most of his life in seminary or as a priest? He knows them so well that they have him just where they want him and won’t let him retire early? Maybe he is just being made fun of? Maybe he lost a bet and has to say such silly things? Maybe it’s Joanie baloney who is running the diocese? Stranger things have happened. And, if this is true, prepare for even sillier things to come.

  3. Louis E. says:

    Whoever is bishop in 2013 will not expect Joan Sobala to be running the diocese,and will not be naming women as Pastoral Leaders,Administrators,or Ministers.

  4. Inform Rome, citing the appropriate canons.

    In John Fraga’s new piece for OSV, he indicates a possible new willingness by the Holy See to depose bishops but that it is very difficult per canon law.

  5. STA says:

    “he indicates a possible new willingness”

    This is about as non-committal and weak an argument as there is– We need a church with a strong leader (pope or bishop) who does not dance around difficult topics and makes firm and straightforward decisions.

    A large part of the church’s problem is that the leadership takes decades to make decisions, and such decisions are never enforced. NO wonder there is chaos and no uniformity anywhere in the world in the catholic church.

    Same on Rome and shame on Buffalo Rd.

  6. Bruce says:

    Its high time for an excommunication or two or three….

  7. STA,

    No one would like to see Matthew Clark, almost certainly the worst bishop in the United States of the past half-century, deposed more than me. But the Pope, like any bishop, is bound by Canon law.

  8. Diane Harris says:

    Canon Law WAS changed, on January 25, 1983. It was the 1917 Law that was changed, and in “Church time” that is fairly recent. It was changed by Pope John Paul II. One should remember that the 3 branches of government as we know them in the US is not the Church model, where a legislative branch enacts laws that bind the executive branch. In Church Law (i.e. Canon Law) the executive (Pope) enacts the Law, and interprets the Law. Canon Law is not “above” the Pope. He doesn’t even need to have a Canon Law. The Law is for the rest of the Church, and the Pope willingly binds himself and the Church to that Law, for the good of the Church and the people. For centuries and centuries there was no Canon Law.

    Another thing that is very different about Canon Law is that it isn’t changed by “precedent” as it would be in the US Courts. And most decisions aren’t publicized; therefore, one preparing a case under Canon Law can’t really find or effectively cite how a previous finding was made or might pertain. (However, plaintiffs are more often releasing results and the results are making their way into the media which I think is a very good thing. Also, I think blogs such as this one, and cooperation between petitioners/plaintiffs that is now electronically possible won’t change the application of the Law directly, but will be a real boon to laity trying to seek justice. I believe we are just at the very beginning of such cooperation, possible in a way never before available. While the Law may not get properly implemented, any organization subject to deep secrecy will eventually be affected by publicity, the very antithesis of secrecy. It is a fundamental of the Sunshine Laws in Civil Law, for example.)

    The real complaint, the fair and just complaint, I believe, is that there is a Curia under the Pope who are charged with fairly implementing Canon Law and who, in my opinion and belief, many there are simply not doing the job. They ignore requests, communicate with bishops but not the complainants, skip over key arguments, make errors in their own understanding of Canon Law and treat plaintiffs as borderline heretics. Those who are suffering under that, AND willing to publicize it, will be doing the Church a real service in the long run. That “long run” may be beyond our own lifetimes.

    That, I believe, is the true direction for reform, not making priestesses into priests, or dipping baby butts in the baptismal font, or subscribing to garbage reading for seminarians. Yet as long as our energies are consumed by the actions of bad priests and bad bishops, we are not doing what needs to be done. It is a clever diversionary strategy but not one, I believe, endorsed by Truth Himself.

    BTW, it has been oft repeated that when John Paul II was presented with the draft of the Canon Law changes/reform he wanted, he made only one change; and, that was to add to the last Canon, 1752, regarding canonical equity and keeping in mind the salvation of souls “which in the Church must always be the supreme law.” What is wrong isn’t the Law, or the Pope’s enactment of the Law, but rather it is with those charged with administering the law, and their seeming inability or unwillingness to put the good of souls as “supreme.”

    We need to become more informed on our Canon Law rights and obligations. Too many of the laity express frustration, and then turn away, from a parish, a diocese or the Church. That is what Christ may well vomit out of His mouth. I have been thinking of organizing a Canon Law forum for the laity in our area, with much Q&A. What do you think? Would you go? Buy a text? Contribute something to the expense? Just wondering. Contact me at and let me know. God bless you.

  9. Maureen says:

    Perhaps new titles are due at the next level:

    Diocesan Leader: Joan Sobala, S.S.J.
    Diocesan Minister: Ms. Nancy DeRycke
    Assistant to Diocesan Truly Important: Matt Clark

  10. Louis E. says:

    Maureen,surely Swiecki and Bruney and Brogan rank ahead of Clark?

  11. Bruce says:

    Since it needs to be said, and cannot be said enough, Joan, Bruney, Nancy, Irene, and others are not priests or pastors, and never will be. Do not go to them and do not give them money.

  12. militia says:

    Bruce has good advice. It needs to be more widely promulgated. Perhaps a little hand-out of what it is ok to say to or ask of a Pastoral Administrator would be helpful. Here are some ideas:

    Examples of inquiries to the priest:

    Father, when will you next be hearing confession?
    Father, will you do Benediction for us on First Friday?
    Father, will you join us for dinner next Sunday afternoon?
    Father, I have a Scripture question to ask you.
    Father, would you speak to a friend of mine who is interested in becoming Catholic?

    Examples of inquiries/comments to pastoral administrators:

    The garden needs weeding.
    We just put an EWTN bumper sticker on your car.
    Would you please make sure we have decaf for the evening meetings?
    There are still wrinkles in the altar cloth.
    Somebody just threw up in the back row.

    Other ideas?

  13. Bruce says:

    militia: This is EXACTLY what I had in mind. SPREAD THE WORD! This is what lay administrators are to do….Joan, Bruney, Irene, etc.

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