Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

How low can the NCReporter go? (or 10 years of fake Catholics and fake priests)

December 3rd, 2011, Promulgated by b a

The NCR’s poster parish has an article written about them [my comments in red]

Ten years later, controversial New York church still thrives [yes, that “church”]

Ten years after her historic [fake] ordination, Mary Ramerman rarely makes it into the papers anymore [the thrill of being a rebel only lasts so long]. Watching her minister as a [fake] priest today, it may be hard to believe that she was at the center of a highly publicized, painful battle between the diocese of Rochester, N.Y., [and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger] and the parish then known as Corpus Christi [I believe it’s clustered now, but the Roman Catholic Church still bears that name, does it not?] in the late 1990s.

Back then, Corpus Christi was a Roman Catholic parish on the fringe. Led by Fr. Jim Callan, a charismatic priest with a radical commitment to the poor and marginalized [and also a hatred of the rich and any system that allows for people to be rich.  aka – Occupy Wall Street], the church was known for taking risks [Certainly the corporal work they do for the poor is a good thing – no one will argue that.  It should be noted that there are many people and organizations within the Catholic Church right here in Rochester that do amazing work for the poor as well.  It’s not like Spiritus has a monopoly on helping the poor.].

They invited everyone to Communion, they blessed the unions of gay and lesbian couples (though never on diocesan property) and they allowed Mary Ramerman, the parish’s lay associate pastor, to preach and to stand with Callan at the altar during the Eucharistic prayer. Eventually, she was also invited to raise the chalice during the consecration. [in other words, they stopped being Catholic]

“I have found it so immensely freeing to not have to hang on to that mode of thinking that says, ‘We are Catholic, you are not Catholic,'” [if you don’t care whether or not you are inline with Catholic teaching, then you are not a Catholic] Ramerman told me in an interview earlier this week. “When I became free of that system, it opened up such a greater understanding of God and the people around me.”

Ramerman says, “In the structure of the church, the sacraments are very important to what a [real] priest does, and I’ve found that’s even more important than I thought it would be.”

“I think I’ve grown in my understanding of the role of the [fake] priest,” Ramerman reflects. “Fundamentally, my role is to love people and to [trick people into thinking I have the authority to] forgive people. I don’t think there is anything more powerful than when I do that [there certainly is a spiritual power at work here]. And if I don’t do that well, it is harmful to people. They need to know that they are loved and they need to know that they are forgiven.” [only God and those He gives authority to are capable of forgiving sins.]

Ramerman admits that Spiritus is sometimes criticized for being too traditional. [this is when it’s starts getting funny]

“They ask me, ‘Why do you wear an alb?’ or ‘Why do you allow people to call you reverend?'” she said. “Given our size, we can grow quickly in terms of preaching or social action, but other areas, like changing these traditions, have to move a lot more slowly.”

Spiritus currently has 1,500 active parishioners, including 250 families, with 1,100 people attending one of the parish’s three weekend Masses every week. They are the largest non-Roman Catholic-identifying congregation in the country. [got that?  This is somewhat misleading.  They aren’t the largest non-Roman Catholic congregations in the country – they are the largest fake-Catholic congregation in the country.]

This is part one of a two-part series. The next part will be published Wednesday, Dec. 7. [we’ll be waiting]

This story is just so sad all around.  I’m not sure what’s more sad:

1) The fact that a publication can identify itself as Catholic and publish an article like this without explicitly stating that this church is not Catholic and this woman is not a priest.  Will any bishops come out and explicitly condemn this publication?

2) The fact that many souls are being led astray.  Quite honestly, though, I’m not sure how many of these souls weren’t already lost.  Remember, many of them weren’t Catholic to begin with.

3) The fact that it’s possible that Fr. Callan’s masses are valid and thus the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Our Lord is defiled on frequent occasions.


13 Responses to “How low can the NCReporter go? (or 10 years of fake Catholics and fake priests)”

  1. Bernie says:

    “They ask me, ‘Why do you wear an alb?’ or ‘Why do you allow people to call you reverend?’” she said.

    Well, Mary, when some have decided you just aren’t changing fast enough for them, they will splinter off in protest and start yet another sect, and some will splinter off from that one, and so on. That’s the way it is for those who are not Catholic.

    Be honest, Mary, it’s really all about you, isn’t it?

  2. snowshoes says:

    Thank you, Ben, excellent analysis. A renewed prayer intention that through the miracle of Christmas, they will all recant and return to the One Church of Christ. St. Francis Xavier, Missionary to the Nations, pray for us.

