Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Bishop Watch – “Transition Imminent”

June 14th, 2013, Promulgated by Gen

While we have often been inundated with rumors and whispers regarding the appointment of our next bishop, I thought it prudent to share the following substantiated piece of news. Emails from various diocesan employees use phrases such as “transition imminent” and “coming very quickly.” But, most importantly, the following statement was confirmed through three separate sources:

Rehearsals for the “Installation Mass” are underway at Sacred Heart.

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31 Responses to “Bishop Watch – “Transition Imminent””

  1. avatar annonymouse says:

    Praise God – if this read “Ordination Mass” I would not trust myself around sharp objects.

    Well, not necessarily – there are some wonderful priests who will make excellent bishops (Fr. Robert Barron, Fr. John Riccardo come to mind), God willing. But unless I’m reading that wrong, it won’t be a local priest elevated to bishop (no Bishop Hart).

    I do expect an announcement before the Holy Father’s summer holiday. The daily appointments have been coming regularly, and a number of them are now less overdue than Rochester (Rsesza, Poland today for instance).

  2. avatar y2kscotty says:

    The summer holiday of the Bishop of Rome (as Francis often refers to himself, by the way)is probably not much of a summer vacation since he will NOT go to Castel Gondolfo. Interesting that anonymouse mentions Father Barron. I have sometimes thought of him as possible – but that would mean he’d be having an ordination Mass. If the “chosen one” is already a bishop, then keep your eye on the current auxiliary in Indianapolis, unless there’s someone from within the NY Province. If it’s the auxiliary of Indianapolis, don’t expect him to be here too many years, since I would expect he is on his way “up” to something more major. It will also be interesting to see how any new bishop conforms with the kinds of initiatives and characteristics that Papa Francesco expects.

  3. avatar Thinkling says:

    When talking about the Pueblo situation, Rocco Palmo made a cryptic remark recently which I interpreted to mean (other) new bishop installments were imminent. No clue as to where though.

  4. avatar annonymouse says:

    y2kscotty – yes, the Holy Father will not be going (or going for long) to Castel Gondolfo. But it is my understanding that the Vatican (like the rest of Europe) will basically shut down so we can’t expect a steady stream of appointments past early July. I am hopeful that our new shepherd will be named before then.

    I am doubtful that an auxiliary will be sent here. And I think he could be sent here from anyplace, not just in the New York Province.

    Thinkling – there have been new bishop appointments almost daily over the past few weeks. All over the world. One see that had been vacant for nearly four years, if memory serves.

  5. avatar militia says:

    I hope they are practicing the Hallelujah chorus.

  6. avatar gaudium says:

    Bishop Clark was ordained as a bishop in Rome and installed at the War Memorial in Rochester. Saying the Installation Mass does not necessarily mean that it won’t be a priest who is being appointed. It may be someone that will be ordained elsewhere. Also, it makes sense to be ready ahead of time whether anyone has gotten advance warning or not.

  7. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Speaking of bad bishops —

    LifeSite News tonight covers “Retired bishops join pro-Planned Parenthood group in call for Catholic funding of pro-abort orgs”. Here are a few highlights. Note USCCB connection:

    “Ten Catholic bishops teamed up with a pro-Planned Parenthood group to a release a report this week that urges Catholic organizations to fund groups linked to the promotion of abortion and other acts opposed by the Church.

    The 28-page report, released Tuesday by the advocacy group Faith in Public Life, targets Catholic critics of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, accusing them of adopting “McCarthy-era tactics” in their quest to rid the USCCB-run organization of problematic partnerships.

    The report was authored by John Gehring, Faith in Public Life’s Catholic Program Director, who once served as the USCCB’s Assistant Director for Media Relations.

    “The opening pages of the report include a list of endorsing groups and individuals, including nine retired U.S. bishops and one sitting bishop (Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenberg, South Africa,” [a women’s ordination advocate.). The retired bishops listed include Archbishop Fiorenza and Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane,” both of whom have previously headed the USCCB.]

    “Many of the bishops backing the report are known for taking public positions against Catholic teaching.”

    “It criticizes recent decisions by CCHD to defund grantees … which were found to be taking active leadership roles in coalitions that endorse same-sex “marriage.”

    “The report also includes interviews with bishops and other faith leaders who oppose CCHD’s ongoing reform and believe the anti-poverty arm should work with groups that oppose fundamental Catholic moral teachings in the interest of securing relief for the poor.”

