Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Church of the Assumption’

Dying One Thousand Deaths

July 8th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

Each passing week, many parishes in the Diocese of Rochester continue to see moral, theological, financial, liturgical, and spiritual declines. None more so than the once-proud and majestic St. Anne Church on Mt. Hope venue. Without fail, we receive a constant stream of Joan Sobala-related items from our readers and staffers, most of which we just omit because they’re the pathetic dying breaths of a dying breed of heretics. However, this is one we just had to convey to you, the readers, so that you can grasp the depths to which Sr. Sobala has dragged the people of the parish.

Every year, since the parish’s inception, the parishioners have held a beautiful and well-attended “Novena to St. Anne” which attracts, not only the parishioners themselves, but devotion-loving Catholics from the entire Diocese. Each year, a noted preacher from out of town has delivered the nightly sermons – all prestigious for their theological prowess. This pattern came to an abrupt end in 2008, when Sr. Sobala & Co. took over St. Anne. That year, Fr. Michael Marigliano, a Franciscan, was the preacher. I attended some of the nightly services, and I was moved by his zeal for the Faith and the Church. However, he did not care for Sr. Sobala’s seditious actions at the parish, and he made his sentiments known. Indeed, he inserted into the petitions at the closing Mass certain words to the effect of “We pray also for those faithful who suffer under corrupt leaders in the parish setting. May they suffer spiritual martyrdom for the glory of God and His Church.”

And so, Sr. Sobala has stopped the three-quarter century tradition of preaching excellence in favor of a more affordable (fine), simpler (fine), more local and controllable approach (not fine). The parish went from having priests like Fr. Marigliano preaching firey sermons to – now get this – Fr.’s Kennedy and Palumbos. Of course, this is an improvement over last year’s Sobala-Tyman-Lawlor rotation, but still . . . consider their orthodoxy. They have both been long-associated with being (I put this tactfully) associated with the “plight” of gays and lesbians in the Church. I know we need to reach out to these people, but not by signing our names to a letter of open dissent. They also contribute proudly to organizations of dubious moral focus.

So what are the people of the parish to expect this year, in terms of sermons? They used to be solid, theologically beautiful, and proud of their Catholicity. But now, it seems that cost and politicking are dancing hand-in-hand down the aisle at St. Anne. I fear for the people who still attend this novena, for many are unaware of the immense damage that the staff of the parish has caused.

Let us pray that Fr.'s Kennedy and Palumbos do not slip their political quest into the prayerful tone of the annual St. Anne Novena.

Now, I wholly understand needing to trim the budget. That’s a good thing to do, and if you can find preachers of the same caliber for no cost, that’s the way to go. But you cannot whore out a devotion for the cause of politicking (politickling?) gay rights. We can hope this doesn’t come up, but when you think of a list of DoR priests who are openly fighting for gays in ways they ought not to, what two names are at the top of the list? Kennedy and Palumbos. Of course, I’m sure they’re both charming gentlemen, but they (and many like them) need to realize that the pulpit is no place for dissenting political views.

What strikes me as the most telling fact in all this is the perpetual decline in attendance at St. Anne. If people liked what they were hearing at Mass (and things like the novena) attendance wouldn’t have dropped by around 50%. In a similar way, if people are engaged and challenged by what they hear on Sunday, they will become even more active in the parish. St. Anne is no longer attracting the vast number of volunteers it once had – you can see that in their bulletins, where the same names are repeated week after week. Indeed, they don’t even have children serving their 4:00 Mass anymore – when young people are replaced by the elderly, there is something seriously wrong there. If a child of 12 or 13 knows there’s something bad going on at Mass, so too should well-informed people in our situation.The novena used to be something which everyone at the parish looked forward to, and was advertised all around the diocese. I myself found out about it from Catholic Radio around 10 years ago. But now, the novena is just one more thing they (and we) have to worry about. “Will there be sound preaching?” “Will they be vested in a proper and dignified way?” “Will there be overt politicking/politickling?” The faithful ought not to worry whether or not church will be uplifting, and that’s why we’re seeing a massive decline in attendance, not just at St. Anne, but at every parish whose curriculum vitae leans away from Church doctrine and towards the glorification of error.

