Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Progressive Drivel’

St. Thomas Parishioners Locked Out

July 31st, 2013, Promulgated by Gen

Just when it seemed that the situation in Irondequoit had reached some sort of equilibrium, Fr. English reminds us that this is not the case. After having instructed parishioners of St. Thomas (sorry…St. Kateri Tekakwitha at St. Thomas the Apostle) not to pray their daily Rosaries there, the administration of the “parish” decided to change the locks on the doors to the church. This was done without any prior notification of the parishioners, adorers, or other visitors who sought to visit Our Lord in His holy place. 398574_10150600168381842_509333251_n

Simply put, Fr. English has locked his own parishioners out of their own church. Remember: St. Thomas the Apostle has not been closed. It is an open church, consecrated and fully able to minister sacramentally to the people of the city, presuming, of course, that her priest(s) choose not to shirk their duty to do so. The parish has been stripped of its Masses, its confession schedule, and all devotions, and for no other reason than a warped sense of political expediency. This is not pastoral planning; this is pastoral vengeance.

The people of St. Thomas have been fighting for years to maintain a presence in their own church. They ought never to have needed to do so, based on their stable finances, demographics, and campus upkeep. Indeed, of all the Irondequoit parishes, St. Thomas was in the best position to facilitate a gentle transition to a prosperous worship community. This was overlooked by many, though. Every individual in a position of authority lorded that authority over the people of St. Thomas, and did this only because of one reason: St. Thomas the Apostle rejoices in its Catholic identity. The same cannot be said of Christ the King, where the casual observer finds himself asking, “is this really a Catholic church?”

The willful and deliberate targeting of St. Thomas has been an unquestionable trend for the past several years, and this most recent transgression refreshes in our minds the memories of past injustices. The manner in which the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle has been “dealt with” bears a striking similarity to the Jews’ treatment of Our Lord in his final days. The Diocese, like the High Priest and his minions, hides behind flawed interpretations of Canon Law, and bends the Law to suit its own agenda. The machinations of the priests took place in darkness, hidden from the light of day, from the light of Truth. Fr. English, I think it is fair to say, is not acting entirely dissimilarly in this matter.

76079_461342011841_6916584_n We should ask of him several questions, to see what possible justification he might have in locking his parishioners out of their worship site. Primarily, why now? What happened to prompt him to seal shut the doors of one of his own churches? Was there theft? Was there mistreatment of property? Did someone say their “Hail Mary” a little too loudly for his liking? Next, we should ask what part of Canon Law allows a pastor to lock his flock out of their church? He might say that locks are changed frequently, and for all sorts of reasons. And this is true. However, in most instances when a parish has its locks changed, the pastor sees to it that the faithful actually have access to the church, and don’t find themselves left out on the steps. His defense might be that “we don’t use St. Thomas for Mass any more. We worship at St. Cecelia, Christ the King, and St. Margaret Mary.” Yes, that is true. But St. Thomas is not closed, and being in that state, cannot be locked to the faithful. The Vatican ruled that it could not “save” St. Thomas because, on paper, St. Thomas is not in any need of being saved. It is officially open. There is no doubt about this. And, maybe I just don’t understand, maybe I don’t speak English too good, but isn’t an “open” church actually supposed to be open?

As of this writing, the canon lawyer representing St. Thomas has been contacted, and is working on resolving the situation. Let us pray for a resolution that is just and equitable for the parishioners. But remember: our politically-motivated priests don’t operate with a focus on the Faith, on objective Truth. No. They can’t focus their eyes on anything, living and operating as they do in the shadow-lands of legality. Do not expect, dear friends, to be dealt with by those in charge with any semblance of respect or charity. But stand firm, be vigilant, do not yield. The Office of Compline tells us, “Be sober and watchful, for our adversary, the devil, goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. But resist, ye, strong in faith.” Take this to heart, and approach this issue prayerfully, with composure, dignity, and certitude.

Fr. Edward F. Salmon, SJ Allows Gay Couple to Attend McQuaid Prom

March 28th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

It’s all over the local news. Here is McQuaid Jesuit president Fr. Edward F. Salmon’s letter announcing that the Rochester Catholic high school will allow gay couples to attend the junior prom.

March 27, 2013
McQuaid President, Fr. Edward Salmon, SJ

McQuaid President, Fr. Edward Salmon, SJ

Dear Sisters and Brothers of our McQuaid Jesuit Community: Our new Holy Father, Pope Francis [He’s hiding behind Pope Francis, a man who has spoken publicly against gay marriage and adoption as evil], in the homily for his Inaugural Mass, had encouraging and inviting words: “Today amid so much darkness we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation and to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope, it is to let a ray of light [watch how many times he uses this phrase] break through heavy clouds.

