Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Spiritual Bouquet for Bishop Clark

August 23rd, 2011, Promulgated by benanderson

Last November (’10) the Catholic Courier did a series of articles on Polarization (read CF responsed here and here). In one of those articles Bishop Clark commented thus:

“I don’t read the blogs in general, to be honest with you. From what I’ve heard, they’re inflammatory and one-sided,” he said.

The classic argument against us is that we don’t respect the person of Bishop Clark and from the above quote I fear that perhaps the bishop himself feels this way. I would like to shatter that perception and show him that we truly love him in a very personal way. I’m sure most of you already pray for the Bishop Clark daily. Over the next 25 days, I ask you to let us know about the prayers you are offering for the person of Bishop Clark using the form below. 25 days from now (September 18th), I will mail Bishop Clark a spiritual bouquet from the Cleansing Fire Community so that he will receive it by his namesake’s feast day (St. Matthew). Our prayers will be offered for the person of Bishop Matthew Clark (not his agenda, or our agenda, but only Jesus Christ’s agenda for his eternal soul). I believe this is a good thing for us to do for 2 reasons:

1) God wants us to love and desire the best for others for their own sake.  One great way to love someone is to pray for them.

2) I believe it spiritually helps those who of us who oppose his agenda to pray for the person of Bishop Clark. I wonder if any of us battle with an unhealthy anger against the Bishop and this diocese. Yes, there is healthy anger, but Satan seizes the opportunity to turn it into sin. Keeping others in our prayers and desiring the best for them helps us avoid this temptation.

As our Lord said (Matthew 5):

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Don’t take this analogy too far – I’m not saying the Bishop isn’t our brethren or that he doesn’t offer us reciprocal love. I’m just making a point that we should pray for and love everyone – especially our bishop.  I found the below quote from Peter Kreeft’s book “Prayer for Beginners” (p121) fitting:

Patience and perseverance are two aspects of the same virtue, which is fidelity, or faithfulness. We sometimes mistakenly think of patience and perseverance as opposites because we think of patience as resignation and perseverance as stubbornness – as if patience were almost despair and perseverance were almost pride. In the same way, we mistakenly think of holy humility and holy ambition as opposites, when in fact they are two complementary aspects of the Godlike soul. God is both humble and ambitious, “easy to please but hard to satisfy”. He is simultaneously patient and persevering, gentle and persistent, like water wearing away rock. The strongest forces in the universe , both physical and spiritual, always have that Godlike Character. It is only because our minds are fallen and broken in two that we break this character in two and use two contrasting words for it.

For those of you who actively participate in our “Rosaries for Rochester” campaign (found in the right side panel), you are certainly free to continue in that endeavor. If you’re up for additional prayers for the person of Bishop Clark – that’d be great. Or if you wish to momentarily substitute your prayers for the diocese with prayers for the person of Bishop Clark – that’d be great as well. Whatever you wish to do is fine.

Below is the initial form I created (if you don’t see it yet, I’m still working on it). This is my first attempt to use this type of technology, so I’m hoping it works. If you have a particular prayer you’d like to add just let me know in the comments and I’ll add it.  You can bookmark this page and register 1-10 prayers at a time or keep your own tally and submit them all by September 18th.  I’ll be sending reminders as we go. Here is a link to the form to enter your prayers.

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87 Responses to “Spiritual Bouquet for Bishop Clark”

  1. avatar Mary says:

    Ben,
    Here’s a link to a site where people offer prayers for Mother Angelica’s intentions.
    http://www.ewtn.com/spiritual_bouquet/index.htm -Just some ideas of other forms of prayer.

  2. avatar brother of penance says:

    Ben, this particular post truly warms my heart. I am very grateful that you are exhorting your cleansingfiredor readers to pray for our beloved Bishop Matthew Clark. I sense that you are suggesting this endeavor with a shepherd’s heart. You know that if readers participate, it will be good for our Bishop and very good for those who pray. I wholeheartedly support this endeavor and will be praying for him with your spiritual bouquet in mind.

    {Before I write a prayer in this comment for the Bishop to be added to the Spiritual Bouquet,
    I want to state that I looked up your “Catholic Chasm Again November 1st, 2010, Promulgated by Ben Anderson” article. Excellent comments to what appeared in the Catholic Courier article}.

    A prayer to be considered for the spiritual bouquet:

    O GOD, OUR LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR GIVING US MATTHEW CLARK AS BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF ROCHESTER.

    FATHER, THERE ARE THOSE TIMES WHEN WE DESIRED OUR BELOVED BISHOP TO TAKE A PARTICULAR ACTION HE CHOSE NOT TO TAKE. THERE HAVE BEEN THOSE TIMES BISHOP CLARK TOOK AN ACTION WE WISHED HE HADN’T. THERE HAVE BEEN THOSE TIMES WE THOUGHT HE COULD HAVE OR PERHAPS SHOULD HAVE DIRECTED THE PRESBYTERATE, THE DIACONATE, THE RELIGIOUS AND LAY ECCLESIAL MINISTERS TO TAKE CERTAIN ACTIONS. AND OF COURSE, FATHER, THERE WERE THOSE ACTIONS IN OUR DIOCESE WE HAD HOPED BISHOP CLARK WOULD HAVE STOPPED AND ORDERED THE PRESBYTERATE, THE DIACONATE, THE RELIGIOUS AND THE LAY ECCLESIAL MINISTERS TO CEASE AND DESIST. SO HELP US LORD TO ACCEPT WHAT HAS DISAPPOINTED US AND TO MOVE FORWARD IN HOPE. AND HELP US TO BE CONFIDENT THAT YOU, FATHER, RULE AND REIGN IN ALL OF OUR HEARTS.

    BUT WE KNOW AND ARE CONFIDENT, ALMIGHTY GOD, OUR FATHER, THAT YOUR DIVINE PROVIDENCE IS GOOD, TRUE, AND JUST. WE KNOW, LORD, THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD FOR THOSE WHO LOVE YOU AND ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO YOUR PURPOSE.

    SO THANK YOU, FATHER, FOR BISHOP CLARK. BE PLEASED, FATHER, ALWAYS TO GIVE HIM LOVE FOR THE NAME OF JESUS, FAITH IN HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION, HOPE IN HIS AWAITED RETURN, AND CONFIDENCE IN HIS GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE.

    EMPOWER OUR BISHOP, LORD, BY YOUR HOLY SPIRIT ALWAYS TO LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO ANNOUNCE CHRIST BOTH TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE AND THOSE WHO AS YET HAVE NOT COME TO FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD. PROTECT HIM, FATHER, FROM FEAR TO PROCLAIM CHRIST. MAY OUR BISHOP NEVER BE ASHAMED OF THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME. PLEASE FORGIVE HIM THE TIMES HE FAILED.

    MAY OUR BISHOP REMEMBER US IN HIS PRAYERS AND DECISIONS. MAY HE ALWAYS CONSIDER WHAT IS GOOD FOR US AND WHAT HELPS US IN OUR BATTLE AGAINST SIN AND OUR DESIRE TO GROW IN GRACE AND HOLINESS. MAY OUR BISHOP, O LORD, BE WILLING TO LIVE AND DIE FOR US, THE SHEEP OF HIS PASTURE.

    THANK YOU, FATHER, FOR HEARING OUR PRAYER FOR OUR BISHOP, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOR. BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, HELP OF CHRISTIANS, PRAY FOR BISHOP CLARK. AMEN.

    Ben, I will be praying this prayer. If you or your readers want to edit it, please do so.
    Pray. Yes, pray for Matthew Clark, Bishop of Rochester.

  3. avatar christian says:

    Ben: Thank you for this post. I know you have our welfare in mine as well as the Bishop of Rochester, Mathew Clark.It’s a wonderful endeavor to pray for our Bishop, not only for his sake, but our sake as well. Personally, I know I need to pray for our Bishop Matthew Clark, the Vicar Joseph Hart, and all those who have advised the Bishop.

    Brother of Penance: Thank you for posting that prayer which is very poignant and fitting. I will be praying that prayer within the spiritual bouquet.

  4. avatar annonymouse says:

    Brother of Penance, that is one excellent prayer! I only wish you would press the caps-lock key less often (it looks like you’re always stridently shouting!). Thanks for sharing it.

  5. avatar annonymouse says:

    This is a fine idea. I do pray for Pope Benedict, Bishop Clark and all the bishops every day. I still have to submit my bouquet.

    That said, I do find it a bit difficult to take seriously the assertion that Bishop Clark is loved and respected with the countdown to his retirement day appearing on the right side of the screen! How do we reconcile this? “I love you and I respect you and I can’t wait ’til you’re gone!?”

  6. avatar Dan Riley says:

    It is nice to pray for Bishop Clark’s poor soul. I prayed many days for the bishop to stop closing parishes and schools. My prayers went unanswered and Bishop Clark went on a rampage with many more forced closings.

    The closing of about 50 Catholic schools and 35 parishes chased tens of thousands of Catholics away from the church in the Diocese of Rochester.

    When I say tens of thousands, that number could easily be 100,000 or more.

    Who is praying for all of those poor souls who became mad, went home and never came back to church?

    We now have a 2nd generation of Catholics who don’t attend Mass and many of the children of this generation were never baptized.

    The sad part of this situation is that Bishop Clark doesn’t care one bit about you, me or the tens of thousands of poor souls that he chased away from the church.

    Yet, when I greet the bishop, I give him a firm handshake and a warm smile and greeting, just as he gives back to me.

  7. avatar brother of penance says:

    Please accept my apologies for both using the caps lock key and for not having spaced earlier comments into simple paragraphs. Admittedly, I am unfamiliar with blog comment posting. Thank you for your constructive criticism.

    I intend to pray my posted prayer twice a day preceded by “Come Holy Spirit, fill the heart of your servant, Bishop Clark, enkindle in him the fire of your love, send forth your Spirit and he shall be created and you will renew the face of the earth. God, our Father, on the first Pentecost you instructed the hearts of those who believed in your Son by the light of the Holy Spirit. Under the inspiration of the same Spirit, give Bishop Clark a taste for what is right and true and a continuing sense of his presence and power through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.”

