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Don’t Get Tangled in the Web

May 19th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

A friend of Cleansing Fire has sent us a copy of “Charlotte’s Web.” No, this is not the weekly bulletin article Ms. Bruney publishes detailing the goings-on at St. Vincent de Paul. Rather, this is the friends edition of the newsletter (which is far more enlightening to say the least). A couple of readers have mentioned that in a previous edition of the newsletter, Ms. Bruney described getting the Brockport pastorate over two priest applicants as a coup. That would appear to be one of the benefits of being a layperson on the bishop’s Priest Personnel Board. Below is an excerpt from the most recent article where the new Nativity pastoral administrator reveals that she will be working with a familiar yes-man in Fr. Ted Auble, and that the “dynamic duo” plan to win over the people of Brockport with their “love”.

Let’s take a look at what she has to say, with emphasis:

“We also learned that Fr. Ted Auble, my ministry partner here for the last eleven years, will be moving with me to Brockport. As sad as it will be for us to leave St. Vincent’s, we are thrilled to be able to continue our collaboration. There is still quite a bit of “noise” coming from small pockets in Brockport who are angry about my appointment there, feeling that a priest should have been appointed pastor. I know in time this “dynamic duo” will prove to them that there are far worse things than not having a priest pastor, but in the interim, we need to be paitent [sic] and thick-skinned. “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love….”!!!”

Surprise surprise, Fr. Auble is coming with Charlotte to Brockport. What has been the fruit of this “dynamic duo” you might ask? Take a look below at the weekly Mass schedule and imagine how well this is going to go over at Church of the Nativity:

St. Vincent de Paul schedule

Your vision is not failing. Under the “dynamic duo” (I’ll use her term), St. Vincent de Paul has only one weekday Mass. Meanwhile, the parish has four Scripture and Communion services every week. This has got to be a dream scenario for any priestess wannabe. But don’t worry… As Ms. Bruney admits in Bishop Clark’s lay ministry apologia, Forward in Hope, when it comes to Masses and communion services at her parish, “at this point, it matters not which it is” (page 73). Expect the same kind of confusion to come to Brockport. Irreparable damage is going to be done no matter how hard parishioners fight back, whether it be in the form of lower attendance or apathy toward the growing priest shortage in Rochester.

A reader sent us an e-mail late last night to inform us that Fr. Auble has a job apart from his priestly duties selling and grooming pets for his company, “Happy Tails.” If only this priest would spend a little more time doing the Lord’s work instead of pursuing entrepreneurial ventures! I don’t think it would be unreasonable for the people of Nativity to request that this priest offer more than one weekday Mass, unless grooming animals is a higher priority than saving souls.

Ms. Bruney concludes the article with her plan to squelch opposition:

“[We] will prove to them that there are far worse things than not having a priest pastor, but in the interim, we need to be paitent and thick-skinned. “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love….”!!!”

The win them over with love strategy is a familiar one which has been employed to varying degrees of success by pastoral administrators across the diocese  — fool the flock with a fake smile and they will become putty in your hands. I hope that the people of Brockport will see through any attempt to win them over with kindness. A smiling pastoral administrator does not make the appointment of a pastoral administrator any more acceptable; it’s still illicit and a gross misinterpretation of the provision provided under Canon 517.2. Laypersons may collaborate in pastoral care, but they certainly can not direct it.

Remember folks, the law of the Church is on your side. You don’t have to put up with laypersons delivering homilies, taking a leadership role in the Mass, and/or presiding over parish councils. Remind the administrator about what the Church says. If she quips back that the bishop has granted permission for these illicit activities, inform her that the bishop is wrong, and furnish proof. If this still fails, send faxes and letters to Rome ASAP (specifically to the Congregation for Bishops). Bishop Clark will make his ad limina trip to Rome either late this year or early next. If you voice your concerns now and in large numbers, they could very well find their way into the discussion when the bishop sits down with Pope Benedict.

A little over a year to go until change comes to Rochester. Keep praying.

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70 Responses to “Don’t Get Tangled in the Web”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    “We will prove to them that there are far worse things than not having a priest pastor..”
    I think this statement of hers sums it up. Everything she writes is a slap in the face to the priesthood. One can only wonder what could be worse.

  2. avatar Bruce says:

    Bruney calls herself a pastor, which makes her a heretic. She is not a priest, who is the only one who can actually BE a pastor. She refuses to accept Church teaching and law, and that makes her a heretic. What are the addresses we need for the CDF and Rome again? WE NEED TO START A CONCERTED EFFORT OF LETTERS TO ROME! Perhaps one a day or one a week from each of us. Until this woman is no longer allowed to play priest, we will not rest.

  3. avatar Monk says:

    Happy Tails dog grooming…..Charlotte’s Web…..you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried!

  4. avatar Bruce says:

    With Bruney: Masses, vocations, and parishioners are lost. What a wonderful track record for priest-wanna-bes! Keep writing letters, because the next bishop is not going to tolerate the likes of laywomen pastors playing priest and getting rid of Masses.

  5. avatar Bruce says:

    Also, is there a local paper in Brockport? If so, its time to start writing opinion pieces to inform the community that this woman is doing something illicit by calling herself a pastor and assuming those duties. Make it well-known in the community, not only as a warning of the coming abuses, but also as a way to put the heat on her and Bishop Clark.