”Darkness and heavy clouds have gathered here at McQuaid recently because of misinformation, fear, misunderstanding, and even anger. That misinformation, fear, misunderstanding, and even anger came about after two of our brothers asked whether they could attend the Junior Ball together. Into the darkness of misinformation, fear, misunderstanding and anger, together with Pope Francis [Again], I invite and encourage each and every one of us in the McQuaid family to be men and women who bring hope to one another. I invite and encourage each and every one of us in the McQuaid family to be men and women who look upon one another with tenderness and love. I invite and encourage each and every one of us in the McQuaid family to open up a horizon of hope, to let a ray of light break through heavy clouds.
I myself would like to let a ray of light break through by correcting some misinformation. It is simply not true, as was reported and as many seem to have assumed, that a decision had been made by McQuaid authorities not to allow the young men in question to attend the Junior Ball. No decision had been made.
I would like to let a ray of light enter into the darkness of fear. I, together with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who in their Pastoral Message, “Always Our Children,” “. . . call on all Christians and citizens of good will to confront their own fears about homosexuality [So it’s not the two men choosing to be a homosexual couple against God’s design that’s in the wrong, it’s us?] and to curb the humor and discrimination that offend homosexual persons. We understand that having a homosexual orientation brings with it enough anxiety, pain and issues related to self-acceptance without society bringing additional prejudicial treatment.”
I would like to let a ray of light enter into possible misunderstanding of the Church’s teaching. In that same message, Always Our Children, the Bishops are clear –“Nothing in the Bible or in Catholic teaching can be used to justify prejudicial or discriminatory attitudes and behaviors.” The Bishops continue: “It is also important to recognize that neither a homosexual orientation, nor a heterosexual one, leads inevitably to sexual activity. One’s total personhood is not reducible to sexual orientation or behavior.” In that same message, the Bishops refer to a 1986 Letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which emphasizes that “Respect for the God-given dignity of all persons means the recognition of human rights and responsibilities. The teachings of the Church make it clear that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended and that all of us must strive to eliminate any forms of injustice, oppression, or violence against them [How far do we go? Could you then argue that we should promote gay marriage because it might not necessarily result in homosexual acts?].”
The Bishops continue, “It is not sufficient only to avoid unjust discrimination. Homosexual persons ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358). They, as is true of every human being, need to be nourished at many different levels simultaneously. This includes friendship, [brotherhood] which is a way of loving and is essential to healthy human development. It is one of the richest possible human experiences. Friendship can and does thrive outside of sexual involvement.”
Lastly, I would like to let a ray of light into the darkness that anger can bring. Based on the misinformation circulating and a certain misunderstanding of Church teaching, some people began posting prejudicial and humiliating comments in the social media. Speaking or writing or acting out of anger is not usually helpful. Others, however, deeply concerned for the dignity and respect of all persons, wrote thoughtful and encouraging e-mail messages to McQuaid officials [Translation: “Those opposed to a gay couple attending the prom are angry and prejudiced. Those who support it are thoughtful and encouraging. If you hold to the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, you’re a bad person”].
In conclusion and in the hope that I and all of us at McQuaid Jesuit will let a ray of light break through the darkness and the heavy clouds that have surrounded us, I have made the decision that, if our two brothers who have asked to attend the Junior Ball together wish to do so, they will be welcomed.
With this decision I am not contradicting the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church with regard to human sexuality [Yes, you absolutely are contradicting the teachings of the Church! You’re putting unnatural homosexual relationships on an equal plane with heterosexual relationships.]; I am not encouraging nor am I condoning homosexual activity just as I do not encourage or condone heterosexual activity at a dance. I am not contradicting the Church’s opposition to the redefinition of marriage. With this decision I invite and encourage us all, as Pope Francis does [Unless he has official word from the Holy Father that he supports this, don’t hide behind the pope], to exercise care, protection, goodness which calls for a certain tenderness “which is not a virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid [Typical ploy of the homosexual lobby: imply that opposition to gay marriage is out of fear (they use the term “homophobia”)] of goodness, of tenderness.”
Sincerely in the Lord,
Edward F. Salmon, S.J.


It would seem that McQuaid Jesuit High School has abandoned its Catholic identity. Please consider informing our Apostolic Administrator through one of the following methods below:

Bishop Robert Cunningham
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse
240 East Onondaga St.
Syracuse, NY 13202

Phone: (315)422-7203
Fax: (315)478-4619

Or, contact these high ranking officials in Syracuse to relay a message to our administrator:

Rev. Msgr. J. Robert Yeazel (Vicar General):

Rev. Timothy Elmer (Chancellor):

If Fr. Salmon’s decision stands, it might be time to pull your son out of McQuaid.


There is reason to believe this whole thing was a premeditated stunt intended to stir the pot. Check out the following links:

1. An online petition was created:

2. The student called a sleazy local radio host to garner public support:

“Earlier this month, a McQuaid student called into “The Wease Show” on 95.1. The Brew, saying he had asked permission to attend the Junior Ball with another young man.”

Update 3/29/13: In response to the many requests for appropriate contacts in this matter via comments and e-mail, here are a few contributed by our readers.