    At the end of my first posted prayer, I will pray for an increase in the Bishop’s faith, hope and love by reciting the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father, three Hail Marys, the Glory Be, the O my Jesus and O Mary Conceived Without Sin….

    These prayers will be offered together in that order both in the morning and in the evening every day until September 18. I am not sure how to submit this intention, however. Therefore, I ask the Cleansingfiredor staff to see that it is included in the Spiritual Bouqet. Thank you again for this wonderful endeavor to wage spiritual warfare on behalf of our own Bishop.

  8. avatar JLo says:

    annonymouse,

    You ask how we reconcile love/respect with can’t-wait-until-you leave. What you see as a conflict, I see as normal Christian behavior. Christian love is not an emotion… it is a decision. Hopefully we love all the time in a Christian way, not an emotional way; so, yes, even though we have a countdown to Bishop Clark’s departure from his office of bishop, we do “love” him. And we respect always the office of Bishop if not the performance of the person so crowned. +JMJ

  9. avatar Dr. K says:

    I agree with Dan. I’ll keep the bishop in my prayers, as I always do, but my prayer will be directed towards his conversion, the softening of his heart, and most importantly for his eternal well-being. I pray that one day Bishop Clark will see the light, stop trying to mutate the Church, and apologize sincerely for all those he has driven away from Christ. And I don’t mean prefacing this apology with “If I have ever…”

  10. avatar Ron says:

    I like the idea of praying for Bishop Clark. But can’t we pray without digs and veiled criticisms in the “prayers”? Otherwise he and his followers will continue to claim that some folks here are inflammatory and one-sided. Just say something like: Dear Lord, thank-you for Bishop Clark and his service to You, to the diocese, and to the Church. Be with him and guide him in all that he does.

  11. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I just thought that if you simply prayed to God for the soul of Bishop Clark, then God would take care of the rest. I don’t think we have to offer a doctorial dissertation about the bishop when we pray but simply taking our petition to God is sufficient because He knows all.

  12. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Richard, any way works! They are all good suggestions. Sometimes I have as much difficulty praying for Bishop Clark as I do for other difficult, hard-to-love people in my life. Sometimes I think it being hard to pray makes the prayer more worthy, because then you are praying out of obedience to the will of God, not out of feeling like doing it. For difficult-to-love people, or people in a mess of their own making that I am not feeling so sympathetic to, or people that are offending me with their actions, I often ask Our Lady to pray – with her perfect loving heart, in place of my poor one that is not able to extend itself to the difficult person. Then the difficult person gets the best prayers ever, prayers prayed with the most loving heart, of the most efficacious intercessor!

  13. avatar Jim says:

    Jim M. here… I do pray for Bishop Clark pretty often, but find it hard to do so. When I think of the damage he has done over the past 30 plus years to the diocese, (I personally know of people that he has deeply hurt and alienated over the years) I find myself asking God to let him retire as soon as possible. I put our diocesan situation in the Lord’s hands, but I really know deep down that praying for someone like him is very hard for me to do, much like praying for the President.

  14. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    It might make it easier to pray for Bishop Clark if we remember all the good he has done in the diocese in the past 30 years!!

  15. avatar brother of penance says:

    Prayer.

    There is public prayer……there is personal prayer. The Church in her public prayer
    prays what she believes and what she believes forms and shapes how and what she prays….Lex Orandi Lex Credendi.

    Personal prayer and devotions are just that, personal. Who one is and what one has experienced influence and shape one’s prayer. How one prays personally is how that one prays personally. The virtues of faith, hope and love will influence personal prayer and as such the law of prayer and the law of belief applies as well to personal prayer. So we pray and what we pray reflects what we believe and what we believe forms and shapes our prayer. We really can’t pass judgment on others’ prayer.

    That being said, may I offer what works for me regarding praying for those for whom it is difficult to pray? What I do regarding those who irk me, disappoint me, and anger me, is what I hope others whom I irk, disappoint and anger do regarding me. Pray…..

    How about every time one recites the “Our Father…” when one comes to the line …”forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us….” immediately, without condemnation, without self-righteous indignation, one simply remembers, imagines, pictures that person or persons who irk, disappoint and anger.

  16. avatar JLo says:

    I’m with Richard Thomas. All the long, tedious self stuff is unnecessary. I’ll pray a rosary for Bishop Clark for this post’s spiritual bouquet for him, and all I’ll say to the Lord is “This rosary is for Bishop Clark, Lord”. The Lord knows what the good bishop needs. I don’t need the pointed thoughts about the person I’ve dedicated particular prayer time for; actually, that takes my mind OFF of prayer. As for me, once I place the intention in the Lord’s hands, I need to concentrate on the PRAYER. +JMJ

  17. avatar brother of penance says:

    Brother Ben, this has become fascinating. What you obviously intended to be the formation of a Spiritual Bouquet of prayers for Bishop Clark is turning,as well, into a discussion on prayer; what it is, what it isn’t, what is efficacious, what is necessary or unnecessary etc. Obviously what is important is the prayer; prayer offered for the Ordinary of the Diocese of Rochester.

    Because you invited your readers to “show him (the Bishop) that we truly love him in a very personal way….. I ask you to let us know about the prayers you are offering for the person of Bishop Clark using the form below…… Our prayers will be offered for the person of Bishop Matthew Clark (…… but only Jesus Christ’s agenda for his eternal soul)…..If you have a particular prayer you’d like to add just let me know in the comments and I’ll add it”.

    Rather than allowing others to accept your invitation (to show love in a personal way, let you know what prayers are being offered, and let you know what particular prayer one would like to have added), some readers have decided to diagnose,prescribe and assess. Fascinating.

    So just perhaps, Ben, maybe as we sincerely, ardently and perseveringly offer prayer on behalf of Matthew Clark, the subject of prayer is being discussed for the benefit of all.

    May I contribute further to this discussion on prayer with something the Church herself officially asserts?

    DEI VERBUM 15 “These books (of the Old Testament)….. show us true divine pedagogy. These same books…….contain ………..a wonderful treasury of prayers…..”

    As examples of prayer let us re-read:EZRA 9:5-15; and DANIEL 9:3-19 which starts out “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules”……which finishes with”… we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”

    For those of us who prefer prayer examples from the New Testament, may I suggest these:

    COLOSSIANS 1:9-11 “…asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father…”….(why not pray that for the Bishop?)

    PHILIPPIANS 1:9-11 “….it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God”. (or pray this for the Ordinary)

    A DISCLAIMER….”.Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” ROMANS 8:26,27

    May all of our prayers draw each of us closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as we intercede, for love’s sake, on behalf of Bishop Matthew Clark….”I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,……”

  18. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    So just perhaps, Ben, maybe as we sincerely, ardently and perseveringly offer prayer on behalf of Matthew Clark, the subject of prayer is being discussed for the benefit of all.

    indeed! and I thank everyone for their honest input.

    Here’s what I’ve been up to:
    http://forum.cleansingfire.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=506

    I ask that we don’t discuss that topic here, though. Let’s stay focused on prayer in this conversational thread.

  19. avatar Nerina says:

    Dan, every time I pray the rosary, I pray “for all those who left the Church, that they may one day return.”

    And I do pray for our bishop with every recitation of the rosary. I also pray for all the faithful, especially in our diocese. I pray that the Holy Spirit will infuse our individual and collective heart.

  20. avatar A Catholic says:

    Ben, glad to see this Spiritual Bouquet. I have been praying for Bishop Clark daily for many years. Not only can it be seen as an act of charity, but perhaps it could even be called an obligation for Catholics to pray for their bishop. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that we don’t speak up when we have concerns about the diocese.

  21. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Ben! Congrats! I have to say that! Can’t log in, CF forum won’t take any passwords I remember and won’t send me my password via email (hasn’t arrived, from earlier request today), so I am locked out.

  22. avatar christian says:

    brother of penance: I have found the prayer you have composed to help me in my endeavor of praying for Bishop Clark and for a process toward healing. The prayer addresses the concerns of my heart, acknowledging that there actions that I had wished that he had not done throughout the Diocese (like closing St. Andrew Church), that there are actions I had wished he had taken throughout the Diocese (like showing up to St. Andrew Church to interact with parishioners), and that there are various things I thought he should have prevented throughout the Diocese. Yet, I can acknowledge that there are actions that he has done rightly (like having a strict policy in place regarding sexual abuse by clergy). It helps me to come to terms with these things, and then be able to pray for the welfare of our Bishop, and to pray for all the graces and blessings for a child of God, and for those graces and blessings to flow in such an abundance, that it will help him serve the people of God under his care. Prayer does miraculous things both for the intended person and for the person who prays.

    Ben: I have not been able to get into the Forum to post a message. Congratulations to you, your wife Mary, and to the rest of your family. God Bless Clare Faustina Anderson! (What a beautiful name).

  23. avatar christian says:

    Ben: Please add my prayers to the Spiritual Bouquet for Bishop Matthew Clark.

    I have been praying and will continue to pray the following, twice a day:

    1. The invocation of the Holy Spirit as prescribed by brother of penance

    2. Prayer for the Bishop as prescribed by brother of penance

    3. The Apostles Creed

    4. Prayer for an increase in the Bishop’s Faith, Hope, and Love

    5. The Our Father

    6. The Hail Holy Queen,Mother of Mercy

    7. The Angelus (including Hail Mary X 3)

    8. The Glory Be

    9. The O My Jesus, Forgive Us Our Sins

  24. avatar JLo says:

    Oh, brother… I’m sorry I checked back in (to see if the spiritual bouquet numbers were posted). This wonderful plea of yours, Mr. Anderson, for prayers for our bishop (in the form of rosaries and fasting) turned into essays on self from so many and proffering of personal recommendations for the BEST way to pray. Huh?! What some find “fascinating”, I find at best mind numbing.

