Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

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Bishop Clark Retires : Where are we now and where are we headed?

September 21st, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

Bishop Cunningham and Bishop Clark at the press conference

On this day, September 21 in the year 2012, the Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Bishop Matthew Clark. As of today, Bp. Clark is no longer the Bishop of Rochester and he relinquishes any power and privilege that belongs to said position.  The bishop is given the honorary title of “bishop emeritus.” He is still a bishop, just not our shepherd any longer.

At a news conference that took place around 10 AM this morning, it was announced that Bp. Robert J. Cunningham of Syracuse will manage the Diocese of Rochester as Apostolic Administrator until a replacement has been named by Pope Benedict. Sadly, Fr. Joseph Hart will assist Bp. Cunningham in this administration. The diocese is presently sede vacante, meaning that we do not have a diocesan bishop. Our next bishop will be named in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Reflection on how we got here

I have to admit that when I woke up this morning I was shocked to hear that Bp. Clark had been replaced a mere two months after submitting his resignation. It’s a somewhat unprecedented move to have a bishop’s resignation be accepted so quickly, and it’s surely a repudiation of Bp. Clark’s tenure as Bishop of Rochester. Most of us expected a quicker than normal change, just not this quick! So why was the bishop’s resignation accepted after only two months? First of all, the bishop’s fruits have been rotten. Below is a table of figures comparing the state of the Diocese of Rochester when Bp. Clark arrived to when he departed:

Category 1979 2012
Active diocesan priests 341 90
Total priests 584 215
Priest ordinations 4 0
Religious sisters 1,047 443
Parishes 161 105*
Seminaries 2 0
Catholic high schools 9 5
Catholic elementary schools 78 25
Total Catholic school students 76,724 20,603
Infant baptisms 6,742 2,646
Marriages 3,919 1,009

Source: Official Catholic Directory, 1979 and 2012

Second, Bp. Clark has a lengthy and oft-tumultuous history with Pope Benedict; the two have butted heads on numerous occasions. In November of 1986, Cardinal Ratzinger forced Bp. Clark to remove his imprimatur from a sex book written by former Rochester (and now Buffalo) priest, Fr. Matthew Kawiak. The book condoned various immoral activities including masturbation and homosexual acts. Also in 1986, Cardinal Ratzinger banned Diocese of Rochester priest, Fr. Charles Curran, from teaching in Catholic institutions. Bp. Clark famously defended this priest to the bitter end despite Fr. Curran’s repeated dissent on human sexuality. In 1997, Clark received even more scrutiny from Vatican officials concerning his Rainbow Sash Masses for homosexuals at Sacred Heart Cathedral on March 1st and October 5th of that year. Perhaps the pinnacle of the disagreements between these two men came in October of 1998 when Ratzinger ordered the removal of James Callan from administrator of Corpus Christi church. As most readers already know, Corpus Christi had been blessing gay unions, offering non-Catholics and non-Christians Holy Communion, and elevated Pastoral Associate Mary Ramerman to the title of “Associate Pastor” while letting her wear a half-stole at the altar. After Callan’s removal, the parish split and a large number of parishioners formed the schismatic Spiritus Christi church, which now boasts a gaggle of priestesses offering invalid Masses. Mr. Callan commented later about how Bp. Clark held a protective umbrella over the community for many years. The blood of this schism, and the loss of 3,000 souls, rests on Bp. Clark’s hands. The Holy Father certainly recalled these various acts of dissent.

Basically what I’m getting at is, the speed with which this resignation has been accepted is no coincidence. Our cries have been heard, and our next bishop is at hand. Your letters to Rome have made a difference. God is good!

What will happen next

The process of selecting the next Bishop of Rochester is underway. Various priest and bishop candidates will be considered, and three names will be recommended to Pope Benedict to fill this vacancy. The Pope, and the Pope alone, will make the decision. However, the Holy Father will likely receive input from various prominent Catholics such as Card. Dolan, the Nuncio, and the Congregation for Bishops which is led by Card. Burke. It could take several months for our next bishop to be named. After he is selected, the person will be consecrated/ordained (if not already a bishop), and formally installed during an Installation Mass.

Bp. Cunningham will oversee the Diocese of Rochester, in addition to his duties in the Diocese of Syracuse, until our next bishop has been installed. It is highly probable that Cunningham will clear out the Rochester curia so that our new bishop will be able to make his own appointments. I imagine he’d ask for the resignations of all curia members sometime soon. Bp. Cunningham will also tie up any loose ends and prepare a smooth transition for our next bishop.

Remember that Bp. Cunningham is only a temporary administrator. Don’t expect a lot of significant changes in the coming months.

