Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Bishop Hubbard Speaks Up

July 27th, 2011, Promulgated by benanderson

Bishop Hubbard finally speaks up on contrary-to-nature-unions?  Of course not.  This was posted today on the New York State Catholic Conference’s facebook page:

“A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons. It requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly.” — Bishops Hubbard and Blaire’s letter to the House of Representatives

Is this honestly and accurately representing the current situation? Is our current debt crisis really about America not treating the poor compassionately enough? Really? Maybe you believe that to be true, but even if you do, you have to admit that there is plenty of room for debate. Why must the USCCB ALWAYS vote democrat on fiscal issues? Rev. Robert A. Sirico offers an alternate view:

There are three important things any legislator must base his decisions on: First, our responsibility to future generations requires that we keep our fiscal house in order. Second, the dignity of individual citizens must be protected by allowing wealth-creating institutions to flourish and respecting the importance of voluntary charitable associations. Third, he should remember the limits of the federal government as set forth in the Constitution.

Speaking of Bishop Hubbard, Thomas Peters reported today that he will be celebrating mass for a dissenting gay/lesbian group. Remember just a few weeks ago when the New York State bishops pretended to defend marriage and people actually believed them?

Also speaking of the USCCB, I’ve heard people mention that they have a copyright on the Bible and actually enforce it. I was finally curious enough, so I checked it out. This is the nearly unbelievable text I found on their site:

Permission must be requested for use of more than 5,000 words from the NAB (or when the use comprises more than 40% of a single book of the Bible or more than 40% of the proposed work).

And they expect rational people to take this organization seriously?

In other news, World Youth Day hasreleased a statement pointing out that one group out of likely hundreds of groups that will be opportunistically present during World Youth Day in Madrid is not “official” and not “accredited.” RealCatholicTV and Michael Voris. Go figure.

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18 Responses to “Bishop Hubbard Speaks Up”

  1. avatar Persis says:

    Re: Michael Voris & WYD 2011

    The statement in question is on the WYD web-site. Is that run by the USCCB?
    Also, it seems, at least to my understanding, all they are trying to say is that Mr. Voris & Real Catholic TV are not part of the “offical” program, because the did not follow the proper channels to bring their ministry to the event, or if they did, they were told no. I don’t know which, but I am sure that there is a lot more to this story, and I guess if the Church thought it was important enought to bring it up, it is something that I should take to heart.

  2. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    It seems you are correct that this was not the doing of the USCCB. I was relying on the link I gave, but found what you say to be correct. I have updated this post accordingly. Although, regardless of whether Voris followed the proper channels it is interesting that WYD called out him specifically. I don’t have time right now to confirm beyond a doubt, but it seems there are lots of un-official groups present. Why call him out specifically? Well, we know why.

  3. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Is it still true there is no way of contacting the USCCB online?

    This is like the Pharacees in the time of Jesus.

  4. avatar MichaelL says:

    The story of Bishop Hubbard celebrating mass for a dissenting homosexual group as reported by Thomas Peters (the American Papist) has been picked up by LifeSiteNews: “Albany Bishop Hubbard to celebrate Mass for dissident homosexual group”

    This is significant because LSN gets picked up by news search engines like Google and Bing while Thomas Peters’ column is treated like a personal blog and is not. I would love to see the National Catholic Register or EWTN (redundant I know) pick up this story, but I don’t think either of them has the stomach to publish it. All the more reason to applaud folks like Thomas Peters (at and Kathleen Gilbert (journalist at LSN).

    Everyone in the Catholic press loves to talk about how the Catholic Church opposes homosexual marriage and supports Church teaching on homosexuality until it comes time to confront one of the bishops. Then they sit back and wait for someone in the hierarchy to make a statement, and when no statement emerges they maintain dutiful silence.

    How do we break out of this sick Church syndrome? It’s like belonging to a family headed by an alcoholic father. Is the Church in America a dysfunctional communion of Saints formed of co-dependents? Harsh language, I know, but how else can this situation be honestly described?