Very Reverend David S. Ciancimino, S.J.
Provincial, NY Province of the Society of Jesus
39 East 83rd Street, N.Y., N.Y. 10028

Office Telephone Number: 212.774.5500
FAX: 212.794.1036

– and/or –

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller.
Prefect for The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”
[Secretary: Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J.]
Piazza del S. Uffizio ll
00l93 Rome Italy
phone: 011.3906.
phone: 011.3906.
fax: 011.3906.

– and/or –

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia
Pontifical Council for the Family
Palazzo San Calisto
Piazza San Calisto 16
00120 Vatican City

– and/or –

Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, Prefect
Congregation for Catholic Education
Office of Schools
Palazzo della Congregazioni
Piazza Pio XII, 3
00193 Roma, Italy

Fruits Indeed…

March 26th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K
Bishops Clark and Hubbard receive the "John Cardinal O’Connor Award"

Bishops Clark and Hubbard receive the “John Cardinal O’Connor Award”

An excerpt from Bishop Clark’s acceptance speech, as printed in the progressive America magazine:

“Fruits of the Council – Prayers for the Church”

My overarching awareness of the experience of 50 years of priesthood and 34 years of episcopal service is that it all began at the same time that Vatican II began. That realization leaves me deeply and abidingly grateful for the wonderful fruits of the council. It also makes me aware that there is much yet to be done. It has been my privilege all these years to walk with people whose faith and generosity make the Kingdom come every day. The lay faithful, women and men religious, our priests and deacons in great number really do get it, that they are gifted by and called to holiness, that they are to participate fully, actively and consciously in the life of the church; that they are to be salt and light for others.

They know that we are in this together. They know that we embrace Christ most lovingly when we embrace the poor, the lonely and the dispossessed. They know that we are part of a faith community which is poorer than God wants us to be without the gifts of all. Such people do continually inspire me, and I believe that God’s gracious providence has contributed to my ongoing, continuing human and ministerial formation through all the years. Shifting into this new phase of my life, I welcome the opportunity to pray in gratitude for the people among whom I have served, and for their continued growth. I shall be praying, as well, that God will inspire us to continuing, ongoing conversion.

Among the prayers and hopes I have for our beloved church are these: the revival of a genuine experience of subsidiarity in the church, so that people at every level are free to do what they do best and what they generally can do better than anyone else; and a fresh realization that pastoral authority is meant to serve freedom and communion, not only by setting legitimate limits but by listening and learning from those it serves. To grow in genuine communion, we need much more honest, respectful, even tough conversation in our church, especially around matters that are disputed. Such conversations need to center more on seeking the Truth than on who holds the power. [There is no point in debating matters which have been settled. This dialogue tactic is an attempt to keep the door open on subjects such as women’s ordination and contraception]

I pray, too, that we will strive always to translate into appropriate structures and significant decisions what our pastoral statements say about women in the church [He really doesn’t know when to give it up]; that we will widen the pastoral embrace of the church to welcome more fully and affectionately our gay and lesbian sisters and brothers [And how do you propose we do this in a way that we aren’t already? Gay marriage? Gay-themed liturgies?]; that we will rejoice that God touches the hearts of our laity with a call to pastoral ministry, not seeing that call as in competition with priesthood [In Rochester, you have made the laity superior to the priesthood. Here a group of super-laity runs parishes, delivers homilies, tells the priest what to do, decides what churches close and stay open, etc.]; that we will be especially attentive and open to the faith experience of people who show every sign of being devoted disciples of the Lord, but who say all too frequently, “I am finding it very difficult to remain a Roman Catholic.”

I conclude by telling you that the beginning of the emeritus life has been wonderful. It allows a continued opportunity for apostolic ministry; it has opened the door for more prayer, study and thought about our pilgrimage together. Even at this stage of looking back over the years, I am profoundly encouraged by what has happened. I am also aware that growth is not always linear or uninterrupted, that we always stand in need of reform. But, my friends, I do believe and know at the very core of my being that the good work our loving God has begun in us, God will one day bring to completion.

Most Rev. Matthew H. Clark

Bp. Hubbard’s speech is also available at the link above.

May these two retire down to Florida upon Bp. Hubbard’s resignation and cause no further harm to the Catholic Church.

The Insult Continues

March 12th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

From the Catholic Courier:

State’s bishops to honor Bishop Emeritus Clark

Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark will receive the John Cardinal O’Connor Award for Extraordinary Service, in honor of his years of commitment to the public-policy agenda of the New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the state’s bishops in matters of public policy.

Bishop Clark also will be recognized for his pastoral service, having served more than 50 years in the priesthood, and his 33 years as Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester.

The award will be presented by Bishop Clark’s close friend, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany [These two men are attached at the hip (along with Fr. Tom Powers)], at the end of the annual Catholics at the Capitol Mass at 1:30 p.m. March 20 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. Bishop Clark also will deliver the homily at the Mass.

In its announcement of the honor, the Catholic conference cited Bishop Clark’s commitment of expanded participation of the laity, particularly women, in the life of the church. It also cited his promotion of Catholic social teaching, the diocesan expansion of Catholic Charities, and his defense of church positions on matters of human life [Really?], including opposition to abortion and capital punishment, and family life, including the traditional understanding of marriage [REALLY??].