Speculation

It’s anybody’s guess who will be the next Bishop of Rochester. The process is bound by secrecy, though information tends to get out. After all, the people involved are only human. One rumor which I am sure you have heard is the possibility that Bp. Joseph Perry will be our next bishop. The rumor was that Bp. Clark was offered Perry as a coadjutor early last year, but declined. If this is true, then it is highly probable that Perry will be named our next bishop at some point in the near future. You may be asking, “why not name Perry our bishop now if this is the case?” Good question. My guess is that Perry wasn’t named today because he is needed to assist in the transition in the Archdiocese of Chicago while Cardinal George battles cancer. If Perry is to be our next bishop, he may be appointed shortly after George’s successor is named.

There are a great number of potential bishop candidates. Below is a list I assembled of some of the most likely individuals to be named our next bishop.

Auxiliary bishop candidates:

1. Bishop Joseph Perry, 64, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago

Diocesan bishop candidates:

1. Bp. Alexander Sample, 51, Bishop of Marquette
2. Bp. Michael Jackels, 58, Bishop of Wichita
3. Bp. Robert McManus, 61, Bishop of Worcester
4. Bp. Leonard Blair, 63, Bishop of Toledo

This process isn’t going to be completed in a week or two. There are 15 dioceses in need of a bishop. Some dioceses, such as Tyler, have been vacant for 14 months. Others, such as Las Cruces, have a diocesan bishop serving 12 months past 75. Here are the lists of vacant dioceses and dioceses with bishops serving past 75:

Vacant
1. Tyler [14]
2. Indianapolis [11]
3. El Paso [9]
4. Bridgeport [6]
5. Portland (Maine) [4]
6. Fargo [4]
7. Oakland [2]
8. Rochester [1]
9. Ft. Worth [1]

Bishops serving past 75
1. Bp. Ramirez, Las Cruces [12]
2. Card. George, Chicago [8]
3. Abp. Vlazny, Portland (Oregon) [7]
4. Bp. Pfeifer, San Angelo [4]
5. Bp. Hurley, Grand Rapids [4]
6. Bp. Kinney, St. Cloud [3]

So, my friends, here we are. We have waited 33 long years for change to come to Rochester and now the day has arrived. Bishop Clark is no longer the Bishop of Rochester, and soon his replacement will be named. Our next bishop will face the unenviable task of resurrecting a diocese in shambles. He will face a strong, ingrained, vocal progesssivism in the local priesthood and most area parish staffs. He will have difficult decisions to make about St. Bernard School of Theology, pastoral appointments, dissent, and a host of other local issues. This man is going to need our support and prayers. Please pray for our next bishop. May he be loving, strong, traditional, and orthodox in faith. Please pray for Bp. Clark. May he have a long, healthy and enjoyable retirement. May the very quick acceptance of his resignation not cause him any hurt or shame.

It’s time to move Forward in Hope. It’s time to Keep the Spirit Alive. Hope and change. Yes we can.

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54 Responses to “Bishop Clark Retires : Where are we now and where are we headed?”

  1. avatar Jim says:

    Thanks, Dr. K. You wrapped up the present situation in a nutshell. Good work! Let’s keep praying for the changes yet to come!

  2. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Thanks be to God.

    But beware of the many nuns in the diocese: The sisters of Mercy and St. Joseph who have empowered by the bishop, have been placed in positions of leadership, and unfortunately,(there are exceptions), are pro choice, pro contraception, pro homosexual marriage, and pro women’s prdination who will still be involved in active ministry.

    I remember the “Pastoral Workshops: in the early 1990′s run by the St Brenard’s institute. I remember Carolyn Portanove, now deceased, (may Gor have mercy on her soul), going to varoius parishoners and in a hushed, hushed voice, tell people,” we are going to change the Church” but it must be kept ” low key”. It can’t be publicized right now.

    Like Corpus Christi, individuals like her have been empowered , now for decades, and I don’t think they will react kindly to anyone pulling in the reigns. It could get messy. And then there are the priests who are also empowered in this dissent. I only hope the new bishop is orthodox, has courage and also a plan B if these individuals continue to be an impediment to CHrist’s teachings.

    Perhaps there is a role for the thriving nuns in Tenessee and Michigan, who wear the habit, are rapidly growing in numbers and whose ministry is teaching. I think they are the Dominican nuns of Nashville Tenessee and The sisters of the Holy Eucharist in Michigan, but I stand corrected in accurately naming them.

  3. avatar Hopefull says:

    Excellent analysis, Dr. K. Thank you. Gives us much to consider. However, I do believe the rapidity of response is an insult, although understandable. And it is spotlighted by being on the Feast of St. Matthew. But that is just my personal opinion. Question: what other U. S. bishops resignations have been accepted so quickly by Pope Benedict? Just looking for comparison.

    Second question is about Fr. Hart. Is his being the man on the ground fully expected even for someone so feared and maybe even the propagator of much that has been wrong in the Rochester Diocese? What do you assess as our risk of his being a serious candidate for Bishop? Should we send letters to Rome with our concerns? What do you think? Who else did Cardinal Dolan spend time with during his visit? Anybody know?

