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Bishop Matthew Clark leaving indelible mark on diocese (Officially retired!!)
Clerical Whispers ^ | July 17, 2012

Posted on 07/17/2012 3:24:32 PM PDT by NYer

Bishop Matthew H. Clark remembers the letter: stern, foreboding, and signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — the man whom the world knows today as Pope Benedict XVI.

Delivered to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester in 1986, the Vatican’s letter said that Rev. Charles E. Curran’s beliefs on the subjects of masturbation, homosexuality and premarital sex would promote a questionable “pluralism in teaching moral doctrine,” and that Clark was not to defend the man’s opinions any more.

But Clark didn’t back down.

“Your Eminence, I fail to see how such a description does justice to what I wrote,” Clark responded in a return letter. “My intention was to portray moral theology as a living discipline, which ever faces new questions and which historically has developed a great deal.”

The exchange occurred only a quarter of the way through his tenure, but is a microcosm of Matthew Clark’s 33-year career as bishop of the Rochester diocese.

Sunday, Clark turns 75 years old, and is submitting his resignation to the Holy See, as is required of all bishops in the Catholic Church who reach that age.

With beliefs shaped by the historic Second Vatican Council, Clark’s willingness to explore evolving viewpoints on issues not supported by the Catholic Church have endeared him to his supporters, who call him caring, thoughtful, and compassionate in an era where some Catholics find themselves conflicted over church teachings.

He’s shown benevolence towards gay and lesbian Catholics, given leadership roles to women not seen in other dioceses, and has generally been accepting of progressive theologians, such as Curran.

But his willingness to compromise on certain subjects has also distressed his critics, who say that Clark has skirted Vatican authority at every turn, weakened the Catholic school system, confused parishioners through lenience on social issues, and turned the Rochester diocese into the most liberal district in the country.

As Clark’s tenure nears its end, the memories of both his strongest supporters and his harshest critics are studded with the same touchstones.

LGBT issues

James Likoudis remembers arriving at Bishop Clark’s office with a group of other parishioners in August 1979, just two months after Clark had been named bishop.

The group put forth a list of concerns, including a lack of orthodox teaching at the diocese’s seminary, sex education in Catholic schools that flew in the face of Catholic doctrine, and a seeming endorsement of the aforementioned Rev. Charles Curran’s beliefs.

But Clark treated the group dismissively, said Likoudis, 83, of Montour Falls, Schuyler
County.

“He was obviously on another wavelength,” said Likoudis, who has authored several theological books, one of which bears Clark’s imprimatur, or official license. “He has his own theological agenda, and it’s hung very loosely to the dictates of the Vatican.”

Clark’s critics acknowledge that publicly, Clark has never explicitly said that he supports same-sex marriage.

But they feel his actions have shown his personal stance on the issue, citing events as far back as 1986, when Clark placed his imprimatur on Rev. Matthew Kawiak’s sexuality handbook, which discussed homosexuality, contraception and masturbation; Clark later removed the imprimatur on the orders of Cardinal Ratzinger.

More recently, in the lead-up to the vote on same-sex marriage in New York, Clark was largely absent from the debate.

“He put out a few letters (last year), but it was the same letter they put out years before that just said ‘This is what the Catholic Church believes,’ ” said Ben Anderson, who contributes to the website Cleansing Fire, a blog critical of Bishop Clark. “That was it. There was no standing up. No going in front of the media and saying ‘You can’t propose this.’ Bishop Clark was just sort of mum on that legislation.”

Anderson called the Rochester diocese one of Catholicism’s “last progressive strongholds” in the United States.

“Things like human sexuality, these are things that the church has ruled infallible,” said Anderson. “These things never change. If your job is to defend Catholicism, and you’re doing something else, then you’re not being completely honest.”

Thomas Wahl remembers Bishop Clark taking the pulpit in September 1998, before a Mass of gay and lesbian Catholics.

