Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

re: Valid Matter

March 1st, 2012, Promulgated by b a

This past Saturday I attended St. Mary’s to fulfill my Sunday obligation. I went for the purpose of seeing if they were still using the matter that Monk posted about a week or so ago. The answer is, yes, they are still baking their own bread. However, the matter I observed was white (no color) and tasteless (just wheat and water from what I could tell). This was in contrast to the color shown in the pic that Monk posted. My guess is that perhaps the recipe is different now. I wanted to clear up this story to say that whatever is being used now at St. Mary’s would appear to be licit and thus valid.

That’s not to say there weren’t issues with the mass. However, I will note that it was more reverent than I would’ve guessed. Anne-Marie Brogan (God bless her accent) was also much more prominent than I would’ve guessed. She leaves absolutely no doubt about who runs the show. She did the introduction, the homily (after a few brief words by Fr. Kennedy), was a bystander during the entire celebration, did the closing, etc. There is absolutely no doubt that this is not only her parish, but it is her mass.

(Click here to read CF staffers DrK and Diane Harris tackle the problem of Bishop Clark’s lay parallel hierarchy in their reviews of his book “Forward in Hope”)

To conclude, while I think it’s legitimate to hold an opinion that this type of bread poses a problem because of all the crumbs, it is allowable and thus we should not condemn its use. I’ll note as well that Fr. Kennedy went out of his way to care for the crumbs (as he should) – even tracking down on altar server who was walking away from him to brush his hands (which were apparently crumby) into one of the dishes. It seemed to me from simple observation that receiving this type of bread in the hand might leave crumbs in parishioners hands, but I can’t say for sure because I didn’t have that experience. I’d also suggest they reconsider their use of glass vessels.


43 Responses to “re: Valid Matter”

  1. Hopefull says:

    Great and fair “look-see”!

    If they’re going to have crumbly Eucharist, they at least ought to use patens. How could people possibly receive in the hand and have no errant crumbs…. That even happens with the fractionated “priest’s host.” I hate even using the word crumbs because we are talking about the Divine Presence. Why is it even necessary to bake bread? It seems like something prideful. And I hope “bread-pride” doesn’t catch on further in the diocese.

    I don’t think licit and valid are synonymous either.

    The darker color of the earlier bread may have been rye or some flour other than wheat; not necessarily other ingredients. Of course, the host must be wheat.

    And Brogan has no business preaching, even with an intro by a priest. But that is the whole pastoral admin problem. My perception is that a single abuse hardly ever happens in isolation …. abuses set the whole mindset for more abuses. One abuse in isolation is a “mistake.” Multiple abuses are willfullness. Ultimately it is the Bishop’s responsibility …. Wonder what the new bishop will do?

  2. snowshoes says:


    Thank you. Did you ask about the recipe used for the altar breads? I agree with Hopefull, even if it is valid matter, crumbly consecrated Hosts should not be distributed in the hand, and patens should be used. What you describe is a very serious abuse.

    At St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, the priest distributes the cube of consecrated leavened bread, intincted in the Precious blood, directly into the mouth of the communicant. The deacon and an altar boy hold a cloth under the chalice and the communicant’s chin to ensure that any crumbs fall into the cloth. This is a reverent practice.

    I also agree with Hopefull about the serious abuse of laymen preaching. No confirmed Catholic should sit in a Mass when such a horrific sin begins to occur. Would you sit there quietly if the priest celebrant were to begin abusing a child on the altar? That is what is happening when he permits lay preaching. It is a mortal sin for him to permit it. He is committing this sin on you! We become accomplices in the sin if we just sit there like bumps on a log. Walk out, or better yet, take exception to the sin and politely insist that it stop, and don’t cede your ground until the police come to arrest you. And of course, write your letters up the chain to Rome.

    I don’t mean to offend, just painting the picture. If we all did this, the abuse would stop, because it would get press. I have gotten negative reactions from the celebrant when I walked out, but the abuse stopped. Let’s all give up laymen’s homilies for Lent! God bless you.

  3. Dan Riley says:

    Thank you Cleansing Fire for exposing these so-called women who want to become Priests. All of the blame has to go to Bishop Clark for leading these women down a dead end road.