  4. avatar Dr. K says:

    ” What do you assess as our risk of his being a serious candidate for Bishop? “

    Less than .01%.

    You don’t see promotions from within in better performing dioceses, so I don’t see why there would be one in Rochester.

  5. avatar TenderTruth says:

    Dr. K.,

    As a neighbor in Syracuse, I am hopeful for Rochester and all of us. I am glad you noted that Bishop Cunningham is only temporary and “Don’t expect a lot of significant changes in the coming months.” Bishops Clark and Cunningham are close. Bishop Cunningham was appointed Bishop of Syracuse in 2009 and since then…

    - Bishop Clark was the “keynote speaker” at a Continuing Education retreat for Syracuse Clergy in Alexandria Bay on September 20-22, 2010.

    - On April 11, 2011 it was announced that Bishop Cunningham authorized the creation of an extension site of St. Bernard’s School of Theology in Syracuse and to quote Sister Patricia Schoelles, “the decision to open the extension site came after conversations between Bishop Cunningham and Bishop Matthew Clark.”

    Syracuse has similar difficulties as you and many other dioceses.

    - In March of 2012, Rev. Fred Daley, Pastor of All Saints Church in Syracuse left his parish and the Diocese to conduct a workshop for New Ways Ministry in Baltimore entitled, “Gay Priests: Coming Out While Staying In.” I’m not sure any priest can just leave his parish and diocese to conduct a workshop in another diocese without his Bishop’s approval — especially for New Ways Ministry which has been denounced by the USCCB. In addition, New Ways Ministry links to LeMoyne College and four (4) Syracuse diocese parishes.

    Lastly, the “keynote speakers” for the upcoming 2012 Syracuse Diocesan Ministry Conference (10/12 & 13) are Bishop Gerald Kicanas and a Sr. Maureen Sullivan. Sr. Sullivan says that the world has changed in these past 50 years since Vatican II and therefore Jesus and His Church must change. She has the temerity to claim “it’s time for another ecumenical council, to address such issues as the clergy shortage, celibacy and the role of women. And this time, she’d like to see the voices of lay people, especially women, included in the conversation.” So, just at a glance, Syracuse’s faith formation weekend appears as if it will be a progressive good time.

    This is my first comment and I couldn’t tell if there is a way to link to the source documents that reveal the above but it’s all quite public on the Syr. Dio. website, our online Catholic Sun paper and many other sites and news reports. If you’d like the source documents, I can send them.

    So anyway, you’re right “Don’t expect a lot of significant changes in the coming months.” Keep praying and fighting for the recovery of the orthodox Catholic Faith and Church as you all do; God has a plan.

  6. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    It’s just unbelievable that another wolf has been temporarily appointed to oversee the diocese of another wolf. You just can’t make this stuff up! Doesn’t Rome know anything? Unless there is direct intervention by the holy father, I tremble to think who may be appointed the new bishop!

  7. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    If Bishop Clark was “so bad” why do other bishops support him? Do you think things will actually improve and meet your standards? Just wondering…The whole thing puzzles me. Here’s a “for instance” … Say, for instance, that Jesus or Mary visited you when you in the form of an apparition, let’s say, and assume that you were told that Bishop Matthew Clark or the bishop of Syracuse was to become a bishop before it happened, and then you witnessed all of this…what would be your conclusion as to why?

  8. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Excuse my typos…

  9. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Sallyanne,

    Unfortunately, too many bishops and priests dissent fron authentic Catholic teachings, whether it be birth control, homosexuality, premarital sex or women’s ordination. I am afraid that their formation in seminary was faulty. They were taught improperly. I hear situational ethics was the norm….No absolute right or wrong. When you go back to Church history: in the 1970′s, a bishop named Jadot recommended the appointment of many priests for bishop, including Bishop Clark, who dissented from Church teachings. I think it was an attempt by “Modernist” individuals wanting to marry the Church to current society and thought. This had been condemned by Pope St. Pius X in the early 1900′s but, unfortunately simmered until after Vatican II when the full fury of this heresy came forth. Unfortunately, there were many, many cardinals, bishops and priests in very high places who orchestrated this dissent. The dissent was culminated in the well organized opposition to Birth control and the rejection of “Humanae Vitae”.

    Look at the United States Council of Catholic Bishops. It is so corrupt that they, through their own “Campaign for Human Development, has been giving money to over 60 organizations that support abortion, homosexual marriage and birth control, for over 20 years and the truth is only now coming out.

    If you think this is bad, just remember, In the early 4th century, almost ALL of Christendem was Arian and not adhering to the Majesterial notion that Jesus was both God and man. But Arianism is now a nothing.