    You asked for prayers, to quote you:…

    “for the person of Bishop Matthew Clark (not his agenda, or our agenda, but only Jesus Christ’s agenda for his eternal soul)”…

    and you specifically let us know that you are not looking for a litany of Bishop Clarks perceived failings and an essay on how disappointed we are and how the bishop needs God’s mercy! I do hope you will not use such a “prayer”.

    You invited recommendations for particular prayer selections for addition to the three you suggest…. I would think perhaps, Holy Masses, Novenas, Adoration time, etc., but what we got are “lessons” on the way we should all pray. Considering the wealth of spiritual classics out there that most dedicated Catholics work very hard to make their own, I am always happy for personal recommendations, but personal dissertations somehow miss the mark of humility, the first ingredient of prayer.

    I must sound ungrateful; actually, I’m impatient at the self-interest in talking all about oneself, the highs and the lows of angst, that I found shot through. Too bad. I hope others who read your plea and didn’t write a book to you (as I guess I just have) did instead sign up for rosaries and fasting in great numbers.

    God bless you and the most wonderful endeavor you cited at the outset. My additions to your listing for the spiritual bouquet, should you use such forms of standard prayer time, are as follows: an hour of Adoration, a week of my daily Holy Mass intentions, as well as the rosary I already signed up for. +JMJ

  25. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    I am Bishop Matthew Clark’s second cousin. I just don’t understand the depth of your anger toward him. I was very upset when I came upon the JibJab.com videos designed to make a mockery of him. To me, this just isn’t the Christian way. Are you not being judgemental? God chose him to be the Bishop of Rochester for a reason, a reason that will be revealed in time. He’s a man of God, and a kind man to boot. Please reconsider your motives.

  26. avatar Dr. K says:

    I just don’t understand the depth of your anger toward him.

    Perhaps you’ll better understand our dissatisfaction with his leadership when you take a look at the pitiful Mass attendance in Rochester (less than 23% today, which is a 33% drop over the past decade), the 40+ closed churches under his watch, the collapse of Catholic education (78 elementary schools in 1979 down to 25 today), the evaporation of the priesthood (341 active in 1979 down to 90 today), and an assortment of other problems that aren’t particularly measurable. Meanwhile, your cousin clings to dissenting positions on homosexuality and the priesthood while watching the Catholic faith in Rochester evaporate before his eyes.

  27. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    I have engaged in a lot of research as to the reasons for your anger. Mass attendance, closed churches, Catholic education and the evaporation of the priesthood are problems which have affected the Catholic church as a whole. It’s been happening all over the country. Bishop Clark is compassionate. Regarding the Mass he said for lesbians and gays, I think it would have been very wrong of him if he had invited them there and then shamed them. Homosexuals have been mistreated and subject to abuse because of misunderstanding and fear. It is not a choice to be homosexual and shame and bias will not change them, only alienate them. In the past, homosexuals have tried to engage in what you call a normal hetrosexual union, only to learn that it’s not possible to change a person’s sexual orientation. They have hurt their families and children in doing so. Bishop Clark realizes that God loves everybody. He also knows that threats and shame and character judgements do not change people. Some of the younger members of your group could later on learn that their children are homosexual. Only then, will they open their minds (hopefully) and accept their children unconditionally. So many have committed suicide because their families have deserted them in the name of God. God loves everybody and everybody sins. To me, judging and defaming another human being is a terrible sin. For you and your group to be proud of what you are doing to this man, whom God has chosen, I can’t fathom. Two wrongs do not make a right. We should all look to ourselves and take that speck out of our eyes before we judge others. I’m sure Bishop Clark has his reasons and you and your group only make yourselves look bad. He deserves a Christian apology from each and every one of you. I’m sorry.

  28. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    So much time and energy has been wasted on defaming Bishop Clark, time that could have been spent on making this a better world, which is what God wants each and every one of us to do. You’ve gone overboard. I watched each and every one of your videos, including the ones from JibJab.com. My goodness! I keep shaking my head in dismay wondering how you think this is what Christians should do. His response letter to Cleansing Fire was Christian-like. I’m sure he could see your motives through that so called prayer bouquet sent to him. Still, your group picked it apart, posted it and enjoyed the chatter of judgement among yourselves. Do you really believe that God is happy about this? I doubt it.

  29. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    SALLYANNE,
    Regarding your comments on homosexuality, I don’t think anyone here has a problem with reaching out their hands with a nice soft approach like you mention. However, that is not the problem. The problem is the condoning of the lifestyle and helping to assist in the radical homosexual agenda which forces everyone to celebrate homosexuality. The problem is never calling it what it is. The problem is when people say that St. Paul was wrong.

  30. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Ben,

    I wonder why a handsome young man with a beautiful wife and child (I clicked on your link, and indeed, you are handsome, pleasant looking, and your wife, my goodness) would spend so much time concentrating on sin, especially someone else’s sin. Here you fight against a man who was chosen by God to be the Bishop of Rochester, NY. You are young. He is old. (much older). There is no way you can compete with his wisdom and life experience. You are not in the position to do this. Knowledge and wisdom come with age. I question your motives as to why you put so much time into the issue of homosexuality. If you believe it is a sin, so be it. However, there are so many other sins to focus on. Murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, sit before you too. How about people who cause havoc for others? You aside, think of an experience in the workplace, for instance. I’m sure you have encountered a person who just cannot let others be who they are. They cause trouble, they lie, they go to great lengths to point their finger at others. Before you know it, the whole workplace is in chaos. If you think about it, the person who caused the chaos gets something from it. It’s twisted, for sure, but they do it because they are fulfilling a need that was not fulfilled by their parents, possibly, or a teacher, or a maybe a group of kids who bullied that person. I’m 61 years old. I’ve been through a lot of havoc in my lifetime. From that chaos, I have learned a lot. Patience, tolerance, understanding, helpfulness, reaching out to a person in need. I never knew about that kind of thing when I was your age. I was busy raising a family, struggling with my demons. I was fortunate to encounter knowledge through counseling, and the ONE AND MOST IMPORTANT THING I LEARNED IS: HUMAN BEINGS CAN CHANGE ONLY ONE PERSON, AND PERSON IS THE SELF. Any other attempt just takes the focus off the person who indeed needs help and puts it on another. Ben, I’m sorry, but I think that is what you are doing. You are getting kudos from this Cleansing Fire thing. People are calling you “Brother” and treating you with respect. Ben, from where I stand, you are mixed up. You have a problem with sin, possibly, maybe it’s sexual in nature, but I don’t see it as Bishop Matt’s problem. I see it as yours. Please take this information and process it. I might be wrong…yet, I might be right, and possibly, me, a sinner, might be able to lead you to salvation…not with my Holy self, becasue I’m not, but possibly with my life experience and what I see in your anger….Peace…live, be happy, let others be, and apologize to Bishop Matt, that’s my prayer for you, young man…

  31. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    SALLYANNE,

    I wonder why you would spend so much time concentrating on …

    Embracing Catholicism changed my life. Everyday I praise God for reaching out to me even though I strayed away from Him. I want others to have the same opportunity – to be presented with the authentic Catholic faith… a faith that can heal, can bring peace, can help you to love others and to love the life that God has given them, to look to Him every step of the way. Our forefathers in the faith went to unbelievable pains to pass it on – the least we can do is to not diminish it and treat it like something inferior.

    concentrating on sin

    When those within the Church condone, or worse, promote error – it does an amazing disservice to the entire institution. In the case of homosexuality, if a Catholic teacher teaches, “well, St. Paul was wrong and the Catholic Church has been wrong for 2000 years. It’s quite alright to embrace and celebrate homosexuality to the fullest.” A natural reaction for the student is to believe the teacher in this particular instance. But what’s even worse is that the student now is left with the erroneous idea that the world is to be trusted more than the Church. The next time they must choose between what the Church says and what the world says, they are likely to choose the world.

    If the Church is wrong about something that is taught infallibly, then she can be wrong about anything.

    There is no way you can compete with his wisdom and life experience.

    ok, fine, but I claim no authority, no great intellect, or anything else along those lines. I merely point to what our Church teaches. This isn’t Ben Anderson vs progressive Catholicism – it’s progressive Catholicism vs the Church’s Magisterium.

    However, there are so many other sins to focus on. Murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, sit before you too.

    I have yet to hear a homily or a Catholic teacher say that it’s quite alright to murder, rape, etc. I can’t say the same for homosexuality. I also have yet to hear a lay Catholic say, “I’m a Catholic, but I think it’s quite alright to be a rapist.”

    I’m sure you have encountered a person who just cannot let others be who they are.

    I’m fine with letting people be who they are. I have good relationships with plenty of people with whom I completely disagree with. What I’m not OK with is letting people opposed to Catholic teaching misrepresent Catholicism and tear down the Magisterium.

    You are getting kudos from this Cleansing Fire thing.

    yep – it’s all gumdrops and fairy dust – let me tell you.

    You have a problem with sin,

    I certainly do and I thank my Lord for the sacrament of reconciliation, but I’m not sure how exactly this supports your position.

    what I see in your anger

    Thanks for your judgment. I always love this claim because one thing I’ve never been charged with by anyone who knows me personally is anger – it’s an easy one for me to laugh off. Now, if you charged me with being delusional that the Pirates are going to win the World Series…. well, I might be guilty of that.

  32. avatar Hopefull says:

    Ben, your answers are right on, especially as you address sin and your concerns for souls led astray by hierarchical laxity or perversity. I have to wonder why anyone who calls himself or herself Christian feels they can make an exception for any particular sin. People have natural inclinations to all kinds of things, ranging from kleptomania to arson, from heterosexual lust and pornography to greed, from drug addiction and alcoholism to spouse and child battering. But all these sins seem to be clearly recognized as sins, which need repentance and amendment of one’s life. Is there anyone in a position of Church leadership endorsing those sins? I don’t think so.

