Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Update on Cleansing Fire

October 11th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Since the arrival and installation of Bishop Salvatore Matano in January, 2014, the external environment in which Cleansing Fire has traditionally functioned has changed significantly.  For years, those who posted and most who read the posts have tried to hold tightly to what has been passed on to us in Church Teaching, and to speak out strongly when we believed, in good conscience, that something adversely impacted those Teachings, our Faith, or the Liturgy with which we worship God.   But in the new dawn, we try to put aside old hurts and to move forward in gratitude for the gifts we have received, being faithful and yielding fruit.  That focus quickly brought  some of us who write for Cleansing Fire to a pivotal re-examination of this site’s ongoing role, and of our own participation.

Now, 9 months since Bishop Matano’s arrival, we have the opportunity to look back on the interim events, and to look forward to how we are called to participate in the Life of the Church, and in the Rochester Diocese.  The first question to answer was: “Is there still a need for Cleansing Fire?” and the general conclusion has been “yes,” although our role will continue to be defined as time goes on.  While many of the immediate problems and proximate concerns have been ameliorated, it also has been an opportunity to realize that having prayers answered does not necessarily mean to shut down, but rather to open up to a wider area of needs, and to share as we are able the learning, expertise and contacts developed over a number of years.  For example, there are issues well beyond Rochester, but which do or will greatly affect us here, whether it is a Cardinal as grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day parade with visible gay activist participation, or a Synod ScreenShot238in which certain members have espoused thoughts very different from what the Catholic Church has taught for millennia, or continuing political thrusts into our practice of the Faith in the U.S., or the suffering of our brothers and sisters in the Mid-East, caught in almost unprecedented persecution.  Quite frankly, in my opinion, to ignore all that need, and simply say “We got ours” and go home, seems ungrateful.  It is reminiscent of those infamous words:  “Non serviam.”  So the question isn’t whether to serve, but how.  And that deliberation will continue to take place.  You are invited to input.

Second–you can see some of the minor changes we’ve implemented already.  Obviously, the counter and reference to the prior episcopacy has disappeared. After we finished enthusiastically welcoming Bishop Matano, we also decided not to continue to use his picture, not because we don’t applaud his shepherding us, but because we did not want to imply a continuation of the prior focus, but rather to develop what is now most needed.  Here are some changes you will note:

A. Recently, the right hand sidebar has been significantly shortened (and will be again, as we remove the tags to a separate page.)

B. We moved the archives to a separate page.

C.  We reviewed  the content of “Useful links,” and deleted 16 inactive or non-functioning links, but added some of greater relevance.  (Now when you click on “Useful links” you will find “Basic Resources” which give quick access to sites such as DoR and the Vatican, but also to text for Canon Law and the Catechism.

D. We’ve separated “Media” out from the blogs on the Useful Links list, so that some sources which we’ve cited in the past (Zenit, Life Site News, National Catholic Register) are more accessible to be read directly.)  After experimenting for 6 months with covering News, it seems that putting up the links to these source sites may be a better way to go.  So we’ll try it out.

E. You may also notice the addition of links to some sites which are focused on resisting government intrusion and other persecution: The Becket Fund, Priests for Life, Voice of the Martyrs, etc.  If you feel something important is missing from the useful links list, let us know.

Finally, since a picture is worth at least 1000 words, we haven’t been ignoring the banner across the top of the masthead either; we just haven’t reached consensus.  The next post will ask for help in designing the new artwork and slogan, and give some guidelines if you are interested in participating.


One Response to “Update on Cleansing Fire”

  1. avatar SouthernTierGuy says:

    Keep focusing on the positive. Continue to feature and call attention to liturgies, special events, lectures, seminars, and scholastic events which are faithful to the Magisterium and uphold Catholic teaching. The articles on architecture, sacred music, and sacred art are also very good. As Bishop Matano’s episcopacy progresses, young Catholics will be more likely to have inculcated in them a sense of the beauty of our faith than in the past, and may in fact become future readers and contributors to this site. I do not think the name Cleansing Fire has to change at all, since it calls attention to the need for ongoing conversion that we all have.

    As for commenting on current issues in the Church and our culture, I believe that it is important to continue those posts, keeping in mind that they will be read by marginally attached Catholics and secularists who are looking to stereotype tradition-minded, faithful Catholics. Although I moved away years ago, I read this blog regularly because it is so informative and a source of great hope.

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