    So, it is that we find ourselves right in the middle of what has been called “the Modernist Heresy”, and unfortunately, too many bishops and priests have drunk the Kool Aid.

    But since we know Christ is with the Church, this and all other heresy’s will fall by the wayside. But it is our duty to learn and accept the true Majesterial teachings and to defend and promote them whenever it is possible.

    God Bless you in your journey.

  10. avatar brother of penance says:

    Frankly,I do not care whether or not the quick acceptance of Bishop Clark’s resignation symbolizes papal disapproval or repudiation.

    My concern is the appointment of Bishop Cunningham who went public stating that he agrees that Matthew Clark is a great bishop who has left the diocese in excellent condition.

    I am disappointed.

    Just imagine, Bishop Cunningham authorized the creation of an extension site of St. Bernard’s School of Theology in Syracuse. That is really disappointing.

    Yet, I am convinced the Lord Jesus Christ has not abandoned us nor forsaken us.

    May God be pleased to give us a bishop after his own heart.

  11. avatar Susan of Corning says:

    Dr. K, thanks for the summary and the “inside baseball.” It’s a strange process!

  12. avatar Joe of St Therese says:

    Deo Gratias! I can only say that it’s proper protocol to not throw a Bishop “under the bus” seeing from my former land of Los Angeles what has happened under Archbishop Gomez, a slow change in the culture from a Liturgical and Theological point of view. It doesn’t surprise me that Bp Cunningham said his public remarks. Seeing that Rochester is the most liberal diocese in the country arguably (if not 1, 1A), I hope the next Bishop will just straight out clean house and waste no time being “pastoral” or “sensitive” This is a glorious day for the Faithful in Rochester. I pray for the Holy Spirit to return Bp Clark back to the Church theologically and Liturgically. On the same day, another liberal diocese got a new Bishop. The tide is slowly turning.

  13. avatar annonymouse says:

    It’s day one and already folks here are complaining. As expected.

  14. avatar Scott W. says:

    It’s time to move Forward in Hope. It’s time to Keep the Spirit Alive. Hope and change. Yes we can.

    Thanks be to God.

    Yeah, feel the crabbiness.

  15. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Richard Thomas: “But beware of the many nuns in the diocese: The sisters of Mercy and St. Joseph who have empowered by the bishop, have been placed in positions of leadership, and unfortunately,(there are exceptions), are pro choice, pro contraception, pro homosexual marriage, and pro women’s prdination who will still be involved in active ministry.”

    Please provide some kind of documentation to substantiate this statement.

  16. avatar annonymouse says:

    Scott – folks ARE complaining about Bishop Cunningham’s appointment as administrator and the fact that Father Hart will stay in his position.

    When the new bishop is named, I expect (if he’s smart) that he’ll attempt to keep on as many folks at Buffalo Road as possible, for no other reason than to keep the diocese running short term. There is no doubt that the new bishop will make many changes at Buffalo Road, but at least short-term, the diocese has to keep running.

    Now there is no doubt that accepting Bishop Clark’s resignation after only two months and appointing an apostolic administrator are, to be sure, a repudiation of +Clark, and I think a real surprise to our bishop emeritus.

  17. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Richard Thomas:”Unless there is direct intervention by the holy father, I tremble to think who may be appointed the new bishop!”

    FYI: The Holy Father makes the appointments!!! There is no intervention.

    “Doesn’t Rome know anything?”

    FYI: You are talking about the Holy Father’s government!!

  18. avatar Scott W. says:

    Scott – folks ARE complaining about Bishop Cunningham’s appointment as administrator and the fact that Father Hart will stay in his position.

    Yes. Do us all a favor and stop the petty score-keeping.

  19. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Yes. But it is the recommendation of the nuncio. But in the case of Archbishop Chaput, I think he interveined die=rectly. That’s my understanding of how things went down.

  20. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    Documentation of the positions of the nuns: Personal experience.

  21. avatar Nerina says:

    It’s time to move Forward in Hope. It’s time to Keep the Spirit Alive. Hope and change. Yes we can.

    I’ve missed you, Dr. K.!!

  22. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Ben, you have deleted half of our posts..why? What are you afraid of? I have been watching, you just deleted my last comment…this will be deleted too! Godly? Hmmmmmmmmmm…delete!….About two hours ago, there were over 53 comments…now there are 21???

  23. avatar SALLYANNE says:

    Look at the last comment by Derina…the time is 5:04 p.m…it’s now 11:23 p.m…what are you afraid of?

  24. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Sallyanne,
    Do you realize you are posting on 3 different threads? You have 4 out of 21 comments on this one “Bishop Clark Retires…” and 1 out of 55 comments on “Pope Accepts…” and 23 out of 78 comments on “Cardinal Dolan on Bp. Clark….” That would explain why you don’t see comments you’ve left on another thread. Just wondering.

