Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

No Civil “Right” to do “Wrong” — Part #2

June 9th, 2011, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Note:  one commenter (Anonymous 131129, shown below in the comments section) objected to this blog post as “mudslinging”, among other complaints.  Generally I feel people are entitled to their opinions, provided they give detail of their opinions, and don’t just throw around wild accusations.  At the time I am writing this it has been several days and Anonymous hasn’t take up Ben Anderson’s invitation for clarification.  Meanwhile, I have been considering and praying over if I am called to make any changes.  I also asked advice of friends.  Most had no changes, but one suggestion was possibly to separate the part about Karen Rinefierd from Jim Rinefierd so they appear in different posts.  However, trying to be faithful to what was originally published, I can’t do that as both names appeared on the same page.  Also, with the same last name, it is difficult to avoid certain conclusions, or not to raise more questions through silence.  And, the way the diocese handled the situation is relevant to both.

Also, I took into consideration that the original article, shown here exactly as it appeared last July, was mailed to over 300 households, and also to the Bishop, the Chancellor, the Vicar General and the OLOL Pastor, and not a single one voiced objection, concern, or request for clarification.  As a matter of fact, neither did any of the other recipients.  On re-reading multiple times, I do not find anything which needs to be deleted, nor anything intended as “mud-slinging,” but given Anonymous’ comments (which I do feel free to ignore) I will not delete anything, but will add text to the original post for the sake of clarification.  All the text in blue, above the article on the yellow pages, is intended to clarify my intentions regarding the original post, and why it is much more than a private matter.  This does not, of course, prevent the moderators from doing whatever they feel necessary. 

Since I’d promised to put up the rest of the article from last July, which was in response to the Bishop’s Along the Way column, which appeared in time for Gay Pride Week, I might as well get on with more of the posting.  Part #2.  As I read the Bishop’s article, I was first amused and then annoyed (or was it the other way around?) at the cloaking in alphabet soup.  Not only is there LGBT in Part #1, but this portion has CGLFM and FF and of course USCCB as well.  The other one, OLOL, is Our Lady of the Lakes, for which the Newsletter was  principally written.  (Oh well, oh well or oh hell, oh hell are two pronounciations, although O-LOL works too.  For those who followed earlier posts, you know a bit about that!)

Anyway, some of the probing behind writing the Newsletter turned up Karen Rinefierd as a key player.  She was the diocesan coordinator who made such a mess of things in OLOL (with a lot of help from Fr. Robert Ring.)  It filled in some blanks for me.  Fr. Ring had asked me to chair a survey committee in 2005 to find out what would be helpful in the planning process.  I was willing to do so, even though it was an enormous effort.  Slowly, over a period of time, and 340,000 data points later, it came out that we were just marking time in the PPNMPII (hah! another one of those things!) and he would eventually ignore all the results.  It was just a filler while Karen Rinefierd took a hiatus (about 6 months) to straighten out her marriage situation with the CFO of DoR.  Obviously I felt used and abused, seeming to have just been a cover story for Karen’s personal problems; i.e. “We’re taking a break from planning so we can do a Survey.”  Then when Karen was ready to come back, there was no interest in what the 418 survey respondents actually said.  This goes to Fr. Ring’s motivation, not Karen Rinefierd’s.  I am NOT saying that Karen asked for a cover story, although she too did ignore all the results on her return.  I could have delayed the survey part of the story until later, when I will eventually post on pastoral planning; however, I put it here so as not to hide my background role, and the irritation and damage that resulted.  But I did not know at the time why Karen was out for 6 months, just that she “had to take care of something.”  I thought it was a personal health issue.  Later I learned what had happened.

This is one of the areas that makes it confusing and difficult for those who are committed to following the Church’s teaching, because we are understandably reluctant to expose the sin of others, wishing to avoid detraction.  The dilemma is to answer the question:  how can it be detraction to point out a sin that is already  flaunted with pride?   The sin being flaunted is Jim Rinefierd’s gay activism, not Karen Rinefierd’s victimization.  Being a victim is not a sin.  One cannot and should not be humiliated by another’s sin.  The sinner is the one responsible.  Although I do criticize Karen for much in pastoral planning, I do NOT criticize her, but rather feel compassion for her having to go through such a difficult time.  Also, I don’t question at all whether or not she made the right decision in taking time off.  Only she could make that decision.  The delay was injurious to the parish, but that is Father Ring’s and the Bishop’s responsibility not to have provided another way to proceed.   We want to leave room for repentance, (by Jim, not Karen; Anonymous is right about this – it was “personal marital betrayal”), but not have others endangered.   We would be ashamed to have such things said about us, but St. Paul models for us the turning over to the flesh that which is of the flesh.   How can we responsibly dialogue on what is occurring inside our diocese without recognizing specific situations?  Is it necessary?  Is it relevant?  How do we handle the situation as charitably as possible?    Is it relevant to the decision making that DoR is using one of its employees in the CGLFM outreach, the same person who was so involved in her personal problems that the fate of multiple churches was negatively affected. Does it matter whether or not the person is on DoR salary (our contributions) for this work that is skating so close to the edge of giving comfort and support to what seems anti-Catholic?  Is it legitimate (given all Bishop Clark’s pronouncements on the gay issues) to wonder what goes on inside those hallowed halls of Buffalo Road?  Not to discuss the background leaves out a vital part of the story; would that be unnecessarily misleading?