  5. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    The father is a good analogy. I ran into someone once in public who laid into when they found out I wrote for CleansingFire. I had never met this person and they didn’t know anything about me, but they were pretty sure they could condemn me just for being affiliate with this site. Anyways, one of the arguments presented to them in my defense was a sexually abusive father. What do you do? Do you warn others about him or remain silent? His answer was you submit and remain silent. I kid you not.

    Everyone in the Catholic press loves to talk about how the Catholic Church opposes homosexual marriage and supports Church teaching on homosexuality until it comes time to confront one of the bishops. Then they sit back and wait for someone in the hierarchy to make a statement, and when no statement emerges they maintain dutiful silence.

    It staggers the imagination. It’s not like many of these writers are against judging people’s actions either, but for some reason they won’t touch bishops. I certainly agree that bishops warrant the utmost respect, but to say they should never be questions is just ludicrous.

  6. avatar MichaelL says:

    Ben. There is a stigma attached to anyone who criticizes a bishop. It is very touchy as you mention because if we lose respect for the bishops then what do we base our unity as a Church on? If we are overly critical of the bishops, then how can we complain when those who favor married priests also are critical. We certainly don’t want the sort of free-for-all that we have seen in secular society with the lack of respect for authority. Our argument is that we are just appealing for the bishops to show the same respect for their superiors in the Vatican. But this is admittedly a thin argument. There is always room for interpretation on what the Vatican is saying unless they exercise their authority directly. And the Church is really less of a rigid hierarchy then we sometimes would be led to think. The bishops are like lords of their fiefdoms. As long as they maintain a show of respect and pay tribute to Rome they are more or less free to do as they please. Which is good and how it should be to some extent.

    You can see in this example in New York how everyone dutifully waited for a statement from the bishops on “homosexual marriage”. And when the statement finally emerged everyone praised the bishops for how courageous they were. As you say, it seems like this was merely a pretense. I would compare this to a charade or kabuki. It is like play acting. But the bishops have not followed through with any actions, or even any further statements. You know I hate to make this analogy, but it is very much like how the sexual abuse was kept silent for so many years. It wasn’t until the “deference” broke down that the story could emerge.

    Which is another way that this inaction by the bishop harms the Church. Because it forces people like us to speak out and can have a long lasting impact through the loss of respect and deference for the bishops.

    BTW, I just published a new article about a layperson led effort to have a National Day of Prayer for Marriage on August 29. The effort has just begun and there is no organization behind it, only the Holy Spirit. Why oh why don’t our bishops lead this sort of effort? They have the staff and the organization to do this and have it noticed in the media. Not that long ago Pope Benedict XVI called for a world-wide Vigil for All Nascent Human Life. I was very excited. Most of the bishops did the minimum possible to comply with the Pope’s wishes. The whole thing got no media attention and fizzled. Which is not to say that no good came out of all the prayers, but I felt very disappointed because it could have been so much more. Even if the media didn’t notice, but the truth is that I don’t think that most Church attending Catholics even became aware of it. The same happened when Our Holy Father asked for worldwide prayers for China. Only that time the response was even less.

  7. avatar Eliza10 says:

    I think speaking the truth is important. I don’t think bishops should be exempt from hearing the truth spoken about their ecclesiastical actions, especially when their actions go against the teaching of the Church they are to represent. So I try to be respectful of our own dissident Bishop Clark, but I also speak the truth here on Cleansing Fire. It is a fine line. But erring on the side of caution is a real problem, since “silence means consent”. I don’t want it on my conscience that I consented to some of the wrongs that Bishop Clark and Bishop Hubbard consent to.

  8. avatar MichaelL says:

    Ben. Fair enough.

    I happened across the website of “Call to Action” — the infamous “progressive catholic” group. They have a national conference coming up November 4-6 in Milwaukee. They are openly advocating ordaining women in their brochure.

    But the reason I mention them here is that they are part of the “Equally Blessed” coalition that includes Fortunate Families. They have a couple of press releases on the Call to Action website and they always mention Fortunate Families as a member. The latest one criticizes Archbishop Gomez for making a statement opposing California’s attempt to impose homosexual history onto the public schools.

    Here’s their website if you feel like checking it out although I’m sure you have better things to do with your time:

  9. avatar militia says:

    Maybe we could get a list of all the bishops criticized by Fortunate Families, so we would know who the bishops of courage are?