  6. avatar Harold says:

    Save the paper and save the ink- writing Rome does no good. You are fooling yourselves!

    To play the other side of the argument– Is it right to appoint a priest pastor who doesnt want to be a pastor and has many other interests detracting from his ability to be a pastor? Worse– is it right to appoint a priest pastor who is a poor administrator and by all rights a poor leader? That does just as much harm! We have seen it!

    “Pastor” is not a term owned by the cathoic church to only describe the leader of a RC parish. “Pastor” is a generic term for a religious leader.

  7. avatar Bruce says:

    WRONG Harold. Have you read the language of the Canon Law?

    Can. 517 §1. When circumstances require it, the pastoral care of a parish or of different parishes together can be entrusted to several PRIESTS in solidum, with the requirement, however, that in exercising pastoral care one of them must be the moderator, namely, the one who is to direct the joint action and to answer for it to the bishop. – Bruney does not qualify.

    §2. If, because of a lack of priests, the diocesan bishop has decided that participation in the exercise of the pastoral care of a parish is to be entrusted to a deacon, to another person who is not a priest, or to a community of persons, HE IS TO APPOINT SOME PRIEST who, provided with the powers and faculties of a pastor, is to direct the pastoral care. – Bruney does not qualify.

    Can. 519 The PASTOR (parochus) is the proper pastor (pastor) of the parish entrusted to him, exercising the pastoral care of the community committed to him under the authority of the diocesan bishop in whose ministry of Christ he has been called to share, so that for that same community he carries out the functions of teaching, sanctifying, and governing, also with the cooperation of other presbyters or deacons and with the assistance of lay members of the Christian faithful, according to the norm of law. – Bruney does not qualify.

    Can. 521 §1. To become a pastor VALIDLY, one MUST be in the sacred order of the presbyterate. – Bruney does not qualify.

    §2. Moreover, HE is to be outstanding in sound doctrine and integrity of morals and endowed with zeal for souls and other virtues; he is also to possess those qualities which are required by universal or particular law to care for the parish in question. – Bruney does not qualify.

    Canon Law is clear in this section – “pastor” refers ONLY to those ordained presbyters. Bruney does not qualify, and yes, precision in language matters. SHE IS VIOLATING CHURCH TEACHING AND LAW WHICH MAKES HER A HERETIC.

    WRITE THE LETTERS AND WRITE THE LOCAL PAPER. If we do nothing, like Harold erroneously suggests, she will continue to put her own soul and the souls of the parishioners in grave danger.

  8. avatar Bruce says:

    Brockport parishioners: Ignore this priestess-wanna-be. Go to Father Auble for everything…heck, even go to his dog grooming business and ask him to do the things that he keeps trying to pass off to Bruney, as if it were her job. Keep peppering him and going to him only…DO NOT GO TO BRUNEY FOR ANYTHING. She can’t help you, since she is not a pastor. IF that fails, find a new parish.

  9. avatar Bruce says:

    If she decides to give homilies, get up and walk out with your entire family. Clear the church until she is done breaking Church law and sits back down. Now, she is free to do administrative work, like scheduling carpet cleanings and fixing bathrooms, but she is NOT free to do ANYTHING liturgically nor interfere with the Sacraments and spiritual care/direction of the parishioners. If she is “only” an administrator, then that is all she gets to do. SHE IS NOT A PASTOR AND NEVER WILL BE. And, of course, pray for her and her soul…that she realizes the error of her ways and comes to the realization that SHE WILL NEVER BE A PRIEST.

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    VERY GOOD advise Bruce. I would do that if I were in Brockport.

  11. avatar Bruce says:

    In this day and age of the Church, in which Catholics are killed in some countries for simply trying to get to Mass, would this diocese have the hubris and audacity to get rid of the Mass, priests, and appoint lay priestesses who consistently ruin parishes? How can Bruney and co. sleep at night knowing that Catholics around the world are persecuted for staying in the Church while she thinks she can be a priest and mold the Church in her image? This has gone on far too long, and it is high time we Catholic stand up for truth and correct these abuses. She is no different than the rest of us lay persons, and she needs to act like it.

  12. avatar Anonymous says:

    These comments about Ms Bruney and Father Auble are very disturbing. I find it hard to understand how the “concerned” commentors are more focused on their personal agenda than on the souls in the Faith community in Brockport of which I am a member. Any time leadership of an organization changes, there is concern and uncertainty. Suggesting “walkouts” and “shunnings” to make a point have little to do with easing the transition for our parish. I choose to believe that there is a reason the Holy Spirit is sending us Ms. Bruney and Father Auble. After all,we aren’t really in charge of anything. Its all part of God’s plan for us. It would be helpful for the good people that read and contribute to Cleansing Fire to pray for all of us.

  13. avatar Bruce says:

    Anonymous-253163, you’re right in saying “you’re not really in charge of anything” because you are a lay person JUST LIKE BRUNEY. She is not “really in charge of anything” either, because she CAN’T be. She is not a pastor. YOU NEED AND ARE ENTITLED TO A PASTOR by Church law, which she cannot be. You need to remember that God’s plan involves our free participation. He chooses to do things this way. That means we are to participate, and if we see Church abuses and souls in danger, as they are in Brockport, we are to do something about it. We are either courageous and pray, write, and actively speak out against these abuses, or we remain silent and shirk our duties. BRUNEY IS NOT AND CANNOT BE A PASTOR, despite what she says. YOU HAVE A DUTY to speak the truth about this and let her, Bishop Clark, and Rome know about it. Otherwise, you will continue to lose parishioners, Sacraments, priests, and ultimately souls. If you truly love God and neighbor, then you owe it to both to ensure that souls are properly cared for, even if your bishop and fake pastor do not agree.