    Deep down in these women’s hearts, they know that they are wrong. They are not honest enough to admit it to you or to God. These women know where the door is. They can leave the Catholic Church at any time and join another religion that allows women priests.

    Sadly, the Mass for these women is just like being an actress in a play each weekend. For being a good actress, they are rewarded with a good paying parish job and benefits.

    Only in the Diocese of Rochester, women want to be men.

  4. Kelly says:

    This is just so absolutely foreign to me. I cannot comprehend that this happens so close to me, yet CF is the only way for me to hear about it. As I have noted before, I belong to the Diocese of Buffalo. When considering the complaints I hear from others here(Father scheduled stations too early, too late, in the wrong building, he forgot a line from the new Missal)and the weight of grave problems in the DOR (Priestesses parading around giving homilies, Eucharistic bread being baked and the potential desecration of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, etc.), there is no comparison. Two of my most popular blog entries receiving a lot of hits are about the outlandish nonsense taking place in the DOR. People who do not attend Mass in the DOR have absolutely no idea how grave the situation is. It is no wonder people drive 40 minutes to attend Mass at our parish. If I didn’t know better, I would think that Nancy Pelosi was your Bishop. The DOR, as always, is on my prayer list. I agree with ‘snowshoes’ – instead of sitting there, go find an actual Mass. If you were to die tomorrow, would you want that sort of offensive pageant to be the last Mass you ever attended? Yikes.

  5. JLo says:

    St. Mary’s isn’t the only parish which uses glass for the Precious Blood… so does St. John’s in Spencerport, and their pastor sometimes goes to the piano and plays it while EMHCs distribute the Eucharist!! Amazing stuff in Rochester, to be sure.

    What blogs are you viewing, Kelly? +JMJ

  6. Kelly says:

    @JLo, I’m sorry I wasn’t clear. I was talking about my blog which you’ll be taken to if you click on my name. I have posted several entries over the years and the two about the DOR that receive the most attention are the posts on Fr. Richard Hunt, and the DOR History from 1979-Present.

  7. Richard Thomas says:

    In Syracuse, a priest uses a wicker basket instead of a patten. And any say mass wearing an alb without the other garments.

  8. militia says:

    St. Louis in Pittsford uses glasses, has a whole closet full. What disturbs me even more when I have gone there is that I have been told (but EEM’s hesitate to confirm) that the sink goes directly to the sewer (i.e. that there is no sacrarium). One EEM said she had no idea. But EEM’s run out before the end of Mass, and rinse the glasses. But the Church does not allow the laity to cleanse the Communion cups, and given the speed of rinsing and return to the pew, it hardly seems that they can be purifying the “sacred” vessels. I am very bothered by this, and just want to say that not all the Eucharistic abuse happens within site of the congregation. Does anyone know what the situation actually is at St. Louis? Is there a sacrarium, or not? Or is Sacred Blood being poured into the sewer?

    Also, while glass vessels are absolutely wrong, so too are ceramic vessels, and that includes priests who consecrate in a ceramic chalice. It is my understanding that chalices must be at least lined with a precious metal.

  9. Bruce says:

    Any time she spoke, I would either get up and leave with my entire family, loudly, or get up and read the rubrics of the Mass condemning her behavior, until she sat down or left.

  10. Raymond F. Rice says:

    Did you receive any spiritual benefits or observe any spiritual benefits being received in others while you were attending St Mary’s or was your day of “obligation” just a monitoring visit to verify their compliance with Vatican directives?

    AS far as the homilies or sermons go, I would rather receive an illicit file’ mignon that is good rather than a clergy generated marshmallow that gives you nothing and only stimulates your gag reflex!

    The people on cleansing fire,
    are full of anger and ire,
    They hate to see glasses, at any of the Masses,
    And can’t wait to see Clark retire!!

    PS: the authentic recipe for the Last Supper bread was given to St Luke by the BVM and passed on. Only the Carmelites on Jefferson Road have it now!!

  11. Ink says:

    This has actually seemed like a pretty civil conversation to me. Our primary concern here is the respect for the Eucharist–the “source and summit of our Christian faith,” according to the Catechism. Just a little important.

