Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Septuagenarian Bieber: Bishop Clark and his Backup Dancers

September 27th, 2011, Promulgated by Abaccio

Do you ever take time to check out the social media outlets of Diocesan affiliates?  The septuagenarians who run this Diocese have realized that young people are far more likely to notice something on Facebook than elsewhere.  You can find many interesting things on Facebook.  For instance, check out the Facebook Page of St Francis-St Stephen School in Geneva, NY.  You will encounter not one, not two, but TWELVE albums containing non-liturgical events and/or slews of children in the Sanctuary for non-liturgical purposes in one of the two churches.  Graduations, Concerts, para-liturgical events, you name it.  But of course, this is not about the school’s misuse of the Church when they have a parish center, gymnasium with a stage, and a cafeteria with a stage all at their disposal.  No, this is about something we’ve all seen before.  No, really, we’ve seen EXACTLY this before.  Welcome to this year’s reprise of the offertory sign language liturgical…performance?

As you can clearly see,  this is being done DURING the Mass, extending throughout the Offertory (notice the cruets appear partway through the dance), as a PERFORMANCE.  This is not Catholic.  This is not appropriate.  This is, once again, using children to push an agenda, yet another instance of an inappropriate performance in the Sanctuary.  Just like we saw here and here and here and here and here and here and here.  Oh yeah, and here and here and here and here.  Dare I say that I see a pattern?

Without further ado,






































People invent new rituals when they fail to understand the ones they already have.  If the adults who encourage this sort of behavior understood the Mass (at least, as far as we can understand it), this would not happen. EVER.  They are passing down to the children a grossly distorted understanding of the Mass;  “Thanks for coming today, folks, we’ve got a great show for you, and hopefully you are entertained enough to come back occasionally!”  The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not a talent show.  Full, conscious, active participation in the Mass means PRAYING the Mass.  This is full, conscious, active participation in something else entirely.

With every liturgical innovation, we must ask ourselves: Is this drawing me to Christ? To Calvary? More deeply into the Mass itself?  Am I aiding or taking away from what is about to happen on the Altar of Sacrifice?  Is this edifying?  Without fail, the answer is no.  It is infuriating and it is distracting.   When they are raised to think that Mass is about something other than sacrifice and eternal salvation, they realize they can get it, often times better, somewhere else: fellowship, a meal, ethics, pop music, dance, the list goes on and on.

Almost to a one, these Catholic children fall away from the Church once they reach High School or College. Just look at the history. In 32 years of Bishop Clark, we have closed 50 of our 72 Catholic Grammar Schools.  The average age of mothers at birth is approximately 30.  Grammar school children average about 10 years of age.  This means that their parents are around 40, give or take (and often younger).  This means that the average parent of the average Catholic School student was 8 years old when Bishop Clark took office. There are so many fewer Catholic School students today precisely because the generation that their parents comprise either 1) did not have children, 2) fell away, or 3) do not see value in a DoR education.  Seeing these shenanigans again and again and again, I am not surprised.  If the Church is turned into a performance hall and schools stress academic excellence instead of discipleship, why should we expect anything else?

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9 Responses to “Septuagenarian Bieber: Bishop Clark and his Backup Dancers”

  1. Dr. K says:

    The only liturgical dance I would ever support would be a farewell dance for Bishop Clark. Perhaps this is it.

    Go back to Albany.

  2. Susan of Corning says:

    “In 32 years of Bishop Clark, we have closed 50 of our 72 Catholic Grammar Schools.”

    This is simply stunning. I was an 8-year-old at Corning Catholic School North when Bishop Clark took office. The school is closed (merged with another which is struggling), and we’re fighting to keep the church (St. Vincent de Paul’s) open. And the CMA allocation for Catholic schools is $146,860, down from $301,173 last year.

  3. militia says:

    Please send this to Rome in advance of Bishop Clark’s ad limina visit, so he and the Holy Father will have something to talk about.

  4. Richard Thomas says:

    I guess he is true to his words. Didn’t he state that Catholic schools were irrelevent in today’s world?

  5. Nerina says:

    Preach it, Abaccio! I have nothing to add to this passionate and honest commentary. Our children are being denied their liturgical heritage in addition to being denied their right to an authentic Catholic education.

  6. Dr. K says:

    “Please send this to Rome in advance of Bishop Clark’s ad limina visit, so he and the Holy Father will have something to talk about.”

    I think there’s already 30+ years of things to talk about, but sure, more is better! 🙂

  7. brother of penance says:

    “…they are raised to think that Mass is about something other than sacrifice and eternal salvation…”

    I make the above assertion because we do not see any evidence that the faithful are being evangelized and catechized by THE WORD OF THE LORD.
    * How often do homilists at mass make specific connections between the Scriptures proclaimed and the Altar’s Sacrament?
    * How often do homilists emphasize the Cross of Calvary and the Sacrifice of the Mass for the salvation of sinners?
    * How often do the faithful of any age articulate with devotion and understanding the essence of the Gospel, Christ Crucified and Risen for the Salvation of the World?
    * In sharing faith and inviting inquirers to perceive the means of grace in the Catholic Church, how often do our brother and sister Catholics utilize, recite or explain the Eucharistic Prayers of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite?

    Are the faithful hard hearted without eyes to see, ears to hear and understanding hearts?
    Their pastors and catechists do not proclaim and teach Jesus Christ Crucified and Risen for eternal salvation.
    Perhaps the children’s teachers believe everyone is already saved; everyone will end up in heaven and that there is no hell; and if there is a hell, no one is going to it.

    And if we haven’t already been convinced, it needs repeating. Those who teach the children to dance around the altar of sacrifice despise the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

    Those who are derelict in their solemn obligation to preach and teach Jesus Christ, the Only Savior of the world, would do themselves a great service by reading and praying the Roman Canon, the Eucharistic Prayers and the New Testament of Sacred Scripture.

  8. Raymond F. Rice says:

    The biggest thing that has been lost with the present generation and in particular with the child, is the sense of mystery in the human being and in God ( THE MASS) and our relationship with Him. Children need mystery in their lives and if they do not get it in their religion/spirituality, they will turn to sources like Harry Potter or and exaggerated emphasis on halloween.

    And as Edith Ann used to say on Laugh In, “that’s the whole truth”.

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