  14. avatar Scott W. says:

    Bruce is a better and more patient man than I. I was just going to caution anonymous not to hurt herself jumping over all those bus-sized premises like Evel Knieval.

  15. avatar Anonymous says:

    The Holy Spirit is NOT leading Ms. Bruney to leadership in Brockport. We are being mislead by the enemy for our diocese to be destroyed. Not everything that’s done in our churches are Holy Spirit led.

  16. avatar Bruce says:

    Why is the Mass not important in the DoR? The very lifeblood of existence? Why are priests not important in the DoR? They are the only doorways to eternal life we have here, for they provide the Eucharist. Why is Bruney and co. deliberately and willfully putting souls in grave danger? These are questions that they need to answer, and these are also questions that need to be posed to Rome and in the local media. Spread the word on these abuses to other blogs too. Write Father Z. Write Catholic Culture. Write them all. Don’t just sit as souls are being destroyed. Pray. Write. Pray some more. Write some more.

  17. avatar annonymouse says:

    Bruce – to clarify canon 517, section 2 – this means that a priest is to be appointed to moderate and direct the pastoral care, but this canon explicitly allows the bishop to appoint pastoral administrators to whom the “pastoral care of a parish is to be entrusted.”

    I agree with you that Ms. Bruney cannot call herself a pastor, and I agree that “pastor” is a carefully-defined term in canon law. There should be a priest or priests who oversee the pastoral care of the parish. But if you mean that the appointment of Ms. Bruney as pastoral administrator is illicit, well that I disagree with.

  18. avatar Bruce says:

    annonymouse, where is the term “pastoral administrator” defined in official Church teaching or law? I have yet to find it. Instead, I find “pastor” which is what Bruney and co. call themselves. This is illicit, since they cannot be pastors, for they are not ordained priests. What is worse, they are cutting Masses and losing parishioners. This is unacceptable, to say the least, and puts souls in danger. You said it yourself when quoting Canon Law…a PRIEST is to be appointed to moderate and direct pastoral care. Bruney and co. openly admit and advertise that this is precisely what they do. Bishop Clark also describes their positions as this. This CLEARLY and UNDENIABLY violates Church teaching and law.

  19. avatar Bruce says:

    Answer me this one too: Is Bruney living in the rectory? Rectories are for the priests – the REAL pastors – and our donations are for them, not fellow lay persons like Bruney. IF SHE IS LIVING IN THE RECTORY, SHE HAS NO RIGHT TO DO SO AND SHOULD HAVE TO FIND A PLACE TO LIVE AND PAY FOR IT ON HER OWN LIKE ALL OF US OTHER LAY PERSONS!!! IF she is living in the rectory, immediately stop giving to this parish and give your money to other charities.

  20. avatar annonymouse says:

    Bruce, if Bruney or others refer to themselves as pastors, that is illicit under canon law. The term “pastoral administrator” does not exist in canon law. It’s the term the Rochester Diocese came up with (as have other dioceses as well) to refer to the deacon or non-ordained role referred to in 517, §2.

    If you (and Dr. K) believe that there cannot be deacon or lay leadership of a parish under canon law, you’ll have to explain what you think is meant by §2.

    I have it on good authority that, despite folks’ dislike of the bishop, he is advised by a few quite able canonists.

  21. avatar Bruce says:

    Section 2 clearly refers to oversight (i.e. PASTOR) by a priest. I’m not sure what language you’re reading it in, but it clearly isn’t English.

  22. avatar Bruce says:

    Rich Leonardi has shared this with us regarding Canon Law and what could happen to Bishop Clark because of his appointment of laywomen as pastors:

    Church teaching and canon law does in fact point to the bishop as a Church leader who acts out of his own authority.

    Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church promulgated by the Second Vatican Council, said the bishop enjoys the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and that his authority does not operate by delegation. The document also says that bishops are not “to be regarded as vicars of the Roman pontiff.”

    Canon law says a diocesan bishop “has all the ordinary, proper and immediate power required for the exercise of his pastoral office.” St. Jerome, writing in the fourth and fifth centuries, said that “wherever a bishop is, whether at Rome or at Eugubium, at Constantinople or at Rhegium … he is of the same worth, and also of the same priesthood.”

    However, a bishop’s power is not absolute. He is bound to teach authentic Catholic doctrine and uphold canonical norms while being in communion with the Holy See.

    Though rare, canon law allows for a diocesan bishop to undergo a “privation” of office if he is found to be guilty of serious ecclesiastical crimes, such as violating canon law regarding the sale or misuse of church property. Mismanagement and weak job performance are not grounds for privation, said Peters.

    “Deprivation of office means you’re out completely. You don’t get the office back. It’s a rare happening,” Wilson said.

  23. avatar Anonymous says:

    We are arguing about titles— the real focus should be on responsibilities and actions of the respective individuals. Why is a priest running a dog shop, and a lay woman running a parish?

    Its clear that Bruce is very angry about this, and when anger gets involved, we can have a meanningful discussion.