    Plus, implying that clergy can’t write a good homily but a layperson can… the priest has to deliver the homily. Having someone else author it, that I don’t know the rules of, but it’s not like anyone could tell anyway. Where I’m currently attending Mass, it is reverent, a priest always says the homily, sometimes the music is really good (usually it’s just okay–oh I’m spoiled), and so on–and it is regularly completely packed.

    Where in Syracuse are you attending Mass? I’ve been around there a few times and never seen anything of that sort…

  12. Richard Thomas says:


    It’s actually east of Syracuse so your travels probably do not involve these places.

  13. Richard Thomas says:


    I see a glass chalice and immediately think: “Cheap”. Jesus is in there. Why not give Him the respect he deserves. A glass goblety implies everyday tablewear, and not the special event the MASS represents.

    Perhaps you are on board with all the bishop has done over 30 years. If not, he has done a good job at destroying Catholic identity. You cannot argue that he has driven countless numbers of people out of the church.

    People have lost their faith. He promoted sinful behavior, concerning homosexuality, birth control and a host of other issues.

    Can HOLY anger be justified. Jesus became angry when he encountered the money changers in the temple. Wht are not the people on this blog allowed anger for seeing how the Church, they love, has been so trashed. And this is done as an obsdervation, not in anger.

    And about homilies. It is not a feel good emotion with someone preaching. It is the grace, given to the people, through the preaching of the priest that counts. Lay people cannot impart this grace. If, however, a priest gives a bad homily, there is no grace, but laypeople cannot impart grace, as a priest is able to give, through Christ.

  14. Raymond F. Rice says:

    There are a number of ways to get the information that you feel that you need as custodians of morals, doctrine, and tradition. However it does not enhance anyone’s credibility with the rest of the faithful and the hierarchy in Rome if the blog comes across as a center for the activities of a ” Catholic Taliban”. Was anything really positive and not just negative or neutral found at ST Mary’s. If there were positive aspects, what were they?

    No matter what our new bishop does, for some people on here, if they disagree with him on any point, will attack and condemn him.

  15. Diane Harris says:


    I am glad you post on CF, and I hope these comments don’t impede your continuing to post. And I also know you a little bit, and the way you come across on your posts is not whom I have come to believe you are. So I think it is time to say something, and say it here because it involves so many other people, and your judgements of them.

    There are a number of the people who regularly post here whom I also know, and Catholic Taliban they are not. How you can compare those with true and deep caring for life and respect for Christ’s Church with the actions of terrorists, I can’t imagine. But I have more to add on the offensive terrorism comparison:

    For background, I questioned my prior pastor, Fr. Ring, about a serious and consistent liturgical deviation he followed, and I asked him why he refuses to add a piece of the consecrated host to the Precious Blood. His answer? “Because it looks disgusting!” I must have looked shocked. The Sacred Body and Blood of Jesus Christ? Disgusting? Then he said: “Do you know what the difference is between a liturgist and a terrorist?” When I looked confused he replied: “You can negotiate with a terrorist.” I was again appalled.

    When I mentioned this along with a number of other complaints to the Chancellor, Fr. Condon, back in 2007,Fr. Condon chuckled. Get the point? But after that, for a while, when I was at Mass, Fr. Ring began to drop a very tiny piece of host into the Precious Blood. Maybe Fr. Condon or someone else did intervene? Other parishioners reported he did not do so in other OLOL churches. Some didn’t know what I was asking about. I don’t know what he did elsewhere, nor do I know if he complies with the rubrics now. But my point is that linking liturgical faithfulness to terrorism is apparently not new in this diocese, and it is very offensive.

    Your comments seem targeted at the blog, not at specific individuals, and I want to make a point which you and maybe a few others have not seemed to notice. The names in yellow before a comment are CF staff. The ones in white are other registered commenters. The person who authors the story has the ability to edit or delete comments (and the administrator as well) but it rarely happens. I have found people extremely generous in allowing dialogue. Each member of staff wouldn’t draw the line in the same place either, yet I believe there is mutual respect as to where the line gets drawn by each. And if we err, it is probably on the side of tolerating too much rather than heavy handed expurgation. They don’t tend to make blanket judgements like you did:

    “No matter what our new bishop does, for some people on here, if they disagree with him on any point, will attack and condemn him.”

