Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

400 Days to Go

June 10th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K




30 Responses to “400 Days to Go”

  1. KM says:


  2. Eliza10 says:

    Great! I can’t wait to see the number “3” tomorrow, in 399!

  3. Bruce says:

    400 days until all fake priestesses are tossed out of rectories!

  4. Giovanni says:

    What great respect you all have for your Bishop… methinks it’s a shame.

  5. Bruce says:

    Methinks you, Giovanni, have not been paying attention for the last 30 years. The bishop does not respect his office, himself, and certainly not the Church. Unless you can provide ample evidence to the contrary, methinks we’re just speaking the truth. He has 400 days left…truth. Most people will be happy when he leaves…truth. His tenure has been a cross…truth. So, go ahead and prove Cleansing Fire wrong. We’ll wait around for it.

  6. Giovanni says:

    It is not proper for us as the flock of our bishop to think ill of him or wish for his quick departure… just doesn’t seem right. He was willed by God to be our bishop, and to lead us as best he knows how. Surely you cannot deny that our bishop has done much good! If you can you are blinded by hate… and not filled with the love of Christ.

  7. Nerina says:

    Surely you cannot deny that our bishop has done much good!

    Giovanni, I ask this question with sincerity – there is no ill intent with the asking – but what good has Bishop Clark done? Can you cite specific examples? I am certainly open to reconsidering the legacy of our bishop because as it stands, it doesn’t look good with churches and schools closing, Mass attendance plummeting and collections drying up (and, no, demographic shifts cannot begin to explain the numbers). Thank you, in advance, for your response.

  8. Nerina says:

    Also, I pray for him every day and for the Rochester faithful, but I won’t be sad to see a new shepherd in our diocese.

    P.S. Add to the above post the decrease in the reception of the Sacraments (from baptism to marriage to reconciliation – it is a mess).

  9. Dr. K says:

    Giovanni, perhaps you would feel more comfortable reading the NCReporter where they are calling for Bishop Finn’s resignation?

  10. Dr. K says:

    I believe the truth is that there were suspicions about the priest being a little too touchy-feely around kids, but that there was no knowledge that he had sexually molested anyone. Basically, the person who complained to the bishop (and later ran to the NCR) wanted Bp. Finn to act without any evidence that the priest had done something criminal. When images of children were discovered on this priest’s computer, then the bishop appropriately took action by forbidding him to have contact with children and sending him to live with a group of Sisters. The priest was later found in possession of child pornography, and it was then that Bp. Finn appears to have defrocked him.

  11. Bruce says:

    We’re still waiting for Giovanni’s list of good things Bishop Clark has accomplished. Still waiting…

  12. He was willed by God to be our bishop …

    The Church does not teach that any particular episcopal ordination was “willed by God.”

  13. Hopefull says:

    It is certainly possible to respect the office of bishop (or priest for that matter) without allowing others, by our silence, to be misled or risk their Faith. By their fruits we are told to discern whether someone is good or bad for our souls. The fruits of this episcopate are clearly bad.

    There have been bad shepherds in the church before, and there will be again. Remember Archbishop Rembert Weakland and the disgusting diplay he gave to the world! It is beautiful to see on this blog how often people of strong faith and conviction rejoice in the thought of a new bishop, yet show amazing restraint in any semblance of condemning or wishing ill on the person who has done so much damage to us.

    If no one ever spoke out (but which we have a duty to do) there would be even more priests abusing minors, and bishops covering it up. So, at midnight today, join the throng watching 400 turn to 399 and keep praying that the days of this episcopate may be shortened for us by the Mercy of God. Let’s all especially pray on Pentecost, the Birthdday of the Church, for God’s blessing on all the people of the Diocese of Rochester.


  14. Eliza10 says:

    I wonder if Giovanni will come up with any good we can praise.

    Giovanni said, “It is not proper for us as the flock of our bishop to think ill of him or wish for his quick departure… just doesn’t seem right. He was willed by God to be our bishop, and to lead us as best he knows how. Surely you cannot deny that our bishop has done much good! If you can you are blinded by hate… and not filled with the love of Christ.”

    I think ill of what Bishop Clark has done. It is enough to make anyone who loves God and loves the Church ill. I am not a saint and I admit sometimes I do feel quite ill of Bishop Clark himself but I do pray about that, knowing that Jesus loves Bishop Clark and so does Our Lady and Jesus would be glad to die for him alone! Yes, the more I feel ill about him the more I pray for him! I had a good love heartfelt prayer for him on the way to work today, after writing here. So Bishop Clark is getting extra blessings from me.