Wahl, the one-time head of the local chapter of Dignity U.S.A., a group of gay and lesbian Catholics seeking acceptance from the Catholic Church, was among the more than 600 who pushed passed the protesting crowds at the door and watched as Bishop Clark took the altar at St. Mary’s Church.

“He said ‘Good afternoon,’ and then he just stopped,” said Wahl. “And for 15 or 20 seconds, the tears rolled down his cheeks.”

It was only the second such Mass that Clark had attended, and it came in the midst of a two-year stretch that saw the Rochester diocese take center stage in a national debate on how the Catholic Church should treat its gay parishioners.

After the diocese’s first gay Mass, which Clark had convened in March 1997, protestors got the attention of the Vatican, who began keeping a close eye on the region as the diocese made some seemingly conflicting decisions regarding its gay outreach.

In the summer of 1998, Clark reassigned Rev. James Callan of Corpus Christi Church for three offenses, one of which was blessing gay weddings. Shortly after, he ordered diocesan priests to stop participating in a special weekly Mass for members of Dignity U.S.A.

But just one week after barring his own priests from the Dignity Masses, Clark turned around and hosted a national conference of Catholics that minister to homosexuals, and gave his second Mass for gays and lesbians, further confounding his critics.

“I have so much love for this man, because he doesn’t really care who he pisses off,” said Wahl. “He will go as far as he can while still staying within the letter of the law so he can continue to be a shepherd for the Rochester gay Catholic community.”

Corpus Christi Church eventually split from the Catholic Church in a schism that drew national attention.

But Callan — who was also cited for offering communion to non-Catholics and allowing women to concelebrate Mass — recently expressed admiration for Clark, calling him a “wonderful bishop.”

“He protected us from the Vatican for years and years with those three issues,” said Callan, a pastor at the renamed Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester. “We all believe that he feels the same way about all these issues that we did. I think the reason he let all those things go on at Corpus Christi is because he believed in them.”

Like Clark’s critics, Callan and Wahl are among those that think his actions speak louder than his lack of words.

“The church has some very high ideologues,” said Wahl. “But from a caring, compassionate point of view, you will not find anyone better than Bishop Clark.”

Women in the church

Charlotte Bruney remembers meeting Bishop Clark briefly when he spoke on the role of women in the Catholic Church at a 1993 conference in Hartford, Conn.

Five years later, as she was interviewing for a position in the Rochester diocese, she bumped into him in the hallway.

“We’ve met before, haven’t we?” Bruney remembers Clark asking.

“I was just so touched by that,” said Bruney, a pastoral administrator at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brockport who has served in the diocese since 1998.

Bruney was drawn to Rochester by a diocesan culture that she’d loved — and lost — in her previous post in Connecticut.

She’d been working as part of a collaborative team ministry in the Hartford diocese, but after the bishop’s sudden death, the Vatican appointed a successor who had little interest in allowing women to serve in leadership roles. Bruney and the other women were dismissed.

“I was really distraught,” said Bruney. “I had given up so much to work for the church and it felt like a big slap in the face to be dismissed without even a conversation. I wrestled with whether or not I’d stay in the Catholic Church.”

Then she remembered Clark’s speech years earlier and decided to apply for a pastoral administrator position in the Rochester diocese.

The title pastoral administrator suggests a behind-the-scenes position, and in many dioceses, that’s what they are. But in Rochester, the women who serve in these roles are visible, they are active, and they are leaders.

“He’s permitted women to preach pretty extensively in this diocese,” Bruney said. “He’s always been conscious of the voice of women, and he’s felt our pain when he’s had to restrict us.”

In addition to allowing a somewhat expansive role for pastoral administrators in the diocese, Clark has also made several statements in the past suggesting his support for one of the church’s most divisive issues: the ordination of female priests.

He’s often couched such statements, saying in 1991, for example, that “Were it possible, I would do it. It is not possible.”

But his support of the issue is commonly discussed as fact by both supporters and critics.

“He’s been very open to women’s participation in the church process, but there are certain parameters that he can’t get past,” said Mary Kate Driscoll of Rochester, a former member of the diocese’s Women’s Commission, an 18-member advisory council. “I think he’s done absolutely the best he can, given those parameters.”