  25. avatar Rich Leonardi says:

    Ben, you have deleted half of our posts..why?

    How about because they’re infantile, erratic, and pointless?

  26. avatar DonCope says:

    Msgr. James F. Checchio, 46, Rector of N. American College in Rome was mentioned in this article as a possible candidate for Bishop of Rochester. In my opinion there could be no worse choice. This man is responsible for some very orthodox and holy men leaving the seminary. I personally know two of these men who suffered under him at the NAC.
    The Pope should know by now what this diocese has suffered over the last 33 years. I pray that he gives us a man who is holy, one who is the exact opposite of the last bishop

  27. avatar Dr. K says:

    DonCope – Thanks for that information.

    The list is meant to be the most likely candidates, not necessarily the one I hope we’ll get (though most of these candidates I’d take any day of the week!).

  28. avatar raymondfrice says:

    “I hope the next Bishop will just straight out clean house and waste no time being “pastoral” or “sensitive”.

    This is a strange comment since the essence of the episcopy is to be a shepherd and pastoral.

  29. avatar Scott W. says:

    Well, “pastoral” needs to get back to what originally a shepherd does. A traditional shepherd has two tools: the crozier for pulling the sheep back into the fold, and the rod for beating off the wolves. Thus, cleaning house IS pastoral.

  30. avatar annonymouse says:

    Doctor -

    FYI – the ages in your bishop candidates list seem to be out-of-date by 7 or 8 years. For instance, Sample is nearly 52, Jackels is 58 and McManus is 61.

    I really doubt Rochester is going to get a(nother) young bishop unless he is as close to a sure thing (from Rome’s perspective) as is possible. Sample (who is close to +Burke) fits that bill.

  31. avatar Ink says:

    We could also get someone completely unexpected–though I also doubt that. But the Diocese of Philadelphia is turning out pretty good priests…

  32. avatar Eliza10 says:

    I was curious about who Bishop Sample is, so I googled him, and wow, here is this lovely picture of him in an “Egg McMuffin” vestament! http://v-forvictory.blogspot.com/2011/10/silver-lining-to-ugly-vestment-cloud.html What the heck?! But upon further reading, I admire him much. What a blessing he would be to us. He is the kind of long-years bishop we need to make up for this last.

    Now this Bishop Perry, is there any super-encouraging links I can go to to read about him?
    I feel we really need and deserve a strong, devout and stalwart bishop after Bishop Lite. If he gets named, I hope I can truly feel hope.

  33. avatar brother of penance says:

    I am reminded that
    “TenderTruth says:
    September 21, 2012 at 9:44 PM
    Dr. K.,

    – On April 11, 2011 it was announced that Bishop Cunningham authorized the creation of an extension site of St. Bernard’s School of Theology in Syracuse and to quote Sister Patricia Schoelles, “the decision to open the extension site came after conversations between Bishop Cunningham and Bishop Matthew Clark.”

    Given that TenderTruth brought up the fact that Bishop Cunningham authorized a SB school extention site in Syracuse, it seems appropriate (as a comment) to announce the St. Bernards’s five (5) event celebration of VATICAN II: A 50 YEAR LEGACY.

    The announcement I received today in the mail from 120 French Road, 14618 invites the public, for no charge or registration, to partipate in the journey to examine and reflect on the rich heritage of the legacy of Vatican II.

    EVENT 1 Sunday 10/7/12 3:00 to 5:00 PM at the Forum of the Otto A. Schults Community Center at Nazareth College, A MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATION ORIGINALLY PRODUCED AND BEQUEATHED TO THE ROCHESTER DIOCESE BY THE LATE MSGR. WILLAIM SHANNON

    (I wonder if anyone will invoke the Our Lady of the Rosary to pray for us…..I wonder if the presentation will be based on that “spirit of Vatican II” spirit which is so progressive the supporters of this interpretation believe that Vatican II is only about preparing the Church for Vatican III and acting as if that third Vatican Council has already been held……..I think I will find something else to do and not go)

    EVENT 2 Wednesday 10/24/12 7:00 to 9:00 PM at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry.
    A lecture by Rev. Dr. John Colacino, C.P.P.S. will take a look at the Council’s 16 documents noting their accomplishments and failures.

    (I prefer to reread the 16 Second Vatican Council Documents, review the extensive Biblical references, note which excerpts are referenced in the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, and
    prayerfully delve into the Year of the FAITH which commences Oct. 11, 2012…..Instead of attending this event, I will consider David Higbee’s Bible Study on the Book of Genesis)

    EVENT 3 Tuesday 11/27/12 7:00 to 8:30 PM at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry.
    A lecture/discussion with Dr. Ella Johnson on Vatican II’s contribution to the development of lay ecclesial ministry-a gift in our Church today.