Pope Benedict XVI has already honored Bp. Clark by accepting Clark’s resignation the moment he returned from summer vacation.

I Can’t Think of Two Worse Bishops to Honor

March 5th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

…aside from Cardinal Mahony.

From the Catholic Courier:

Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark to be honored

Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark will receive Fordham University’s highest honor, its prestigious President’s Medal, during a March 6 ceremony in New York City. Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany also will receive the President’s Medal during the ceremony.

The medals to be awarded to Bishop Clark and Bishop Hubbard are in recognition of their service, which collectively includes nearly 70 years as bishops and 100 years as priests. Bishop Clark was ordained a priest in 1962 and became bishop of the Diocese of Rochester in 1979. Bishop Hubbard was ordained a priest in 1963 and became bishop of the Albany Diocese in 1977.

The medals to be bestowed are “a sign of our immense esteem and gratitude for your graceful and abiding witness through the decades that have wrought enormous challenges within and outside the church,” Jesuit Father Joseph McShane, president of Fordham University, wrote in a letter to the bishops. “You are both courageous leaders who have definitively embraced a preferential option for the marginalized and the poor, faithfully shepherding in a manner that renders you models of episcopal ministry. [GAG!]

Past recipients of Fordham University’s Presidents Medal include the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, who received the honor in 2008. Founded in 1841, Fordham is a Jesuit University with residential campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester.

How appropriate that these two men so closely connected be “honored” at the same ceremony. They have a legacy of destruction in upstate New York Catholicism that may never be repaired.

Wherein Fr. Peter Clifford “Does Not Know”

February 25th, 2013, Promulgated by Gen

In the coming weeks, our Diocese will find itself in a very unusual situation. We will be experiencing a sede vacante on two counts, with the See of Rome and the See of Rochester both lacking an episcopal head. This will, undoubtedly, give rise to much uncertainty and, more unfortunately, much idle speculation.

I don’t like speculation for two reasons: there is seldom any substance to it, and there is generally nothing one can actually do regarding it…that is, unless you have a parish bulletin in which to offer thoughts and reflections. This is precisely what Fr. Peter Clifford at St. John of Rochester has done in the recent bulletin, which can be found here. He presents his parishioners with a brief overview of the conclave process, which is really rather informative and insightful. However, he digresses very quickly. I quote:

“In my view, many have felt left out or put out of the conversation. We have lost enough members. In order to bring Catholics back to the church and to keep them, he (the new pope) must find a way to speak to the middle. I do not suggest altering teaching or position as much as the means and way the message is delivered. In many ways, John XXIII was as traditional as John  Paul II, but his style, his smile and seeming easy way won hearts. He needs to be approachable. The grand and monarchical papacy is in the past. (Benedict XVI is a truly humble man, but he did not look it in red designer slippers, ermine capes, golden roziers [sic])…I cannot say what it would look like, but it needs to change.” (I’ll not comment at length about the gross disrespect shown by Fr. Clifford, even implicitly, to His Holiness.)

I could go on for several paragraphs, but I’ll keep it short. Is it not interesting, let alone self-contradictory, that a priest in the Church feels that he is capable to judge the nature of Pope Benedict’s reign, implying, despite the nice “humble man” intro, that His Holiness was not, in fact, humble? What is more humble – to reign gently and with beauty, serenity, and dignity, or to criticize pontifical ceremonial half a world away? One could easily make the same passive-aggressive snipes about wealth and pomp given the generous amounts St. John’s receives in its collections each week. However, to base a judgment on Fr. Clifford’s tenure there, his staff, the various committees and organizations, etc., based solely on outward signs is shallow and damaging. Fr. Clifford says we need to appeal to the middle – does criticizing and showing disrespect for the Pope achieve this? I think not.

My second point is this: note that our more “progressive” brothers and sisters are very free and liberal in their critiques, but lack the vision to see the actual solution to these alleged issues. He writes, “I cannot say what it would look like.” If he cannot say, cannot solve, cannot provide genuine insight, he ought not to attempt it. Surely, we all critique and nitpick, but to do it and not follow through, to leave important matters such as the governance of Holy Mother Church open for discussion and dialogue, is not a responsible method of appealing to the middle. (And he is assuming that the “middle” is right on all counts. That’s an assumption I’m not willing to make, personally.)

I find it rather entertaining that some of our fellow Catholics feel that current trends, fads of passing decades, carry some weight of infallibility that allows us (demands of us?) to change the Church. We are Catholic Christians, whose faith is universal, not only in location, but in time. “The grand and monarchical papacy is past,” perhaps, Fr. Clifford, but this does not mean that it is now time for a “grand and monarchical” priesthood to take to the stage through opinion-riddled bulletin articles. Idle speculation damages the Church, and has done so since the earliest days, and will do so till the end of time. This is not some sort of blank check for “forward-thinking” action. “The Council reoriented our style of church away from monarchy to collegiality.” Where, then, is the “collegiality,” when we presume to correct our venerable Holy Father because of his apparel?

