Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Bishop Matano is my bishop. Period.

May 1st, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Something disturbing has been happening for months and, frankly, it seems time to discuss the matter and to welcome knowledgeable input.  When Bishop Matano was installed as Bishop of Rochester, in January 2014, the liturgical words in the Canon of the Mass recognized the change immediately, mentioning “Salvatore” as “our Bishop”.  The only slight variation for a while seemed to be a few priests trying to decide if the “e” at the end is silent or not, and that was resolved quickly.

The Canon of the Mass refers to both our Pope and local ordinary.  When the Anglican Ordinariate was formed, adding the Pope and their ordinary was part of the requirement to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  In the Roman rite, in the Novus Ordo, any one of the four Eucharistic Prayers may be offered, depending on certain factors of appropriateness. Mention of Pope and Bishop all have similar wordings:

Eucharistic Prayer I refers to “…together with your servant Francis, our Pope, and Salvatore, our Bishop, and all those who, holding to the truth, hand on the catholic and apostolic faith.”

Eucharistic Prayer II mentions “…together with Francis, our Pope, and Salvatore, our Bishop and all the clergy.”

Eucharistic Prayer III says “with your servant Francis, our Pope, and Salvatore our Bishop, the Order of Bishops, all the clergy…etc.”

Eucharistic Prayer IV states: “…especially your servant Francis, our Pope, Salvatore, our Bishop, and the whole Order of Bishops, all the clergy, etc….”

Only Eucharistic Prayer I names the Pope and the local Bishop before the consecration.  The other three mention the Pope and local ordinary after the Consecration.  As an aside, among some Rochester clergy there seems to be a distinct avoidance of Eucharistic Prayer I (maybe I only notice because it is my favorite, giving such a sense of heritage back to the early Church.)  In any case, the following commentary does not seem to be related to which Eucharistic Prayer is used, except I haven’t noticed it in the use of Eucharistic Prayer I.

At least six months ago, perhaps longer, it became obvious that a number of Rochester diocesan priests were (and still are) adding Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark to the recital in the Eucharistic Prayers. At first it was “…our Bishop, Salvatore, and Bishop Emeritus Matthew…” now it has progressed to “our bishops, Salvatore and Matthew.”  The trend seems more noticeable among priests who have their own favorite tweaks of the liturgy, which really has no place anyway in faithful celebration of the Mass.

Perhaps I am wrong to be disturbed by this, so I welcome comments and correction. It is not that praying for someone / anyone isn’t a meritorious thing to do, but should the Canon of the Mass be prayed this way?  (Mention at the intercessions seems a very different matter.)  If it is allowed, and even encouraged, why aren’t we praying for “our Pope Francis, and Pope Emeritus Benedict”?  One might suspect that it is because we have ONE Pope, a sign of the Church’s oneness. However, we also have one Bishop, and I’m not confused about that fact.  Bishop Matano is my bishop (for which I am most grateful) and it seems like a slight to him to have “Bishop Matthew” added back in (with such use INCREASING,) and especially to indicate an equal stature by saying “our bishops Salvatore and Matthew.”  Why is this happening? What can be done about it?

In discussion with a few others, I learned that Bp. Matano himself has mentioned Bishop Clark during a concelebration, but that is an entirely different situation from DoR priests using “Bishops” in the plural, or adding Bishop Matthew back into the recital after his retirement.

An acquaintance with whom I was discussing the matter sent me the following link. Be sure to read the last sentence:

Whatever this addition by some DoR priests means, we know that “A man cannot serve two masters.”  My bishop is Bishop Matano.  Period.

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20 Responses to “Bishop Matano is my bishop. Period.”

  1. marylou says:

    I’ve noticed the same thing at a decent number of Rochester parishes. The priest will mention bishop emeritus Clark, yet not mention pope emeritus Benedict. If you’re going to include one emeritus, you should include the other. However, the better option is to follow the liturgical texts properly and to recite only the names of the current bishop and pope.

    I take this as an attempt to undermine the authority of Bp. Matano, and I’m not fond of this practice among our Rochester priests.

  2. Pianist9591 says:

    This has been bothering me also. At one of the parishes that I occasionally attend, both “our Bishop Matano” and “our Bishop Emeritus Clark” are mentioned in the Eucharistic Prayer. (This does not happen at any of the other parishes that I frequent.) I also have been wondering why Bishop Emeritus Clark is mentioned, but not Pope Emeritus Benedict. I haven’t done anything about this at this one parish that I mentioned. I’m still a relatively new Catholic & I don’t always know exactly what is licit. I’m glad you are bringing this up.