This horrible situation is a view into what really is going on in the DoR on these alphabet soup issues; and that is the motivation in the original post, not to hurt Karen, regardless of what Anonymous tries to claim.  But if it was written ambiguously, then here is a more detailed clarification.  From the outside, it appears that a married couple is employed by DoR (not a good business practice at any rate) and the CFO (a powerful position) decides to pursue a homosexual activist lifestyle.  A marriage ends tragically.  The wife stays in her job.  The bishop then delegates (or continues) the assignment of the victim wife to be the liaison to the community which is so defensive of the lifestyle which the husband has left to pursue or defend.  This certainly seems insensitive at best on the part of church leadership.  To ask “WHAT was he thinking?” is not entirely inappropriate.  It is true we don’t know all the details, but that is how scandals spread.  The fruit of her work does not seem to have diminished the gap between Catholic teaching and the “Fortunate Families” mission; rather perhaps the split from Church teaching seems even wider now.  How has this appointment helped?  Why did Bishop Clark miss the opportunity to see in this situation the base results of the homosexual lifestyle and the injury it causes and not use the opportunity to speak out more strongly for Church teaching and the protection of innocent victims? 

And let’s try to fathom this puzzle.  The Rochester Bishop has said much that is perceived as advocating acceptance of gays and lesbians, yet when something happens right inside the Chancery, affecting the person at the center of Finance and a person who is a planning coordinator bragging about closing churches, why  is it treated like a covered-up story?   Perhaps at some deep level there is still a sense of shame and scandal?  We can hope.

Yes, Karen brags about closing churches.  I believe that is very wrong.  In a future post on pastoral planning, I plan to describe the injury to souls, not only those dispossessed from their spiritual roots, but also the injury to souls who willingly or unknowingly participate in damaging what belongs to God. 

I do value and respect those who may feel such discussion is going too far.  I hope not, but it isn’t done without trying to carefully discern how to protect truth and not distort the facts.   In the interest of full disclosure, I am laying the internal debate on the table too.

If you disagree, just don’t click on the link for Jim Rinefierd as Mr. Capital Pride Leather of Washington DC, or any of the other 1728 Google hits, more or less.

And, now, here is page 3 of the July 2010 It Really Matters Newsletter.




























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14 Responses to “No Civil “Right” to do “Wrong” — Part #2”

  1. Dr. K says:

    It needed to be said. Thank you for saying it.

  2. Monk says:

    So the CFO of the DoR was “Mr Capital Pride Leather?” WOW!

  3. Sassy says:

    Just curious. Does it stand to reason that if an individual openly supports FF and all its tenets, then that person should not be in a leadership or sacramental position in the Church (lector, Eucharistic Minister, etc.)?

  4. annonymouse says:

    No, Monk, the former CFO of the DoR IS “Mr Capital Pride Leather.”

    Wow. Unbelievable.

    At least he had the good sense to get the heck out of town.

    I’m having trouble feeling anything but sadness for his wife Karen, regardless of the glee/pride with which she’s closed down churches.

  5. Eliza10 says:

    The link: gross. However, it fits. The way the DoR handles finances is perverted and immoral. It fits so perfectly that the DoR CFO’s lifestyle is so steeped in perversion and immorality. It just makes sense.

    Yes this is who Bishop Clark picks and stands by. Something seriously wrong here.

  6. Eliza10 says:

    Diane, you wrote:

    “This is one of the areas that makes it confusing and difficult for those who are committed to following the Church’s teaching, because we are understandably reluctant to expose the sin of others, wishing to avoid detraction. The dilemma is to answer the question: how can it be detraction to point out a sin that is already flaunted with pride?”