    Instead of arguing about the meanning of words and who should do what- why dont we worry about spreding the gospel and message of Jesus Christ to the people in our diocese. Shame on us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. avatar militia says:

    “[We] will prove to them that there are far worse things than not having a priest pastor, …cite>

    I read that quote above as having a very threatening tone. What is she going to do as a “far worse thing?” Cause people to lose their souls. Yes, I would agree that is a far worse thing. Something is planned; I can feel it in my bones.

  25. avatar Adam T says:

    Bruce- I am offended by you. Anger is never the solution- pease be more Catholic like about these 2 children of God in your actions and writings.

  26. avatar JLo says:

    I once read, but can’t remember the source (hope someone out there can direct me!) that to protest something being said during a homily, one should rise and stand in the aisle. Of course, please understand that it was for strikingly anti-dogma/anti-doctrine statements, and certainly not for just a difference of opinion! I imagine this form of demonstration would also apply to a bogus homilist (i.e., anyone NOT ordained). I have left the nave during homilies delivered by women, but never did the “stand in the aisle” thing instead, nor have I personally seen it done. Has anyone else ever read of this form of silent protest? +JMJ

  27. avatar Bill Benton says:

    The best action that anyone in this thread should take is simply pray. Put it into the hands of the one we worship. It seems sometimes we forget to turn the other cheek.

  28. avatar annonymouse says:

    Why is the priest running a dog shop? I’m not certain, but I don’t think he lives in, or is incardinated in, the Rochester Diocese. Not sure what’s going on there, but he only wants part-time ministry (apparently).

    Bruce, your every-five-minutes repeat of the same basic argument is not going to change things. I agree that the responsibiliites given to the deacon and lay folks who are appointed as pastoral administrators (the title given to the role/position explicitly allowed in c. 517, §2) go beyond what canon law seems to prescribe, at least in the DoR. But your insistence that these people are “pastors” and we should start writing letters also means that we’ll look like fools when our letters are read by well-trained canonists who are familiar with these canons and the intent behind them.

  29. avatar annonymouse says:

    To clarify – pastoral administrator is the title given by the DoR to the un-named role prescribed in c. 517, §2.

  30. avatar annonymouse says:

    I don’t think I’m making a “fatal assumption” about your understanding of canon law unless, in your anger, you’re planning to shoot me.

    I do think, based on your posts, that it’s highly unlikely that you’ve had any formal training in this area.

    I’m not going to answer your question about what a “pastor” is – there is far too little space here to post all that canon law says about that.

    All I’m saying is that, based on canon law, just as Ms. Bruney and others may claim too much authority, you afford them too little.

  31. avatar Bruce says:

    annonymouse – you have avoided every question I have posed to you. You still have not defined what a pastoral administrator is in Church law. You still have not defined what a Sacramental Minister is in Church law either. You still have not shown how Bruney and co., when they describe their duties as spiritual guides for their parishes and put themselves in command of what is licitly as pastor’s duty (a priest, according to Canon Law), are able to do so in light of Church teaching and law. You have not done any of these precisely because you can’t. In truth, pastoral administrators do not exist in the Church. In a priest shortage, which is not the case since Bruney and these other lay women were appointed instead of priests, the bishop can appoint others to do certain duties, but Canon Law does not call these pastors and they are to be UNDER THE CONTROL of pastors who are priests. This is no the case with Bruney and co., and you have yet to show us any different. In short, you’re wrong and you don’t want to admit for some reason. I have my suspicions why, but I’ll be charitable and let you guess at them.

  32. avatar Bernie says:

    “Why is a priest running a dog shop, and a lay woman running a parish?”
    Love that line.

    “’[We] will prove to them that there are far worse things than not having a priest pastor,…’I read that quote above as having a very threatening tone.”
    I did, too

    JLo: “one should rise and stand in the aisle”
    I haven’t heard of that although standing in place during a homily I have seen when some sisters stood during an address by Blessed John Paul while he was here in the USA. I have seen photos of The Rainbow Sash group standing during Mass as a sign of protest. I’m personally not in favor of interrupting the liturgy beyond standing and walking out without fanfare. I don’t like to risk possible confrontation by ‘standing-my-ground’ so to speak. Standing in-place or in the aisle risks shouts of “sit down” or “get out” and then what happens when you don’t? Same with speaking out: you might get shouts along similar lines. I’m just not personally -personally- confortable taking chances that could lead to things getting out of control.

  33. avatar Bruce says:

    A pastor is a priest and only can be a priest. This is clearly in Canon Law. All you have to be able to do is read and you can understand that (unless you’re being untruthful, which I think you are). Furthermore, all the duties of a pastor, including providing the care of a parish, are reserved only to a priest. He has the final say. What Bruney and co are doing is a direct violation of that. Not only should they be fired and moved out of the rectories they are squatting in, they should be reassigned to roles UNDER priests if they want to help and taken OUT of the sanctuary as well. They have no business being pastors, giving homilies, or living in rectories. None at all. If they think they do, then we ALL do, and can shove them aside and give our own homilies and live in their rectories as well. Perhaps we should do just that until they buy a clue.

  34. avatar Hopefull says:

    I don’t get the problem. Canon 517, §2 clearly states that there must be a PRIEST moderator of the pastoral care. The very point that it was necessary to say this indicates that a layperson cannot provide pastoral care without a priest moderator. Perhaps the people of Brockport should write letters (many letters) to the bishop asking WHO is the priest moderator, and go to that person with EVERY pastoral care issue. Maybe it’s Fr. Hart, or even the Bishop himself. It may not be Charlotte’s sidekick groomer.