If anyone is planning on attending the novena, I would encourage you to record and document it to the best of your ability. Fr. Tyman himself has disparagingly referred to us as the “self-appointed bulldogs of orthodoxy,” so let’s not disappoint.

Unoriginal Dissent

June 23rd, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

You know the progressives are running out of gas when they begin to plagiarize other progressives.

Below is Fr. Ed Palumbos’ rant about married priests from two weeks ago. We commented about it here.

Fr. Palumbos article

Now take a look at Fr. Mike Bausch’s rant about married priests from this past weekend. With the exception of a couple additions, isn’t it a word-for-word copy of Fr. Palumbos’ article?

Fr. Bausch article

Fr. Bausch article

Reminder: “Catholic” Service For Homosexual Dissident Group This Sunday

March 12th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

As we mentioned before, Ms. Deni Mack, the Pastoral Associate of Church of the Assumption in Fairport, will be leading a “Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word” for Dignity-Integrity Rochester. Dignity-Integrity is a dissident GLBT (Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transexual) group that advocates for a change in the Church’s teachings concerning homosexuality and homosexual acts (see also this link for further explanation about this group’s dissent). The liturgy will take place Sunday, March 14th at 5 PM for those who wish to attend. If you do go, be sure to send Cleansing Fire an e-mail. According to the D-I Web site, these services are held at St. Luke & St. Simon Cyrene Episcopal church in downtown Rochester.

Once again, Dignity-Integrity describes these Roman Catholic services as follows:

“Second Sundays

On the second Sunday, our Liturgy of the Word is in the Roman Catholic tradition, and it is led by a layperson who has studied theology or has other suitable qualifications. The service has many of the elements of a Mass, with a few extra features thrown in, but no communion. Nevertheless, it does fulfill your Sunday obligation [NO, it absolutely does not, and it’s a lie to say that it does], and it’s based on the Roman Catholic guidelines for Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest [Which is not allowed without Bishop Clark’s approval…]. The presiders and homilists are people who would undoubtedly make great priests if the Roman Catholic church was fully open to the gifts of women and married men [Outrageous, “Spiritus Christi”-style statement of dissent]. Following the service, there is a coffee hour social starting around 6:15 PM.

For a sample of this Liturgy of the Word (including our prophetic “Liturgy of the Stones” [Dissenting made-up prayers pertaining to homosexuality]), visit the liturgical resource site STICKS & STONES / FLESH & BLOOD: Liturgical images and movements that speak to experience at”

We received an email recently informing us that Diocese of Rochester priests are not permitted to say Mass for Dignity-Integrity, and have not been for over a decade. If this is true, and I have no reason to doubt that it is, how come these makeshift Liturgy of the Word services are permitted by the diocese? Is this an attempt by the diocese to “be creative”? Is such a service supposed to not illicit complaints to the Vatican because they aren’t Masses and are occurring off site and out of sight?

The bottom line is, these services are wholly inappropriate given the nature of Dignity-Integrity and their dissent from Church teaching on homosexuality. Countless dioceses do not even permit Dignity USA groups to use Church property (they even admit to this on their Web site!), yet in the DoR, we have special services for them going on quietly. This is not right. We’re not talking about praying with homosexual persons, we’re talking about praying with a group that does not respect the Church’s teachings.

It’s Called “Dissent”

February 22nd, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

We received a tip from a fed-up Assumption parishioner informing us that we should check out Deni Mack, the current Pastoral Associate at Church of the Assumption in Fairport. We previously posted about her illicitly preaching a homily in this post a week ago, and this post in November.