    That assumes the entire purpose here is to attack and condemn, when it really is to speak the truth and be faithful to church teaching, and to Jesus. If we are ashamed of Him (and don’t speak up for Him and His Church), He will be ashamed of us before the Father, says Scripture.

    Raymond, it is not a joke and all your “lol’s” don’t make it a joke. I am going to “out” you now — hold your breath — as being a faithful Mass goer, as being somewhat of an expert on the saints, as admiring a former bishop who held the line against even mild jokes on religious subjects, as being moved by Fr. Barron’s Catechism series, as being a student of scripture and very devoted to St. Francis and the Franciscans ….just for starters.

    I believe you have much knowledge and caring to bring to the dialogue against liturgical abuse and for the defense of church doctrine. And to be the example you want others to be on this site. I am grateful to know you, and I just want others on this site to know the “Real Raymond.”

    Let’s all pray for each other, shall we? The world we are going into will be even more difficult.

  16. Bruce says:

    I would say, with utmost certainty, that nearly all martyrs would be referred to as “Catholic Taliban” today. And if that is the case, count me in. I would rather be a mullah of the Catholic Taliban than a grand marshall of the homosexual pride parade.

  17. Ben Anderson says:

    I’ll pose a question to you (I have another outstanding question to you which you haven’t answered):

    The people on cleansing fire, are full of anger and ire,

    If this is directed at me personally, I would like to know how you know my inner feelings? I can’t imagine it came across in the purely objective words I wrote in this post. Do you have some special powers that we should know about?

    #2 You seem not to care whether valid matter is used. Monk’s post called into serious question whether the matter was licit, and thus whether it was valid. Are you saying this isn’t a big deal that people might be unknowingly kneeling and worshiping a piece of bread which they mistakenly think is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ (a violation of the first commandment)?
    This hearkens back to a previous post which also drew much ire (see here)

    If we don’t care about the validity of the sacraments, then why are we Catholic? Instead we expose ourselves as phonies who don’t really believe those silly old doctrines. It doesn’t matter what we say with our mouths if our worship doesn’t reflect our doctrines. The whole thing is exposed as a nod-nod-wink-wink, “sure, we believe that’s really Jesus'”

    Somehow based on your other comments (as Diane’s above) I doubt you fall into that category.

    #2b and if the matter is valid (as I observed) and it was truly Our Lord, then do you not care that He is scattered all over the floor? Does that show respect to Our Lord? Does that show to the children that we truly believe he is present in the form of bread?

  18. Ben Anderson says:

    one more note on the prominence of AMB and Raymond’s making light of “Vatican directives”… again, I’d say what kind of Catholic is it that decides for themselves which rules to obey and disobey? Even if you feel that lay homilies are perfectly fine, the fact remains that they are clearly forbidden. Do we or do we not have proper authority in our Church? If you deny that, then why are we Catholic? Why not just be protestant?

  19. Bruce says:

    Well said, Ben, and great question!

    Whenever “catholics” disregard Church teachings and practice, it is a clear slap in the face for the many who fought so hard and died for the Catholic faith – and many still are and do today.

    People like that should be so lucky to be in the DoR and not in Iraq, where going to Mass means being shot at or blown up.

  20. Richard Thomas says:

    That’s the crux of the argument. People are allowed to promote, perform and advocate all these actions that are called dissent and are given a free pass. But when people who oppose these actions and views make their thoughts known, they are called hateful and judgmental.

    Why is it that only the heretics have a free pass.

    The other thought is that although this bishop hypocritically talks of dialogue when discussing actions on the local level, we ALL MUST admit that for over 30 years, it’s been his way or the highway. And those opposing him have been punished, disbanded and/ or simply regarded as having no choice or voice.

  21. Dr. K says:

    “I would rather be a mullah of the Catholic Taliban than a grand marshall of the homosexual pride parade.”

    Love that quote.