    (Please………I don’t want to be reminded either of Bishop Emeritus Clark’s “Forward in Hope: Saying AMEN to Lay Ecclesial Ministry” or the Rochester Diocesan aberrations and abuses that are flaunted here in contradiction of Canon Law……Will this be a celebration of the clericalization of the laity and laicization of the clergy?……..seeZENIT – Laity Must Not Be Clericalized Nor Clergy Laicized, Says Pope http://www.zenit.org/article-4367?l=englishCachedShare)

    {{This is wearing me out, but I will persevere to report the entire announcement, sigh}}

    EVENT 4 Monday 12/17/12 7:00 to 8:30PM for a lecture/discussion with Rev. Dr. George Heyman revolving around the Word of God in the midst of human words and the growth of Catholic biblical study in the past 50 years.

    (This is the event which almost demands faithful Catholics to attend in order to withstand attacks on the written Word of God, but I probably will chicken out preferring to avoid the pain of witnessing again the lack of faith manifested in much of what purports to be modern biblical scholarship. Do you think the lecture or discussion will address Pope Benedict’s excellent reflections on the inadequacies of and legitimate but limited contributions made by the historical critical method? Perhaps Father Heyman has read Benedict’s two volumes on JESUS OF NAZARETH, perhaps not. Do you think that this discussion/lecture will announce the great contributions to Biblical studies made by the Saint Paul Center of Biblical Theology [www.salvationhistory] or the Augustine Insitute [http://www.augustineinstitute.org/]?

    Origen is quoted telling his listeners to regard just as sacred every word of the Sacred Scriptures as one regards sacred every particle or crumb of the Holy Eucharist. I got really tired of those who tear to pieces this saying and that saying.)

    Ah,finally, we have arrived at EVENT 5 Wednesday 1/23/12 7:00 to 8:00 PM at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry for a lecture/discussion with Dr. Patricia Schoelles, SSJ who asks, “Where are we in the renewal of Catholic Immoral Theology?”

    (Oops, did I write that?…..)

    Now if this celebration of the 21st Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church were to review and analyze the Pastoral Strategy of the Second Vatican Council and its successes and failures based on the primary service of love, Evangelization, it might be worth attending.

    But let’s remember this is a journey we are invited to take with and at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry.

    so, FORGET ABOUT IT.

  34. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    What if some people went and recorded these talks or just took really careful notes and sent them to Bishop Cunningham? I’ve thought about writing him, but not sure if it’s worth it or where to even begin. What better way to let him know (although sadly it sounds like he might already be aware) what authentic Catholicism is up against here than by providing to him these dissidents in their own words? What a laudable endeavor it would be to expose these folks. Maybe it would even be them sealing their own dismissals?

  35. avatar y2kscotty says:

    brotherofpenance (a.k.a. BOP) – I will try to attend the SBI lectures.
    And, Ben, I advise that someone ask SBI if the lectures could be put on a DVD or made accessible through the SBI website. That way you don’t have to spy or confront – or depend on someone’s errant notes.
    Don’t assume that Cunningham is some uninformed and uneducated Catholic and doesn’t know anything about the lecturers… it may very well be that he would approve of everything that is said. After the lectures, write a letter to the Bishop and ask him what he thinks of the lectures. I’d rather hear from him, before I hear from anyone else. I’ll make up my own mind. It’ll be interesting to see if Xavier Rynne rolls over in his grave.
    By the way, you might want to count the days that Cunningham is the AA and keep tabs on everything he says and does in Syracuse.

  36. avatar Dr. K says:

    By the way, you might want to count the days that Cunningham is the AA and keep tabs on everything he says and does in Syracuse.

    Meaning what, exactly?

  37. avatar Scott W. says:

    What if some people went and recorded these talks or just took really careful notes and sent them to Bishop Cunningham? I’ve thought about writing him, but not sure if it’s worth it or where to even begin

    Keeping a paper trail is usually worth it. Also cc the nuncio.

    By the way, you might want to count the days that Cunningham is the AA and keep tabs on everything he says and does in Syracuse.

    I think he means put a counter like the Perrywatch that is something like “Cunningham’s Administration” Day 4 or something.

  38. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I remember all the St Bernard letures put on in the parishes in the 1990′s. If I remember correctly, they forbade recording the events. That’s smart on their part. That way there ‘s no evidence. But people used their own means to document what was discussed.

    Now, 15 years later, nothing has changed. But the effect of letters and videos, sent by the faithful to Rome had its effect. I also rememberr diocesan leaders speaking to parishoners stating they were out to change the church but it had to be “under the table”. So I would doubt St Bernard’s would change their policy at this stage of the game to alllow recording the event. But I will stand corrected if proven wrong.

  39. avatar TenderTruth says:

    I took a rest from reading the comments on this post (and Ben’s) and then last night decided to take a “final look” before retiring. My hopes for a restful sleep were dashed but I couldn’t get back until this evening, which is good – more time for thought and grammar check.