Ms. Mack, like Sr. Joan Sobala and Nancy DeRycke, has had ties to the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC), an organization dedicated to promoting the ordination of women, contrary to the definitive teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Ms. Mack is mentioned twice on this page of the WOC Website. Here is what is written there, emphasis added:

“After lunch our Witness Wagon took us to Rochester, to tour Susan B. Anthony’s home. At this time, Bishop Christina Mayr Lumetzburger and her husband Michael arrived along with her mother, sister, and niece. Many of us bought items in the gift shop labeled with Anthony’s oft quoted words “Failure is impossible”… We were now ready to partake in a delightful afternoon tea and pastries put together by Deni Mack and Denise Donato of Spiritus Christi Church. “

and also the much more interesting passage, emphasis added:

“For the first time in several decades, three of the foremothers of WOC — Gratia L’Esperence, RSM, Rosalie Muschal-Reinhardt, and Joan Sobala, SSJ, the very women who first envsioned (with Deni Mack [Mack being called one of the original leaders of the WOC movement, along with Sr. Sobala] and Marsie Silvestro) the first Women’s Ordination Conference — spoke to us. They told us about witnessing years ago to the bishops and at ordinations. I listened with open ears aware of the struggle and hope that went before me. That evening we were invited to supper at Spiritus Christi where Mary Rammerman and Jim Callan spoke and we presented Judy with a gift. At Spiritus Christi we all participated in a memorable Mass celebrated by Mary Rammerman, Denise Donato, Jim Callan and Christina Mayr Lumetzburger.

Notice how things work in the Diocese of Rochester. We have three prominent Women’s Ordination Conference advocates in our diocese still in “good standing” with the Church, two of which are leading parishes as de facto priestesses under the title “Pastoral Administrator”, or in Ms. DeRycke’s case, as self-anointed “Pastoral Leader.” A third prominent member, Ms. Mack, is serving as a Pastoral Associate. Why do so many supporters of heterodoxy and dissent have positions of power in our diocese? You can’t tell me that our bishop is unaware of their involvement with the WOC.

Perhaps it wouldn’t surprise anyone that Ms. Mack is a former member of Corpus Christi, a parish which engaged in heretical acts such as vesting laypeople in half-stoles and inviting them to elevate the chalice. In fact, the book “Standing in the Light: A Parishioner’s Story“, written by the soon-to-be-pretend-ordained Chava Redonnet of Spiritus Christi says (emphasis added):

“In 1982, Jim Callan invited several parishioners to become lay preachers. Among them were Margie Payne, Jim Smith, Sylvia Kostin, Irene Dymkar, Deni Mack and myself. We would preach at the noon Mass on Wednesdays, taking turns, and would meet monthly to critique each other’s homilies.

There is no attempt to even call this preaching a “dialogue homily.” These preachings were, and I quote, “homilies.” In fact, Ms. Mack literally wrote the book on illicit lay preaching:

By the way, check out the first review, emphasis added:

?With great enthusiasm I recommend Extraordinary Preaching. I have the privilege of serving as bishop of the local church to which these women bring such wonderful gifts. They have given strength and hope to my life, and I know they have done the same for thousands of others in our local church. They love and live the Word, have a deep reverence for the human story, and possess an uncommon ability to draw them together in a way that puts our hearers in touch with God and their own hearts.? ? Bishop Matthew Clark, Diocese of Rochester, N.Y.

Once again, you’re going to have a difficult time convincing me that our bishop is unaware about what’s going on. He has stated time and time again that he wishes that women could give homilies. We witness this weekly in our parishes, where laywomen preach illicitly during the homily in direct contradiction to the norms of the Catholic Church.

In addition to Bishop Clark’s glowing review of Ms. Mack’s book, a Presbyterian Minister in Rochester (head of the church where Spiritus Christi holds their services) also wrote a review of interest. Here is what she said:

“The book is much more than a feast of excellent preaching; it is also a deep well of spirituality, a witness to the ?ordination by the Spirit? that is the fountainhead of true priesthood. Each woman in turn became a minister to me as I read her words and was moved, comforted, shaken and challenged by unexpected new understandings of the Word.”