Mary Aramini remembers the first time she saw Bishop Clark preside over a daily Mass, but only recalls the incident because for her, running across the bishop was extremely rare.

Aramini has come full circle with Catholicism, having left the church and adopted a pro-choice stance for about 10 years when she was younger.

Eventually, the Catholic Church drew her back. But the one she found in the Rochester diocese was not what she was looking for when she moved to the area in 1986.

She couldn’t find a novena to participate in, and most churches weren’t providing regular confession. Having returned to pro-life beliefs, she was disappointed that she never saw the bishop attending any pro-life rallies or praying outside any abortion clinics, as she’d seen bishops elsewhere do in the past.

Additionally, she felt that the church had always revered women, and didn’t think much of Clark’s progressive stances on various women’s issues.

“Everything doesn’t have to be identical to be equal in dignity,” said Aramini, a Rochester lawyer. “Women can have babies. Men cannot. You start with your basic anatomy, and you’re not the same.”

“So I don’t believe a woman has to be a priest,” she said. “I don’t believe a woman necessarily should be a priest. That doesn’t mean a woman can’t be just as active in the church, fulfilling whatever dreams they have in terms of promoting their faith.”

In recent years, Aramini has taken to attending church in Niagara County whenever possible, where she can sit through a “proper Mass” and relax, she said.

“They tolerate all diversity, except if you want to be traditional,” Aramini said.

Shrinking schools

Gretchen Garrity remembers meeting Bishop Clark at a Chrism Mass shortly after she converted to Catholicism in 2006.

“He’s a very kind and gentle man, and he knew our names and took the time to speak with us,” said Garrity, 52, of Corning, Steuben County. “It was a wonderful, wonderful experience.”

Garrity said that after the Mass, she proceeded to “enter vigorously into the life of the parish,” but quickly became dismayed at some of the diocesan closures that she started to see around her.

After two decades of decline, enrollment at Catholic schools nationally had slowly started to rebound in the 1990s, but in many regions, the sexual abuse scandal that would rock the church for years to come wiped out the gains.

The Rochester diocese was among those that were forced to consolidate churches and close schools in the years that followed.

Most recently, the Diocese closed 13 of its remaining 24 schools in 2008, and fewer than 4,000 students are now enrolled in schools in the diocese.

But Garrity called such closures shortsighted, saying they lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“They were operating like they were going to go out of business,” said Garrity, who said she considered the school system to be the foundation of the Catholic community. “And when you operate like you’re going to go out of business, you probably do.”

Bishop Clark remembers the school closings. And the schism with Corpus Christi, and the gay Masses, and the meetings with the women’s commission.

He remembers the time spent in his youth helping the priests in his local church, which eventually inspired him to join the priesthood.

He remembers the day in 1979 when he was appointed bishop of Rochester by Pope John Paul II, which at the time made him the second youngest bishop to ever be appointed in the U.S.

He remembers the diocesan-wide Synod in 1993, which brought together ideas and concerns from throughout the entire region and steered the diocese’s future.

But he also recalls the more painful decisions he’s had to make, and the closing of schools is among them.

So does the nationwide abuse scandal that led to the diocese’s removal of 23 priests over the last 10 years due to sexual abuse complaints.

“It is still a very dark time, but I think there are some rays of light emerging, thanks be to God, in the work that’s been done since then to train people, to educate people, to take measures of security and do what we can to make sure that will never happen again,” said Clark.

One day soon, he will have only memories.

But the diocese he led will have something more substantial: A church more accepting of the modern world’s complexities; one more open to expanded roles for women and laypeople.
And, for better or worse, those are things that will fade far less quickly.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 07/17/2012 3:24:37 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
A 'taste' of Bishop Clark's legacy to the catholics in the Diocese of Rochester.


From a recent Chrism Mass in the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rochester, NY.