Pray for the Pope. Pray for our priests. Pray that the Holy Spirit may touch the hearts of those who are worried and uncertain about the coming weeks and months. Remember: the gates of Hell shall not prevail.

A Heretic Reacts

February 11th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

In the interest of fairness, here is a reaction from some liberal nut; pretend bishop Bridget Mary Meehan of the “Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.”

DSC_0099“We are witnessing a “holy shakeup” in the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope’s resignation is a positive sign that the Spirit is at work renewing the church. Roman Catholic Women Priests are leading the way to a more open, inclusive church where all are welcome to receive sacraments. It is time for the Roman Catholic Church to follow Jesus’s example of Gospel equality and accept women as equals and partners in the Gospel. The people of God are the church and the majority will welcome Benedict’s resignation. “

Continued Support for Dissent

February 4th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

We have written on these pages several times about the dissenting gay & lesbian organization founded in Rochester, NY called Fortunate Families. Our writers at Cleansing Fire have made it abundantly clear throughout the years that this organization disagrees with Roman Catholic teaching as it relates to homosexuality, homosexual acts, and the nature of marriage. We even went so far as to personally contact Diocese of Rochester priests who financially supported Fortunate Families, in signed written letters, to educate them about the organization’s un-Catholic positions. You’d think our priests would cease support when provided with evidence that Fortunate Families is not aligned with Church teaching. However…

Fr. Joseph Marcoux continues to send money to Fortunate Families.

The following appears in last weekend’s St. Catherine of Siena (Ithaca) bulletin:


We will repeat this until we’re blue in the face: Fortunate Families is not a Catholic organization. This group dissents from Church teachings on homosexuality. Do you still doubt us? Here is a scan of their October/November 2012 newsletter where Fortunate Families outlines their positions. I direct your attention to #7 and #3:

“7. We support civil same-sex marriage because we want our gay children to have the same support for their loving relationships as our straight children, along with all the legal rights and responsibilities that go along with that. We consider this a perfectly legitimate purpose for civil marriage, the inability to procreate not withstanding, as is the case with some of our straight children.”

3. Our gay children, just like our straight children, experience desire for friendship and companionship, and each hopes to fall in love and express that intimacy with the person with whom they wish to share their life.

fortunatefamily positions

Click above to enlarge

It’s right there, Father. Fortunate Families openly admits to supporting gay marriage. Yet, you feel it’s appropriate for your parish to endorse this organization and send them financial contributions?

Why not support a homosexual support organization better aligned with the Catholic Church, like Courage?

Cardinal Mahony Fights Back

February 1st, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

From Card. Mahony’s blog:

“Dear Archbishop Gomez:

In this letter I wish to outline briefly how the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and I responded to the evolving scandal of clergy sexual misconduct, especially involving minors.

Nothing in my own background or education equipped me to deal with this grave problem. In two years [1962—1964] spent in graduate school earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work, no textbook and no lecture ever referred to the sexual abuse of children. While there was some information dealing with child neglect, sexual abuse was never discussed. [So what, Cardinal Mahony! Human decency demands that you keep pederast priests away from innocent children!]

Shortly after I was installed on September 5, 1985 I took steps to create an Office of the Vicar for the Clergy so that all our efforts in helping our priests could be located in one place. In the summer of 1986 I invited an attorney-friend from Stockton to address our priests during our annual retreat at St. John’s Seminary on the topic of the sexual abuse of minors. Towards the end of 1986 work began with the Council of Priests to develop policies and procedures to guide all of us in dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct. Those underwent much review across the Archdiocese, and were adopted in 1989.

During these intervening years a small number of cases did arise. I sought advice from several other Bishops across the country, including Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, and then Bishop Adam Maida of Green Bay. I consulted with our Episcopal Conference frequently. All the advice was to remove priests from active ministry if there was reasonable suspicion that abuse had occurred, and then refer them to one of the several residential treatment centers across the country for evaluation and recommendation.

This procedure was standard across the country for all Arch/Dioceses, for School Districts, for other Churches, and for all Youth Organizations that dealt with minors. We were never told that, in fact, following these procedures was not effective, and that perpetrators were incapable of being treated in such a way that they could safely pursue priestly ministry.

During the 1990s our own policies and procedures evolved and became more stringent. We had learned from the mistakes of the 1980s and the new procedures reflected this change. In 1994 we became one of the first Archdioceses in the world to institute a Sexual Abuse Advisory Board [SAAB] which gave helpful insights and recommendations to the Vicar for the Clergy on how to deal with these cases. Through the help of this Board, we moved towards a “zero tolerance” policy for clergy who had allegations against them which had proven true.

In 2002 we greatly expanded the SAAB group into the new Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board. They were instrumental in implementing the Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth and served as an invaluable body for me and our Archdiocese. They dealt with every case with great care, justice, and concern for our youth.

From 2003 to 2012 the Archdiocese underwent several Compliance Audits by professional firms retained for this purpose. Most Auditors were retired FBI agents, and extremely competent. Every single Audit concluded that the Archdiocese was in full compliance with the Charter.