    This is not a personal attack, or an exposition of someone’s private sin. As to Jim Reinfierd, as you say, the Gay pride costumes were flaunted publicly with “pride”, and are public news. As to exposing Karen Rinefierd’s shameful ignoring of the 6 months of survey work that tells what the people she was serving wanted, exposing that is not detraction. Its a job she is getting paid for with our money, and we have a right to know if we are getting our money’s worth (and we are obviously not!). Of course, Bishop Clark puts immoral people like Jim Rinefierd in charge of the finances. Clearly the bishop picked him knowing he can count on Jim to hide things. I think Bishop Clark has a LOT to hide, and that is why his life and his work are and always have been a VERY closed book.

  7. Eliza10 says:

    And this man of most perverted thinking, Bill Pickett, is one of Bishop Clark’s chosen, paid for with our sacrificial giving, and put in charge of our Diocese’ Pastoral Planning?? Its outrageous!

    What a cheeky man Clark is. I wish the Vatican would yank him out now.

    Unfortunately, he and his minion are weeds. Tares. And we have to live with these stinging nettles. The Clark reign is nearly over though. The end is in sight.

  8. Eliza10 says:

    From, above, “It Really Matters”:

    “…The support for Gay and Lesbian Ministry can seem to some folks to be a deeper and more touted commitment than to keeping parishes and Catholic Schools open.”

    Yes, and it certainly seems to be Karen Rinefierd’s orientation, and her perverted priorities, as seen by her abuse of her Diocesan position. Or is she, in her shabby Diocesan work, just a puppet to Bishop Clark’s agenda, and willing to do what it takes to keep her job (therefore adopting the DoR motto: “the end justifies the means”), even if her work ethic lacks even the basest integrity [i.e., ignoring the survey of the people she paid by and is supposed to be serving]?

  9. JLo says:

    Sassy: just can’t resist shouting it… THE ONLY EUCHARISTIC MINISTER ON THE ALTAR DURING HOLY MASS IS THE CELEBRANT!!! Forgive me for using you to scream that out, but there are so many times I must hold my tongue as that term is used incorrectly, by priests, in bulletins, by EMs, etc., this was an opportunity I couldn’t resist, to finally say it!

    An EM is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. The Magisterium even changed the words “of the Eucharist” to “of Holy Communion” in it’s struggle to get people to think of this role correctly by completely removing the word “Eucharist”. Only the ordained can be a Eucharistic minister! God bless. +JMJ

  10. Sassy says:

    Gulp. Sorry about that mistake. I won’t make it again.

    That being said, is it wrong for openly dissenting Catholics (I know, that’s an oxymoron too) to be appointed as lectors, EM’s or other parish leadership positions (like fundraising campaigns and the like)?

    Feel free to scream at me anytime you wish. 🙂

  11. Eliza10 says:

    Dear Anonymous,

    I am confused. Who is the woman who is victimized?

    “…victimized this woman as a personal attack, trying to humiliate her…wrong to publicize this sort of information. It’s a form of gossip and scapegoating the innocent…”

    — that is what I mean. Who/what are you talking about?

  12. Ben Anderson says:


    in the face of this uncharitable revelation of personal marital betrayal

    My heart goes out to Karen Rinefierd for having to suffer through such a situation. In defense of Diane’s post, I’d say a couple of things

    1) Did Diane just reveal an otherwise unknown story? What about this story was not already publicly available info? Very specifically – was it:
    a) Jim Rinefierd’s post DOR lifestyle
    b) The fact that Karen and Jim were married
    c) The fact that Karen took a hiatus to straighten out her marriage situation

    I’m seriously asking this question,. I want to know how exactly you think Diane crossed the line. If she did (I’m not saying she did), then I think we’d all consider editing the post.

    2) I don’t think Jim’s story has relevance simply for the fact that he was Karen’s husband, but for the fact that he was the CFO in the DOR. It’s not like Diane mentioned it for the purpose of slandering Karen. It just so happens they are connected. Are stories off limits if people happen to be connected? If so, wouldn’t the media have been slandering Hillary during Monica-Gate? Let’s say Jim and Karen hand’t been married. Would you still say that this story is a personal attack? How so?

    Stick to the relevant facts, please. Leave the mud-slinging out of it.

    What specifically would you say is irrelevant and what would you consider mud-slinging – very specifically?

  13. Louis E. says:

    Two other organizations that use the name “Catholic” and disdain Catholic teachings on homosexuality are and

  14. Diane Harris says:

    After due consideration of the post by Anonymous 131129, and Anonymous’ failure to reply to Ben Anderson’s questions, I’ve added the new blue text in the original post to more fully describe what the original post intended, with no changes to the newsletter (yellow pages) and no deletions from the original post (white letters) which still stands.

    Next I will post “No Civil Right to do Wrong” — Part #3. Diane Harris

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