Retiring priest, Fr. Donnelly has been serving as the “Sacramental Minister” under laywoman “pastoral administrator” Anne-Marie Brogan (in alb behind the priest), who will continue on in that role.

Good bye and good riddance! Just one more year until we bid farewell to Albany NY Bishop Hubbard, who wreckovated this diocese as well.

2 posted on 07/17/2012 3:29:03 PM PDT by NYer (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? - St. Augustine)
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To: NYer

I’m very happy for the denizens of the Rochester diocese, and prayers for patience to those in Albany.


3 posted on 07/17/2012 3:39:49 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Keeping the drama to a minimum)
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To: NYer

Sadly, after 33 years of nonsense, it will take almost that long to recover with a diocesan bureaucracy firmly ensconced to resist any changes in the orthodox direction, with either open defiance or on the down-low (yes I used that term deliberately.)

The only hope is if a new ordinary is appointed who has the cajones to require that all diocesan employees submit resignations that he can choose to refuse or not on his own terms.


4 posted on 07/17/2012 3:40:35 PM PDT by jtal (Runnin' a World in Need with White Folks' Greed - since 1492)
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To: NYer
This wolf in shepherd's clothing has done an awful lot of harm to the Church.

If he wants to be a protestant, there are dozens of denominations out there that would welcome him. If he wants female clerics, the Episcopalians would be glad to get him. If he wants to minister to the homosexual crowd, double ditto.

Why do these people stay in a Church that they obviously don't believe in? In business, we wouldn't accept a guy taking an executive salary from Coca-Cola and promoting Pepsi every time he turned around . . . no matter how much the guy said he liked Coca-Cola and just wanted it to change to be more like Pepsi . . . .

5 posted on 07/17/2012 3:42:08 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: NYer

Yet Clark is in “full communion” with Rome. Is it any wonder many Catholics do not take the appellation of “full communion” (or threat of lack thereof) seriously?

It’s hard to defend the Faith when Rome has failed to defend its faithful from wolves like Clark.


6 posted on 07/17/2012 4:18:38 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: NYer

Looks like Fr. Donnelly is holding up a plate of tacos and everyone else a bowel of Chex-mix. Nuts!


7 posted on 07/17/2012 4:40:46 PM PDT by Gerish (Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.)
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To: NYer

Good riddance. Unfortunately, after 33 years, the terrible legacy of a generation of improperly taught Catholic children will take quite a while to undo. They don’t know what they don’t know and they are raising their own children now.

More good seed that the crows will snatch away.

Come, Holy Spirit, and enkindle the hearts of your faithful.


8 posted on 07/17/2012 4:44:45 PM PDT by Melian ("Where will wants not, a way opens.")
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
It would seem that the Church should be able to devise a better plan than merely waiting for the retirement magic number of 75 to roll around to remove these Church-harmers.

Maybe if they reassigned a few of these loose cannon/canon Bishops and Priests to some more exotic places, like Antartica, or Siberia, or some place like that, before they reach 75, they might make other wobbly clerics think a bit more carefully before going off the deep end theologically or liturgically.

9 posted on 07/17/2012 4:50:20 PM PDT by Heart-Rest ("The Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15))
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To: NYer
The exchange occurred only a quarter of the way through his tenure, but is a microcosm of Matthew Clark’s 33-year career as bishop of the Rochester diocese.

Sounds like a real pain in the ass.

10 posted on 07/17/2012 5:00:54 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: Heart-Rest

the church, the country, and the world are where they right here right now because the watchman slept.


11 posted on 07/17/2012 5:02:15 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: Tax-chick; ArrogantBustard; ninenot

There is nothing wrong with Clark that burning him at the stake after a proper auto-da-fe would not cure (at least on earth). We need not limit the discipline to Clark. We need to add Howard Hubba Hubba Hubbard, Rembert Weakland, Charles Curran, and soooo many, many more of their ilk.


12 posted on 07/17/2012 5:22:04 PM PDT by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline/Tomas de Torquemada Gentleman's Society: Roast 'em!)
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To: NYer

**that Clark was not to defend the man’s opinions any more.

But Clark didn’t back down.**

I bet the REAL Catholics of the Rochester diocese are so happy that he will be leaving soon.