    I do wonder a lot why Bishop Clark is such a bad bishop. I was reflecting today that he very intelligently is able to be a persistent long-term dissenter while adroitly sidestepping ex-communication. I know he is intelligent enough to know what the Church is teaching so I worry for his soul. And I wonder why he is like this. Is he mentally ill? Or just morally ill? Something is wrong. I don’t know what it is. Only God knows.

    Anyone, please tell me if I am wrong. I think, “God allowed him to be bishop”, rather than “God willed him to be bishop”. If I think the former, I think He is punishing us, or putting us through a refining fire. But when I think of all the poor souls in Rochester, I think He must have just allowed it. In the same way, I think he allowed Judas to be his Apostle; He did not will it. That is just my own thought on the matter.

    Perhaps to refine that thought, I should say that I think that God allowed him to be Bishop. The evil one meant it for evil. We can see the evil done. But God can turn what is meant for evil to good for those who love Him. For us, suffering through this can be a refining fire (one with an expiration date! what a Grace!).

    As to “hate”, I think you do not know our hearts, and to pretend to is disordered. We should be good and angry about wrong done. That does not mean we hate the perpetrator. When a person abuses you, you hate the abuse. Bishop Clark abuses his position, he is derelict in his duty, and imposes abuse on those he is called to shepherd. Something to get pretty mad about.

    Its not a sin to be angry.

  15. Giovanni says:

    I won’t try and make a list. In thirty years of service I know he has done good and has also made mistakes. He is human. But he is a good and loving person seeking to bring Christ’s love to others. I know this from my meetings with the man. He has had many difficult decisions to make over his 30 plus years as bishop… Not all of them were perfect but I know he has done good. He has had a positive influence on my life and for that I praise God for bishop Clark. It’s fine that there are things that bother you about our bishop but respect him… Look for the good he has done (yes he does have good) and pray that his last days can be his best. He still has important work to do… Especially in regards to implementing the new roman missal. Let’s pray for him (Eliza10 I’m happy to hear about your prayers. I know what it’s like to have negative feelings about someone and having that drive you to more prayer for both yourself and the other person.)

  16. Giovanni says:

    Rich in response… CCC…

    77 “In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority.”35 Indeed, “the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time.”36

    Because Christ chose his apostles and our bishops serve as their successors I would find that they serve in such capacity by God’s will…

  17. Hopefull says:

    Giovanni, does that mean that bad bishops are God’s Will?

  18. Giovanni says:

    I would say that God does not will bad things but he has willed each of our exsistences not the actions we have taken. That sounds like the question of good an evil… I may be wrong on this… Not sure how I would answer differently or more fully… I know that the Holy Spieit is certainly at work when the Pope chooses who to ordain a bishop

  19. One positive thing Bishop Clark has done (or maybe a combination of him and others in the DoR)is to have the toughest policy on sexual abuse of minors (or others) and the most apprehensive process involving many varied professionals, to determine the credibility of an accusation than other dioceses in the Country.
    I do not question his compassion. But I do not agree how the DoR under Bishop Clark has handled property – actually of the people. I do not agree with decisions that are made, actually without input of the people regardless of what is said. I have heard there are business consultants involved with the DoR and I would think Fr. Hart has some type of business background, but that’s the problem -the Church is run like a business and not a church. But even looking at it from a business perspective, many of their decisions don’t make sense. Bishop Clark may be responsible, but he doesn’t act alone. He relies on his consultants and Fr. Hart is probably his right-hand man. Bishop Clark probably just goes along with whatever they say. (Bishop Clark should do some of his own questioning and also listen directly to the people). I have heard various people hopeful at the prospect of Fr. Joseph Hart’s departure along with Bishop Clark’s retirement.

  20. Louis E. says:

    Just remember that right-on-the-birthday retirements of bishops are very,very rare.

  21. Because Christ chose his apostles and our bishops serve as their successors I would find that they serve in such capacity by God’s will…

    You are changing your tune. You wrote that Bishop Clark’s appointment was God’s will. The paragraph you cited in the CCC refers to the legitimacy of apostolic succession, which isn’t in dispute. Again, the Church does not teach that Bishop Clark’s episcopal ordination, or any particular episcopal ordination, is “willed by God.”

  22. Dr. K says:

    the Church does not teach that Bishop Clark’s episcopal ordination, or any particular episcopal ordination, is “willed by God.”

