Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Dear Robert Royal,

August 27th, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The following text has been corrected for an error in my posting earlier today. The publication being addressed should have been referred to as “The Catholic Thing” throughout, not by any other title. I apologize for the error in trying too fast to stem the email tide. Now I have just contributed to it!

An excellent article appeared on The Catholic Thing this morning, written by Robert Royal. The only problem we have with the article is its title: “A Cleansing Fire,” and the confusion it causes. Already I’ve received many emails today from readers of and I understand why. Please forgive me if I can’t respond to all; rather I share with you the email I sent earlier today to Robert Royal at CONTACT on The Catholic Thing website. I hope to receive a reply, and will share it with our readers when I do. Meanwhile, here is the text of my email to Dr. Robert Royal:

Hello Dr. Royal,

First, please let me say how much I admire your writing and your reasoned input on The World Over in particular. And, second, let me assure you that, as best I can perceive, we are on the same side. However, the title of your column today creates a problem for me and my staff at since we also have been writing for years, principally against the abuse of faith, and abuse of power, experienced in our Rochester NY Diocese for years under Bishop Matthew Clark.

Now, with relief under Bishop Salvatore Matano, we have been focused on the problems created by Pope Francis’ many actions over the last five years. We have an identity in our small part of the Internet with “Cleansing Fire,” which is dedicated to obeying Christ and His Church, and not for those who would defile her. So I believe we truly are on the same side. Our followers come from many parts of the world. Totally coincidentally, we have also just begun our return to Face Book.

So it is a problem for our being in the same sphere when you use a title essentially identical to the one under which we have been known for over 10 years. I hope you will sympathize with the confusion created by your using the title under which we have been faithfully functioning. (And I apologize for my error in my earlier post, citing the wrong title for your publication, now corrected.) Perhaps you would see your way clear to recognize our work (after you inspect our site), to mention the site, and that of course you have no intention to confuse our mutual work, just as we have none, and perhaps even to wish us well in our fraternal battle of loyalty to Christ our King.

In any event, we do wish you and The Catholic Thing many blessings on your work, and ask your indulgence of our little corner of the Internet. I hope you understand, with so many emails pouring into me this morning, my need to post this letter on the Cleansing Fire website immediately, and to correct our prior error, before waiting for the courtesy of your reply. Thank you.

Sincerely in Christ,
Diane Harris
Co-administrator of

(Reply is now posted as first comment.)


6 Responses to “Dear Robert Royal,”

  1. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Reply received from Robert Royal:

    Dear Diane Harris: I’m sorry if you think our use of “a cleansing fire” infringes somehow on your efforts, which I applaud (my wife grew up in Rochester). But we all use these common phrases and I don’t see that it much harms or that we can help. With every good wish,

    Dr. Robert Royal
    Faith & Reason Institute
    1730 M Street NW
    Suite 910
    Washington DC 20036

  2. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Matter Closed.

    May the fire of the Holy Spirit cleanse an purify….

  3. avatar Ludwig says:

    I tend to agree with Dr. Royal.

    If anything, this benefits this website. If people happen to search the phrase because of the article, they may arrive on this site.

    Much ado …

  4. avatar militia says:

    Since people were concerned enough to send emails, I think it does matter. The question is how much is Cleansing Fire obligated to put up with before headlines become confusing? Confusion is a sign of you-know-who. I noticed RR used a term about infringement, which kind of escalates the whole thing. I didn’t see anything in the letter sent to him about infringement. What I did see was the point about confusion. I would say needless confusion, without a hit of apology.

    But if this confusing thing is all ok, then can Cleansing Fire also write abut a “Catholic Thing?” Not “The Catholic Thing” but some other “Catholic thing.” If not, why not? There are many Catholic things, but it seems to me that all this media mess is about a particular sinful Catholic thing going on for decades, a thing of homosexual sinfulness at many levels in the church. At least I can see how the stories being only about Catholic things could lead to run-away misinterpretations as to what “thing” applies to.

    Personally, I think that RR could have been far more gracious in his response, without the flip-off brevity. His response makes me think this thing might have been intended. I also have noticed that Cleansing Fire doesn’t quote much from “The Catholic Thing.” Is that part of this thing going on?

  5. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Robert Royal’s article : “A Cleansing Fire”
    This Website: Cleansing Fire accessed at

    Matter Still Closed

  6. avatar Diane Harris says:

    At Dominick’s suggestion, I’ll close this thread from further comments. Thank you, friends, for your caring concern about Cleansing Fire. —

    But! OH! just ‘one more thing’ as Colombo said…The Catholic Thing gave permission for LifeSite News to also publish the same article. However, the title has been changed to: “Is Abp. Vigano the agent of a cleansing fire for the Church? IMO this is less objectionable in lower case, with a sense of the application of the concept and meaning. Now, comments are closed, I think.

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