Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Rochester Priest Goes Polish

December 1st, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

The Rev. Matthew Kawiak (right) poses with the parish committee chair at Holy Family Polish National Church

About a year ago, the parishes of the Northwest Planning Group (Nativity, St. John, St. Leo, St. Elizabeth, and SUNY Brockport) were forced to cut weekend Masses after the abrupt departure of Diocese of Rochester sexpert and part-time priest, Fr. Matthew Kawiak. At the time, it was said that the Rev. Kawiak was leaving our diocese to take up a position in Buffalo.

The Rev. Kawiak penned a disturbing blog post on Sunday that comes across as sexist, pro-women’s ordination, and  unnecessarily pelvic-focused — he manages to squeeze in the words vagina, crotch, and butt among others. I was going to forward this to Bp. Malone of Buffalo when I learned that Kawiak is not a priest of the Diocese of Buffalo. In fact, he is no longer part of the Roman Catholic Church.

Various news articles printed over the summer describe how the Rev. Kawiak left the Roman Catholic Church for the schismatic “Polish National Catholic Church,” a sect that permits the use of birth control, has married priests, invites divorced persons to Communion, and denies papal infallibility. This group is in dialogue with the Catholic Church, but reunion is unlikely given their extreme positions on some issues. Catholics who leave for this denomination may incur excommunication.

Though I was never a fan of Fr. Kawiak as a priest, I’m saddened to see him leave behind the Roman Catholic Church. Please pray for this man and any other Diocese of Rochester priests who may be contemplating a similar move now that Bp. Clark’s “protective umbrella” is gone. Please also pray for the college students who worshiped at Brockport’s Newman community. I hope their faith was not endangered due to poor pastoral care.

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19 Responses to “Rochester Priest Goes Polish”

  1. Hopefull says:

    Isn’t this the priest who wrote the book for which Rome made Bishop Clark withdraw his imprimatur? Seems like maybe Fr. Kawiak was just waiting until Bishop Clark retired. Or maybe Bishop Cunningham has taken some action? In the latter case, perhaps there are more to come?

  2. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Every time Dr. K posts, the evidence for

    Perhaps these diocese damaging depictions
    of dissident priests will discourage disobedience!!

    May faithful Fathers be encouraged by the
    holy boldness of saintly priests unafraid to
    proclaim JESUS is LORD.

    Come, Holy Spirit.

  3. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    ”The bishop was very supportive. He simply stated he had no choice in removing the imprimatur,” said Kawiak.

  4. Scott W. says:

    Wow. The protestors of the imprimatur removal should get an Oscar for playing the victim.

  5. Thinkling says:

    Thanks for this AP link. I had always heard about the imprimatur incident but never found the raw details.

  6. Susan of Corning says:

    I think it is far better for him to leave the Catholic Church, rather than continuing to lead others astray. And for the other priests in the DOR who simply don’t believe what the Church teaches, it would be better for them to leave too.

  7. militia says:

    And they wonder why Pope Benedict accepted Bishop Clark’s resignation so quickly. The Fr. Kawiak book is just one in a long chain of abuses — how did it get an imprimatur in the first place?

  8. annonymouse says:

    Good Doctor, got any GOOD news?

    Oh, and Dominic – love your alliteration!

  9. Dr. K says:

    Good Doctor, got any GOOD news?

    It’s Advent, and Bp. Clark is not the Bishop of Rochester!

  10. raymondfrice says:

    “how did it get an imprimatur in the first place?”

    Very easy answer: the bishop at the time awarded it.

  11. Interstate Catholic says:

    The PNC does not support the ordination of women to the priesthood which makes me wonder why Fr. Kawiak would join such a group in the first place.

  12. Ben Anderson says:

    Is this St. Casimir Parish? I happened upon this story a few weeks ago while visiting Greensburg – very odd.

  13. Hopefull says:

    @ Interstate Catholic

    It is most likely because he needs a better retirement program. If you trace where he has been and when, it is pretty clear that in approximately the last 20 years he has not chosen to take a parish assignment as a diocesan priest. Therefore, retirement is likely not the same as for pastors. He has worked (stuff on his website for sale) and does some kind of clinical work, again indicating he is not a full time diocesan priest.

    As he approaches (or has passed) mandatory retirement age, he may be looking for other income or a pension. I don’t think it has much to do with ordaining women or not. I wonder how many other priests have outside employment….there was that dog kennel groomer mentioned sometime back who popped up to say Mass but it was in a parish run by a female pastoral administrator, wasn’t it?