    Ben, I’m the woman who “transcribed” that highly immoral, anti-Scriptural TOT presentation by Sr. Schoelles that you recorded last year. I’ll send you a personal email toward the end of the week to update you on the status of the project that began then. As you say, I think Bishop Cunningham is well aware; however, not from me personally. He is a native Upstate New Yorker (Buffalo) and as far as I can tell has always been a priest and Bishop within hours of our area.

    What caused me to at last write the above comment was not to dash good hopes but to be aware of personal closeness of our Bishops that may mean no significant change until your new Bishop arrives. However now, if any one or more of you decide to approach or write to Bishop Cunningham with a source material “case file” so to speak perhaps I can be more encouraging.

    I personally met Bishop Cunningham only once a few years ago and he’s pleasant, soft-spoken and very approachable. He writes sparingly, but when he does he’s always in unity with the Church and the Holy Father whom he quotes often, and he gently tends toward the recall of Catholic Truth and Sacred Tradition as though slowly restoring a solid foundation. This is what made the inroads of Bishop Clark’s ideas to some Clergy and St. Bernard’s so shocking. Yet observing from a distance St. Bernard’s hasn’t seen much success in the individual parishes where they initially promoted themselves. To my knowledge, this year there was only a small blip in the Catholic Sun about them gearing up at LeMoyne. It appears from St. Bernard’s site, “gearing up” means only one (1) class this year. In the words of our Lord to St. Paul while in Corinth, “I have many people in this city” – and He does. There is much authentic Catholicism and love for the Lord and His Church here.

    As for the “spirit of Vatican II” type teachings and celebrations that continue (example: Building Bridges celebration of the 50th anniversary of Vat. II) it is like an altogether different world coming together from everywhere else; Bishop Cunningham is not even named as being present. This year, they’ve downsized from a large city venue to a suburban high school. So Bishop Cunningham does “allow” it, but whether he “agrees” is something I don’t know – perhaps as you all continue with greater courage than I, you will answer that question. I think that y2kscotty is right on.

    Anyway, it just may be that this 50-year anniversary will be the last hurrah for any misinterpretation and misapplication of Vatican II and that by God’s grace, many of them will begin to return to the truths that have been buried for a time.

    Brother of penance, though I’m not personally aware of anyone but Sr. Schoelles, your St. Bernard’s announcement wore me right out with you and all I could think is “blessed are those who mourn, they shall be comforted” and with Ben I say, “Amen”!

  40. avatar y2kscotty says:

    Regarding the celebration of Vatican II sponsored by St. Bernard’s, I expect to be there for all of the events. And I expect that the speakers will be objective and I expect that the successes will be emphasized. (Of course the heretical Lefebvristes won’t be there, I hope, since they reject the Council). I expect to listen respectfully and save any comments for private discussion. And I expect that those who have problems with the Council and its aftermath will organize their own event at a later date. And I hope our “AA” (Bp. Robert) will attend one or more of the talks. That would be superba.

    One American person whom I celebrate concerning his role at the Council is Fr. John Courtney Murray.

    Some of you may remember the reports that were written by “Xavier Rynne” (a nom de plume)during the Council. I’m going to read some of it in the next week or two.

  41. avatar Thinkling says:

    Xavier Rynne’s journaling was pretty thorough IIRC, and reading his primary sources, as opposed to others’ repackaging of his reporting, is sure to be useful.

    But (in case you were not already aware) XR was one of the folks who had a preconceived preference on what V2 would actually do (a la the Chistier/Kung/McBrien/Lopata crowd), and his journaling reflected that. Think John Allen meets Alfred Kinsey. So this should really be considered as an exercise in reading for the enemy. But with that caveat, probably a very fruitful one.

    I just recently got the collected V2 notes of one Joseph Ratzinger. From my early musings seems more theological than procedural, not surprising. In terms of understanding the continuity hermeneutic from then til now, this particular work is probably about as useful as they come.

  42. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Eliza 10: “here is this lovely picture of him in an “Egg McMuffin” vestament! http://v-forvictory.blogspot.com/2011/10/silver-lining-to-ugly-vestment-cloud.html What the heck?! But upon further reading, I admire him much. What a blessing he would be to us. He is the kind of long-years bishop we need to make up for this last.

    Response: I believe the “egg mcmuffin” on Bishop Sample’s chasuble might really be a very early symbol related to the Church and later to the Blessed Mother— a crescent moon. You might want to check this out in google images.

    Ps: or check with Bernie.

  43. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    y2kscotty,
    please provide evidence that the Lefebvrists are heretics.

    you also said

    And I expect that those who have problems with the Council and its aftermath will organize their own event at a later date.

    Are you implying that people here have a problem with the council? If so, please provide evidence. As to the aftermath of the council, it’s not a difficult thing to do to show how much at odds the council is from the aftermath. They are 2 completely separate issues and to wed them together is a mistake.