Does he stay until he is replaced? Or has his replacement even been named yet?


13 posted on 07/17/2012 5:34:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

This picture is a pi8cture of liturgical abuse.

Only the priest is to be at the altar, unless altar servers are there.

Also the hosts do not look genuine.

I agree with you, “Good riddance.”

Hopefully the woman goes too. She knows nothing about liturgy by participating in this way.


14 posted on 07/17/2012 5:37:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: BlackElk

You know what they say, “The walls of hell are lined with the skulls of bishops.”

Well, here’s another skull — although I really can’t judge. Perhaps he will re-covert on his deathbed.


15 posted on 07/17/2012 5:41:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Heart-Rest

Just be patient, time does fly fast.


16 posted on 07/17/2012 7:54:12 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: BlackElk

The burning at the stake will never happen.


17 posted on 07/17/2012 7:57:47 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: NYer

Isn’t this the diocese that Bishop Peter John “Fulton” Sheen once ministered? Things sure changed rather quickly after he left.


18 posted on 07/17/2012 9:25:54 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: NYer
“I have so much love for this man, because he doesn’t really care who he pisses off,” said Wahl. “He will go as far as he can while still staying within the letter of the law so he can continue to be a shepherd for the Rochester gay Catholic community.”

The Bishop was obviously not being a very good 'shepherd', if he was allowing his flock to go over the cliff of sin, without even attempting to 'call them back' to repentance.

19 posted on 07/17/2012 11:19:37 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Biggirl

More’s the shame. As Cicero once said: O tempora, O mores! They would make a lovely light!


20 posted on 07/18/2012 12:45:01 AM PDT by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline/Tomas de Torquemada Gentleman's Society: Roast 'em!)
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To: NYer

Deo Gratias.

What a disgrace to have had this man as a bishop of Holy Mother Church — the damage he’s inflicted really cannot be overstated.

Good riddance to him, and prayers that the people of Rochester are given an authentically Catholic shepherd to lead them back to the flock.

Regards,


21 posted on 07/18/2012 1:26:54 AM PDT by VermiciousKnid (Sic narro nos totus!)
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To: BlackElk

Better yet, it is better to be called back to faith by God through faith.


22 posted on 07/18/2012 3:16:21 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Melian
Unfortunately, after 33 years, the terrible legacy of a generation of improperly taught Catholic children will take quite a while to undo. They don’t know what they don’t know and they are raising their own children now.

Oh, don't worry about them! They're all in the Assembly of God and Baptist churches by now! /s /s /s ^ 10

The Ethiopian monks have a tale about an abbot, one of whose postulants died before taking final vows. The abbot subsequently has a horrible dream in which he sees the postulant up to his chest in a sea of fire in hell. The abbot expresses his horror, whereupon the postulant shouts back gaily, "Oh, don't worry about me, Father Abbot! I'm standing on a bishop's shoulders!

23 posted on 07/18/2012 5:14:48 AM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
It’s hard to defend the Faith when Rome has failed to defend its faithful from wolves like Clark.

You already know the response.

A question I have heard frequently among conservative Catholics is "Why doesn’t the pope do something about those bad bishops?" The question usually is prompted by frustration with a perceived lack of orthodoxy or zeal on the part of some bishop. Catholics in some places face situations in which it seems the bishop turns a blind eye to heterodoxy and dissent—or even appears to give them his blessing. Faced with such dysfunctional diocesan environments, they naturally look to Rome for relief and redress, but often are disappointed to find that help is slow in coming, if it ever comes at all.

By "do something" people usually mean that they want the pope to discipline the bishop, to apply pressure on him to adhere more closely to Church teaching, or even to remove him. But most of us—while from time to time sharing such wishes or even voicing them—don’t know exactly what can be done about a bad bishop. So I’ll address a couple of common misconceptions about the bishop’s role and his relationship to the universal church, and I’ll explain how the Church sees these things, both in its teaching and tradition.

