Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


The Other Side of the Story

June 27th, 2011, Promulgated by Hopefull

Christ cares very much about the fruit of our work, so let’s take a look at the FRUIT of this episcopacy:

I want to offer those who disagree with the many Cleansing Fire bloggers and posters (who have written of the problems with Bishop Clark’s episcopacy) a very specific opportunity to write clearly and concisely of the fruit of his reign, because THAT is what matters.   

Replies from his supporters simply condemning this site, or those involved in it, do NOTHING to make the case for the fruit of this bishop;  so, let’s be positive in this comment section, please.   Let’s give all those who have written here against the blog, who don’t feel the criticism is warranted, and others who are interested, a golden opportunity to state just what they believe the fruit is of Bishop Clark’s episcopacy. 

I don’t know how many people I’m addressing, because they all seem to be named anonymous.  It would be nice if they signed their names in this particular case, as they are writing postitively in support of their bishop, and to be  “anonymous” seems like a lack of support for him, like being ashamed to sign.  But, it is not a requirement.  They can still post anonymously or under a false name if they choose.

Here are the rules for this thread:

1.  Comments are reserved for listing the “fruits” of Bishop Clark’s episcopacy, not for criticizing him.  But, “he’s a nice guy” doesn’t cut it, nor does “he has tried to…..”  We are talking about results, positive accomplishments which have moved his flock closer to God, enhanced the position of the Church to attract more souls; how he has MADE A DIFFERENCE, and what that difference is! 

2.  Spurious comments which don’t answer the fruit question — i.e. what are the good RESULTS of this episcopacy?– will be deleted as not relevant to the post.  Personality qualities and personal character, spirituality or political status are irrelevant to the purpose of this post too, as are education, relationships, and myriad miscellaneous qualities that don’t relate to accomplishing results, fruits, for the People of God.  Negatives are not fruits either; e.g. “He didn’t close Assumption.”

3.  Attacks against this website or its bloggers will be deleted.  Irrelevant posts which don’t answer the fruit question will be deleted.  Relevant portions of a post will be left if it is possible to retain the part which is invited to be posted.

Henri Matisse's "Still Life with Oranges" detail

4. Attacks or negative comments about the fruits posted, regardless of whom they are from, will also be deleted.  At this point, it is not my desire to squelch what people in genuine conscience believe is a fruit of 30+ years by having an immediate response trying to tell the poster why he or she is wrong.  I think it would be to everyone’s benefit to have a compilation of the claimed “fruits.”

5.  After a reasonable amount of time or, say, a few dozen replies, I will condense the “fruits” and give others a chance to agree or disagree on whether something is a fruit or not, and if it mitigates their concerns or changes their minds, and to comment, in a new post.   But for now, please respect the purpose of “The Other Side of the Story.” 

Relevant Scriptural References: the importance of the fruit of our lives and work:

In Mark 11 we read of Christ’s encounter with the fig tree:  “And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if He could find anything on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs…. And He said to it, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’” 

In Matthew 7:16 we read:  “You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?”   

And Luke 6:43 reads:  “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit.

In Mark 10: 42-45  we read:  “And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, ‘You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.  For the Son of Man also came, not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.’”

And regarding not being fruitful with the gifts the Lord has given, we have this quote from Matthew 25: 24-29:  “…He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed?  Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.’  For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’h

What fruits has Bishop Clark brought forth from the great gift God gave him of his episcopacy?  Please write; we are listening, and it is only fair to hear “The Other Side of the Story.”



28 Responses to “The Other Side of the Story”

  1. avatar Raymond Rice says:

    bishop Clark ordained a former Protestant clergyman with a family to the Roman Catholic priesthood.

  2. avatar Maureen says:

    Yes Raymond, he did, it’s part of the job description. It reminds me of my two (now deceased) springer spaniels when I would take them swimming: I’d throw the stick as far as I could. George would charge right into the water after it, swim out to get it, and Emma would just bide her time on the shore. As he got close enough so she wouldn’t have to get too wet or do too much work, she would wade out to meet him, take the stick, exit the water and prance around as though she had done all the work. Who mentored this new Priest? I don’t think it was bishop Clark….