[Here it gets real interesting…]

When you were formally received as our Archbishop on May 26, 2010, you began to become aware of all that had been done here over the years for the protection of children and youth. You became our official Archbishop on March 1, 2011 and you were personally involved with the Compliance Audit of 2012—again, in which we were deemed to be in full compliance.

Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors.

I have stated time and time again that I made mistakes, especially in the mid-1980s. I apologized for those mistakes, and committed myself to make certain that the Archdiocese was safe for everyone.

Unfortunately, I cannot return now to the 1980s and reverse actions and decisions made then. But when I retired as the active Archbishop, I handed over to you an Archdiocese that was second to none in protecting children and youth.

With every best wish, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

His Eminence
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony
Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles

“His Eminence” has no shame. How very sad.


January 31st, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

mime (n) : an ancient dramatic entertainment representing scenes from life usually in a ridiculous manner.


The tasteless Passion Mime was cancelled last year as a result of poor interest. May it be cancelled once again.

Couldn’t Peace of Christ offer a more respectful performance to depict the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Photo removed, as per request of Alison LeChase. Since we apparently do not have the “right” to post the photo here, we will instead link to a publicly accessible gallery not hosted by CF:

Change From Within

January 25th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

A reader has kindly directed our attention to an article that appeared in the February 3, 2000 issue of the Diocese of Rochester’s Catholic Courier. In an article about the establishment of a local Call to Action chapter, Fr. William Spilly admits that he and the CTA chapter meeting at his parish (note the “we”) are working within the institution toward the unacceptable platform of Jim Callan’s Corpus Christi/Spiritus Christi. For those who may have forgotten, Mr. Callan was relieved of duties at Corpus Christi in 1998 for blessing homosexual unions, permitting a female “associate pastor” to quasi-preside and don a half stole, and openly inviting non-Catholics and non-Christians to Holy Communion. He was excommunicated latae sententiae in 1999 upon joining the schismatic Spiritus Christi church.

spilly CTA

Click to enlarge

“Father Spilly added that CTA members were united in their concern that the “progressive” positions advocated by Corpus under Father Callan’s leadership were no longer being advanced.
“Maybe Corpus Christi went too fast, too soon, and we wanted to see these issues come about in the church by working in the church,” Father Spilly said.”
-Catholic Courier, 2/3/2000

There should be no confusion about what Father means when he promotes “equality” for gays and women in the Church.

In related news, the local chapter of Call to Action is still alive and kicking. The CTA group protested outside of the DoR’s diaconate ordination in June. Below are photographs of the protest found on their website:


Bp. Clark takes a picture with his seminarians while a disgruntled CTA member pushes her way into the shot.


She appears to be holding a photograph of the “Rev.” Mary Ramerman, former “associate pastor” of Corpus Christi.


An earth-shaking crowd of four.

Fr. Spilly… AGAIN

January 24th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

Fr. William Spilly, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hamlin, has a long history of criticizing the Catholic Church and calling for change from within. In his latest critique, Father opines that the Church must promote equality for gays and women inside the institution.

One can only speculate what this so-called equality would entail.

spilly on gays and women in church


Unfortunately, not much has changed since 1999.

January 16th, 2013, Promulgated by Bernie

This article appeared in the New Oxford Review way back in 1999. It was the archival link of the day in today’s NOR news feed. It’s over ten years old but I couldn’t help thinking while reading it “Wow, many of these things are still going on, even after all this time!” Many of the specific liturgical abuses he mentioned I have experienced first hand just as the writer reported it. In fact, I had to stop reading and check to see if he had connections to Rochester. Maybe some of the friends who related experiences did have connections to Rochester.

…These willful alterations — several of which I discuss below — may not strike every Catholic in the pews as significant, since so much of our liturgy is now done in a seemingly casual and impromptu manner. That very casualness is part of what I want to caution us about. Our acts and words at Mass are tremendously significant, and we must pay close attention to what goes on. Join me for a moment at a typical weekend Mass.

When the priest and lectors and altar servers and extraordinary ministers and cross-bearer all finally gather near the vestibule, there will generally be no solemn sign — no thurifer or asperges — to start Mass off. The synthetic notes of the “gathering song” will signal the start of a casual amble up the aisle. From beneath the cassocks of the servers protrude the enormous white or variously colored basketball shoes that serve our adolescents as Sunday footwear.