  35. avatar Bruce says:

    Can. 521 §1. To become a pastor validly, one must be in the sacred order of the presbyterate.

    Once more, just for good measure. Priests are pastors, not Bruney. There is no such thing as a pastoral administrator anymore than there are unicorns. It is another name for pastor, and a rather transparent attempt at getting around the law to put women in priestly roles. We all hope and pray that next year, they will no longer be allowed to play priest and the Church can once again flourish in the DoR. Pray for their souls.

  36. avatar Hopefull says:

    Starve it out….yes. It is a cancer, and since not excised by Rome, and not yet radiated by the cleansing power of God, at least the faithful can starve it out. But I would not disturb the liturgy, the worship of God. Drop a penny in the basket to show dismay if you want, or a used kleenex if you prefer. Best is not to attend, and go elsewhere and keep writing letters. But don’t interrupt the Mass or abuse the Mass. Then we would be no more respectful that Charlotte and the dog groomer.

  37. avatar Bruce says:

    I agree, starve it out as well. No money until priests are pastors and lay people are lay people once again.

  38. Adam, where do you have the idea that expressing anger is not Catholic? The Bible tells us to “Be angry, and sin not.” One of the more devilish arguments in Christendom today is the one that says Christians should always be meek and mild. They have some idea that Jesus was so. The Jesus I know expressed a great deal of anger at those who stood in the way of the Kingdom, calling them “whited tombs full of all uncleanness,” “hypocrites,” “snakes,” and so on…not to mention he took a whip and drove the money changers out of the temple.

    I’m not saying you are, but I think many people are afraid of righteous anger and it is easy to fall back on the sleepy, mild, “Let’s just pray about it” attitude that has done such great damage to a once-robust Christianity. In fact, it seems just twisted enough that the devil might be behind it.

  39. avatar annonymouse says:

    Bruce – as you and I have now said countless times, only priests may be pastors!

    I agree with you that our pastoral administrators may exercise more parochial power than the law intends them to. I disagree that this is an attempt to put women in priestly roles. §2 of canon 517 was put there by the drafters of the 1983 Code (promulgated by the Holy Father) for a purpose, but you refuse to see that. Just because the law does not name that role does not mean it does not exist. Rochester has decided to call it “pastoral administrator” – other dioceses have called it by other names, including lay “pastoral moderator” which is much more problematic canonically because “moderator” is a defined term in law, and only a priest may be a moderator. It is not a well-defined role in law, which (you’re not going to like this) leaves a fair amount of discretion to the local ordinary.

    It does seem that Ms. Bruney is rather brazen in her pride, and that it’s unlikely that she will practice much “Christian love” to those who would prefer to have had a pastor appointed. Bruce, believe it or not, we’re not too far apart in what we believe here.

    But in the interest of keeping peace, and to avoid any further “fatal assumptions,” I will cease posting on this subject now, and go back to Bernie’s fascination with rainbows.

    “You can convince a man against his will; he’ll be of the same opinion still.”

  40. avatar Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 253163: How can you say the commentors are more focused on personal agenda and not on the faith community of Brockport? If you are in that faith community as you say you are, you should be concerned with all that is said, especially by Bruce. I pity the parish if all are complacent like you. I will bet, though, that should you or a family member need a priest, you will be the first to complain that no one is there for you. And when you drop your collection envelope in the basket, know that you are paying for her food, utilities, and housing in addition to her salary and benefits. How many employees have this luxury? Your contribution is also paying a salary and benefits for Fr. Auble to come only on weekends and still carry on with his side business. How many priests have this luxury? So keep convincing yourself that this is the doing of the Holy Spirit. This is spirit-led, but the spirit is not a holy one! I agree with Militia – -this is only the beginning of more to come. Brockport is in my prayers.

  41. avatar Bruce says:

    That is what is most scary and distressing about these laywomen pastors – the lack of a priest when you need one most, the lack of priestly homilies, and the lack of daily Mass. There are no vocations in this diocese, largely because of Bishop Clark and these laywomen pastors. Without priests, there is no DoR.

  42. avatar Dr. K says:

    I just got home to find over 100 new e-mails in my inbox since this morning. Let’s take it easy, step back for a second, and take a deep breath.

    Please everyone, be respectful. No matter what your opinion might be (and indeed most have been against this pastoral arrangement) please make your concerns known civilly and convey your arguments in less than 20 posts a piece.

    We’re a year away from Clark’s retirement. We’ll get through this.

  43. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    A few years ago (2004), John L. Allen,the Vatican Correspondent for NCR, and a Vatican analyst for CNN and NPR, published a book entitled, “The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Works”. His focus was not necessarily on the spiritual aspect of the Vatican , but more on how it works as a governing body. As a clue to what is covered, I cite page 303 “The Holy See also tends not to remove bishops because, politically, retirement is seen as a reward for a job well done. The tendency is not to let a man retire until he has cleaned up any obvious mess.” This is not exactly the case at hand but gives an idea of some of the thinking at the Vatican. I really think things will continue as is for a while because publicity would cause problems, with the media circling like sharks.