    I have not heard any Priest refer to “our Bishops Matano & Clark.” THAT I would know was wrong.

  3. Pianist9591 says:

    Actually, the way it’s being said at that one parish I mentioned is “Francis, our Pope; Salvatore, our Bishop; and Mathew, our Bishop Emeritus.” I had to play it through my head to state it exactly.

  4. Ludwig says:

    Once I actually heard “together with our bishops, Salvatore and Matthew.”

  5. Bernie says:

    I have heard the bishop emeritus mentioned on several occasions in different places, the common thread being the liberal leanings, in my estimation, of the celebrants. I understand it as a protest against our bishop.

    One grows weary of the constant liberal fiddling with the liturgy. Why can’t these guys just read the black and do the red?

  6. Bernie says:

    The next time I hear bishop emeritus I am going to corner the priest and ask why he didn’t mention Pope Emeritus Benedict?

  7. annonymouse says:

    I believe it’s wrong to mention either Bishop Clark or Pope Benedict, for the simple reason that we are praying not so much for the man but for the man who holds the office, who is exercising governance over the Church, shepherding the Church. Since both Matthew and Benedict are now retired, they possess none of the powers of their former offices, and it is wrong to include them. But if one were to wrongly include Matthew, just to be consistently wrong, one should make mention of Benedict.

    This practice seems to me to be a rather blatant homage to Matthew, and a subtle slight to Bishop Matano.

    Now it could be that Bishop Matano actually asked for his predecessor to be mentioned. But then I would think all priests would mention him, and that is not the case.

    In any event, our priests should accept the fact that Matthew has retired, that Salvatore is now our bishop, and drop the “emeritus” reference.

  8. raymondfrice says:


    What brilliant and precise thinking and insights!!! (not kidding for once)

  9. Scott W. says:

    Well said annonymouse

  10. Diane Harris says:

    Annonymouse’ comment is “right on” …. let’s keep praying for Bishop Matano.

  11. Scott Caton says:

    As the link shared above makes clear, the mentioning of a bishop’s name in the Eucharistic Prayer is by virtue of his active governance of the diocese where the Eucharistic Prayer is being prayed. Thus, in the case of the Diocese of Rochester, Bishop Salvatore Matano’s given name is to be mentioned, to the exclusion of all other bishops’ names [since we have no auxiliary bishop]. Anyhow, it is my understanding that extra names of those not actively governing are not appropriate in the Eucharistic Prayer. (I am sure well-meaning priests mention Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark’s name simply by way of honoring him and his long-time former governance of the diocese, and because they are perhaps not knowledgeable of the real criterion for mentioning a bishop’s name in the prayer–that is, active governance.) For right now, in the Diocese of Rochester, it’s “Francis our Pope and Salvatore our Bishop.” What could be simpler?

  12. Ludwig says:

    This is one of those details that Bishop Matano can hardly stamp out without being painted in a poor light by those who miss Bishop Clarke.

    If Bishop Matano is aware of this, he has probably (and probably prudently) chosen not to make a big fuss about it.

  13. annonymouse says:

    Ludwig – excellent point. It may be that he is picking “bigger hills to die on.”

    So perhaps it is incumbent on us, the faithful, to raise the issue with our pastors.

  14. Ludwig says:

    annonymouse – I look forward to hearing how your conversation with your pastor goes, presuming he has this quirk.

    Mine does not. 😉

  15. Ron says:

    Does the same hold true of those who keep bringing up Pope Benedict with obvious nostalgia and with a veiled criticism of Pope Francis?

  16. Diane Harris says:

    @ Ron

    No it does not apply. What this post is addressing is mutilation of the liturgy to add names not permitted (as the link shows.) Who is adding Pope Benedict’s name to the liturgy, as in “And for our Popes Francis and Benedict”? No one that I know of.

  17. Ron says:

    While your post is indeed dealing specifically with the liturgy, others in commenting brought up the possibility that this mentioning of Bishop Clark is a way to undermine the authority of Bishop Matano. I was reminded of those I’ve seen voicing nostalgia for Pope Benedict in a way seemingly intended to undermine (or show disrespect for) Pope Francis.

  18. Ben Anderson says:

    Today I heard, “Francis our Pope, Salvatore our Bishop, and his brother bishops, Benedict and Matthew”.

  19. Diane Harris says:

    It is never right to be disrespectful of any human being, given the dignity which God has bestowed on each of us. However,it is permitted for the laity to exercise their Canon Law rights to offer valid criticism, and to reflect their needs, including to Vatican hierarchy. It is very different when attacks come in secret from clergy who have vowed obedience to the bishop and his successors. It seems to me to be especially egregious when the liturgy is misused to do so.

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