    “The report won accolades on Thursday from the Human Rights Campaign, one of America’s leading homosexual advocacy groups, which used the occasion to urge Catholic leaders to fund “marriage equality” groups…..We thank Faith in Public Life for bringing this scandal to the attention of the wider public.”

    “The whole report is nothing more than an apologetics piece attempting to make the case that in order to help the poor, Catholic money has to go to organizations working hand-in-glove with coalitions promoting abortion and homosexuality,” said Michael Hichborn, a researcher at American Life League.

    “Even though a number of bishops have endorsed this report, I am reminded of the warning of Our Lady of Akita that we will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops, and the Church will be full of those who accept compromises,” Hichborn continued.

    Much more information is on the LifeSite News link. Certainly reminds us that we could do even worse, and we need to keep praying for a faithful bishop.

  8. avatar iteachthefaith says:

    Praying that whoever has been chosen will lead this Diocese back to Christ. Mainly for the sake of our children.

  9. avatar gaudium says:

    I was at a men’s conference in the Buffalo diocese and the keynote speaker was the recently appointed bishop of Ogdensburg. He, as a priest of the Ogdensburg diocese, was the administrator while the see was vacant. He told us the story of getting a phone call from Archbishop Sambi telling him he has been selected as the new bishop. He said it was a complete surprise and his first response was something like, “no, not me.” Archbishop Sambi counseled him to “be serene” and he did accept. Now, this story leads me to believe that there isn’t advance warning about an appointment if even the designee has no warning. However, perhaps if an already ordained bishop is selected, it seems that he, at least, might be consulted ahead of time.

  10. avatar Eliza10 says:

    It feel nervous though I know I need to just trust God. Whoever it is will be here a long time. It needs to be a strong person to make up for the mess Clark left us in. If only it were a great teacher like Father Barron! Fr. Riccardo – I listened to this on the web – – wow, he would be great too. (We would probably have an influx of Evangelical converts with him). I hope it will be someone great.

    Jesus, I trust in you.

  11. avatar Catinlap1 says:

    Are you sure you want a “great teacher?” Be careful what you wish for — we had Bishop Sheen!

  12. avatar Diane Harris says:

    I just updated in red type the “Church of England Caves-in Too…” post
    for the details of the Mass at Our Lady of Victory this coming Friday, June 21. As you will remember, St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher are patrons of our diocese, and this Mass will celebrate their feast day as well as open the Fortnight for Freedom with Community Prayer for Freedom of Religion.

    Mass will be at 12:10 at Our Lady of Victory, 210 Pleasant St., Rochester 14604. It is sponsored by The St. Thomas More Lawyers Guild of Rochester, and The New York State Knights of Columbus Finger Lakes Chapter. Father Ronald Antinarelli, KCHS will be the Celebrant and Homilist.

    “All that you ask for in prayer…shall be yours” ( Mark 12:24). It is also worth pointing out that some of the speculation by individuals is that this feast day of the Patron Saints of the Diocese of Rochester is a perfect time to announce a new Bishop. We’ll wait and see.

  13. avatar Eliza10 says:

    True, and I actually thought about that. Yes, he excelled as a teacher and ot so much as administrator.

  14. avatar y2kscotty says:

    You are right, anonymouse, about the vacation time for the Romans. I wonder if Pope Francis will take the time to consult with his “Gang of 8” while the bureaucrats and trouble-makers are out of town.

    Also, as Diane said, it would be very fitting to announce the new bishop on the patronal feast. I would like to see a double-whammy ceremony – ordination as bishop and installation as Ordinary of the Diocese. There’s a lot of good catechesis that could take place in that situation.

  15. avatar militia says:

    good catechesis, as long as it’s a good man, faithful to Church teachings. If it is any of the prior chain of DoR command, it will be atrocious catechesis. Let’s pray.

  16. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Take a look at today’s Courier article
    and ask yourself WHY — if a transition is really imminent — that such changes are being made NOW? Before a new bishop arrives on the scene? Scrambling positions and titles is a good way to confuse changes which really need to be made. What do you think?

  17. avatar christian says:

    Diane- When Deb Housel was made administrator of the Northeast Quadrant prior to the proposed church closings, problems occurred when she did not show up at events that she had volunteered to be at, or scheduled herself and agreed to come. We did not see much of her at St. Andrew Church, and when she did show up, she had a tendency to make parishioners angry and upset. She appeared to “set off fireworks” particularly among some church members. – Deb Housel made some remarks in regard to parishioners facing a church closing which were came across as judgmental, insensitive, and undiplomatic. One long-time parishioner became ballistic and rang the rafters as she told Deb Housel off.