Why Doesn't the Pope Do Something about "Bad" Bishops?

24 posted on 07/18/2012 5:56:08 AM PDT by NYer (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? - St. Augustine)
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To: Salvation
Does he stay until he is replaced? Or has his replacement even been named yet?

He remains until a replacement is named. Given the history of complaints emanating from this diocese over the past 30+ years, I anticipate the pope will name a replacement sooner rather than later.

25 posted on 07/18/2012 6:14:53 AM PDT by NYer (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? - St. Augustine)
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To: Coleus
Isn’t this the diocese that Bishop Peter John “Fulton” Sheen once ministered? Things sure changed rather quickly after he left.

You are absolutely right!

Sheen’s formal arrival was on December 14, 1966. He said, “I have an ardent desire to spend myself and to be spent, to get my arms around Rochester.” Sheen spent his first evening in the dicoese at St. Bernard’s Seminary with the students. He told them, the roots of the diocese were in its seminary. One student, Joe Hart, later remembered how Sheen paused and started “for perhaps found seconds, that seemed like forever” when you were being introduced. It was as though he were looking through you, Hart said later.

His making over of a parish church for treatment of drug addicts was attempted without any consultation of the parishioners concerned, and general dissatisfaction with Sheen as Bishop of Rochester, New York, led to his retirement and resignation. He does write in his last years, however, "I am certain that it was God Who made certain people throw stones at me, but I am just as certain that I have thrown stones at other people, and for those stonings I beg His mercy and pardon."


26 posted on 07/18/2012 6:24:49 AM PDT by NYer (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? - St. Augustine)
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To: Campion; Melian
Oh, don't worry about them! They're all in the Assembly of God and Baptist churches by now! /s /s /s ^ 10

Bingo! That is pretty much what has happened here in neighboring RC Diocese of Albany. Hubbard, like Clark (they're fellow seminarians), applied slash and burn policies on schools and parishes. In my hometown, there were 6 parishes, each struggling financially. Hubbard announced a series of talks to weigh information for possible mergers. He never personally appeared at any of those meetings, preferring to send one of his henchmen. The local catholics anticipated that one or two churches would close through mergers. In the end, he merged all 6 into 1 parish, despite the financial solvency of several parishes. The catholics revolted. Many joined an Evangelical church, just down the road. That church now brings in $35,000 a month and has expanded its property holdings.

27 posted on 07/18/2012 6:34:25 AM PDT by NYer (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? - St. Augustine)
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To: NYer

And yet the SSPX, whose bishops are orthodox and faithful, are “outside” the Church. The injustice to all Catholics boggles the mind and has broken many hearts.


28 posted on 07/18/2012 8:03:52 AM PDT by nanetteclaret (Unreconstructed Catholic Texan)
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To: NYer
Sorry, I just don't buy that spin.

Our previous Pope was so hamstrung by the false sense of collegiality that sprung forth alongside the false "Spirit of VII" that he failed to protect the flock from sheep in wolves clothing. It took him a while, but our present Holy Father has finally come to his senses and cast off that error and is using the proper authority of his office to clean house.

Pope fires Slovak bishop in rare show of authority

Pope removes Italian bishop amid fraud accusations

Pope removes bishop who expressed openness to ordaining women

Pope removes priestly status of Canadian Bishop caught with child porn

Pope removes Sicilian bishop from diocesan leadership

29 posted on 07/18/2012 9:03:15 AM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Biggirl
Certainly it is better to be called back to faith by God. He calls each and every one of us to faith. He also gives each and every one of us free will and does not interfere in our use of it.

When I attended Fairfield Prep soooo long ago trhat the Jebbies were still Catholic, we batted around the theological question as to whether Hitler or Stalin or other such notoriosos could possibly have made it to heaven despite their despicable track records. The Jebbies instructed us that either could have made heaven by accepting a genuine grace of final repentance and making a perfect act of contrition. Not that this was likely, mind you. Just remotely possible.