  3. A Catholic says:

    Thank you Ben for posting this article. Let’s hope that when we finally get a new bishop, he will make a point of inviting back into the Catholic Church those that have wandered away to Spiritus. I can’t recall hearing or seeing anything about a formal attempt by the Diocese of Rochester these last ten years to help these people come back. I know of at least one person who has returned, so I’m hopeful that there are others. People going to Spiritus are accepting a cheap, tinsel imitation of the real gift that the Catholic Faith given to us by Jesus offers: salvation.

  4. Ben Anderson says:

    I can’t recall hearing or seeing anything about a formal attempt by the Diocese of Rochester these last ten years to help these people come back.

    unfortunately the people in charge of the DOR seem to be the 2nd kind of Catholic (as defined by Fr. Callan).

    2) working to build a more just and equal church within the instituation in the hopes of changing it (such as a Call to Action movement, FutureChurch, Priests for Equality, and Corpus Christi

    In other words they are secret cheerleaders for Spiritus while working to change the authentic Church from within (an impossible task with dire consequences).

  5. Rich Leonardi says:

    Let’s also be clear that this was not a “battle” between the diocese and Fr. Callan. The DOR was perfectly content to let his scandalous disobedience continue ad infinitum. It was only when Cardinal Ratzinger and CDF forced his hand that Clark intervened.

  6. JLo says:

    Further to Rich’s posting: when I was a member of a ministry in Irondequoit that serves at senior facilities (Communion services for homebound, but actually goes to some places where people are not at all building-bound, but drive cars!), a woman volunteered the information to me that she was a member of Spiritus, saying she liked it because it welcomed everyone and anyone and judged no one. I told her that since she was not Catholic, she should not present herself to receive the Eucharist the next time we had a service.

    The lady phoned Buffalo Road and spoke to a priest there. The priest called the leader of the Irondequoit ministry, and that leader called me and told me I must not withhold the Eucharist from that woman. I asked “Do you mean that I am to give the Eucharist to a person who has volunteered to me that she is not Catholic?” “Yep”, said the leader. I further asked, “Did this instruction actually come from a priest at the chancellery?” “Yep”, said the leader. Farewell, said I.


  7. md0852 says:

    Some good news is that this group is closing it’s second hand store on State st. New unto others , their consignment shop, will be closing on 12/17. That’s what the sign in the window said. Maybe this is what NCReporter defines as “thriving”…..

  8. A Catholic says:

    Ben & JLo- So it looks like the DOR is not doing anything to help bring the Spiritus people back but is perhaps doing the opposite. How sad.

  9. Hopefull says:

    About 5 years ago I spoke to Doug Mandelaro and asked him to please take some action on the awful situation of having Spiritus Christi listed with all the other Catholic Churches in the yellow pages. My concern was that when Catholics (true, faithful Catholics) come to Rochester, and are looking for a place to go to Sunday Mass, they will find Spiritus Christi in the yellow pages and have no indication at all that they are schismatic, that the priest is excommunicated, and that the woman behind the altar magically turns bread into bread. Hence, when they receive that bread they risk idolatry and more. At least, I thought, the Diocese might take a role in protecting the unwary. The easiest approach (although not the only one) would be to withdraw all the diocesan churches from the “Catholic” listing and combine them under Roman Catholic (i.e. in communion with Rome) and have a listing under “Catholic” of “See also Roman Catholic.” Doug said he’d look into it, but nothing ever happened. I have to think that if the diocese had wanted something to happen, it would have happened.

  10. Raymond F. Rice says:

    Dear A Catholic says: Ben & JLo- So it looks like the DOR is not doing anything to help bring the Spiritus people back but is perhaps doing the opposite. How sad.

    You should have put a period after the word “anything” and left the rest blank.

  11. Interstate Catholic says:

    Spiritus Christi began with charismatic Jim.
    It will end with charismatic Jim.

  12. Raymond F. Rice says:

    A few years ago the D and C started to publish a free magazine called, I think, “Insider”. There was a cartoon in the 3rd or 4th issue which blasted organized religion. A bizarre character in the cartoon uttered the word, ” Praise the Father, Praise the Son, and praise the Holly Fuggin Spirit.

    I called the diocese to complain and they did nothing. A few days later, I called again and the person I spoke to said he forgot about it until he was leaving a Wegmans and saw the copy.He did nothing about it. I personally complained to the D and C and Wegmans and they said the writer was disciplined and the cartoonist dropped. I was disappointed with the Diocese because they didn’t do anything about God the Holy Spirit being called “fuggin”.

    Don’t expect anything from the diocese if it involves even a legitimate confrontation. All they know how to do is “bully” the compliant.

  13. Hopefull says:

    A dose of reality for our friends who don’t seem to understand that there is a problem:

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