  3. avatar CBD says:

    Bishop Clark renovated the Cathedral and did a good job getting rid of the high altar which was an eyesore and an obstruction to the friendliness and sharing that we now experience in Rochester. He has worked hard to make Mass and confession a more rare experience for everyone, and helped us realize that we’re all, each and every one of us, truly wonderful and good human beings. We have learned how to smile, to jog in the gentle spring rain, to truly care for puppies and butterflies far more than ever before. We feel the pain of gays who were forbidden from getting married, adopting children and broadcasting homosexual videos in grade schools and now rejoice in their liberation. We learned to hold hands with one another, raise them high at the Our Father, hold the “bread” given at “the table” and use them for hugging anybody who shares our belief in the equality of all religions and non-religions.
    We’ve been liberated also from many bad things — like priestly ordinations, Catholic schools, religious sisters and their convents, Catholic devotions, Eucharistic adoration, churches which are open more than an hour a week, solid-doctrinal teaching, and moral leadership — all of which held us back and prevented us from being the smiling self-rightous liberals that we were created to be.
    We rejoice in the victories of our Catholic political leaders – our brothers in the faith Duffy, Cuomo, Morelle, Dollinger and the many others who teach us that abortion is something that we “think deeply about” and strive to make “safe and legal”.
    We share our gentle words to our friends and our veiled hostility to enemies — grateful that the bishop has the power to crush anyone who disagrees. That’s what has given us the peace and peacefullness of the Rochester diocese over the past decades — the blessed peace of the grave, and the vitality of a grave stone.

  4. avatar Raymond Rice says:

    CBD: I think you are violating the norms for this thread.

    Maureen: Maybe his mentor was Jesus christ since the priest obviously has a deep prayer life and how do you know it was not Bishop Clark????

  5. avatar Dr. K says:

    CBD, that may be the single greatest summation of his tenure that I have read.

    Raymond is right though, so let’s keep the rest of the comments to the criteria set for this article.

  6. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Maureen, LOL! Too funny!

    I can’t top CBD, but if I didn’t misunderstand the topic (its late), I’ll add something I thought Bishop Clark did right. I think his judgment on John Leary’s messages was on target. It was the Bishop’s job to judge, and the words he put forth on it and signed his name to were right, IMO.

  7. avatar Hopefull says:

    I haven’t been doing my policing job, but Dr. K has done a bit for me… be on notice (for those who want to copy CBD’s memorable words before they disappear….very clever!)that only Raymond Rice’s first post, and Eliza10’s post are on the survival list. The rest will soon be deleted (you know not the hour or the minute!) H.

  8. avatar Nerina says:

    Before the deletions begin, I just want to say, “Bravo CBD!” and “thanks for the laugh, Maureen.” The dog prancing around is a great visual.

    Hopefull, you should copy CBD’s comment for later use. It really is an excellent summary.

  9. avatar Nerina says:

    Bishop Clark DID speak out against the RHAPP legislation that would enshrine abortion as a “fundamental human right” in NYS. He was very clear and unambiguous in his condemnation.

  10. avatar Hopefull says:

    I copied them all, Nerina……and I’ll be baaaackkk…..

  11. avatar Mary-Kathleen says:

    Possibly Fr. Antinarelli was Fr. Caton’s mentor. Fr. Caton has mentioned he started coming to OLV on the advice of friends and/or students and he liked the sermons he heard there.

    And Fr. Caton got permission from Rome to pursue ordination.

  12. avatar Irondequoit Mom says:

    I was looking at the comments to see what folks deem the fruits of his episcopy, and hoping to be pleasantly surprised – that I didnt know something good that he had done. Unfortunate for all of us and our descendents, there are few – this tree is nearly bare.

  13. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Re: Fr. Antinarelli as mentor – Fr.A’s homilies certainly are inspiring! The little church in the heart of the city is not what I ever pictured as a parish home, but Fr. A’s homilies always draw me back. I can count on being fed on the Word, and leaving satiated. And persistently beckoning to me when I long for a more traditional venue in a parish are his pious reverence in serving Mass, his unwavering pragmatic loyalty to the Magisterium, his willingness to keep a consistent schedule of almost daily Confessions [and there is often a line, and if you aren’t there early, you may miss out!]. He is a stalwart knight. He is not tall of stature, yet, he is a giant of a man. So, he can’t help but inspire anyone who loves God and loves our Church!