  44. avatar Bruce says:

    Sometimes it takes the bite of the media for things to change…

  45. avatar Palestrina says:

    Bruce – I hear your cries of pain over this issue and how little the episcopate, clergy and priestesses care about the church and will destroy the church if necessary to achieve their narcissistic ends. But I have to violently disagree with you over one point – a new bishop will NOT change anything, nor will a new bishop even slow the momentum. Did JPII “fix” Paul VI? Did BXVI “fix” JPII? (unless you consider having latin mass at st stan’s to have “fixed” the DOR). SO the new bishop will NOT fix the DOR. The new bishop will represent the will of the USCCB’s with whom Clarke is an esteemed leader. The new bishop will NOT represent your interests. The only people he will have to answer to is Buffalo Road and the USCCB, not the Vatican and not to you. This is an absolute fact.

  46. avatar Dr. K says:

    a new bishop will NOT change anything, nor will a new bishop even slow the momentum.

    Don’t be so sure. Remember, the reason why Ms. Bruney came to Rochester in the first place is because a new Archbishop was installed in Hartford who did away with collaborative ministry in that diocese.

  47. avatar Bruce says:

    I agree with Dr. K here. I have seen changes come about in other dioceses with a new bishop…sometimes dramatic changes. I have lived through one already. It is possible and it is happening. Pray, but never stop being vigilant and vocal either.

  48. avatar Anonymous says:

    Masses, vocations and parishoners are not the real concern to liberal leaders in the DOR and elsewhere. They are dedicated to and are only concerned with promoting their ideology. Perhaps someday they will build a cathedral to St. Ideologue!

  49. avatar Anonymous says:

    Palestrina: I couldn’t disagree with you more. I have confidence that things will get better. It certainly couldn’t get any worse.

  50. avatar Jim R says:

    Not only do I believe things will get better, I believe they are already better (although Rochahcha still leaves much to be desired). Examples: The EF, the action concerning Bishop Morris in Australia, the changes at USCCB, the caliber of recent episcopal appointments, the new Missal and defeat of folks like HE Trautman of Erie, etc., etc.

    Frankly, while I would like a faster change, I do believe HHBXVI is moving swiftly and prudently given the problems. Not even the Pope has absolute power despite having supreme power – there’s a difference. As to the time it took HHJPII, he also had a bigger problem which he attacked methodically once it became clear what was going on. His early appointments were not good – and he changed that. Jadot was finally shut down. Yes, things move slowly, but they always have and always will. Now, at least, they all seem to be moving in the right direction again. IMHO.

  51. avatar Louis E. says:

    Is the “(Clark,73)” in the original post a citation of a page,or of his age?

    (In two years “Clark,75″ will be taking his book tours elsewhere and a new bishop should be explaining that only “priest pastors” CAN be appointed to run parishes).

  52. avatar Scott W. says:

    Not only do I believe things will get better, I believe they are already better (although Rochahcha still leaves much to be desired). Examples: The EF, the action concerning Bishop Morris in Australia, the changes at USCCB, the caliber of recent episcopal appointments, the new Missal and defeat of folks like HE Trautman of Erie, etc., etc.

    Exactly. The rising tide is lifting all boats except the DOR because frankly, there is a concerted effort to scuttle the ship. And as much as people like to gloat about Rome not caring and how Bp. Clark will likely serve out his time, the fact is that even if the next bishop is not the next Bruskewitz, things will get better because there is no where to go but up and there isn’t someone deliberately holding it down.

  53. avatar Hopefull says:

    I wanted to write something about what Anonymous 12865 says before it gets removed as inappropriate name calling (which it is). It should be enshrined in a little “Wall of Shame” along with so much else propagated against the people of God. Elsewhere on this website we see justifiable examples of people attacked or fearing being attacked. Wish I could figure out how to ‘link’ here but I’ll mention two: Phyllis in her concern about being attacked by proponents of homosexual marriage and the rantings of DS in one of the early Zeal posts. (Actually A-12865 sounds to me a lot like DS’s calling people KKK.)

    We can begin to imagine what the jeering at the foot of the Cross sounded like and unite ourselves to Christ’s sufferings there. We can ponder the fruit of A-12865′s own spirituality, the hurling of anonymous characterizations over the electronic wall. That’s one step below the playground bully, who can at least be identified. And I do think that what Anonymous-12865 wrote qualifies as cyber bullying. But we are also called to remember that what Christ suffered we too will suffer, as we are not greater than our teacher. We have been promised in Matt 5:10:

    “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    And we could go on, but there is no need to do so. As Paul, we can glory in our suffering for the Lord’s sake. I do wonder if A-12865 is the result of a pastoral administrator’s influence. Regular contact with a good, faithful priest would be helpful to such a soul. We need to pray for him/her. By their fruits we know them.

    Finally, ignoring the mixed metaphors of A-12etc, since I have no idea what “infiltraitors [sic] of spinless [sic] activity” could even be, I will limit further comment to a reply to strengthen brothers and sisters. There are many things wrong in the world which I’m sure many of us do try to help with, but consider for a moment that many of those ills are the down-stream pollution of deeply polluting point-sources in the pristine river of Christ’s teaching and grace. By dedicating ourselves to helping those most in need, the spiritually starved or twisted, it is necessary to go upstream and detect, expose and pray/write/speak out to remove the point-source of the downstream pollution to souls. Such point-sources, spiritually speaking, would be those who have the most influence (or exert a vacuum of good influence) over souls. See you upstream, my brothers and sisters.

  54. avatar Nerina says:

    Hopefull – Amen.