    Perhaps there is a lot more moonlighting than we know? Perhaps Fr. Kawiak would like to make a statement on Cleansing Fire for the benefit of Truth? Has he been invited to comment?

    It is my understanding that if we were dying we could receive sacraments from the PNC. Does anyone know if that is true?

  14. christian says:

    Re: interstate Catholic’s question – I know the Roman Catholic Church has stated that in the case of dying, an Orthodox priest can give a Roman Catholic last rites or Annointing of the Sick as it now referred to. I would think the same is true for the Polish National Church.
    As you may recall, Pope John Paul I gave last rites to a Metropolitan (Orthodox clergy) in 1978 after that higher-up Orthodox official had a sudden heart attack and died in the Pope’s arms during that Metropolitan’s Private Audience wih the Pope.

  15. christian says:

    Regarding the non-judmental view of others in our society on the topic of sex as mentioned – Fr. Kawiak’s Book – How times have changed when even our own Catholic Church and other Christian denominations, are asked to accept and condone others’ sexual rights, and even fund them, when they are against our own moral teachings.

    Sandra Fluke and her contemporaries have a lot of nerve complaining and protesting about their birth control not being covered by the Catholic Universities they attend! They shouldn’t be having promiscuous sex period! They are fortunate that they are still allowed to attend a Catholic University when they do not follow the moral standards of that Catholic Institution.
    Many years ago, when I went to school – those who were enrolled in a nursing/medical program were expected to live by high moral standards. Many of those who taught at that time were Catholic, or mainline Protestant, and practiced their faith. Even if the Institution did not have a Catholic or Christian identification,female and male students were expected to live by moral Christian (and Jewish) standards. In that era, a student could be kicked out of a program if an instructor/professor thought you were not mature enough, did not think you had the right motivation for being there, or if they did not think you had the right aptitude (or gifts) for that vocation/profession, Or if your moral standards did not match the moral standards of that school (if they found out that you were having sexual relations outside of marriage – unmarried (Promiscuous), married (Adulterous). The faculty felt they had the right and duty to uphold the dignity an reputation of the Nursing/Medical Professionl and the School/Institution.

    Various students from my class were dismissed when they did not think they were mature enough or have the right motivation or the right aptitude/gifts or if they were found out to be have illegitimate sexual relations.
    – One young woman was extremely gifted and smart (an excellent student) and saved a patient’s life. She also cared about patients. As a student, had it over the Staff, as she detected the problem, took the correct action, and saved the patient’s life. However, she was dismissed from the program when it was somehow learned that she had had sexual relations (with a man) and she was not married. She was not one to throw her weight around and complain about rights like these current women. She had a history of victimization from men and had poor self esteem – and she happened to wind up dating the wrong type of man while she was in the program. She would have had a great! And patients would have benefited from her. But rules are rules. And they were very strict in those days.
    Regrettably, there was at least one student who made it through the program who I later learned, had been able to hide their immoral, sexual relationship.

    If you attend one of the Strict Christian Universities with an early curfew time, additionally, with female student’s curfew earlier than male students, as a student, you have no right to complain or protest. You knew the conditions when you agreed to go there. When you attend a Catholic University, you know that you are not supposed to be having sexual relations outside of marriage and that you cannot expect to have any artificial birth control covered. You have no right to complain. You knew the conditions when you agreed to attend.
    If it was in a different era, they would be kicked out!

  16. Abaccio says:

    I believe that Kawiak is a spry 62.

  17. Hopefull says:

    Did a little research. From the front of the Missalette we read: “Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches.” Canon 844 is referenced.

  18. TheAltonRoute says:

    I’m surprised the Polish National Church took in Kawiak. My understanding is that the Polish National Church does not allow communion in the hand or lay eucharistic ministers. However, I have heard of liberal Catholic priests who found their way into the PNCC. I know a PNCC priest who was a RC priest for several years and served at a RC parish in my hometown and later in a traditional Latin Mass society. Unfortunately this priest found the RC Church too corrupt, including the TLM society in particular. His departure from the RC Church is sad but understandable given the pathetic state of the Church these days.

    I also have heard of Roman Catholics faced with the threat of parish closure threatening to leave the RC Church for the PNCC. In at least one case that dissuaded the RC bishop from closing a parish. I suppose such tactics may be underhanded, but RC bishops are too often dirty people. At any rate, the PNCC is probably less schismatic than the RC Diocese of Rochester. From what I’ve read, the DoR is a despicable trash-heap of questionable theology, sexual abusers and church-closing fanatics.

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