Reaching his spot before the altar (now often called “the table”), the priest (now often called “the presider”) begins not with the sign of the cross but with “Good morning, everybody.” This may be because he feels jovial or because he feels awkward, but a secular greeting is jarring and out of place in our liturgy. The people politely or reflexively shout it back to him anyhow. (I’ve even heard “Good morning, folks,” “Good morning, Father,” at a Saturday evening service.) Continuing in this extraliturgical down-home style, the “presider” may ramble into an extemporaneous little disquisition. It may be on the central theme of the Mass, or it may be on what happens to be on his mind that day — say, the weather, the Super Bowl, or the three-day weekend in honor of whatever or whomever. This opening sets the tone, a tone far removed from that of the solemn and exalted colloquy with which our Mass used to begin: Priest: I will go in unto the altar of God. People: Unto God, who gives joy to my youth (Psalm 42). The tone today is more like, “Hey, gang, let’s do some liturgy”…

…An acquaintance tells me of a “presider” at the Newman Hall near one of America’s premier public universities who regularly alters the Eucharistic Prayer. All the standard versions of the Eucharistic Prayer speak of our sharing faith or growing in love “with John Paul our Pope, our Bishop, N., and [the rest of the faithful].” The priest in question, however, says the following: “with John Paul, the Bishop of Rome…” What can (that) purpose be, if not to demote the Pontiff and downgrade the Holy See? If John Paul is just the bishop of a city in far-off Italy, then the papacy is all the easier to dismiss…

…Sometimes casual lingo and casual action coalesce into outright disrespect for Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist. I shall never forget the Mass at which the celebrant announced that there would be “two bread stations.” If anyone should want “a sip of wine,” he added, “help yourself from the chalice on the altar.” Of course, that “bread” and “wine” had been transubstantiated, and so his reference to them as merely bread and wine minimized what occurs at the Consecration…

Read the whole article HERE

Marketing Heresy to the Young

January 1st, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

The aging hippies at Sr. Joan Sobala’s Women’s Ordination Conference have decided to market the impossible ordination of women to a younger crowd.

Here is their ridiculous parody of “Call Me Maybe”:

What You ‘Like’ Says A Lot About You

December 19th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

Has anyone taken the time to check out the various Facebook “likes” of our official Diocese of Rochester newspaper, the Catholic Courier? In particular, I wish to direct your attention to the one below:

Given the National cAtholic Reporter’s various editorial positions at odds with Catholic teaching, shouldn’t our diocesan paper refrain from promoting this very anti-Catholic publication?

The Courier also “likes” America and U.S. cAtholic magazines, a.k.a. NcR Lite.

Sisters of Mercy Support Defrocked Roy Bourgeois

December 18th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

From the Sisters of Mercy website:

Sisters of Mercy Leadership Saddened by Dismissal of Father Roy Bourgeois

November 28, 2012 – The Institute Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is saddened and disturbed by the recent action of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to dismiss Father Roy Bourgeois from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

We have known and worked with Father Roy as an advocate for justice in both church and society, nationally and globally. Father Roy’s commitment regarding the role of women in the church [emphasis] reflects our own as Sisters of Mercy since our Institute founding in 1991 when we stated in our Direction Statement that we will commit our lives and resources to act in solidarity with women seeking fullness of life and equality in church and society. We have heard Father Roy speak with respect and love for his church and find this an extraordinary moment of deep loss for religious life which he loves and to which he has given faithful service.

Father Roy remains our brother and we thank him for his integrity and lifelong fidelity to the gospel of love, justice and peace.

Mr. Roy Bourgeois was excommunicated and recently dismissed from the Maryknoll Fathers for promoting the ordination of women to the priesthood, and for “concelebrating” the “ordination” of a fake priestess.

The LCWR orders seem unwilling to reform. In fact, they’re growing bolder in their dissent.

Fr. Ted’s Catechism — Or Why We Should Permit Gay Marriage

December 18th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

Retired Diocese of Rochester priest, Fr. Edwin “Ted” Metzger, entertains a question about gay marriage from a parishioner of Greece’s Mother of Sorrows church in the parish bulletin. Sadly, Father fumbles the ball big time and implies that we should permit legalized gay marriage because people hold different opinions.

The following Q&A appeared in the parish bulletin this Sunday:

Q. More questions from a reader: What should we tell our children about same-sex marriage?
A. I would say nothing, until they ask. As far as our Catholic definition of marriage, matrimony, is concerned, The Catechism tells us in no. 1603: “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament”.

Q. Shouldn’t this definition be the law for all people in all the States?
A. No [What?!], because the United States is a vast country, with millions of people with diverse and strongly held beliefs about marriage. [There are diverse opinions about abortion… does that mean abortion should be legal?]

Q. But it is obvious to many citizens of the United States that “marriage” is a union of one man and one woman.
A. True. But to be realistic, we Catholics must admit that many other citizens hold that this ‘ain’t necessarily so’. So, relax, and treat your friends and neighbors as Christ has taught us: “Love one another, as I have loved you”; John 15:12 and elsewhere in the Gospels.”

I don’t have a major qualm with the first answer, but Father Metzger is dead wrong about the next two. We Catholics have an obligation to oppose the legalization of gay marriage. Our Holy Father, while Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had the following to say about fighting legal recognition of gay unions:

“In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.”

“If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.

When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.

When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth.

The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.


We can not sit idly by while the definition of marriage is rewritten. Catholics have a duty to resist these efforts, and we must defend the traditional understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Fr. Metzger is wrong and a correction is necessary.