Now, Hitler and Stalin were not bishops of the Roman Catholic Church like Hubbard, Clark, Weakland and soooo many others of their ilk. They proved to be grossly unworthy shepherds who desecrated their sees and massacred their responsibilities. Likewise Curran as a theologian.

Batter folks than they were burnt at the stake such as St. Joan of Arc and Savanarola who were burnt for their virtues and not for whatever sins they may have committed. No likelihood of regrets or mistakes with the likes of those whom I listed. If any managed to sincerely repent, accept a grace of final repentance and make a perfect act of contrition as they would be consumed by the flames, their bonus would be reasonably prompt entrance into heaven. If not, not.

St. John Chrysostom famously observed that the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops. Nothing new under the sun.

30 posted on 07/18/2012 1:01:06 PM PDT by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline/Tomas de Torquemada Gentleman's Society: Roast 'em!)
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To: nanetteclaret; ninenot
The SSPX bishops (each and every one illicitly but validly consecrated in DIRECT violation of their and Marcel LeFebvre's oaths of obedience to ecclesiastical authority and in direct DEFIANCE of Pope John Paul II's command) are many things but "orthodox" and "faithful" are not among them.

Many actual Catholics are well aware of SSPX Bishop Williamson's shameful holocaust denial and other eccentricities. He has even been disciplined by SSPX for the embarrassment that he is.

De Mallerais has a mouth on him that would embarrass the late Lenny Bruce especially when discussing popes.

Gallerata or whatever his name is has the virtue of gewnerally keeping his mouth shut.

Fellay is the genial front man and image meister of the schismatic sect since LeFebvre went, excommunicated, to his eternal "reward."

In saner times, they would have been tied to the stake as living fuel as well.

I am a Catholic for more than sixty years since baptism in infancy. Don't let your heart be broken. They deserve far more punishment than can be dished out in this life. So did Bernardin, and so does Law, Mahoney, Fiorenza, Pilarczyk, Quinn, and many Jadot bishops dead or alive, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Declaration by JP II of the obvious fact that SSPX is a schism is justice and not injustice. It was JPII and not dead excommunicated Marcel who had the keys of the kingdom and used them. No Catholic with a mind finds it boggled by the papal justice meted out by JP II to punish Marcel and his revolutionary and despicable fellow miscreants.

The evil of the Jadot bishops does not justify the largely equal and opposite evil of the SSPX which has gotten far more positive attention than they ever deserved. SSPX should be given a hard deadline to submit unconditionally to the Vatican. If, as one may expect, SSPX refuses to do so. abolish the Ecclesia Dei Commission, excommunicate the leaders again, make attendance at their masses or receipt of sacraments from any of them a latae sententiae excommunicating offense for priests as well as laity. If they know what is good for them, SSPX will submit to B-XVI who has bent over backwards for them to the detriment of his authority as perceived from the pews. His successor is not likely to play patty cake with Fellay and company as B-XVI has.

If you value "fairness," may the Vatican publicly excommunicate them all, left and right, ignore them, and concentrate on the faith itself and those Catholics who ARE faithful and orthodox.

Finally, lest anyone be tempted to imagine otherwise, I attend the Tridentine Mass at St. Mary's Oratory in Rockford, Illinois, which is run by Fr. Bovee of the Institute of Christ the King: all Tridentine and absolutely in communion with and obedience to the pope and our new diocesan ordinary Bishop Malloy.

31 posted on 07/18/2012 1:52:01 PM PDT by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline/Tomas de Torquemada Gentleman's Society: Roast 'em!)
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To: BlackElk

Walter Sullivan. Daniel Plarczyk


32 posted on 07/18/2012 2:00:31 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: NYer

Pray for a quick replacement. We don’t have a new bishop one year after ours put in his resignation and we need one badly. He too, will have a hard time turning things around but it isn’t as bad as this.