    Then why is it that homosexual activity is treated by certain members of the hierarchy, by some so-called Christians and by family members of sinners as if it were the only sin that didn’t need repentance? Instead, there is the oft-repeated excuse that people were ‘made that way.’ Even if they were, it doesn’t mean they haven’t been called to the same life of holiness to which we are all called, and that means chastity of life.

    Between the bible, catechism and 2000 years of consistent Church teaching, it is ludricous that anyone responsibile for souls is willing to risk his own soul and that of others by misleading someone with same sex attraction disorder into sin, or confirming them there, by making a meaningless ‘exemption’ for that particular sin. Why is it the only sin some people endorse to be committed against God and against human nature? Isn’t it a measure of moral depravity to be so enmeshed in any sin that one can no longer repent of it?

    We must continue to fight for the religious freedom of conscience to speak the truth. And, by the way, SallyAnne’s use of the word “defame” is erroneous. One can only be defamed by a lie; never by the truth. Thank you, Ben, for continuing to be on the side of truth and of souls in spite of the inevitable criticism of those who would rather not see the reality of sin and the damage to souls. God bless you!

  33. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Ben, your answers are right on, especially as you address sin and your concerns for souls led astray by hierarchical laxity or perversity. I have to wonder why anyone who calls himself or herself Christian feels they can make an exception for any particular sin.

    Is it your right to judge others and to actually make an exception for someone else’s sin? I always thought that was God’s job. Who’s truth are you talking about, Hopeful? By the way, thank you for the grammar lesson!

    Continue to “defame” with your lies…I’m sure God is mighty proud of each and every one of you!

  34. avatar Hopefull says:

    My, SallyAnne, we do seem to have hit your hot button! You’ve dredged up a year old post in order to make some point, so your effort deserves a response.

    You wrote: “Is it your right to judge others and to actually make an exception for someone else’s sin? I always thought that was God’s job.”

    But apparently you missed the point entirely. I have NO right (nor do you nor does any priest of bishop) to make any exception for someone else’s sin, or for my own. That IS the point. Why is the sin of homosexual activity being given a pass at so many levels, and even children being taught that it is normal? It is not normal. It is a sin. No one has any right to say otherwise. That includes you.

    And you are right that judging IS God’s job. Whether or not He decides to throw anyone into hell or purgatory or pull them right into heaven is His Decision Alone. What we do have is an OBLIGATION to witness against what God has called sin, and to discern. That is not the same as judging, although many very permissive people try to call it “judging” in order to deflect the truth, and their own responsibility.

    You also wrote: “Who’s truth are you talking about, Hopeful?” I am talking about what the Bible says (try on Romans Chapter 1 for example), I am talking about what the Catechism teaches, and what the magisterium of the Church has proclaimed. I am NOT talking about the consensus of some sinners that being attracted, deeply attracted, to a particular sin thus makes it “okay.” So just what are you calling “lies” dear SallyAnne?

  35. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    My Hopeful, If anybody’s hot button has been hit, it’s yours, I’d say. You point out that I am dredging up an “old post” in order to make a point. Hopeful, is it you I am communicating with here? Obviously, you, too, keep going back and checking on how much chaos you and your “Holy Group” can muster. I’m sure that I have satisfied a “human” need, most likely a “sinful” need in you and your group to cause havoc among your readers. So, I take that as a compliment, because I know that I have satisfied you in some way.

    Have I missed your point? I think not, “dearie.” I think I get your point; in fact, I can even hear your gleeful response as you sit at your computer, teaching “the lower unholy sect, just how to be and just how to feel ashamed and stupid because they don’t get the point, because “they” don’t read scripture….I’ll tell you something. I read scripture, and the one thing that I WILL NOT DO is use God Almighty to condone the “sin” of judgement. My one, most Holy One, the Holy One who loves and enjoys chaos and also enjoys sarcasm, you are a human being! I think you are, although you just might have some kind of special power. I’m sure God favors you, because you sit in your judgement seat and use scripture to make yourself RIGHT. Keep it up, you are only making my point stronger. I, my dear, have hit a nerve in you psyche, and even though it’s human in nature, you just cannot condone it, not to me, that is. Yes, maybe you are “Holier Than Thou” and maybe you just need to come to this “old” blog to straighten people like “ME” out. Ya know what? You have proven to me that what you are about is just what I will never be. Thank you so much for making “ME” a mere human being, feel right! Such a loving group of Christians, you are…my goodness…Wow!

  36. avatar Dr. K says:

    “Obviously, you, too, keep going back and checking on how much chaos you and your “Holy Group” can muster. “

    The most recent comments are listed on the right side panel of the main page.

  37. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Thank you, Hopeful, for giving “me” scripture for which I can point my finger at “You”

    Paul: 1:28

    Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    If I want to feel powerful, I’m sure I can find scripture which condones this. If I want to feel loving, I can find scripture to make my point. If I want to cast stones at you and your group, for instance, I can find scripture which will make me right. That’s what you people are doing. You are human beings and that’s all you are. Sinners, just like me and just like Bishop Matt. Amen! How about we create a blog and all admit we are sinners. Let’s confess our own sins, really dig into “ourselves.” Maybe then, we, as sinning Christians will bring people to God. Don’t you all think that would please our Lord?

  38. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Because of my inablility to “get things right” I wasn’t able to figure out how to highlight this scripture and then post it on this blog so I point out my point with your point…just saying…

    God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.

    They are gossips, slanderers insolent, arrogant and boastful
    they invent ways of doing evil
    31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

  39. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Dr. K…

    I don’t deny that! That’s what I’m saying!!! I am not sitting in judgement of you, I’m joining you! I don’t use God to justify my actions. I am not holy…You, are just lke me…you are human and you and your group enjoy the chaos, is all I’m saying!!!

  40. avatar brother of penance says:

    Hi SALLYANNE, I would like to join this discussion regarding the appropriateness or lack there in of holding and expressing opinions regarding the faithfulness and effectiveness/fruitfulness of Bishop Clark’s pastoral ministry in the Diocese of Rochester as its Ordinary.

    First of all, I realize that you and the other participants in this recent discussion hold heartfelt opinions. Anger, resentment, and hurt feelings among others surface. Unfortunately, misunderstandings and misconceptions, as well as different meanings for words, can confuse the conversation, cloud the issue and end up with people talking past each other.

    I will not spend any time analyzing any of the previous posted comments nor attempt to point out any of the misunderstandings, misconceptions or confusion over the issues at hand.

    I will, however, speak for myself by saying that I resonate with the fact that Bishop Clark is a kind man who expresses concern for people by his demeanor and ways he has acted or ways he hasn’t acted. Frankly, I refuse in attempting to assess one’s motives or judge one’s relationship with God. Making observations, however, must be allowed. Listening, watching, and reading must be allowed. How else can one ever begin to appreciate or value the leadership exercised by leaders if one doesn’t pay attention?

    Again, I refuse to impugn one’s motives, but I will make observations.

    That being said, I contributed last year to the Spiritual Bouquet presented to Bishop Clark. My own prayer offerings, criticized by the way by a number of the cleansingfiredor family, were heartfelt. I prayed for what I believed any Catholic Bishop/priest/deacon/religious or ecclesial lay minister would need to better serve both God and Christ’s sheep, the Church.

    In my own human, and certainly less than fallible or impeccable way, I prayed/suggested perspectives and actions for the Bishop which I believed through observation (listening/watching/reading) Matthew Clark was weak and perhaps even negligent.

    Now, is that judging? Certainly not judging one’s soul. Yet it could be considered judging one’s skills, one’s work, one’s performance, one’s interests, one’s priorities.

    Even if it is assessing, it is offered in the hope that good would come of the prayer/suggestions;hope that perhaps the Bishop would be led to reflect, consider and make changes that would be a blessing to himself and all those over which he is consecrated to serve as Bishop.

    Lastly, I believe it is true to state that anyone on the journey/road/path of daily conversion to Christ, of repentance from sin, of growth in holiness and righteousness (all gifts of grace) anyone on this path, wants, desires, hungers and thirsts for conformity to Christ, for faithfulness to Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and for opportunities to lead others to the same conversion, repentance, growth in holiness and righteousness.

    Especially a Bishop!

    Make the observations, SALLYANNE. Listen, watch, read…..first to the truth of Christ and the faith of his Catholic Church which is expressed in Sacred Tradition. Then be courageous to assess your second cousin’s leadership against that standard.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, your love for Matthew Clark will grow as you desire God’s very best for him and the people he shepherds.

    Up until now, it seems to me, and many others, the good Bishop, as well as his clergy and lay ecclesial ministers, have settled for something much less. Something less than helpful, something possibly even harmful.

    God bless you, SALLYANNE, God bless Cleansingfiredor, God bless Matthew Clark and the Diocese of Rochester.

    Please remember me too in your prayers.

    Thank you, I am your brother of penance.

  41. avatar Dr. K says:

    I think you misunderstood. I meant that Hopefull is not digging up old posts like you claim [“Obviously, you, too, keep going back and checking”], but rather saw your post in the latest comments widget on the home page.

  42. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Brother Of Penance,

    You deliver your message as a true Christian, that is, in my opinion. There’s just one thing you said that I disagree with. I’ll paste it below:

    Now, is that judging? Certainly not judging one’s soul. Yet it could be considered judging one’s skills, one’s work, one’s performance, one’s interests, one’s priorities.

    You have the perfect right as do each and every member of Cleansing Fire to express your concerns, your opinions and your feelings. The text I have a problem with is “Certainly not judging one’s soul.” Maybe I read it wrong, but wasn’t that what the gracious people of Cleansing Fire told Bishop Matt? That being, praying for his “soul?” I think I read that. A nice letter, preferably written by you, might have had more impact, showed respect of him, not only as a human being, but as a Catholic Bishop, and maybe he would have thought about it. I don’t know how he feels about this whole thing. I don’t call him and talk to him. We are not close. It’s a big family and he’d probably recognize me at the family reunion as my mother’s (his cousin) daughter. The soul thing is what gets me. The time spent, (since 2009?) degrading him, the JibJab.com (poor taste in my opinion), the pride behind it all. That’s what I object to. I can’t listen to what you people say because what you (they) have done is to me, at least, a much greater sin. That’s my opinion, just my opinion. I don’t cast stones. I just tell it like I see it as a human sinner, which is just what I am…Thank you, Brother of Penance, for at least delivering your message in a christian way. You are the only one I respect out of this whole bunch of hypocrites! Am I being nasty? Yes! Am I human? Yes! Am I God like? No! I think this whole blog should be re-designed. I think it’s awful and very mean spirited!!!

