Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

No Civil “Right” to do “Wrong” — Part #4

June 17th, 2011, Promulgated by Diane Harris

In the prior posting I promised to get back to the individual priest issues this time.  There are two situations which I wrote about in the Newsletter It Really Matters:  about Fr. Charles Curran, and about Fr. Timothy Niven’s hosting Fr. Timothy Radcliffe.

In August 2008 we noted that Fr. Curran was speaking at Transfiguration, and we questioned the wisdom in allowing him to do so.  However, since we’d written much which was justifiably critical of Our Lady of the Lakes (OLOL), we used this particular occasion to praise Fr. Ring’s not allowing his parish bulletin to carry notice of the talk.  That snippet said:

We see so much that is wrong; perhaps when we get a chance to compliment — no matter who it is — we do well to take the opportunity, although omissions are often harder to notice than commissions.  Yet the facts, the egregious facts about Fr. Curran, should not be ignored.  That his faculties to teach were removed says, in one sense, all that should be necessary to say if he were under a Bishop to whom that was an issue.  But we even have the local pseudo-seminary giving him accolades, and that speaks more loudly than papal criticism apparently.  No wonder prospective seminarians could get tainted.

Jeff Ziegler in his article “The Barren Fig Tree” (elsewhere reviewed and linked on Cleansing Fire), quoted James Likoudis, who served as president of Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) from 1988 to 1994:  “The Diocese of Rochester is known throughout the nation as one of the most liberal and modernist dioceses, where there has been a collapse of authentic Catholic catechesis and a policy of deliberately devaluing the priesthood in favor of feminization of the liturgy and promotion of lay ecclesial ministries.”  

Likoudis continues:  “Rochester is the diocese where the architect of the sexual revolution in the Church (Father Charles E. Curran) remains a ‘priest in good standing’ despite his continuing to shred Catholic moral theology.”   Ziegler’s point regarding vocations seemed to be that who the bishop is, his own level of obedience to Catholic teaching, will either inspire a young man to become a priest or not, as it is to that very bishop he will owe his obedience.

Since Father Curran could no longer teach in a Catholic institution, he went to SMU (Southern Methodist University) to teach and use it as a platform for his aberrant permissiveness.   To get a peek into his own morality, he waited until days before the death of Pope John Paul II to publish a book viciously attacking the Holy Father.  And his version of the Holy Father seems a mere prop to use to expound his revisionist and simplistic arguments for lack of sexual restraint, or the semblance of morality.  For more analysis and review of Father Curran’s work, see:   In my opinion, this is an immoral theologian criticizing one of the world’s greatest moral theologians.  With this backdrop, what possible justification can Bishop Matthew Clark have to turn Father Curran loose on an unsuspecting parish audience?  Where does such shepherding of souls lead?  I think we know.

That the careful review of JP II’s moral theology, life and writings led in record time to his beatification, speaks reams about the baseless criticism of a priest who had to leave his own diocese and Catholic institutions to find advocates to employ him.  God have mercy on him, and especially on the souls he leads astray.  And on the bishop who provides audiences for his false teaching.

Next we have the Case of Father Timothy Radcliffe.  For that situation, the two-column article from It Really Matters is reproduced below.  The Bishop also provides a persistent stage for the homosexual message, but there is an additional twist to be noted here.  Back in November 2005, when Pope Benedict XVI was about to issue another definitive pronouncement against homosexuals becoming priests, LifeSiteNews reported the following  by John-Henry Westen:

“VATICAN, November 14, 2005 ( – As the publication of the new Vatican document on homosexuality and the Catholic priesthood is about to be published at the end of the month, several Catholic leaders including an American bishop have publicly stated their views against the long-standing Vatican position against ordaining men with homosexual inclinations to the priesthood.  Rochester, NY, Bishop Matthew H. Clark, was the latest to come out in favour of homosexual priests in a column in his diocesan paper Saturday. [This is the one this blog post covered in Part #3 of this thread.]

“Homosexual priests in Canada and the United States have condemned the Church’s position in mostly anonymous statements to the media.  However some US and Canadian priests have also identified themselves while publicizing their rejection of the Catholic position on the matter.  In recent weeks the former head of one of the largest religious orders in the Catholic Church did so, and his statements are closely followed by those of Bishop Clark. 