    Deb Housel made comments to parishioners that they were not used to change and how they needed to learn to be accommodating. 1. Clearly, she did not have a hanon St. Andrew’s history before she took over an administrative position, and she seemed to have a knack for saying the wrong thing especially when dealing with people facing a delicate and trying situation.
    If it wasn’t so serious, it would be laughable when she told parishioners they weren’t use to change. That’s all we saw was change. St. Philip Neri Church merged with St. Andrew Church and became a cluster. Then St. Philip Neri closed and those parishioners were incorporated into St. Andrew Church. Fr. Timothy Horan left and Fr. Michael Mayer came.
    Then Church of the Annunciation clustered with us and we shared a priest pastor and a mass schedule. Eventually, St. Andrew Church and Annunciation became one legal entity as Light of Christ. Church of the Annunciation was sold by the Diocese. The old church hall which had been used for recreation functions and church dinners was turned back into a chapel/small church and was first used during Holy Week. Then we heard Fr. Michael Mayer was being removed from Light of Christ Church directly after returning from his sabbatical. Prior to that, there had been some personnel changes among various church positions over the last 4 years, including the deacon and pastoral associate,and other positions eliminated). We then were told that we were now part of the Northeast Cluster after only being Light of Christ Parish for a relatively short time. Deb Housel and Fr. Paul Gitau were our new pastoral administrative team. Fr. Paul Gitau who had just come, suffered the unexpected death of his sister from a car accident and then the unexpected death of his uncle. He was gone for an extended length of time for funerals and being with family members on two continents. We had fill-in priests.
    St. George Church was closed right away and then “the mock planning process” was begun. Deb Housel got rid of valuable church employees at one meeting. Among them were Bob and Amy Dorscheid who ran Teen Life. This was right after they were told by the Bishop that they were doing a great job and he wanted them to move Teen Life into the Clinton Avenue area.
    Then Fr. Vincent Panepinto was assigned to St. Andrew Church/Light of Christ on a regular rotating basis to celebrate mass, alternating with Fr. Larry Tracy and fill-in priests. We then heard it announced from the pulpit that Fr. Panepinto would not be returning because he was dismissed from the priesthood because of credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.
    Our bulletin was taken over by Deb Housel and the generic bulletin was issued at all the churches in the cluster. (Somehow, there never seemed to be enough issues for St. Andrew/Light of Christ and some black and white copies were ran off when parishioners complained. We had difficulty getting any publicity/advertisement for a parish event or group in the bulletin, but the Spanish communities had no difficulty getting their events in there, especially Our Lady of the Americas AKA Corpus Christi).

    All of this, and Deb Housel told us that we were not used to change.

  18. avatar christian says:

    Addendum-Deb Housel continued to tell parishioners of St. Andrew Church/Light of Christ Church that they would have priority over anyone else at buying artwork, statues, etc. after the church was closed. We found out that wasn’t true.
    We were now told that we were St.Frances Xaier Cabrini Parish. Our Lady of Perpetual Help closed. Deb Housel left and Deacon Dave Palma was our pastoral administrator prior to St. Andrew Church closing and Fr. Bob Werth and Fr. Mickey McGrath came as our priests. We were not able to purchase items from our church as promised; all the artwork, statues, etc. were tagged and removed to be sold to the highet bidder.
    For many reasons, I question the decision of Diocese to put Deb Housel in those new leadership roles listed in the Catholic Courier.

  19. avatar Diane Harris says:

    If you read Bishop Clark’s book “Forward in Hope” (would be better named “Forward in Hopelessness”, aka “She’s NOT ever getting ordained!”), there is a pitiable chapter by Deb Housel, analogizing to wanting to play on the boy’s baseball team as a child, and not being admitted except when there were too few boys to play. She writes (p. 100): “I have prepared to answer the call that God offers me. God willing, acceptance will grow in the hierarchy of the Church and among the people in the pews.” To do what? To be a priest? When does “It’s all about me” become “It’s all about SERVING?” A gender agenda is divisive, especially in a Church called by Christ to Unity. When “entitlement” extends to expecting kudos from the people in the pew, it is a power issue, not a gender issue.