  55. avatar Scott W. says:

    Amen Hopefull. Sounds like a good thing I wasn’t around to see the comment.

  56. avatar Anonymous says:

    If only you would learn how to spell. Cleansing Fire should make a rule that you have to be at least 18 years old to post comments on their site.

  57. avatar Scott W. says:

    Oh darn! I was going to point out the irony of saying this site doesn’t have the guts to leave a post up by someone who won’t even sign his name.

  58. avatar Anonymous says:

    He/she wouldn’t spell it right anyway.

  59. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    well said, Hopefull. It reminds me of Chesterton…
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/130

    Last and most important, it is exactly this which explains
    what is so inexplicable to all the modern critics of the history
    of Christianity. I mean the monstrous wars about small points
    of theology, the earthquakes of emotion about a gesture or a word.
    It was only a matter of an inch; but an inch is everything when you
    are balancing. The Church could not afford to swerve a hair’s breadth
    on some things if she was to continue her great and daring experiment
    of the irregular equilibrium. Once let one idea become less powerful
    and some other idea would become too powerful. It was no flock of sheep
    the Christian shepherd was leading, but a herd of bulls and tigers,
    of terrible ideals and devouring doctrines, each one of them strong
    enough to turn to a false religion and lay waste the world.
    Remember that the Church went in specifically for dangerous ideas;
    she was a lion tamer. The idea of birth through a Holy Spirit,
    of the death of a divine being, of the forgiveness of sins,
    or the fulfilment of prophecies, are ideas which, any one can see,
    need but a touch to turn them into something blasphemous or ferocious.
    The smallest link was let drop by the artificers of the Mediterranean,
    and the lion of ancestral pessimism burst his chain in the forgotten
    forests of the north. Of these theological equalisations I have
    to speak afterwards. Here it is enough to notice that if some
    small mistake were made in doctrine, huge blunders might be made
    in human happiness. A sentence phrased wrong about the nature
    of symbolism would have broken all the best statues in Europe.
    A slip in the definitions might stop all the dances; might wither
    all the Christmas trees or break all the Easter eggs. Doctrines had
    to be defined within strict limits, even in order that man might
    enjoy general human liberties. The Church had to be careful,
    if only that the world might be careless.

    This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy.

    it continues on, but I should stop at some point.

  60. avatar Eliza10 says:

    I wasn’t able to read this post (and comments) when they were posted, so this comment is delayed.

    What struck me more than anything else is the artful wording Charlotte Bruney used in the Church of the Nativity’s Bulletin that you posted above, in the white block.

    Where are the Masses? No Masses that week? A “Communion Service” stands out in its Capital Letters of importance, but you have to deduce that “For the sick of the parish” is a Mass.

    “Scripture and Communion Service” sounds like a much more important event than a “For the sick of the parish” event! But of course that’s the point. “Mass” is a dirty word when the Pastoral Administrator is not allowed to be in charge of it.

    The point is to just get that word “Mass” completely out of silly people’s minds! Maybe Charlotte can make them forget! And WHY NOT?! Its that whole New Age idea that you can manipulate the world just by dreaming how it ought to be. Imagine! Manifest!

    Bruce, it will all be over very soon! Charlotte’s works will soon go up in smoke! Yes, its offending, but its just their last attempts flame up in personal prominence before they are doused in that dreaded pool of ordinary lay people, who are not as “distinctive, defined, and professional” as they are!

    My other thought on this astonishing scenario is that crazy question that Bernie also pointed out that will never leave my mind when I think of Brockport:

    “Why is a priest running a dog shop, and a lay woman running a parish?”

  61. avatar Eliza10 says:

    I guess its just because a priest running a dog shop is the natural fruit of the pastoral leadership of His Excellency Bishop Clark. As is the other.

  62. avatar Catherine White says:

    Evidently Bruce and others do not realize that as many older Priests are dying and only one per year being ordained, there simply are not enough priests to fill the need.

    Coming to Brockport as a young bride in 1962,I spent many years as a parishoner of Nativity BVM. Two of our three daughters were Baptized at NBVM, all received Communion, went to Nativity School, our oldest married there. After many years with prayerful, Christlike priests, I left when ,after giving him a years trial,the current priest struck me as most un Christ like.I found a spiritual home at St Vincent de Paul Church with the wonderful loving,Christlike homilies of Fr. Ted and Charlotte Bruney.

    I am shocked and appaled by the un Christlike tone of these writings.”Walk out on a homily or stand in protest”? I assure you the line from the SVdP bulliten was not written as a threat but as a loving intention to bring peace and love in their ministry. Jesus admonished us to “love one another as I have loved you” I beg you to do so and givethe new Pastoral administrator and Sacramintal Minister a decent chance to win your hearts. You will not be dissappointed. Catherine White.

  63. avatar Dr. K says:

    “I left when ,after giving him a years trial,the current priest struck me as most un Christ like”

    and

    “Jesus admonished us to “love one another as I have loved you””

    Catherine, where was your love for Fr. Enyan-Boadu?

    And btw, Charlotte has no business giving the homily. In fact, it’s forbidden.

  64. avatar Hopefull says:

    “I beg you to do so and give the new Pastoral administrator and Sacramintal Minister a decent chance to win your hearts.”

