Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The news is getting out there

The Wanderer, a Catholic national weekly newspaper, has published an article about the severe problems in the Diocese of Rochester, specifically the de-emphasis of the priesthood and the elevation of lay people to positions of pastoral authority. In order to read the article online you will  need to register. Here's a snippet, with a grateful hat tip to Cleansing Fire: 

[Bishop Clark] set out an ambitious “ course of action” which, now, is largely complete, and there are some Cath­olics in the diocese who are eager­ly counting down the days ( 430 as of May 11, 2011) until he retires, and the Holy Father appoints a new bishop to begin reconstructing the local Church along Catholic lines.

The agenda Clark mandated has not been easy or painless, and it frequently brought him to logger­heads with officials of the Holy See, notably Joseph Cardinal Ratz­inger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now Pope Benedict XVI.

( As early as 1986, Ratzinger or­dered Clark to remove his impri­matur from a sex education book, Parents Talk Love: The Catholic Family Handbook About Sexuali­ty, because it approved of homo­sexuality, masturbation, and con­traception.)

The article goes on to quote Rich Leonardi, a Rochester Catholic blogger:

Rochester Bishop Matthew Clark crows about winning an award for pastoral planning, remarking at the end that ‘[ t] here is a great deal of dying and rising in pastoral planning.’ “ The people of Rochester might be forgiven for thinking it’s mostly been the former. For evidence, see my review of His Excellency’s recent book on something called ‘ lay ecclesial ministry’: “Potential readers should realize that Bishop Clark presides over perhaps the most dissent-filled, decadent diocese in the nation. His unique approach to lay ministry, which includes illicitly appointing two members of the Women’s Ordination Conference as ‘pastors’ over parish clusters, has resulted in an unparalleled vocations crisis. ( In the book, he flagrantly defends his elevation of dissenting would- be priestesses by claiming Lay Ecclesial Ministry ‘has become a substitute ministry for the one to which they feel called.’) “From 1995 to 2005, the Diocese of Rochester lost over 45% of its priests, a figure unmatched virtually anywhere in the United States. Indeed, priests aren’t even priests in Rochester; they are called ‘ sacramental ministers’ in local Catholic officialdom. And while Mass attendance has stabilized or increased in most parts of the Church in America over the last decade, it is in free- fall in Rochester, dropping almost 25% since 2002."


  1. Gretchen, one more time...excellent work in bringing us the information about this Diocese.


  2. Get a lot of help via websites like Cleansing Fire and alert parishioners, but thanks. :-)

  3. Gretchen- I echo Vinnies'69. You have been relentless in exposing the truth. Please, please know that you have the attention and support of many. May God bless you in your efforts to save our parish.

  4. Aw, shucks. There are many who are doing the heavy lifting to try and save our beautiful church and provide for generations yet to come.

    They're just a bit more quiet.

  5. We do not have to read articles like this to know the diocese is in shambles. Just look at the damage being done to the local churches, including the Corning area churches. However, it is comforting to see that others are aware of all this. I am wondering how we can find out what the local administration and diocesean administration is doing in regard to St. Vincent's or IHM. Are both still on the selling block? Has there been any plans drawn up for the properties if any is kept? It just seems that the bulletins are very quiet after all the big time presentations of our future a few months back.