This minister appears to be suggesting that the women preachers profiled in the book are ordained by the Holy Spirit, which is, and I quote, “the fountainhead of true priesthood.” This is a very interesting comment. Come on, the Protestants can clearly see what’s going on in the Diocese of Rochester, why can’t us Catholics? Laywomen in our diocese are essentially being elevated to near-priest status when they are permitted to preach homilies, run parishes, and take on significant involvement in the liturgy and certain sacraments.

If you think all of this so far is an eyebrow raiser, get a load of this next item. Ms. Mack is listed on the Gay Alliance of the Genesse Valley Website as a “lay presider/preacher for our song-filled Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word.” This can be viewed online here. This is not the first time that she has lead Liturgy of the Word services for this homosexual group, as the Website states that she “returns” to this role. Ms. Mack will also be leading yet another upcoming service for another Rochester homosexual group. This time it will be for “Dignity-Integrity Rochester” on March 14th. The ad for the upcoming service is seen below:

These services for Dignity-Integrity of Rochester are held at St. Luke & St. Simon Cyrene, an Episcopal church located in downtown Rochester. If you are still not yet outraged by all of this, you certainly will be after reading the following description of what these “Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word” services involve:

“On the second Sunday, our Liturgy of the Word is in the Roman Catholic tradition, and it is led by a layperson who has studied theology or has other suitable qualifications. The service has many of the elements of a Mass, with a few extra features thrown in [Oh? “A few extra features”?], but no communion. Nevertheless, it does fulfill your Sunday obligation, and it’s based on the Roman Catholic guidelines for Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest [A blatant abuse, and bold-faced lie. This does not in any way fulfill your Sunday obligation to attend Mass, and such services are only permitted when a priest is not available; not just out of convenience or other questionable motives…]. The presiders and homilists are people who would undoubtedly make great priests if the Roman Catholic church was fully open to the gifts of women and married men [Incredible dissent. Now it’s clear that the purpose of these services is to promote the “advancement of the laity” and let women and married men play priest. The Vatican needs to be made aware of this immediately. This can not continue]. Following the service, there is a coffee hour social starting around 6:15 PM.

For a sample of this Liturgy of the Word (including our prophetic “Liturgy of the Stones[See here]), visit the liturgical resource site STICKS & STONES / FLESH & BLOOD: Liturgical images and movements that speak to experience at”

This whole thing is disturbing. These Liturgy of the Word services for homosexual groups are called “Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest” and are mistakenly said to fulfill your Sunday obligation (see previous CF post on this topic). This group further states that these services give opportunities to preside to those who would “undoubtedly make good priests”. Women and married men are not ordained priests in the Roman Catholic Church. There is no “would make good priests” about it, especially when it comes to the ordination of women, which is clearly impossible based upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s worth mentioning that Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest MUST be authorized by the bishop. The persons leading such liturgies MUST have the bishop’s permission. This begs the question: Has Bishop Clark permitted these SCAP services for homosexual groups, and given permission for Ms. Deni Mack to lead them? I hope someone will contact the diocese to find out about this. The Diocese needs to be informed about these services, the nature of them, and how Dignity-Integrity views the role of these laywomen and married men based on what is written on their Website.

All of this information raises several questions:
1. Why do so many Pastoral Administrators and Associates in our diocese have ties to the Women’s Ordination Conference? Why are these women permitted to preach when a requirement for preaching is that the person is orthodox in faith? (support for women’s ordination making this orthodoxy doubtful)
2. Has the Diocese of Rochester, namely Bishop Clark, authorized Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest to be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal for homosexual groups? Who has been authorized to lead such services if this is true?
3. How can the diocese justify Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest (SCAP) when this provision only applies to situat
ions where no priest can be found, and no Masses are being held within a reasonable traveling distance?
4. How can the diocese justify SCAP services when the group they are provided for views these services as a chance for women and married men to play priest?
5. How can the diocese justify SCAP services that fail to follow the rubrics for such a service, and include a “Liturgy of the Stones”?

Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest

February 17th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

In a post earlier today, we mentioned that Church of the Assumption held a “Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest” in place of its 4 PM Saturday vigil Mass (not the first time they have had one of these). You may view the video online. When I watched the video, I asked myself, “Is this appropriate and necessary?” Not knowing much about the norms surrounding such services, I didn’t think further about the topic. A post just now from a reader inquiring about these Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest (SCAP) pressed me into looking at what the Church has to say about such services.

First, you may want to watch the video here.

A layperson speaks at the beginning explaining why Assumption is having a SCAP instead of a priest-led Mass. Here is what she says:
“[The priest who would normally preside was]…stranded in Atlanta yesterday. God-willing, he is getting on a plane shortly down there, but he was in an extremely long line trying to get things changed. Deacon Bob will be leading this service. We will be having Holy Communion and we have followed diocesan procedures in situations where we… emergency situations such as this where we can not have a priest to celebrate Mass.”

Let’s take a look at the source for such a religious service, the “Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest.” Here are passages of interest that appear to have not been considered by Church of the Assumption prior to holding this priest-less service:

The very first condition under which such a SCAP service is permitted is “18. Whenever and wherever Mass cannot be celebrated on Sunday, the first thing to be ascertained is whether the faithful can go to a church in a place nearby to participate there in the eucharistic mystery. At the present time this solution is to be recommended and to be retained where it is in effect; but it demands that the faithful, rightly imbued with a fuller understanding of the Sunday assembly, respond with good will to a new situation.”

It appears that if there is another Mass being offered nearby, then such a service would prove unnecessary. St. Joseph in Penfield, which according to Mapquest is a mere eight minutes away from Church of the Assumption, has a Mass at 5 PM on Saturday. This would allow the people of Assumption who wanted to attend a Saturday vigil Mass plenty of time to go over to St. Joseph. There are also St. John of Rochester, Church of the Resurrection, St. Jerome, and St. Louis within reasonable driving distances of ten minutes or less.

Additionally, the following issue is also present:

“21. It is imperative that the faithful be taught to see the substitutional character of these celebrations, which should not be regarded as the optimal solution to new difficulties nor as a surrender to mere convenience. Therefore a gathering or assembly of this kind can never be held on a Sunday in places where Mass has already been celebrated or is to be celebrated or was celebrated on the preceding Saturday evening, even if the Mass is celebrated in a different language. Nor is it right to have more than one assembly of this kind on any given Sunday.”

If one watches the other Assumption videos for this past weekend, it can be seen that they had Masses the following day… three of them in fact. The document states that a SCAP service may not be celebrated if there is to be a Mass celebrated there.

I find it hard to believe that not only was it impossible for Fr. Palumbos or Fr. Loncle to offer this liturgy, but that the Assumption leadership was unable to locate a fill-in priest for one Mass. St. Joseph, which is again only eight minutes away, has four priests in residence. Surely one of these men could have offered Mass at Assumption. These SCAP services are intended for emergency situations when there is no priest available to offer Mass, not just out of convenience for the people who attend.

Simply put, a Communion Service is not a worthy substitute for the Holy Mass. These services present one a great potential for disaster, as such services could be abused so as to give the laity a chance to “lead” worship on a regular basis (hint: Women’s Ordination Conference members playing priest). I encourage all to be on watch for this, especially in the Diocese of Rochester.

If one thinks that they have satisfied their Sunday obligation by attending this service at Assumption, read the following from Ecclesiae de Mysterio:

“For the same reasons, it should be emphasised for the benefit of those participating, that such celebrations cannot substitute for the eucharistic Sacrifice and that the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy days is satisfied only by attendance at Holy Mass.