    No way. Get thee behind me, Satan. I don’t want anyone to win my heart or I to win anyone else’s. Jesus already won my heart and all I want is to worship where He and His Church are obeyed, and His Flock is served, and where I can work out my salvation with fear and trembling. I don’t need any fancy bells and whistles, improvisation, exhaltation of the presider, entertainment homilies or speeches by those forbidden to do so,applause,or any of hundreds of other attention-getting mechanisms which say “Hey, look at me.”

    It’s about God, not man (or woman.) Jesus was not a wimpy do-gooder. People keep trying to make Him over in their own image. He was strong and forceful and very, very clear in truth. Sometimes people think a good priest is too harsh or “unChrist-like” when they simply speak the truth, against abortion, homosexual marriage, euthanasia, IVF, contraception and more. I think people want wimp leaders so they don’t feel bad about themselves (IMO). But when you read of His overturning the temple tables, calling people whitened sepulchres, stumbling blocks, tombs, vipers, dogs, and call for a millstone to be hung about the neck of those who lead children astray, etc. that just isn’t the image today of feel-good sidetracking of the Gospel. Pastorship is NOT a popularity contest. And any who treat it that way will have much to answer for.

  65. avatar Catherine White says:

    When Father Roy Kiggins was “Pastor” it was common for Irene Goodwin,Pastoral assistant, to give a homily.Catholicism is not radical Islam where Women are relegated to cleaning the bathrooms,doing the wash ,coming and going silently. This is 2011 not 1911. Women are more than half the population of the earth. They are able to serve on the Altar, proclaim the scriptures as I do at SVdP and Preach the Homily and Administer Parishes.

    Jesus said”Love one another as I have loved You” How can you twist this? How can you proclaim such hatred toward someone you have never met? May the Peace of Christ be with You

  66. avatar Dr. K says:

    They are able to serve on [at] the Altar [Yes -- IF the diocesan bishop allows female altar servers and the pastor in a particular parish permits it. Otherwise, no.]
    proclaim the scriptures as I do at SVdP [Yes]
    and Preach the Homily [Definitely not]
    and Administer Parishes [In the true interpretation of Canon 517.2 as provided by the Vatican, a priest must always direct the pastoral care of a parish.]

    With this post you have proven why it is a bad idea for Charlotte Bruney or any layperson to be “running” a parish.

  67. avatar Anonymous says:

    [Deleted by moderator]

  68. avatar Anonymous says:

    Also, (this is mostly for Bruce), a person can’t save a soul, only by God’s grace are we saved. You seem to mostly know Cannon Law, since it’s what you quote so often, so I thought I would remind you of John 3:16.

  69. avatar Anonymous says:

    “Starve it out….yes. It is a cancer, and since not excised by Rome, and not yet radiated by the cleansing power of God, at least the faithful can starve it out. But I would not disturb the liturgy, the worship of God. Drop a penny in the basket to show dismay if you want, or a used kleenex if you prefer. Best is not to attend, and go elsewhere and keep writing letters. But don’t interrupt the Mass or abuse the Mass. Then we would be no more respectful that Charlotte and the dog groomer.”

    Dear Hopefull: Talk about disrespectful…you can’t even call Fr. Ted by his name, you have to call him “dog groomer”? I thought it was Un-Christianlike to call people names. Also, we are told to tithe 10 percent of our earnings in the BIBLE, that our money does not belong to us but to the One who made it possible for us to make the earnings.

  70. avatar Hopefull says:

    Quote: “Dear Hopefull: Talk about disrespectful…you can’t even call Fr. Ted by his name, you have to call him “dog groomer”? I thought it was Un-Christianlike to call people names. Also, we are told to tithe 10 percent of our earnings in the BIBLE, that our money does not belong to us but to the One who made it possible for us to make the earnings.”

    Dear Anonymous 18132:
    I do understand that “dog groomer” might sound disrespectful to those just tuning in, but that is what Fr. Ted is, isn’t he? I’m not the one showing disrespect; it seems to me that any priest who would groom dogs rather than say daily Mass is the one being disrespectful. What would be disrespectful is to use some pejorative like (only for illustration) “stupid” or “evil” or “unrighteous.” Rather, I am using the truth as I understand it, am I not? He IS a dog groomer, isn’t he? If he were a noted author, would it be wrong to call him “the noted author?” I think what you are reacting to is the shame of the choice being made here, rather than any disrespect in using a description of what he, himself, has chosen to be.

    Regarding tithing 10% of our earnings, could you please point out to me where that is in the catechism? I am aware there is an Old Testament basis, and also Christ’s mentioning tithing on rue and mint. Where in the New Testament is the 10% figure you cite? Yes, there is 10% in Leviticus, but the context of animal sacrifice is no longer relevant, nor the elaborate temple complex infrastructure. Rather, Christ links tithes in Luke 11:42 to justice and love of God: “But woe to you Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” Certainly we are called to support our churches, but here is an issue. We are also called to be good stewards, in justice. And not to give scandal to others. If giving to a particular church means we are NOT being good stewards, i.e. wasting money, giving scandal by endorsing aberrant liturgical practices, encouraging wanton spending without appropriate accountability, then it would seem in good conscience that we should not give much to such a church, even if we need to attend there out of necessity, and that we could meet our support responsibilities by giving to other Catholic Churches, charities and schools, as cheerful givers and to the extent we discern we should do so, rather than following the Mormon-like 10% rule.

    Thank you for bringing these issues into the open and creating dialogue. H.

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