If you would like to contact the Pastor of Mother of Sorrows, Fr. Adam Ogorzaly, the parish e-mail address is:


NcR Comes Out, Openly Challenges Church Teaching

December 3rd, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the National cAtholic Reporter would support the ordination of women to the priesthood. They have done so implicitly for decades. Today, the paper has officially come out in favor of what has been infallibly declared impossible by Pope John Paul II, and later reaffirmed by Card. Ratzinger as belonging to the deposit of faith.

Here it is:

“The call to the priesthood is a gift from God. It is rooted in baptism and is called forth and affirmed by the community because it is authentic and evident in the person as a charism. Catholic women who have discerned a call to the priesthood and have had that call affirmed by the community should be ordained in the Roman Catholic church. Barring women from ordination to the priesthood is an injustice that cannot be allowed to stand.

Our message is that we believe the sensus fidelium is that the exclusion of women from the priesthood has no strong basis in Scripture or any other compelling rationale; therefore, women should be ordained. We have heard the faithful assent to this in countless conversations in parish halls, lecture halls and family gatherings. It has been studied and prayed over individually and in groups. The brave witness of the Women’s Ordination Conference [Sr. Joan Sobala and Nancy DeRycke’s organization], as one example, gives us assurance that the faithful have come to this conclusion after prayerful consideration and study — yes, even study of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

NCR joins its voice with Roy Bourgeois and calls for the Catholic church to correct this unjust teaching.”

The anti-Catholic NcR has been made available to our discerners at Becket Hall as recently as two years ago, and may still be. Additionally, various Diocese of Rochester parishes purchase copies of the NcR to place in the back of the church for parishioners to take home and read. Should you come across the NcR in your local parish, I ask you to kindly pick up all available copies and toss them into the recycling bin. You’ll be saving souls in the process.

Rochester Priest Goes Polish

December 1st, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

The Rev. Matthew Kawiak (right) poses with the parish committee chair at Holy Family Polish National Church

About a year ago, the parishes of the Northwest Planning Group (Nativity, St. John, St. Leo, St. Elizabeth, and SUNY Brockport) were forced to cut weekend Masses after the abrupt departure of Diocese of Rochester sexpert and part-time priest, Fr. Matthew Kawiak. At the time, it was said that the Rev. Kawiak was leaving our diocese to take up a position in Buffalo.

The Rev. Kawiak penned a disturbing blog post on Sunday that comes across as sexist, pro-women’s ordination, and  unnecessarily pelvic-focused — he manages to squeeze in the words vagina, crotch, and butt among others. I was going to forward this to Bp. Malone of Buffalo when I learned that Kawiak is not a priest of the Diocese of Buffalo. In fact, he is no longer part of the Roman Catholic Church.

Various news articles printed over the summer describe how the Rev. Kawiak left the Roman Catholic Church for the schismatic “Polish National Catholic Church,” a sect that permits the use of birth control, has married priests, invites divorced persons to Communion, and denies papal infallibility. This group is in dialogue with the Catholic Church, but reunion is unlikely given their extreme positions on some issues. Catholics who leave for this denomination may incur excommunication.

Though I was never a fan of Fr. Kawiak as a priest, I’m saddened to see him leave behind the Roman Catholic Church. Please pray for this man and any other Diocese of Rochester priests who may be contemplating a similar move now that Bp. Clark’s “protective umbrella” is gone. Please also pray for the college students who worshiped at Brockport’s Newman community. I hope their faith was not endangered due to poor pastoral care.

“Which ones we can blow off?”

November 29th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

Fr. Joe Marcoux provides us with a little insight into the minds of progressives, and how these individuals justify disobedience:

“So he tells the Pharisees and the scribes that yes the litmus is the rule but it’s this rule of love and everything else is human. Now that being said, there are (depending how you count) 618 Deuteronomic laws and 1752 Canon laws. How do we know which ones to follow and which ones we can blow off? I think, that Jesus would say that when a law becomes more important than the human it was made for then, as my Belgian friends would tell me, we’ve lost our north. Basically, we’ve lost our guiding principle. You’ve got to follow your conscience and your conscience has to be informed by love. I think this is relevant today because we still put rules over and above people. Examples: let’s start with the Church; what’s happening right now between the Vatican and the women religious of the United States. What about ultra-conservative Catholics versus ultra-progressive Catholics…we can’t even be civil to each other because of the rules!”


Do tell us, Father, which parts of the Code of  Canon Law should Catholics “blow off” because they fail your love test? Is it the Canon on the ordination of men alone (#1024)? The Canon that forbids lay homilies (#767)? What about the law that describes marriage as the union of a man and a woman (#1055)? Maybe the one that requires priests to obey the Holy Father and their bishop (#273)? — I’m not accusing you of ignoring the first three, though you publicly disregard the fourth whenever you sign a petition opposed to some Vatican action (see “What if we just said wait”, Open letter on gays and lesbians).

The laws and norms of our Church exist for the good of the Church! Sure, there may be instances where a law can be broken (for example, missing Mass on Sunday due to illness), but the Church’s laws are not something we can “blow off” because we don’t like them.