  43. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Dr. K,

    This is how Hopeful began his note to me:

    My, SallyAnne, we do seem to have hit your hot button! You’ve dredged up a year old post in order to make some point, so your effort deserves a response.

    I was responding to the above statement. Hopeful was patronizing me by calling me “My SallyAnne” firstly, then Hopeful pointed out that I am dredging up a post that is a year old, as if I was making a big issue over something that is done and over with. So, I responded to Hopeful in the same patronizing way, Christian Hopeful addressed me and I pointed out that he/she too, is here on this “old” blog, responding to my post. I was doing a search on Bishop Matt, who, I’m very proud of, by the way, and that’s how I encountered the Cleansing Fire group. I was appalled! I couldn’t believe it, and that was no more than two months ago. Prior to that I was unaware of this whole terrible example of Christian love….

  44. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Correction, by beginning the sentence with “MY’ then Sallyanne…that was patronizing! that was not Christian like!!! Not at all!

  45. avatar brother of penance says:

    SALLYANNE,

    Your comments about re-designing the blog because you consider it awful and mean spirited should be addressed by cleansingfiredor staff, and not by me.

    However, I have met two of the staff and corresponded extensively with one of them.
    Frankly, I feel I am a better person for knowing them. Both have been used by God to bless me. Neither one ever seemed mean spirited to me.

    But really, I would rather pick up on the praying for his soul concern that you have expressed. Given the fact that the primary mission of the Church is the salvation of souls, why is it offensive to tell someone prayer is being offered for his soul?

    If telling someone we are praying for your soul means YOUR SOUL IS SO BAD SOMEONE HAS TO PRAY FOR IT, then your objection seems apt.

    When we ask the Blessed Mother to “pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death”,
    we are spot on with what is most important…..to die in a state of grace…..as such we ask her to pray for our souls.

    Haven’t you heard clergy pray MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU (US),PROTECT YOU(US)FROM EVIL AND ONE DAY BRING YOU (US) TO EVERLASTING LIFE? Seems to me like a prayer for souls.

    We who are the Church Militant are encouraged to pray for the poor souls in purgatory.

    Forgive me, SALLYANNE, for sounding like I believe I have to teach you something.
    I don’t mean to be patronizing. But praying for one’s soul is a good thing.

    While I really wasn’t thinking about the Bishop’s soul when I wrote above “Perhaps, just perhaps, your love for Matthew Clark will grow as you desire God’s very best for him and the people he shepherds.”, desiring God’s very best for him and the people he shepherds could be understood to express care for their souls.

    Yet, when I wrote “Up until now, it seems to me, and many others, the good Bishop, as well as his clergy and lay ecclesial ministers, have settled for something much less. Something less than helpful, something possibly even harmful.”, I was thinking of how settling for something much less, less helpful, even harmful, does in fact possibly harm souls.

    SALLYANNE, if Bishop Clark and his appointed Church pastors/administrators have withheld significant truth from the faithful, souls could be jeopardized.

    Are you familiar with the Watchman of Israel principle?

    Prophets warned that if one sees his brother sin and says nothing, not only will the sinner be held accountable, but so will the one who saw it and said nothing.

    Can we offend and perhaps lose friends with that kind of holy boldness?
    Sure, but souls might be saved that could be lost otherwise.

    Thank you for your kind words to me, SALLYANNE.

    I am grateful for taking the step of faith to correspond with you by means of this blog and comments. I sense that we are siblings in Christ.

    My hope is that you will sense the same for the other brothers and sisters of the cleansingfiredor family. We are like stones placed together in the spiritual house….we keep rubbing up against each other causing some friction, yet eventually we will fit together nicely and glorify the Lord.

    Please forgive the perceived faults in cleansingfiredor folks.

    It is fair to reiterate, however, that their concern is for truth, Catholic Truth.

    That should be Bishop Clark’s concern too!

  46. avatar Hopefull says:

    I think it is important to place SallyAnne’s quote in context, since she has chosen to use it out of the context in which St. Paul placed it. First of all, there is no Scripture called Paul 1:28. Rather she is referring to Chapter 1 of Romans, which I had mentioned in an earlier post. Here it is, as it refers to homosexual activity (not to blog posts) from verses 16 to 32:

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.”

    Clearly St. Paul has written this very intense and cautioning section regarding “men committing shameless acts with men….” I think particular attention should be paid to the ending words “they not only do them but approve those who practice them.” And that is the whole point. Those who approve and who do not correct (correct, not condemn to hell for that is God’s role) are guilty too. There is a very great movement to simply say “keep your mouth shut; let people live the way they want to; it’s none of your business” as if speaking out were judging. How then are we to discern? By the fruits we are told. And the excellent post by Mike “It would be difficult to imagine worse…” is indeed counting the fruit (and in this case the lack of fruit.)

    But to SallyAnne and to those who think we should not speak out, I will only make two references. The first is to Section 212 of Canon Law in which the laity “HAVE THE RIGHT, INDEED AT TIMES THE DUTY” to make their views known to each other. I am not going to justify that it is always done in the best way since we are all fallible and sinful beings. But I do believe the motive of care for souls and elevation of truth are important.

    Secondly, lest we be silenced by the rote “judge not,” we should remember the words of Ezekiel 3:18-21:

    “If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you will have saved your life. Again, if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning and you will have saved your life.”

    I do confirm what Dr. K said. The recent comments box in the upper right revealed that a comment had beem made to a year old post. I was not revisiting the post myself.

    Also, SallyAnne felt that when I wrote: “My, SallyAnne, we do seem to have hit your hot button” that I was patronizing. However, she reiterated what I wrote as “My SallyAnne” which leaves out the commas and changes the meaning completely. What I wrote meant “Oh my, SallyAnne,….etc.” It was decidedly not an expression of ownership over her. The commas set her name off as an address, not as ownership. I agree that if it had expressed possession or ownership it would have been patronizing or improper; however,that is not what it said and to leave out the commas is a misquote and changes my meaning. What I said would be similar to saying “Oh, gee, SallyAnne,…..” but I use “oh, my,” because so many words like “gee” are a shortcut for Jesus, which I find very offensive; that by way of further explanation. I suppose that SallyAnne’s calling me “My Hopeful” without commas did not have the same intent as mine.

    Lastly, I would simply point out that the term “meanspirited” is indeed an allegation of motive and, in general, inappropriately accusatory.

  47. avatar brother of penance says:

    Thank you for your comment, Hopeful.

    How important it is for us to read Sacred Scripture and let truth sink in!

    “Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.”

    “….and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.”

    ” Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning and you will have saved your life.”

    Forgive us, Lord Jesus, for the times we have been afraid to speak your word of truth in love.
    Forgive us our fear.

    Help us, O God, to be bold for your Holy Name’s sake and for the salvation of souls.

    Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

  48. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Cleansing Fire,

    I’m processing the information that you have given me. Hopeful, I did notice the comma placement “after” I had already posted my response I’m here to learn, just as you all are. What really rubbed me the wrong way, actually, was JibJab.com. To be redundant, I’m processing, looking up scripture, etc.

  49. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    What really rubbed me the wrong way, actually, was JibJab.com

    It’s perfectly fine to be of the opinion that those are in poor taste

  50. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    After much thought, I cannot agree that your method of prayer for Bishop Clark stems from love and concern for his soul. Underlying anger and resentment is what stands out to me. Protestants believe all Catholics are doomed to Hell for idol worship. They use scripture to back up their judgements. Their “righteous” anger is all I see. I’m sure most of you are familiar with scripture they use to prove their point. Thing is, we ignore them and back up our beliefs with scripture. We think “they” have it wrong. Before you know it, eveybody is pointing fingers. All groups have their way of interpreting scripture to back up their beliefs. I’m sure Bishop Matt has his reasons, and I’m sure he believes he is doing the right thing. Homosexuals back up their beliefs with scripture. It’s interesting. All I see here is judgement.

  51. avatar brother of penance says:

    http://podcast.webcastcenter.com/renew/fote_082912.mp3

    SALLYANNE, Happy Sunday, Happy Lord’s Day to you and yours.

    I appreciate that you have given much thought (and prayer?) to the question of whether
    the ‘method of prayer for Bishop Clark stems from love and concern for his soul.’

    Frankly, your conclusion that underlying anger and resentment stands out is a legitimate personal opinion. Yes, you are entitled to that opinion and if that is what stands out for you, well, that is what stands out for you. Enough said about your perception of this blog, its comments and the spiritual bouquet sent Bishop Clark last year.

    But what about the ministry of Bishop Clark? In light of Scripture, in light of Canon Law, in light of magisterial teachings, in light of all of Sacred Tradition, what is your opinion?

    “I’m sure Bishop Matt has his reasons, and I’m sure he believes he is doing the right thing.”
    No doubt. I don’t doubt Bishop Clark has his reasons and that he believes he is doing the right thing. BUT IS HE DOING THE CATHOLIC THING? ARE HIS REASONS AND BELIEF CATHOLIC?

    You are quite correct about various groups using Scripture as they see fit. But that is not the Catholic approach, is it?

    Are you familiar with the Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, DEI VERBUM?

    “..it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence.” DV 9

    “But the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed.” DV 10

    So now we ask, in regards to homosexuality, its origin, homosexual acts etc, has Bishop Clark and the clergy,religious and lay ecclesial ministers consistently interpreted and applied the Word of God regarding our controversial subject in harmony with the living teaching office of the Church? Has Bishop Clark and all of the other leaders in this Diocese taught only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully?