  22. Jim says:

    Ben, you mention that people might be unknowingly kneeling and worshiping a piece of bread, instead of the Body of Christ, because of the question of being licit. Although I don’t agree with making Communion bread out of cookie dough, or some other goofy confection, I heard many years ago, that if the priest consecrates the elements on the altar, with the intention of confecting the Eucharist, then they do become the Body and Blood of Christ, regardless of the recipe…as long as the elements used are considered to be made out of “bread.” This used to drive me crazy, as on Holy Thursday nights, some church repositories had a loaf of Italian bread on the altar, with a bunch of grapes, as a replacement for the Eucharistic Monstrance use for adoration. But, we were told, they were still the Eucharist. This was back in the 1970’s when I was in Becket Hall.

  23. Diane Harris says:

    About 8 years ago I walked out of St. Rita’s on Holy Thursday evening about one minute after I arrived. It was the loaf of bread. There was no way to know if that was Jesus, or just Grandma’s loaf. Rather than be torn in conscience –it is! — no, it isn’t! — yes, it is! I thought leaving was best.

    Yes, the priest has to have the intention in order to confect the Eucharist, but the elements must be licit too. No pizza, pepsi, or cheetos….may God have mercy on those who taught the flock differently out of their own egos.

  24. Jim says:

    Diane, I can identify with your dilemma: it is really Jesus or not?? Unfortunately, there are many churches in many dioceses throughout the world that don’t use the proper confection of elements for the Eucharist. (Hopefully not pizza, pepsi, or cheetos) I believe, though, that if the elements used are not licit, and therefore not properly confected into the Holy Eucharist, that Jesus will still be present to these Mass attendants, in some form, if not in the Real Presence. The priest, not the people, would be responsible for that situation. The people would be believing in their hearts that they are still receiving the Eucharist.

  25. Ben Anderson says:

    if the priest consecrates the elements on the altar, with the intention of confecting the Eucharist,

    from what I read, assuming it’s wheat bread and doesn’t have too much of non-wheat/water ingredients. How much until it becomes invalid is obviously a debatable subject.

    The people would be believing in their hearts that they are still receiving the Eucharist.

    Sure, but they wouldn’t receive the same graces had it actually been the Eucharist.

  26. Diane Harris says:

    This is from Redemptionis Sacramentum:

    The Matter of the Most Holy Eucharist (Sections 48 and 50)

    48. The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition. It follows therefore that bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, or if it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament. It is a grave abuse to introduce other substances, such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist. Hosts should obviously be made by those who are not only distinguished by their integrity, but also skilled in making them and furnished with suitable tools.

    50. The wine that is used in the most sacred celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice must be natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances. During the celebration itself, a small quantity of water is to be mixed with it. Great care should be taken so that the wine intended for the celebration of the Eucharist is well conserved and has not soured. It is altogether forbidden to use wine of doubtful authenticity or provenance, for the Church requires certainty regarding the conditions necessary for the validity of the sacraments. Nor are other drinks of any kind to be admitted for any reason, as they do not constitute valid matter.

    Jim, I’d like to clarify that the reason I left St. Rita’s so quickly was because I did not know if the bread had actually been consecrated or was a prop for mediation(I did not attend Mass there that evening, but elsewhere.) I wasn’t actually thinking about the ingredients at the time!

    The important distinction I believe is between licit and valid. Illicit, for example,would include a bit of sugar. Definitely against the rules, and a disobedience of the priest which puts his flock at risk of scandal, but the priest could still be confecting a valid Eucharist (truly the Body of Christ.) While the burden of using illicit matter is on the priest, I must add that I personally believe if one regularly attends a Mass with a priest who uses illicit matter, and the lay person knows it is illicit, it seems to me that it would be better not to participate in an on-going abuse. And it IS an abuse of the Eucharist.

    When the matter no longer looks like bread, but more like cake or cookies, it is likely to be invalid matter, and an invalid Eucharist (NOT the Body of Christ). Similarly, too much water with the wine might be illicit, but apple wine would be invalid. Sometimes it is difficult to tell where the line is. I attended one church where the priest changed the words of consecration to avoid his “in persona Christi” role; he would say something like “Christ said” repeatedly. I really do hate having to challenge any priest but I felt I had to at least tell him I noticed he had changed the words and I asked about “in persona Christi.” He was very angry with me and snapped: “In Persona Christi is something made up because of the women who want to be priests.” That was the last Mass I ever attended with him. Lack of faithfulness to the words of consecration seems to me to be a cause for concern. Two priests from whom I’d sought advice agreed when I talked over with them my dismay.