    Though I bet many Bishop Clark loyalists would claim his appointment was the “work of the Spirit.”

  23. Giovanni says:

    Yes they would Dr. K. Which is what I wrote in my last post above. The holy spirit is indeed at work when the Pope makes his choice.

  24. Eliza10 says:

    Well, I think “allowed” and you think “willed”. All we do know is that God approves and accepts and upholds his Ordination, becasse of the power he gave His Apostles to decide things on heaven and earth. He is our Bishop.

    Goivanni, I am glad that you can and do affirm the good in Bishop Clark. Certainly he makes a sincere effort to be warm, personable and approachable, and these things can be a great blessing to people. Everyday good manners and kindnesses are things of worth and they do make a difference. And I am sure that if he has had a positive influence in your life then he has for others, too.

    I do hope that he has in some way helped you to love God and love His Church more, too!

    Thanks for sharing what you did because sometimes we need reminding when we are suffering because of someone’s abuses or dereliction of duties that not everything about that person is lacking and/or negative.

  25. Scott W, says:

    Bp. Clark’s sincerity is not in dispute. And it is easy to spot him that he is a Nice Guy. But that is the problem: we live in the age of a mental disease that makes people believe that sincerity and Nice Guyness qualify one for a serious office.

  26. Dr. K says:

    Personally, I don’t believe he is sincere or a nice guy. Just my perspective based upon my several experiences with him over the years.

  27. Giovanni says:

    Thank you Eliza10! Happy Pentecost!

  28. Martin says:

    The data from P.J. Kennedy’s CATHOLIC DIRECTORY for 2008, the most recent to which I have access, are alarming. While Rochester’s Catholic population in the 30 years since Bishop Clark’s appointment has declined but 16%, the number of parochial schools has plummeted from 75 to 25, or by 66.7%. And the number of pupils in those schools has nosedived by 73%. This bears witness to the lack of concern, if not open hostility, which Bishop Clark displays towards Catholic education. He has openly endorsed the public school system and publicly mused over what the great significance of Catholic education is to begin with. His autumnal “Catholic Ministries Appeal” devotes but 5% of the monies to his Catholic school system. In 2008 alone, he closed 13 Catholic primary schools, or more than 50% of those still open at the time. I know of no precedent for such a percentage in any diocese in any single year. Yet while these schools are being closed “for lack of funds,” he has poured millions into Sacred Heart Cathedral, not for repairs, but to “renovate” it in his own image and likeness. This included a $1.5 million organ against the wall where the high altar should be, thus preventing long after he departs a Tridentine mass from ever being celebrated.

    Further, while the CATHOLIC DIRECTORY indicates a Catholic population slightly in excess of 300,000 in this diocese, the number of diocesan priests has declined by 53.4% since the arrival of the bishop, from 414-193, while those active priests has dropped an astonishing 70% from 341-102. It is common knowledge that the bishop was offered priests from Poland to help fill this alarming void-and promptly rejected the offer, aware of the level of orthodoxy that they bring with them. And for a priest who employs the word “diversity” ad nauseum, it is remarkable how few African priests he has at a time when these wonderful men are filling ecclesiastical voids from France to Chicago. Obviously, Bishop Clark will sacrifice diversity if it is accompanied by orthodoxy. And then in a supreme mixture of irony and duplicity, he laments the necessity of shutting down churches such as STA due to “the shortage of priests.”

    As best I can divine, there are currently six (6) seminarians studying in this diocese.
    Contrast this with the Diocese of Omaha who, while it holds within its borders but 240,000 Catholics, has 32 seminarians; or with the Diocese of Lincoln, NE, where with under 100,000 Catholics Bishop Brukewitz has no fewer than 25 seminarians studying within his bishopric and ANOTHER 11 in seminaries outside his diocese. In other words, the Diocese of Lincoln, with one third the number of Catholics as Rochester, has six times the number of seminarians. Patently, Bishop Clark is the very reason for the lack of vocations and priests which he so frequently laments. And just as obviously, he is the primary reason for the implosion of Catholicism in a diocese which once was presided over by one of the great lions of the Church, Fulton J. Sheen, who today must be turning in his grave.

  29. Ben Anderson says:

    Martin, you said

    It is common knowledge that the bishop was offered priests from Poland

    I know I’ve heard this mentioned before, but AFAIK we haven’t delved below the surface of it. Do you have any specific resources or references you could share? If so email me –

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