Rev. Timothy Radcliffe, the international leader of the Dominican Order from 1992 to 2001, last week slammed any suggestion of barring homosexuals from the priesthood, and suggested barring “homophobes” instead.  “Any deep-rooted prejudice against others, such as homophobia or misogyny, would be grounds for rejecting a candidate for the priesthood, but not their sexual orientation,” he said. (see coverage: )”

Aha! this is significant insight into just “how it works.”  Bishop Clark’s invitations to outside speakers don’t seem either random or reflective of the needs of his flock, but again he gives the stage to an outcast from the Church’s teaching, and puts him with one of the sympathetic diocesan priests (noted in his Intercessions when in OLOL.)  Father Niven will also be the subject of a future thread on his role in destroying St. Mary Rushville illegitimately.  But for now, we focus on the article in It Really Matters, in January 2010 about what was supposed to be a pre-Lenten series of talks for the people from at least six churches; i.e. the NW Ontario Planning Group:

























































Finally, and probably obviously, all invited speakers need to be watched and warnings posted here and wherever else possible when the invitee claims to be Catholic but is heretical with respect to any teaching of the Catholic Church.  (Why, oh why, should it be necessary to remind the hierarchy?)  For example, watch whom Bishop Clark invites to give missionary appeals.   Even up to several years ago, I would just write a check.  But now, I won’t, without a thorough checkout in advance of the appeal, but look what happened last year (this too is a newsletter excerpt, from August 2010): 

“Adrian Dominicans Warning:  Recently in several churches, including St. Michael (Penn Yan) and St. Theresa (Stanley), members of the Adrian Dominican order from Michigan were permitted to take the pulpit on Sunday morning to fund-raise.  This cannot happen without the Bishop’s specific directive.  There are two concerns.  First, only an ordained (priest or deacon) is permitted to preach a homily (although announcements can be made before or at the end of Mass by laity), and also of great concern is that the Adrian Dominican Order signed the support document (in opposition to the position of the US Council of Catholic Bishops) for Obamacare legislation.  It hardly seems fair for the faithful not to be told in advance of such affiliation.”



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9 Responses to “No Civil “Right” to do “Wrong” — Part #4”

  1. Ben Anderson says:

    wow, Diane. Truly amazing work.

  2. Bruce says:

    Just so folks know, and this is off topic, but Father Corapi has left the priesthood:

  3. Ben Anderson says:

    I started a forum topic so we don’t clutter up Diane’s post:

    If you wish to discuss John Corapi – go there.

  4. JLo says:

    Want to participate in your forum, Ben, but I don’t remember what to put for my login and password! What can I do to obtain from Cleansing Fire? +JMJ

  5. Louis E. says:

    Meanwhile,after coming out against the bill as passed by the Assembly,my State Senator Greg Ball is still playing undecided on Twitter as Cuomo talks about tinkering.He’s being deluged by pro-SSM messages and his voicemail box is full,his email is if you want to chime in.

  6. Ben Anderson says:

    See if this page helps

    Thanks, Louis E. I will send him an email him.

  7. JLo says:

    Thanks, Ben, but I can’t imagine what user name I used, because I can match up neither my own full name nor the published name on these comments with my email address at the site you provided at 8:05! Doomed. I need to see my account… is that possible? Can the info be email to me? I’m so sorry, Diane, for these tech questions within your very important posting. +JMJ

  8. Ben Anderson says:

    I’d say you’re best off creating a new account.

  9. Eliza10 says:

    I guess comments here got derailed by the above strange and sorrowful news, which was a surprise to me, too.

    Having just read this Part #4, I want to comment on this.

    Diane, you summed it up tidily here:

    “Bishop Clark’s invitations to outside speakers don’t seem either random or reflective of the needs of his flock…”

    Yes, the speakers he imposes on us characterize the focus of his over-long “career” as bishop. He has been unrelentingly about pushing his agenda. He is not a shepherd to his flock. He doesn’t listen to his flock. He spoon-feeds us his poisonous potions instead, potions of his made-up fairyland as he endeavors to reinvent what is Catholic.

    Well he may win a battles but its in the Book – he’ll lose the war. He just one a big one – he gets plenty credit for the SSM win. Over thirty years of making sure his large diocese was systematically un-chatechized certainly was a large contribution to this win for his agenda.

    I like Gen’s Jib-Jab of him on a unicorn in rainbow-land, though I haven’t been able to find it since I saw it here once. It spoke to me in a pictorial way of just how I see in his leadership.

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