    Jim, I do believe that Jesus can do whatever pleases Him (He will show mercy where He chooses to show mercy) but he also has promised to honor what the Church binds on earth. If I saw something invalid, or seriously illicit, I would try to receive under the other species, but I wouldn’t make a habit of going to that church. Having said this, we don’t have to “patrol” for errors, and simple human errors like stumbling over the words of consecration (in the new Missal especially) are not cause for concern. The graces of the Church supplies for these needs. Some prisets have expressed to me that noticing and asking about something amiss is tantamount to an insurrection, or as if we are waiting to pounce. I don’t think they understand how what is illicit seems to leap out right into our faces, and the pain into our hearts of whatever treats the Holy Eucharist with any measure of disrespect. We certainly don’t have to hunt it out, for abuse to find us.

  27. Jim says:

    Thanks, Diane for doing your homework. As we discussed here, there are probably MANY churches that have a sort of concoction of sugars and “chewy-ness” for the Eucharist, and not the licit elements. Sadly, this is rarely discussed with the folks in the pews, so they are clueless about what they are receiving. I agree with your views, too, Ben, although I wouldn’t venture to say what graces people do or don’t receive in this situation, if they receive in ignorance. We can’t know God’s mercy, and the extent of it.

  28. Eliza10 says:

    Thanks you for correcting Raymond Rice who really needed it. He made an erroneous judgement, and an ugly one at that…

    Its seems childish and cloyingly self-conscious for St. Mary’s to use “unique!” homestyle chunky, crumbly bread, risking abuse of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. It if is licit. I hope. And the use of glasses for the Holy Eucharist is certainly too casual – but so very typical of the DoR!

    However, its a step-up from the depths I experienced a few years back at St. Mary’s in Canandaigua. Glazed pottery with stained broken cracks in it! Bacteria could grow in the cracks and infect the Precious Blood. If the health department saw what was being used they would have insisted they be thrown out immediately!

  29. snowshoes says:

    Thank you very much Diane for your excellent analysis of the issues and also for placing them in their proper context. I always learn a great deal from you. I second your wise advice for dealing with errors and abuses, charitably and courageously, when we see them, esp at Mass.
    I also pray that priests would welcome our addressing of issues with charity. God bless you.

  30. Richard Thomas says:

    We must remember that most people going to these masses with “Wonder bread” being used, do not know this is illicit. They believe they are receiving the Eucharist. I would think the Jesus, in his infinite mercy, would provide these recipients grace.

    If people receive, knowing it is illicit, then that’s a different matter.

  31. Ben Anderson says:

    We must remember that most people going to these masses with “Wonder bread” being used, do not know this is illicit.

    #1 – we have no reason to think the current bread used at St. Mary’s is illicit. It is permissible for them to bake their own bread.
    #2 – I have to disagree with this statement. Sure, God *could* provide graces, but sacramental graces are unique – they are a sure thing. Couldn’t you say the same thing about Protestants, or anyone else who is worshiping God is the best way they know how? God *could* provide grace and does provide them to anyone who truly seeks him, but sacramental graces are unique. You’re making me curious enough to look into this further – it’s an interesting question.

  32. Ben Anderson says:

    Richard, I realize you weren’t saying anything to the contrary of #1 – I just wanted to make sure everyone was clear on it since I raised the issue.

  33. Richard Thomas says:


    I would think protestants don’t believe in the real presence. But as far as Catholics are concerned, I agree. But God has to give grace. What the nature of the grace is His choice.

  34. Jim says:

    Ben, the question of grace is interesting. I have friends who were Catholic, and left the Church for an evangelical community church. They pray, read scripture, and I know that they don’t believe in the Real Presence. They have a communion Sunday every few weeks. I feel that they are missing the richness and fullness of True Communion with the Catholic Church. How God sees them, and works in their lives, with His grace, is something that we may never know.