Now, I am no canonist, but based on this passage, it sounds as though the people who attended did not satisfy their Sunday obligation to attend Holy Mass.

Said Ben Trumps Said Ed

February 2nd, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

The following was sent to us from a devoted supporter, and was found in the January 17, 2010 bulletin for the Church of the Assumption.

Note carefully the second sentence of the second paragraph of this juvenile bit of writing: “At the same time, we should continue to advocate for a change in the Church’s policy regarding who can respond to a call to ordained ministry.” Bear in mind, this from the priest who wears earrings in public. This sentence contains so many errors, it’s nearly impossible to begin. First off, “we should continue to advocate for a change” insinuates that we, the members of the Church, have the authority and the ability to change Her Mystical Body. We have no more ability to ordain women as priests as we do to tell our eyes “smell the incense.” It’s just impossible. It’s been established as it is for 2,000 years. What gives someone the absolutely unmitigated arrogance to take it upon themselves to change this? It was divinely instituted – Tradition has upheld it – martyrs have been killed for it – and yet we, in the tumult of the 21st century think that our meager half-century of experience entitles us to deform our Church.
Now, of course, we can delve even deeper into this treasure trove of sedition. ” . . . regarding who can respond to a call to ordained ministry.” God doesn’t call someone to something if they are unable to achieve it. I am not called to give birth. I may envy a mother’s ability to nourish her young, to literally carry life within her, but I cannot have it. It is a thing wholly unique to motherhood. No matter how strong a desire is, sometimes you have to realize that it does not come from God. I would never dream of actually “desiring” motherhood, partially because I don’t look too good in maternity clothing, but also because I respect the sanctity of that vocation – motherhood. If a woman feels called by God to be a priest, she should look inside herself. Vocations come from God, not from self.
Persis beautifully pointed this out a while back on her blog when she noted, “Did I want to be a priest(ess) for God’s glory, or for my own?”

More Dissent In A Parish Bulletin

January 14th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

Fr. Edward Palumbos, pastor of Church of the Assumption in Fairport, apparently is displeased that the Church isn’t inclusive enough when it comes to the ordination of priests. So he takes the time to use his parish bulletin to take a shot at the Church’s disciplines and/or teachings:

“For this reason, and many others, we need to be much more serious about encouraging young men to consider the ordained ministry. At the same time, we should continue to advocate for a change in the Church’s policy regarding who can respond to a call to ordained ministry. A change in our Church’s policy will take time. For the immediate future, we need to encourage those who respond to the call, and give them our prayerful support.”

The good father declines to elaborate on what exactly he means when he says “who can respond to a call”… perhaps its best that he does not.

He also signed the What If We Just Said Wait petition, for what it’s worth.

The Disturbing Diocese of Rochester CMA Video

August 27th, 2009, Promulgated by Dr. K

Here are several stills from the Diocese of Rochester’s newest CMA video put online a couple days ago. Such disrespect for St. Stanislaus Church, a House of God.

Singing guitarist on the front steps of St. Stanislaus

Choir stationed inside St. Stanislaus altar rail in front of side altar,
another choir stationed in front of the other side altar

Our guitarist friend parades inside and outside of St. Stanislaus Church

This is a house of God, not a site for promo videos and hand-clapping! All of this going on within the altar rail in front of the tabernacle.

The video also promotes a rather bizarre version of Roman Catholicism that progressives hold dear. Here are some images for your “inspiration”:

“Charismatic” Catholicism

The Nazi salute.
Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest” (CDWDS Prot.No. 930/08/L)

Waving around banners in the opening procession.

And of course countless images of people holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer, something that is not found within the rubrics:

July 15th, 2012 can not come soon enough.

Update 8.28.09Fallacies and Fashions has posted a transcript of the entire video with commentary. Do read it. Also check out Ten Reasons’ take.