    Re: Deleting comments. Aw, Hopefull, do you have to? Can’t you keep Maureens and CBD’s??

    We’ll try to gt back on topic. If I think of anything else on Clark’s good fruit, I promise I’ll say it!

  14. avatar Eliza10 says:

    I hope I can word this worthily.

    Bishop Clark has been a consistently pleasant man. The consistency of his quality of pleasantness is commendable. Really I mean it. Yes, its true: that same quality is more than a little irksome – in fact can be infuriating – when he is misteaching or when he is grossly derelict in his duty to teach the truths of our Church when called upon to do so.

    However, to remain so consistently pleasant is certainly a gift. I don’t think I have ever heard of him letting his temper fly, or being rude publicly. This is a good thing in a public figure. A gift. And in the duties of his calling, to do so pleasantly, does minister to people. He has a kind way in his demeanor, and often people’s lives are devoid of kindness, and to interact with Bishop Clark in his kind persona certainly ministers. To bless others with a calming positive demeanor in day-to-day interactions is a good thing.

  15. avatar Raymond Rice says:


    Fr. Caton had the permission of Rome to be ordained but it was with Bishop Clark as the petitioner and mediator. If Father Caton had petitioned directly to Rome, he would still be waiting for a reply. When was the last time you wrote to Rome and got an immediate answer?? Remember, the Vatican is also a foreign government besides being a spiritual entity.

  16. avatar Eliza10 says:

    And another thing. Bishop Clark has a good aesthetic taste. A sense of style. An appreciation for quality of material. Yes, we hugely lament that he has engaged in systematic wreckovation of our DoR Catholic Churches. But I am ignoring that elephant of a tradgedy and focusing on the postive here.

    Seriously, the man has good taste, in a unique sort of way, and an eye for the beautiful, and beauty is a gift from God. It reflects the Creator.

    Once I returned to Corpus Christi [after the Spiritus crowd had left] after having been a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding there some years back. Now I was Catholic, and I wanted to see it again. What a shock! What ugliness! I don’t think I heard much of what Fr. Mulligan said. I was so distracted by the ugliness of the wreckovation. Primarily I remember the rich intricate wood redodo sloppily painted in matte white (ceiling paint maybe?), and the glaringly large mass of electric blue walls trying to out-scream the beautiful stained glass windows.

    Wow, that was ugly. I don’t think Bishop Clark had anything to do with the aesthetics of that (though he probably gave the go-ahead to do what they wanted inside the sanctuary). It just didn’t have his aesthetic signature.

    Bishop Clark’s wreckovations are attractive in a secular kind of way. No, they don’t shine as worship spaces, but they make pleasant people-spaces. He has expensive taste – as in the Sacred Heart organ. He chooses interesting statuary and has quality art installed – in a style that is very restrained, somewhat modern with a nod to classicism, and pleasant. Rather nice. Really I mean it. It could be so much worse, like what the folks at Corpus Christi did.

    So we have a legacy of beautiful things, only vaguely Catholic in style. Do you see the blessing in that for the future? I do. When the new Bishop comes likely restorations to the wreckovations can begin. And some things can be sold off to make way for what’s Catholic. There will be a market, thanks to the good taste of Bishop Clark. We’ll never get all our money back, but we can get something, thanks to the fact that his sense of style has appeal.

  17. avatar CBD says:

    Thanks Dr. K. and all. And I apologize for going off-topic.

  18. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Raymond Rice says: “Fr. Caton had the permission of Rome to be ordained but it was with Bishop Clark as the petitioner and mediator…”

    This is true and we must give credit where credit is due. Fr. Caton wouldn’t be “Father” without Bishop Clark. Remember Alex Jones, Pentacostal Pastor from Detroit who converted, taking along with him his family and much of his congregation, after teaching them?? What a fine, fine man, after God’s own heart! And truly a man with a calling to pastor. But his local Bishop denied him his request to the priesthood. So sad for him, as it was his great desire. (I just Googled him for a quick update – I see he is a Deacon now. A good consolation).

    So, not every married convert with a calling to priesthood can follow the calling. The Bishop can stop it, or allow it. In this case, Bishop Clark gets credit for allowing and blessing Fr. Caton’s calling.