  35. Ben Anderson says:

    since anger was brought up in this discussion, I thought I’d share this passage I just came across in Introduction:

    Francie De Sales speaks very negatively of anger here, but I don’t think he contradicts what’s been mentioned above by others. For our own sakes, though, we must judge our own motives and keep our passions in check. Righteous anger can have good motives or it may have evil motives. Pray that all of us who endeavor in battling for orthodoxy keep Christ and gentleness close.

  36. y2kscotty says:

    No. 184 says: “Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.”
    I would advise this, rather than stomping out of Mass, thus scandalizing the faithful who are present, and who wouldn’t know what you are complaining about, no matter how loudly or demonstrably you make it. Take it up with the priest individually and directly. It’s not up to you to be judge and jury at Mass and “make a scene”. As a faithful Mass-goer, I don’t want somebody making a big protest.

  37. Ben Anderson says:

    y2kscotty, that course has been taken innumerable times in this diocese and gone nowhere. I would agree that we shouldn’t make a disturbance at mass. I don’t see anything wrong with leaving your pew, though, during a lay homily.

  38. Dr. K says:

    A “lay homily” is not part of the Mass, so I don’t see why one should feel obliged to sit through this unnecessary and illicit addition to the liturgy. These reflections are a perfect time to take children to the bathroom, or go yourself, and return when the layperson is finished making a fool of him/herself

  39. Kelly says:

    As was mentioned, there are ways to leave a “lay homily” which don’t cause further scandal. I once attended Mass while on vacation in the Adirondacks and the priest giving the homily was discussing same-sex ‘marriage’as the Church teaches. He was not uncharitable, but instructed that while we love same-sex attracted individuals, we cannot support them in activities which are sinful to God. Two people got up in the middle of the homily, walked in front of the ambo and left via the side door next to the priest. The slam of the door echoed and the priest continued on with his homily. The only message I got out of the statement left by the individuals who stormed out in protest was how rude they were. Surely they could have spoken with the priest after Mass and/or omitted a contribution to the collection basket. What a sudden and public display of conversion to Protestantism!

    The best way to avoid a lay homily, if you know that is the typical method at a given parish, is to find a parish that is not led by laypersons. Of course, in the DOR, that may mean traveling a great distance. Your new Bishop will be installed very soon. Your hurt and frustration has not gone unnoticed.

  40. Diane Harris says:

    I also think there are better ways than stomping out. It is God’s House; no point in being rude to Him, or to others. Also, if one isn’t going to listen to the homily, the dilemma is how to know when it is over, without listening? And, anyway, it makes the stomper look like the inconsiderate one, rather than the presumptuous lay ‘preacher.’

    A friend of mine was distressed by what her husband did when a Pastoral Administrator spoke. And he did it every single Sunday she spoke, as the wife didn’t want to go to any other church. He sat in the last row, and when the woman started to ‘preach’ he took out his NY Times and opened it up fully so even from the front of the church the two full sized open pages were obvious. He read quietly (except for occasionally rustling when turning the pages) until she finished. One might also consider quietly taking a picture of the lay preacher; or recording it, which is easy to do with a hand-held digital recorder. Whenever I’ve been subjected to lay preaching, I’ve noticed that the preaching isn’t even very good preaching. Pictures and recordings will help document for complaints to Rome, or maybe even for posting silly excerpts on Cleansing Fire.

    Alternatively, perhaps ear protectors used on shooting ranges would be useful? Wonder what these lay pastoral administrators would do if half the congregation showed up carrying NY Times or ear protectors?

  41. Chrysostom says:

    Check out the March 11th bulletin from St. Mary’s…in it there is a letter explaining (and apologizing for) the reasons that they be changing toward using wafers instead of baking bread:

  42. Dan Riley says:

    God Bless the Cleansing Fire web site and the Internet for exposing all of the negative actions taking place in the Diocese of Rochester.

    Bishop Clark has pushed his personal agenda for many years and he may own all of the buildings and contents, but he is no match against the power of the Internet.

    Keep taking and posting the pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words.

  43. Ben Anderson says:

    I have no idea if CF had anything to do with this change or not. Given the timing, I would guess it’s a coincidence. And just to be clear, the picture came right off St. Mary’s website. Either way, it’s great news.

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