    Or, SALLEYANNE, does Bishop Clark and his ministers in Rochester have their reasons for what they say and don’t say about same-sex attraction sex acts and relationships?

    This blog (and many others around the country) can document what has been done,said, written in the Diocese of Rochester about homosexuality and what has not been done,said and written about this most of controversial subjects.

    So are some people angry and perhaps still fighting resentment?
    I suppose so.

    Is that struggle with anger and resentment a reason to be silent about the negligence and dereliction of duty observed in the Diocese of Rochester? Absolutely not.

    Before I commented, I included a link to a radio broadcast entitled FIRE ON THE EARTH hosted by Peter Herbeck of RENEWAL MINISITRIES. Peter’s subject is choking off the Word of God and the consequences of disobeying the Word of God.

    Please give http://podcast.webcastcenter.com/renew/fote_082912.mp3 a try.
    After more prayer and thought, if in fact you arrive at different conclusions about what is and isn’t Catholic, so be it. But where on earth can one find the answer? Who on earth speaks the authentic Catholic truth on this controversial subject and all of those subjects which have consequences, eternal consequences for the soul?

    Thank you, SALLYANNE, for having raised these issues for the readers of cleansingfiredor.
    Thank you for continuing the dialogue.

    Your brother of penance? Yes, but a Catholic brother of penance who wants more than anything to know, love and serve the Lord as taught by Christ’s ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH.

    May that desire be yours as well.

  52. avatar Scott W. says:

    This blog a long time have I watched. And participated in. (Sorry, couldn’t resist leading off in Yoda style. :)) Anyway, in that time I can’t recall any of the major contributors here accusing +Clark of being insincere. I think it is wildly unjust that they have to endure a charge of sleazy motives now. Bishops, even bad bishops, need and deserve prayer for their soul’s well-being. Praying for a bad bishop is challenging because one has to put their legitimate gripes on hold momentarily and heroically pray for him in spite of all his errors. In other words, the call for prayer here ought to be praised, not condemned. Then there is a practical reason for avoiding motive impugning: it makes your position look weak. It is in a sense tacitly conceding everything your opponent says, but desperately looking for any means to score points.

    As far as everyone-backs-up-their-beliefs-with-Scripture: this is an astonishing admission because it is arguing for Sola Scriptura. That the Catholic Church does not teach according to “Bible alone” should be Catholicism 101. When you stack up the elements of the Truth: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the apostolic witness passed through their successors, then Protestantism, homosexualism, etc. simply don’t have a leg to stand on. To say otherwise is little different than saying one is an agnostic Catholic–which is incoherent.

    This is the great error of our age. Like all previous errors it takes an element of truth, charity, and fuses it to moral relativism. Love without truth isn’t love at all.

  53. avatar brother of penance says:

    AMEN to Scott W.’s 8/26/12 11:14 AM comment.

  54. avatar Hopefull says:

    I may have misunderstood Scott W, and if so then I apologize. However the following statement gives me pause: “As far as everyone-backs-up-their-beliefs-with-Scripture: this is an astonishing admission because it is arguing for Sola Scriptura.”

    Emphatically, I would say that arguing from Scripture is NOT any admission at all for Sola Scriptura. Truth cannot contradict truth. When an argument from Scripture does not contradict the magisterium or Tradition, there is nothing at all wrong with presenting a Scriptural argument, especially to people who may not accept other sources. The error is when those who don’t accept the magisterium or Tradition use Scripture to argue a personal position which is untrue, and which contradicts all other revealed truth.

    Catholics should not hesitate to learn and use Scripture to explain and argue; just be sure it isn’t a personal contradictory interpretation of other revealed truth. And such Scriptural argument from truth then only reveals respect for God’s Word and is not any argument at all for the erroneous Sola Scriptura.

  55. avatar Scott W. says:

    Yeah, you misunderstood. Sallyanne was arguing that because everyone can and does come up with a different interpretation of Scripture, that it means everyone’s interpretation is equally valid or more importantly, implying that the Church’s teachings are no more valid than anyone else’s. This is why I made the comment about agnostic Catholicism being incoherent. It is in essence Sola Scriptura married to moral relativism.

  56. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Wow, guys, thank you for responding. I just returned from a trip to Vermont to pick up my gay son. His name is Nicholas. He will be staying with me for a month or so, then plans on moving to Brooklyn, NY, where his father, Peter, deceased (oh what a wonderful father he was!) grew up. I do thank you for your questions. I plan on responding. I need to process because I don’t claim to know much about scripture, Cannon Law, or anything else for that matter. I do know about Heart, about feelings, and psychology. I have a genuine desire to serve God, but I do hesitate to go full force into this before I actually know what I’m talking about. I have been to churches of different denominations. I’ve learned a lot about judgement (not from the Catholic perspective until I came upon Cleansing Fire, that is) from the Protestant perspective. It made me sink into a depression. I really lost my faith. I do believe, however, that God us free will (as you all know) and I also believe that it is perfectly OK to question God’s plan for he knows our hearts anyway. I can’t lie to God. He knows me. He’s knows everybody. Again, thank you for responding. Possibly, I will learn something from this! :))) Peace!

  57. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Typo: He’s knows everybody…I do that a lot…It should be: He knows everybody….:)))

  58. avatar brother of penance says:

    Hopeful, I didn’t understand Scott W.’s comment to lessen the value of Scripture or the use of it.

    I did understand SALLYANNE to mean what she stated: “All groups have their way of interpreting scripture to back up their beliefs.” And SALLYANNE is correct in that assessment. Inherent in SALLYANNE’S assessment, however, could be an unfamiliarity with Catholic teaching on divine revelation as made explicit in DEI VERBUM.

    “I just returned from a trip to Vermont to pick up my gay son. His name is Nicholas.”

    SALLYANNE, thank you for sharing with us that you are now spending some time with your son, Nicholas. Here’s hoping that you both enjoy each other’s company and continue to share God’s love through Christ.

    While this is a public blog with public comments, I am somewhat hesitant to address the way you categorize Nicholas in a public way. A disclaimer: Given the fact that you mention publicly something of a very personal nature regarding your son, I trust that Nicholas himself is comfortable with you writing about him on this website.

    That being said, it is important to state that professional pastoral ministers and health care providers (who know/understand/believe Catholic sexual morality) who specialize in service to people with the same-sex attraction disorder, emphasize not to use the secular culture’s terminology “gay”.

    Use of that term implies acceptance of the ‘gay life-style, gay culture, or gay political/social agenda’. The professionals, faithful to Catholic sexual morality, encourage us to think and speak in terms of same-sex attraction which is in fact a disorder.

    Does any of that denigrate Nicholas? No. Reality demands honesty and truth.

    Lastly, using that term relegates a human being created in the image and likeness of God
    to identification merely based on sex (sexual orientation, sexual preferences, sexual actions). Nicholas and all of us are much much more than those politicized, socially engineered labels and categories.

    It is tough for me to write about this to you, SALLYANNE, on this public website, but given our circumstances, I took a chance you would receive what I wrote in the same spirit I write it.

    God bless you and Nicholas, and may the Lord grant eternal rest to deceased Peter.

  59. avatar Dr. K says:

    I just returned from a trip to Vermont to pick up my gay son.

    Right.

  60. avatar Scott W. says:

    Fair enough Sallyanne. I looks like we are getting beyond the initial head-knocking phase and it is encouraging that you seem willing to stick around. And it seems serendipitous to me that today’s Gospel reading was where some of Our Lord’s disciples started murmuring “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” I’ve been long indoctrinated in the world’s erroneous version of Christianity which goes, “Jesus just preached love for everyone” with the implicit subtext that there is no such thing as sin (except racism, judgmentalism, and discrimination), so it is easy to understand that when people come in contact with authentic Christianity, they react much like the disciplines that ended up walking away. But I will let a blogger named Joe K, who has same-sex attraction chooses chastity because he knows the truth that homosexual acts are wrong describe what I mean:

    The worst, by far, are heterosexuals, who are all about gay rights, though. This may be because they are the majority, but in a certain way I think it’s deeper than that. I think their defending of homosexuals is driven by a couple things. One, it comes from this weird perverted notion that you always have to protect the weak and “not judge” No Matter What. It’s derived, I think, from Christian notions of love, but it has to turned into this terrible monster known as modern liberalism. It’s actually become the case that defending the weak is more important than identifying the truth. This whole idea is rampant, and it’s pretty much suffocating to any real discussion on moral issues. “Don’t judge! What makes your life any better! You’re just filled with hate!” etc. etc. etc. Everyone has to be equal, no matter the stakes, no matter what. If you imply Anything to the contrary, you’re basically Hitler who wants to kill all gay people. And while this push is definitely from the gay community (it’s how they gain their power), it’s most strong (and most despicable) from straight people. It’s despicable because they don’t know what they’re doing. They just bandwagon on someone else’s slave morality to the degradation of everything around them. And worst of all, they’re Zealous about it. They get mad, scary mad about it.

  61. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    To all of you:

    I understand that all of you desire salvation. I also understand that each and every one of you have the best of intentions based on what you know. I believe that you all believe that you are doing the right thing by demonizing Bishop Matt, possibly even thinking that you will have a “special place in Heaven” for speaking out.

    Brother of Penance:
    People are either homosexual or hetrosexual. To use the term gay does not condone the behavior. I don’t know what “term” would be acceptable to you and I must say that I’m amused that you would even use that as an argument: Below, is a portion of what you said:

    Use of that term implies acceptance of the ‘gay life-style, gay culture, or gay political/social agenda’. The professionals, faithful to Catholic sexual morality, encourage us to think and speak in terms of same-sex attraction which is in fact a disorder.

    To accept the gay life-style, gay culture, or gay political/social agenda…what the heck does that mean? We have to accept it. It’s there. Should we deny it exists or is there a way to admit it exists if only we use the right term for it? If we call it a “disorder” does that make it more acceptable? I don’t get your point.