33 posted on 07/18/2012 3:17:26 PM PDT by tiki
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To: NYer; Campion

The Church will be smaller, but full of much stronger souls, as the winnowing out continues. Sadly for many, Christ’s judgement will be fair as well as merciful. Those who had the fullness of the faith, and threw it away for something that was easier for them, will have some ‘splaining to do. The gate is narrow.

That liturgical dance photo is just ridiculous! I can’t stand liturgical dance... and I doubt it brings sacredness to the mind of anyone who watches it.

Any kind of “show” during Mass bugs me. No one should be calling attention to themselves in any way. What matters is what’s going on on the altar— the Eucharist!


34 posted on 07/18/2012 4:59:49 PM PDT by Melian ("Where will wants not, a way opens.")
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To: ArrogantBustard

Bishop Joseph Imesch of Joliet and Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie: two world class liturgical wreckovators. Bishop Joseph Adamec of Altoona-Johnstown. All retired and eminently eligible and worthy of the auto da fe and ready for roasting.


35 posted on 07/19/2012 3:51:18 PM PDT by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline/Tomas de Torquemada Gentleman's Society: Roast 'em!)
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To: Heart-Rest

The problem was that when Clark became a bishop, he was simply left of center among the bishops of the American Church. Vatican II, among other things, marked a rebellion against Roman authority. Only with the accession of John Paul II did the situation begin to turn around, but this has been like turning a battleship around. Only ten years ago, after the priest crisis burst on the scene, the bishops turned to the liberal editor of “Commonweal” to address them in Dallas. Rome is using the 75 year rule gradually to pry men like Clack from their stranglehold on office. But he has been clever enough never to cross too far across the line. The devil’s disciples are seldom as obvious in their actions as Weakland.


36 posted on 07/19/2012 6:33:09 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Biggirl
"Just be patient, time does fly fast."

Maybe for these two guys, but I was thinking more of others who are just like them but much younger, who may have 20 or 30 years more to mess up their Dioceses before they turn 75.

There ought to be a quicker way to get them out of there (before they hit 75), and at the same time, discourage other clerics with similar distorted views of their Faith and Church (who might be considering following in their path) from actually going that way at ANY age.

37 posted on 07/19/2012 6:42:29 PM PDT by Heart-Rest ("The Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15))
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To: RobbyS
Well, I see your good points, but I still feel that if Cardinal Ratzinger saw problems with him way back then, his views had to be known, even if he carefully tip-toed along the lines of these issues with his actions.

So, rather than blatently boot him out (in JP II's time), perhaps they should have quietly reassigned him to some special place where he would have had less influence, and could have found redeeming rehabilitation and genuine reconciliation with all the truths taught authoritatively and infallibly by the Church.

38 posted on 07/19/2012 8:28:05 PM PDT by Heart-Rest ("The Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15))
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To: Heart-Rest

People like Clark have friends in high places. Plus Clark knows when to tread softly.


39 posted on 07/19/2012 11:14:46 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: NYer; Salvation

Was talking to my MIL and she told me that Bishop Clark sent his letter in expecting to serve until his replacement was named. When it was received he got word right away that he was done that day. Quite a shock and rebuke from the Pope. We are under the supervision of the Bishop from Syracuse until a replacement is named, which could take up to a year. All the priests were stunned, but my MIL’s priest shared some details. Very interesting.


40 posted on 10/02/2012 8:34:19 PM PDT by tioga
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To: tioga; Salvation

Wow! That has got to be a first! Interesting that he placed you under the Syracuse bishop. Clark and Albany Bishop Hubbard have been friends since seminary. His axe will fall in December 2013. Prayers continue for your diocese. Thank you for posting this update.


41 posted on 10/03/2012 1:58:40 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer

Don’t forget that this Pope was the one to reprimand Clark during the blessings on gay unions, women preaching and all the other fiascoes that Clark caused.


42 posted on 10/03/2012 8:09:52 PM PDT by tioga
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To: tioga

And who can ever forget the debacle that ensued with Corpus Christi parish? I’m sure that was well documented in Clark’s Vatican dossier.


43 posted on 10/04/2012 7:53:32 AM PDT by NYer
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