  10. avatar Richard Thomas says:


    Bishop Sheen said the laity will get the Church out of the current crisis by admonishing the priests, bishops , cardinals and nuns to be Catholic and proclaim the message boldly.

    I wonder the reason why bishops are not leading the National Day of Prayer is because many of them are homosexual themselves or are too weak to stand tall. I also think tht Many bishops, as manifested by the conduct of the USCCB, are in the pocket of the Democratic party and love all the money the government gives to their social outreach programe> President O’bama cancelled the National day of prayer and they will not rock the boat. It’s sad .

    When someoene like Bishop Clark promotes asexual immorality, whether it be homosexuality, contraception or fail to preach against abortion, then his feet have to be held in the fire.

  11. avatar Eliza10 says:

    militia:Maybe we could get a list of all the bishops criticized by Fortunate Families, so we would know who the bishops of courage are? ”

    Excellent strategy!

  12. avatar Ben Anderson says:


    Bishop Sheen said the laity will get the Church out of the current crisis by admonishing the priests, bishops , cardinals and nuns to be Catholic and proclaim the message boldly.

    Do you have a source for that? I’d love to have that in my back pocket.

    militia:Maybe we could get a list of all the bishops criticized by Fortunate Families, so we would know who the bishops of courage are? ”

    I’ll start a perma post here if someone wants to start sending me names.

  13. avatar Richard Thomas says:


    I’ve heard that from several good priests and many laity. I also think I heard it on EWTN from Fr. Grochel But for the actual quote from Bishop Sheen, I am drawing a blank. Sorry.

  14. avatar MichaelL says:

    For starters, Fortunate Families criticized Cardinal Ratzinger. They didn’t like what he had to say in the “pastoral care of homosexual persons” document. They said it was “quite controversial”, “harsh in tone”, and “less than pastorally sensitive”.

    You can read the FF criticisms of the document here:

    They never mention that the author is Cardinal Ratzinger, but only say it is from the CDF. They suggest that you can just ignore this statement if you don’t like it. And point to a criticism of it by Msgr. William H. Shannon, Rochester, NY in the March 21, 1987 issue of America. As if this was some sort of open ongoing debate within the Church.

    I pulled a bunch of relevant quotes from the “pastoral care of homosexual persons” document in my article which you can find here:
    Bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester and the issue of “homosexual marriage”

    One of the statements FF specifically complains about is “all support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teachings of the church, which are ambiguous about it or which neglect it entirely.” What? You mean the current Pope says you’re not allowed to be ambiguous about the Church’s teachings on homosexuality? You can see how that would upset their apple cart.

  15. avatar MichaelL says:

    I was looking for the quote about the laity from Bishop Sheen and came across this. Catholic League has a few words about the time that Bishop Sheen spent in Rochester. It’s not very complementary:

    “Bishop Sheen had been an active participant in the Vatican II sessions in Rome and thoroughly endorsed the reforms that followed. He tried to make his diocese the bridge between the old and new Catholicism, enacting sweeping reforms and making headlines in the process. Without administrative skills, Sheen alienated many in Rochester, and in 1969 he resigned and returned to New York.”

  16. avatar MichaelL says:

    Here’s some encouraging news from the “troubled” Archdiocese of Miami. The author is Eric Giunta who was rejected as a priest in Miami apparently because he wasn’t tolerant enough towards homosexuality in the priesthood. He went public with his complaints and since that time a new Archbishop has been appointed (Wenski) apparently with a mandate to clean up.
    WARNING: This article links to another article in Gawker with disturbing images.

    As a practicing Catholic with absolutely nothing to gain (materially or reputationally) from reporting these things, my goal has been to show lay Catholics — especially those who consider themselves “conservative” or “traditionalist” — that Rome really does listen to the well-thought-out appeals from the lay faithful, when they are made through the proper channels and with appropriate documentation.

    I have to wonder though because Favalora is now Archbishop Emeritus and he “is a member of the USCCB committees on Priestly Life and Ministry, Sexual Abuse and Pro-Life issues” according to his Wikipedia article. Also, he’s 75 and was due to retire anyway.

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