    Our comments are wide open. You are free to write as much as you please, but you are not free to make ungrounded claims that just ignite surface debates with no real substance.

  44. avatar brother of penance says:

    Based on the profound and genuinely spiritual insights of Pope Benedict XVI,
    ask Bishop Cunningham to help Rochester to discern.

    Ask the AA Cunningham to help this Diocese discern whether or not:
    We are playing Church or being Church.
    The old KJV Bible describes a church having the form of godliness but denying the power thereof.
    Is this Diocese like that?

    Ratzinger would ask……
    Does the Church in Rochester have a maintenance or missionary mindset.
    Ask the AA to help us ask that question?

    The Holy Father would ask….
    Is the Church in Rochester performing the task given her by Christ the Lord?
    Within the Church in this Diocese is their the presence of God, the knowledge of God and a lively acceptance of God’s will?
    Ask Bishop C to helps us answer those questions.

    (references to the pope’s insights are taken from
    WILL MANY BE SAVED? Endnote 16, p.220)

  45. avatar brother of penance says:

    Please forgive the lack of correct punctuation and use of possessive ‘their’ instead of there in the above comment.

    Thank you

  46. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Ben:”please provide evidence that the Lefebvrists are heretics”.

    I was thinking that by their actions, they are rejecting the idea of papal authority and do not see the pope as a legitimate head of the Church.

  47. avatar Thinkling says:

    Apologies for the bump here which may not be best placed, but I chose the best thread I could.

    I read this in the on-line edition of the Catholic Courier, by Mike Latona:

    One concrete example of his [+Clark's] efforts to implement the [Second Vatican] council’s vision is seen in the 2003-05 renovation of Sacred Heart Cathedral to bring the building more in line with Vatican II liturgical guidelines.

    Here, numbered pages 1-2 of the document (3-4 counting the two title picture pages).

    Now as part of my reading plan, I am partially through the actual documents of V2, and in particular have finished SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM. Simply put, I could find no liturgical instruction as to worship spaces, other than a vague imploring in [128] to “[revise] the canons and ecclesiastical statutes which govern the provision of material things involved in sacred worship”. This suggests there was further, extra-conciliar work done drawing up these things.

    As I seem to recall issues raised on this site regarding the work on the Cathedral, could someone point me to this particular guidance(s), whatever documents they are in? Perhaps more importantly, could someone point me to specific renovations which were made, and how they satisfied the guidelines which Mr. Latona refers to?

    A fascinating sidebar about these documents is that both this one and LUMEN GENTIUM, a great deal of the content is actually restrictive, saying how all adaptations need to respect many consistencies and boundaries. I can imagine a lot of physical church renovations failed to respect these boundaries (and wonder if that is what happened to Sacred Heart). A HUGE one was in LG’s handling of the sense of the faithful. This topic seems pretty trendy now, but if one actually reads the material in LG describing it (in [12], btw), the very next line puts an explicit limitation on it which is categorically violated in most appeals to it. The last time a discussant on this site brought it up, for example, it simply did not meet the standards laid out explicitly in LG.

    Sorry for rambling, and perhaps for redirecting this thread. I would greatly appreciate any details about the Cathedral’s renovations seen through the explicit context of V2.

  48. avatar Choir says:

    Looks like Tyler, Texas has their new bishop now http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/

  49. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Choir!!

    Thanks for posting this. The journal on his blog indicates he was already acting as a Shepherd to the flock and his appointment was almost a mere formality..

  50. avatar brother of penance says:

    Would that Bishop Cunningham could help the Diocese of Rochester be faithful to Sacred Tradition of the ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH………………….

    http://wordonfire.org/WOF-Radio/Sermons/Sermon-Archive-for-2012/Sermon-612-Would-that-Everyone-Could-be-a-Prophet.aspx

  51. avatar TXCatholic says:

    Your statement about Sr. Maureen Sullivan … “Sr. Sullivan says that the world has changed in these past 50 years since Vatican II and therefore Jesus and His Church must change.” Is that a quote? If so, can you give me a link to it?

  52. avatar TenderTruth says:

    TXCatholic: I had to go back to find the article and realized that the portion you are referring to is not a direct quote. What I placed in italics is a quote from the author stating what Sr. Sullivan believes and then follows a direct quote from Sr. Sullivan as to why… “Think about the last 50 years; think about how our world has changed.” It’s a philosophy that calls for changing the Church (The Body of Christ) according to the preferences of the secular world. Anyway, my apologies and glad for the chance to correct the wording of my comment. The article is here: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120916/NEWS08/709169895. Though my interest was only fleeting because she spoke in Syracuse, if you’re interested, there’s a video by Sr. Sullivan where she reveals more of her philosophies here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JmQZge0hU44#!.

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