    Lastly, using that term relegates a human being created in the image and likeness of God
    to identification merely based on sex (sexual orientation, sexual preferences, sexual actions). Nicholas and all of us are much much more than those politicized, socially engineered labels and categories.

    Should I call it a disorder? Would that help you to “hear” my point? I think focusing on whether or not it’s called gay or a disorder just takes away the whole gist of what is being said here. All reasoning and understanding just go out the window, which, of course, makes the accusor “right.” How can an accusor ever be wrong when we all know he doesn’t want to be wrong? How can a accusor look at life from a black/grey/white perspective? He can’t. He can only see black and white, right or wrong..nothing else exists so therefore he is always right and everybody else is wrong and he never has to try to understand anything.

    While this is a public blog with public comments, I am somewhat hesitant to address the way you categorize Nicholas in a public way. A disclaimer: Given the fact that you mention publicly something of a very personal nature regarding your son, I trust that Nicholas himself is comfortable with you writing about him on this website.

    Nicholas is perfectly comfortable with acknowledging his sexual orientation, just as you and I are in acknowledging our sexual orientation. There are facts you probably haven’t researched. Fact is, our sexual orientation is there at birth. Just as you were born hetrosexual/straight and he was born homosexual/gay, it is what it is. If you like the color black and liking the color black is what everybody should like, then you are lucky that you fit in. However, if you don’t like the color black and you like blue, for instance, then you are doomed for Hell. Imagine having to make pretend that you like the color black when you don’t? Imagine having to lie about it rather than being condemned by others? My goodness! The whole argument on your part is ridiculous in my opinion.

  62. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Scott W:

    You just don’t get it! Why do people focus on the “sin” of homosexuality? Is it based on fear? I think it is. I think that is why people go on about it so. It’s not a disorder. There’s nothing to fear here. If you think they are sinners, so be it. Let them be sinners. You can’t change them. You just cannot. You should look at homosexuals as “individuals” just like you look at hetrosexuals as “individuals.”

  63. avatar Scott W. says:

    You just don’t get it! Why do people focus on the “sin” of homosexuality?

    Read me more carefully. I said homosexual acts are sinful. I use the term same-sex attraction rather than homosexuality because the latter word is often tied up with the lifestyle and lends itself to confusion. And a confusion exploited often by sophists. Same-sex attraction is not in itself sinful; actual sexual contact between members of the same sex is.

    Is it based on fear? I think it is. I think that is why people go on about it so.

    Again, any putative emotions are irrelevant to the truth. Just because one knows that used kitty-litter isn’t properly food, doesn’t mean he is afraid of it, unless someone was trying to force-feed him it. And that is what is going on here. The reason people go on about it is because currently there is a societal onslaught to coerce everyone into approving of the behavior. Those who believe in chastity (that is, sexual contact belongs soley between a man and woman married to each other) and true marriage are being hounded out of jobs, sued, and in Lisa Miller’s case, forced to flee the country with her daughter to keep her away from her creepy former lesbian “spouse”.

    It’s not a disorder.

    The Catechism:

    2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    Notice that the Church teaches both that homosexual acts are sinful, the inclination disordered, AND still prohibits unjust (that word is important here) discrimination, and commands compassion, respect, etc. That’s all we are trying to do.

    There’s nothing to fear here.

    Again, one can hold that homosexual sex is objectively wrong and not be afraid of it.

    If you think they are sinners, so be it. Let them be sinners.

    Can’t do that. Sin is always forgiveable, rarely excusable, but never acceptable.

    You can’t change them. You just cannot.

    Whether or not one can get rid of the inclination isn’t really the pertinent issue. One can ALWAYS choose not to engage in a homosexual act.

    You should look at homosexuals as “individuals” just like you look at hetrosexuals as “individuals.”

    I don’t see anyone saying anything to the contrary.

  64. avatar Dr. K says:

    “Nicholas is perfectly comfortable with acknowledging his sexual orientation, just as you and I are in acknowledging our sexual orientation. “

    That’s funny… I don’t call myself a straight man or a heterosexual man. My mother doesn’t call me a straight son.

    So why do you call your child a “gay son”?

    [reference: “I just returned from a trip to Vermont to pick up my gay son. “]

  65. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Dr. K.

    I think you know the answer to that question. Of course I don’t refer to my son as my “gay” son. It’s because of who I’m dealing with here. I am proud of him, so I don’t feel ashamed of him nor does he of himself. The reason he doesn’t feel ashamed of himself is because I accept him unconditionally. I realize just how hard it’s been on him, especially during his high school years when he felt he didn’t fit in and had to make pretend he was straight. I don’t try to talk him into changing nor do I use God to control him so his soul will be saved. I just let him be who he is. I figure I have enough to work to do regarding my own sins, which I know we all have.

  66. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Scott,

    I’m happy to hear that Joe K. is no longer a sinner. I feel sorry for him, though. Why should Joe K. spend the rest of his life alone in hopes of salvation, when, possibly, God would save him even if he did engage in a monogomous “same-sex” union? Only God knows that. Just saying….

  67. avatar Dr. K says:

    I just let him be who he is / Why should Joe K. spend the rest of his life alone in hopes of salvation, when, possibly, God would save him even if he did engage in a monogomous “same-sex” union?

    And if your son was a practicing pedophile, would you just let him be who he is?

  68. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Also, society totally accepts the fact that hetrosexual couples live together without marrying. Isn’t this the same? Isn’t this a sin? Why do you focus on homosexaulity on this blog…(Bishop Matt’s Mass for gays and lesbians) and not on hetrosexual sin? For hetrosexuals, this is a choice, so I’d agree there, they are “choosing” to ignore God’s command. What about homosexuals? They can only choose to be alone for the rest of their lives. How about people who are obese? Isn’t one of the seven deadly sins gluttony? Why don’t you people preach against them? They already have been subjected to intense scrutiny, so why not torture them more and tell them to diet?

  69. avatar Scott W. says:

    You shouldn’t feel sorry for him because later he goes on to say:

    All that said, I’ve never been happier with my life for what it’s worth, and I really appreciate your praise. And I hope I’ve made it clear that I’m not bitter because I don’t get to have sex. The only thing I’m bitter about, if I am really bitter at all, is the way the world has no place for anyone who doesn’t have an interest in what the world has become. The way you it is definitely correct: the bread the devil offers is just the post-modern western world.

    God would save him even if he did engage in a monogomous “same-sex” union? Only God knows that. Just saying….

    God can and will forgive any sin for the penitent. That is the Good News. I notice you added “monogamous” as if to suggest that this is good and that polygamous homosex is bad. On what grounds? That is, once one abandons the truth that God ordained man and women to become one flesh, then you really have no reasonable grounds for drawing the line at monogamy, or pedophilia, or bestiality or incest.

  70. avatar Scott W. says:

    Also, society totally accepts the fact that hetrosexual couples live together without marrying. Isn’t this the same? Isn’t this a sin?

    Yes. And we often say so. But you are caviling at this point. No one is being hounded out of a job for saying cohabitation is wrong. No one is being sued for refusing to cater an adulterer’s party. People are not being forced to flee the country with their children because they stopped being a lesbian. We talk about it because it is a zero-sum game. For the champions of homosex to win, Christians and anyone holding to the truth about chastity must lose and lose big.

  71. avatar Dr. K says:

    Also, society totally accepts the fact that hetrosexual couples live together without marrying. Isn’t this the same? Isn’t this a sin? Why do you focus on homosexaulity on this blog…(Bishop Matt’s Mass for gays and lesbians) and not on hetrosexual sin? For hetrosexuals, this is a choice, so I’d agree there, they are “choosing” to ignore God’s command. What about homosexuals? They can only choose to be alone for the rest of their lives. How about people who are obese? Isn’t one of the seven deadly sins gluttony? Why don’t you people preach against them? They already have been subjected to intense scrutiny, so why not torture them more and tell them to diet?

    Sally – SO WHAT? Stop playing games.

  72. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Dr. K.

    Of course I wouldn’t. Being homosexual and being a pedophile are not in the least related. Being a pedophile is a crime. Being homosexual is not. There is no comparison. So, to answer your question, if my son was a peodiphile and wouldn’t stop, I’d have to have him arrested!!! That’s ridiculous!!

  73. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Dr. K.

    I’m not playing games here. Not in the least. I don’t know what you are talking about. i sense your anger, but I really don’t understand why….

  74. avatar Dr. K says:

    Being a pedophile is a crime. Being homosexual is not. There is no comparison.

    You’re looking at it from a purely secular United States legal system perspective. Preying on children and engaging in homosexual acts are both sinful actions undeserving of our endorsement.

  75. avatar brother of penance says:

    SALLYANNE,

    I am now back from work and I notice you address me and a number of my comments. So before I enjoy reading the other comments(which I suspect do a much better job of explaining Church teaching and why many of us assert that this Diocese under the leadership of Bishop Clark teaches something other than what is authentically Catholic),I will briefly address 7 of your statements.

    “demonizing Bishop Matt”
    At the risk of being redundant, it is not a matter of demonizing. It is a matter of listening to what the Bishop says/doesn’t say, watching what he does/doesn’t do and reading what he writes/doesn’t write. By honest observation one can then assess to what degree the Bishop of Rochester consistently has interpreted and applied the Word of God regarding our controversial subject in harmony with the living teaching office of the Church? Has Bishop Clark and all of the other leaders in this Diocese taught only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully?

    Making these observations and drawing honest conclusions is not demonizing.

    “People are either homosexual or heterosexual.”
    Says who? What scientific,sociological, psychological, anthropological evidence has been gathered to make that assertion?

    “I’m amused that you would even use that as an argument:”
    SALLYANNE, amused? Are you patronizing me? And about what argument are you writing?

    I am sincerely sharing Catholic truth and you assert that my argument amuses you. Perhaps the extent of my usefulness in this dialogue has been exhausted.