  19. avatar Raymond Rice says:

    I would like to remind all of you that Sacred Heart Cathedral ALSO has a reputation of being one of the finest concert halls in the northeast/USA. Perhaps, someday, we will hear JS Bach ‘s music at Mass as we did years ago. I would love to hear Gabriel Faure’s Mass sung there. Faure’s music may not be part of a Mass but it still has the capacity to raise the mind and heart to God. Maybe in some surreal way, yet to be seen, our hearts will still be united to the Sacred Heart. God has strange ways of doing things!!

    PS: you have all probably heard Faure on Mother Angelica.

  20. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Raymond Rice says:

    “I would like to remind all of you that Sacred Heart Cathedral ALSO has a reputation of being one of the finest concert halls in the northeast/USA. Perhaps, someday, we will hear JS Bach ‘s music at Mass as we did years ago. I would love to hear Gabriel Faure’s Mass sung there. Faure’s music may not be part of a Mass but it still has the capacity to raise the mind and heart to God. Maybe in some surreal way, yet to be seen, our hearts will still be united to the Sacred Heart. God has strange ways of doing things!!”

    Excellent! Maybe we can sell Sacred Heart to the Eastman School, and use the money to revamp one of the finer, more Catholic locations for a cathedral!

  21. avatar annonymouse says:

    Bishop Clark has been VERY involved with the National Catholic Youth Conference, regularly attending, celebrating Mass, preaching, and visible to our young people. As a result, Rochester regularly has the largest or one of the largest contingents of young people at NCYC.

  22. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Yes, its a consecrated cathedral, but isn’t the bishop selling off a lot of consecreted Catholic Churches? I am just saying, Sacred Heart could be sold off too. Its a nice people-space with much secular appeal. It could be a Baptist Temple, or a concert hall.

    Bishop Clark has made the Cathedral and so many, many other Rochester churches – against the people’s will but with their money – into plain protestant-looking churches, with much that identifies it as Catholic removed. Yes, the are still consecrated Catholic Churches, but now they look like Protestant Churches! That’s what I meant by a “more Catholic” Church. A Catholic Chruch that has not had its visual Catholic identity stripped out.

    So I should have said “a more Catholic-looking Church”, rather than “a more Catholic Church”. Thanks for the correction. I hope that clarifies it.

  23. avatar Hopefull says:

    Thank you for the input so far. Just a reminder — to really try to identify the “fruit” of Bishop Clark’s episcopacy. What has made a difference? Something that he has uniquely supplied? A result rather than a demeanor; an accomplishment which strengthens the local church….you get the idea. I am quite surprised that those who have seemed such ardent supporters (usually anonymous) are not flooding this post with their input. Again, don’t reply to this post, but rather to the topic and on-topic. Thanks.

  24. avatar Thinkling says:

    I seem to recall, maybe five years ago or so, a story that Bishop Clark was very proactive implementing steps to address the abuse scandal. I do not remember the source nor any useful details, but I will put this out there anyway to jog the memory of those who can elaborate.

    If no one follows up with a corroboration and details after a day or so, feel free to delete.

  25. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Not sure if this counts, Hopefull, but Bishop Clark has allowed Catholic Radio in the DOR and, I believe, blessed the antennas and stations. The good fruit of Catholic Radio is one of the most positive stories we have in the DOR.

  26. Bishop Clark helped to establish the toughest policy on the sexual abuse from clergy in the United States (per a doc. via the Internet).

  27. avatar Eliza10 says:

    I find it hard to give him credit for what he has done with the abuse scandal because so much of that was secret. Who can know, for example, what was paid out? Its secret. Its hard to say what he really did, or covered up, IMO.

  28. avatar Eliza10 says:

    “Thank you for the input so far. Just a reminder — to really try to identify the “fruit” of Bishop Clark’s episcopacy. What has made a difference? Something that he has uniquely supplied? A result rather than a demeanor;”

    LOL, I am guilty for the “demeanor” comments! Well this list of compliments for Bishop Clark was so sparse, I had to come up with something sincere!

    But this list is really, really pitiful. We see many Clark supporters commenting here, many who seem to be on his payroll. Can’t they come up with something? [other than job security, I mean.]

    Oh. I see. Maybe the problem is the only supporters are those on payroll…

Leave a Reply

Log in | Register

You must be logged in to post a comment.

-Return to main page-