    Even then Bishop Clark seemed conflicted on this point as he first wrote (p40-41):
    “…many lay ecclesial ministers naturally feel their ministry is distinctive, more clearly defined, and more professional than that of their peers in the pews.” Three sentences later he writes: “But I do not sense among the vast majority of these ministers with whom I have conversed any overt sense of entitlement or privilege or feeling of being set apart.” Aren’t these contradictory? Did he read Deb Housel’s whining chapter? Until the wannabe women priests learn that the core element of leadership is service, they stand no chance of teaching others to lead themselves out of a paper bag. So off they go to St. Bernard’s, the last bastion of progressive excesses to which non-leaders may escape. At least until a new bishop (we hope) scrutinizes their lack of credentials.

  20. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    But what kind of catechesis and. Service are we getting from these priest wannabes? Certainly nothing spiritually nourishing. Just the ideological crap they have digested. One only has to look at the record of people like Sr Joan to the current crop to realize the laity have been shortchanged.

  21. avatar christian says:

    When reading Deb Housel’s new multiple positions (many)in the article of the catholic Courier that Diane Harris posted a link to, I have some questions:
    1. How do they expect one person to handle all those positions?
    2. Is there some type of austerity budget going on at the DoR?
    3. I read that some of her positions include coordinating chaplaincies and priests and deacons. I am not sure to the extent that priests and deacons will answer to her, but my own personal opinion is – A priest should be over a priest personnel and a priest or deacon should be over deacons. *Priests and deacons should not have a lay person over them.

    There are other fields where this type of ill-fit strategy and style of management has been used and it is not only inappropriate, but disastrous.

  22. avatar JLo says:

    I am a victim of the DOR’s making of my Faith some corporate outreach club, so I guess I’ll be filing my paperwork with Ms. Housel in her role as the diocese’s victims assistance coordinator. Hmmmm. In all seriousness, reading that article made me feel physically ill. What a bunch. Mercy, Lord. +JMJ

  23. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I just wonder. Perhaps these “changes” are beng made with the hope that when the new bishop arrives, these people @ the DOR will make the lame argument that “All these wonderful changes have been done to help make your familiarity with us here in Rochester an easier one”.

  24. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I also wonder about other issues.

    Was there and is there “hush money” and are individuals blackmailing the diocese for bad behavior by diocesan officials?

    Are golden parachutes being made for those who might be out with the new administration.

    Are organizations, like St. Bernards, being given “surplus monies” in case they are cut off by the new administration and surplus funds may allow their continuance?

    We have suspected for a long time that there were many questions concerning “the books” and many issues have been raised here on this site. But if this administration has engaged and supported so much sinful activity, then the books and budget appropriations have to reflect this sinfulness.

    I hope to be proved wrong.

    Let’s pray for the new bishop. There is so much to change.

  25. avatar annonymouse says:

    RT – I don’t think you need to be so worried. For instance, the new Bishop will have full legal authority over St. Bernards – it’s essentially a subsidiary of the DoR. With respect to the administration “engaging and supporting so much sinful activity”: I full well understand the dissatisfaction of many with the direction of our diocese lo these many years, but precisely what “sinful activity” are you referring to?

    I’m much more worried about the clergy and Buffalo Road employees not fully supporting the new bishop (if not undermining him in a clandestine way) than I am any of the matters you seem to stay awake over.

  26. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    but precisely what “sinful activity” are you referring to?

    for starters – deliberately doubting dogmas of the faith.

  27. avatar Kelly says:

    This post moved me. I have prayed for my brothers and sisters in the DOR for years. For once I feel hope for the direction of the DOR.

  28. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Thanks, Mouse.

    I should have clarified my comment. I was thinking that if things got too hot for St. Bernards, they might separate from the diocese, in a similar way the Catholic Physician’s guild did, after Bishop Clark suppressed them and tried to take them over by removing the spiritual advisor and placing one of his henchmen on the board.

    I was thinking that if they separated, they would have a nice nest egg, courtesy of the diocese to get started and keep them operating while new donors were solicited.

  29. avatar Interstate Catholic says:

    The DoR lay pension is underfunded, so I believe that some long time lay employees of the pastoral center and the parishes are getting out with a pension before the diocese makes changes to the pension plan.

  30. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Toward the end of this Vatican Information Service
    article, Pope Francis talks about the kind of Men
    who should be considered for episcopal appointments:

  31. avatar annonymouse says:

    RT – it is my understanding that St. Bernards falls under the auspices of the diocese and cannot legally separate from her. Even if St. Bernards could separate, don’t many of its students come from the Diocese (deacon training, pastoral staff training)? In which case they could never stray too far from the diocesan bishop anyway.

    Ben – what dogmas are you referring to?

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