    “To accept the gay life-style, gay culture, or gay political/social agenda…what the heck does that mean? We have to accept it. It’s there”
    For a number of years there has been a movement to call evil good and good evil in regards to our controversial subject.

    If people reiterate the timeless truth that same-sex sexual actions are intrinsically evil and disordered, today they are called bigots using hate speech. Yet the error that homosexuality is a gift from God and a good in and of itself has become the new truth. Calling evil good and good evil.

    Frankly, the deception by the promoters of the ‘gay-life style, gay culture and gay political/social agenda” reminds me what Sacred Scripture asserts in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-13

    The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,

    an apt commentary on the above follows:
    ‘Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
    And for this cause – Because they choose error, or their hearts love that more than they do truth. The original reason then of their embracing and adhering to the system was not an arbitrary decree on the part of God, but that they did not love the truth. Hence, he gave them up to this system of error. If a man strongly prefers error to truth, and sin to holiness, it is not wrong to allow him freely to evince his own preference’

    “accusor” (sic) accuser? Who is accusing whom of what?

    “Fact is, our sexual orientation is there at birth. Just as you were born hetrosexual/straight and he was born homosexual/gay, it is what it is.”

    Says who? SALLYANNE, until you offer me scientific proof I must continue to believe what the Church teaches……see http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/homosexuality/ho0011.html,

    compare the application of catholic sexual morality by the group Courage….http://couragerc.net

    compare at http://www.catholic.com/tracts/homosexuality

    try out the Catechism of the Catholic Church
    I. “MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM . . .”

    2331 “God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion.”

    “God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them”; He blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply”; “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.”

    “The whole argument on your part is ridiculous in my opinion”

    Again, SALLYANNE, honestly, I do not understand to what argument you are referring?
    Are you referring to the teachings of Catechism of the Catholic Church?

    What the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about Homosexuality

    2357. “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,[Cf. Gen 191-29 ; Rom 124-27 ; 1 Cor 6:10 ; 1 Tim 1:10 .] tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.'[CDF, Persona humana 8.] They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

    2358. “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. ”

    2359. “Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. ”

    2396. “Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices. ”

    In the BRONX TALE, C (Cologero)told the new mob boss, “I am going to give the bar a rest.”

    SALLYANNE, your brother of penance has little else to offer other than love Nicholas to Christ! So now, I am going to give this dialogue a rest wishing you the best regards hoping that all of us come to desire the Sovereign Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives.

    Even So, Come, Lord Jesus!

  76. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Dr. K.

    They can’t even compare. One is an abuse against an innocent child and the other is what you call a “sin” between two consenting adults. I don’t care what you say or what the Catholic Church says.

  77. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Brother of Penance,

    Says who? SALLYANNE, until you offer me scientific proof I must continue to believe what the Church teaches……see http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/homosexuality/ho0011.html,

    With all due respect, please offer me the scientific proof that what the Catholic Church teaches is correct…If not, I must continue to trust my common sense…

    “People are either homosexual or heterosexual.”
    Says who? What scientific,sociological, psychological, anthropological evidence has been gathered to make that assertion?

    Brother of Penance,

    Obviously you put much power into what the Catholic Church teaches If that is true, then you should not question Bishop Matt, no less ridicule him and make a mockery of him and allow others to do this because he was chosen by the Pope for a reason and we must respect him, not degrade him and send him prayer bouquets laced with anger, resentment, and judgement, especially because he chose to say a mass for lesbians and gays…

    People are either homosexual or heterosexual.”
    Says who? What scientific,sociological, psychological, anthropological evidence has been gathered to make that assertion?

    “To accept the gay life-style, gay culture, or gay political/social agenda…what the heck does that mean? We have to accept it. It’s there”
    For a number of years there has been a movement to call evil good and good evil in regards to our controversial subject.

    It all depends on how we perceive evil…I think you are saying that all sin is evil…or is it just homosexual sin…not sure…but I don’t see it as evil…I see murder, rape, judgement and attempting to destroy another human being’s reputation as being evil…just a difference of opinion, is all…If you can show me scripture where Jesus or God the Father says homosexuality is evil, then I’ll believe it….just men, human beings said that in the bible…I could be wrong, but please show me the scripture …

    Did Bishop Matt give those evil homosexuals communion? I dont’ think he did, but If I’m wrong, let me know. I did read that he said a mass for “them” and cried, in fact, tears coming to his eyes as he looked at his audience…also, he didn’t tell them what sinners they are…I think that’s what intelligent people should do, especially if they invite a group of people who have been subject to all kinds of abuses …they welcome them as God does….


    You’re right..I left out asexual…hmmmm sorry, my mistake…again, I am debating with people who believe what the Church teaches, so there has been no scientific, sociological, psychological, anthropological evidence given to me to base anything on…only a summary of a perception based on material read and studied by Church officials..men with a title…

    “I’m amused that you would even use that as an argument:”
    SALLYANNE, amused? Are you patronizing me? And about what argument are you writing?

    Yes I guess I am….my apology…not sure about what argument I am writing…there have been so many with so many of you…I get it mixed up at times…

  78. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    I do believe that being promiscuous is a sin. I do. However, gay people and straight people (excuse my label) can sin in this way. If you preached against promiscuity, for instance, I’d agree wtih you. The fact that you single out gay people, causes me to think and wonder why….Even if acting on the gay lifestyle is a sin, it’s still not what I’d call evil…

  79. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Dr. K says:

    August 27, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Being a pedophile is a crime. Being homosexual is not. There is no comparison.

    You’re looking at it from a purely secular United States legal system perspective. Preying on children and engaging in homosexual acts are both sinful actions undeserving of our endorsement.

    Dr. K. I still say they can’t compare. And, actually who does deserve “your” endorsement? Wow!!

  80. avatar Dr. K says:

    “I don’t care what you say or what the Catholic Church says.”

    The truth finally comes out. You have the same attitude as your second cousin, and that’s what makes him a bad bishop.

  81. avatar Scott W. says:

    “I don’t care what you say or what the Catholic Church says.”

    Well I guess we are done here then since we have come full circle and everything critical of +Clark said on this blog has been confirmed. If only people like him and others who don’t care what the Catholic Church teaches had the integrity to leave. It’s like an officer of the NAACP hanging around even though he agrees with the racial theories of David Duke.

  82. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    The Catholic Church is a religion. There are things I agree and disagree with. That doesn’t make me bad. The people that make up Cleansing Fire are very informed regarding scripture. Showing me that scripture has helped me to understand where you are coming from and your reasons for being so judgemental of not only Bishop Matt, but of everybody who sins. It’s obvious that certain sins seem to upset you more than others. That is your right. I am wondering if anybody has gone to Bishop Matt to speak with him to ask him, personally, why he believes as he does. Maybe you did this in the beginning, before you started slamming him and his reputation. Anyway, I will bow out. I was planning on doing this before Scott W. made his remark after my comment was taken out of context and posted. Your relentless persecution of others has shown me how “not” to be. I was reading an article (not sure if it was from one of your links or a link I came upon, myself) which explained that Jesus spoke in parables so that his apostles would think on their own. That makes perfect sense to me I that is what I do. If I am doing wrong, God will reveal that to me just as he will to you. Thank you for allowing me to enter your little safe corner of the world and thank you for ushering me out. Peace!

  83. avatar Dr. K says:

    I think I’ll miss her sarcasm most of all. Goodbye, Sally. Wish your cousin well on his retirement. He’ll soon have plenty of free time to reflect on the collapse of Catholicism he helped bring about in the Diocese of Rochester.

  84. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    By Anonymous (not verified) on Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    “Benedict didn’t name names, but the head of the Vatican’s social communications office, Archbishop Claudio Celli, said it was certainly correct to direct the pope’s exhortation to some conservative Catholic blogs, YouTube channels and sites which, with some vehemence, criticize bishops, public officials and policies they consider not Catholic enough.”

    One he might have named is “Cleansing Fire”. https://www.cleansingfire.org

    It’s a perfect example.

  85. avatar Dr. K says:

    “Anyway, I will bow out.”

    So much for that.

  86. avatar Scott W. says:

    There is a lesson here where earlier it was said that the difference between homosexuality and pedophilia is that one is illegal and the other is not. This is another one of those astonishing admissions that shed light on our current societal slouch towards Gomorrah. Of course people are working overtime to reduce or even effectively eliminate the age of consent. When that happens, will those who proclaimed those acts that were formally illegal then declare that this is too far and that the State was making something immoral legal? Well, there is a reason to believe they won’t. I keep coming back to the Lisa/Isabella Miller case. Here Lisa Miller got one of those same-sex union arrangements in Vermont, and had a daughter via sperm donar. She converted to Christianity and appropriately left, but her former “spouse” with no biological connection whatsoever to the daughter demanded unlimited visitation rights. In a fit of insanity in the ensuing trial, the court awarded custody to the creepy ex-lesbian lover. Lisa fled with Isabella to Virginia for a time, but seeing that the homosexual juggernaut was coming after her (they insist she was “born that way” and that means no backsliding!) still, she fled to Nicuragua where she seems to be doing well and under the (for now) protection from the fact that there isn’t a mutual aid treaty between the U.S. and Nicuragua. The have since arrested and convicted the pastor who helped her flee and he is awaiting sentencing which he is accepting in a seemly Christian fashion.

    Of course the progressives squealed “Lawbreakers!” but some of my friends pressed one of these people with some hypotheticals. Suppose the State passed a law requiring heterosexual couples to surrender their children for adoption by homosexual couples in the name of “family diversity”; would he comply with such a law? After much hemming and hawing, he confessed that he would. A little more pressing and he said he would return an escaped slave to his master under the Fugitive Slave Act because, you know, it’s the law!

    All this is to say that this is what is in store for the faithful Catholic. malum in se doesn’t exist. Everything is malum prohibitum. 2000 years ago Pilate asked the Jews if they wanted him to crucify their king and they responded “we have no king but Caesar.” In the future, when a good bishop of Our Lord enters the gallows the cry will go up, “We have no god but Caesar!”

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