Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


No Civil “Right” to do “Wrong” — Part #5

June 18th, 2011, Promulgated by Diane Harris

In the interest of wrapping up this thread which reprints much of what was published in the newsletter “It Really Matters” here is the conclusion, which was a special note to the newsletter readers.  It seems the same kind of explanation is deserved by the readers of this blog as well.

To view the original posts in this thread:

Part #1: This thread was stimulated by friends who felt the original newsletter article had something to say in the current hotly disputed political situation.  Threats to our faith should be answered, whether those threats come from outside the Church or  from within, which is an even greater danger.   Bishop Clark’s column last July, which  coincided with Gay Pride Week in Rochester, appalled me and triggered the original article.    The Catechism teaching  is also found in Part #1.

Part #2 was about DoR’s gay / lesbian “Family” Ministry (“Outreach”) with Karen Rinefierd as its liason plus the connections to self-styled “Fortunate” Families and its antagonistic language toward the Church and Holy Father, and other personnel concerns which had occurred at a high level in the Diocese.  A single commenter called it mud-slinging, and blue text was added, expanding but not changing the original post.

Part #3 includes the unambiguous text from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, and concerns on gay Priesthood issues, the teaching from the Holy Father and the dissent attributed to Bishop Clark. It includes the hostile letter signed by 35 DoR priests, written against the Vatican’s pronouncements and its clarifications protecting the priesthood from gay priests.  All the signatories to that petition are listed and the parish each was in at the time.

Part #4 specifically deals with two perpetrators of dissent:  Father Charles Curran and Father Timothy Radcliffe, including the latter’s being hosted by Fr. Niven to give eight hours of pre-Lenten presentation to parishioners of at least 6 different parishes, a presenter who claims to not even know the “fatherhood” of priests, so well defined by St. Paul.

In conclusion, whether laity or clergy, old or young, male or female, rich or poor, we are each called to discern good from evil.  Unfortunately, too many people mix-up true discernment with just forming an opinion.  Just as proper discernment is an obligation; so too  there is an obligation to take action when required by our faith, to speak up for Christ and His Teachings.  Discernment requires not denying the sinfulness of any sin, our own or that of others, and regardless of the type of sin involved or how high a level of personage supports or ignores the sin.  We are called to be concerned for the salvation of all, without exception, and that necessitates a persistent call for repentance.  We are all called to the Spiritual Works of Mercy, including the awkward obligation to admonish the sinner (and to accept being admonished ourselves), and to instruct the ignorant.  It is just sad that we don’t see and hear more of that spiritual mercy from the pulpit.

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10 Responses to “No Civil “Right” to do “Wrong” — Part #5”

  1. Well written Diane!

  2. avatar snowshoes says:

    AMEN!! Thank you, Diane! You and your work are an answer to our prayers for courageous and eloquent champions of the Catholic Church here. I as a confirmed Catholic adult must always exercise the Spiritual Works of Mercy, such as admonishment, as the case arises. God bless you.

  3. avatar Mike says:


    That “persistent gay agenda in the Church today” actually goes back well over 30 years. In his 1982 book, The Homosexual Network, Fr. Enrique Rueda detailed many of the efforts then being made by homosexual activists and some Church representatives to make the gay agenda as normative as possible.

    One particularly interesting section describes the close cooperation between homosexual activists and the Women’s Ordination Conference, with the latter being represented by DOR’s own Sr. Joan Sobala. See here.

  4. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    speaking of Fr. Reuda, the audio that DrK posted:
    I found to be very good pastoral advice for those of us doing what we do.

  5. avatar Hopefull says:

    The electronic Courier today had an article “What we believe about the Sacrament of Marriage.” It was a re-run of the April 3, 2004 column by Bishop Clark in the Courier, and was marked as an update as of June 17, 2011. Naturally, I wondered what if anything had changed in the inervening 7 years, and I happened to have paper copy of the original. I am happy to report that it is exactly the same, and the orthodox position (even though we rarely hear it from the pulpit.) I’m only posting so others won’t waste time doing the same checking out of the two articles to see if they are the same. They are. You can find it at

  6. avatar Louis E. says:

    If even one state legislator can be induced to flip from the yes to the no side on SSM it would have enormous impact.Hitherto all motion has been toward yes,feeding the aura of its only being a question of when the inevitable happens.

  7. avatar annonymouse says:

    Hopefull – “rarely” hear it from the pulpit?? I have NEVER heard the issue of homosexuality and the Church’s teaching on it spoken of in any homily or in any other way, shape or form in any Church in our diocese. RARELY might apply to homilies about abortion. NEVER applies to homilies about contraception and homosexuality.

    We don’t want to upset anyone by speaking of sin, now do we?

  8. avatar Hopefull says:

    Well, Annonymouse has a very good point. I can’t think of a single voice from the pulpit which I’ve heard in this diocese against homosexual activity or gay activism. And that includes daily Mass where one would think the people in the pews would be more supportive than the Sunday crowd.

    One priest who gave a homily against abortion (e.g. “The government has the authority to condone abortion but not the “right”) at a Sunday Mass was surrounded by compliments afterward. Actually I have heard one homily against contraception by a priest on Sunday, saying he had visited a (nameless) parishioners’ home and used the bathroom, only to find contraceptive “materials” on the shelf. He said he told them they were living like “cockroaches.” And also failing their teenagers who thus had access to the contraceptives. Before he gave this homily, the young children were dismissed for a children’s liturgy of the word. My respect for that priest was already high, but went up and off the scale when he did this homily.

  9. avatar Dr. K says:

    The only homilies I hear about homosexuality promote the vague “acceptance” of homosexuals.

  10. avatar Mike says:

    We don’t want to upset anyone by speaking of sin, now do we?

    And Buffalo Rd. continues to wonder why weekend Mass attendance is down by fully one-third in just the last 10 years – at least when they’re not too busy trying to rationalize that stunning collapse away with lame excuses like “dramatic depopulation” and “demographic shift”.

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