Sunday, May 24, 2009

A sense of urgency

Eugene Michael at Rochester Catholic suspects that DOR is getting ready to close more city parishes, while local evangelical churches seem to be bursting at the seams.

Lately, it almost appears as if there is a sense of urgency by diocesan officials to close as many schools and churches as possible before Bishop Clark retires. This is unfortunate , as it will certainly hamper the next bishop’s ability to restore the faith here in Rochester. A dramatic and rapid restoration of the faith under a new bishop would certainly reflect badly on the current administration. Sometimes I wonder if all these clusterings and closings aren’t meant to guarantee that this renewal won’t happen until the current administration is long gone.

Read the entire post here.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great... what's the over/under of churches to close before he retires... 10?

Maybe he'll try what other dioceses have done, one big mass number of closings at a time.

Anonymous said...

19 priests in the DoR are retiring between now and 2013.

Urgency indeed!

Anonymous said...

Bishop Clark has also lost a number of priests to resignation during his tenure. We rarely hear about all the holy men who left because they couldn't serve under this heretic.

Anonymous said...

Priests leave active ministry for a variety of reasons. It is true that some leave because of their bishop. But the majority of priests,orthodox and liberal, have left for other reasons.

Anonymous said...

The number that left under Bishop Clark has been well upwards of 40.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy that in 5 days the CMA will have come and gone, and not reached its goal for once. Watch them blame the recession.

Anonymous said...

The CMA always reaches its goal. Parishes have to make up any shortfalls in their assessments.

(Word verification is "unrest."
That's an understatement.)

Mike said...

Anon. 10:28,

dor.org is currently displaying CMA results dated yesterday (5/26).

With 5 days to go 129 parishes are reporting a total of $4,724,750.44 in pledges against a combined assessment of $5,294,734.00. This works out to an 89.2% response.

Listed also are some 468 pledges from individuals and members of non-parish communities. These total $128,767.96 and bring the overall response rate up to 91.7%.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Saint Bridgit's Church is going to close in June and merge with Immaculate Conception? Another church in the city gone! I also heard that Becket Hall which was in the city at the old Precious Blood rectory and St. Boniface's before that is now moving to St. Thomas More in Brighton.

Anonymous said...

Where did you hear this?

Anonymous said...

The Catholic parishioners paid to build the parish and school buildings and financially supported them for generations.

To their astonishment, the New York State Religious Corporation Law, protects the bishop and allows him to run each parish community as a personal dictatorship. The parish, rectory, school, convent, all of the contents in the buildings and all of the money in the collection basket, belongs to the bishop.

There is a "Adolf Hitler dictatorship" taking place in Rochester, New York, right before your eyes. And the bishop portrays himself as a very "holy" man.

Connecticut Bill #1098 would end this dictatorship and return the financial control of each parish community to a lay board of directors.

Anonymous said...

In answer to the question above, a friend of mine attended a parish council meeting last week of St. Thomas More and Queen of Peace where the administrator told them about Becket Hall. I guess the retired priests living at Thomas More have to move out. I heard about St. Bridgid's from a coworker. Not sure how true it is.

RochChaCha said...

Anon: May 27, 2009 7:24 PM

Be careful before you start throwing your support behind any kind of bill coming out of Conneticut such as the one your are referring to. The bill's from Conneticut would indeed give control to a board of directors which would be primarily comprised of laypeople, but the lay people may not have the best interest of the parish in mind. As a matter of fact, the bill in conneticut only asks that parishes are run by boards in the Catholic churches. One might ask, well why not in the protestant churchs, in the synagogues, and mosques as well? The simple answer is that the folks sponsoring the bills are about as Anti-Catholic as they come. Their goal is not to protect from 'dictatorial abuse' that you refer to what is happening here with Bishop Clark. Their goal is to take over the parish and destroy the Catholic church from within. Now, you could argue wether that approach would do more or less damage than Bishop Clark is doing, but I would at least give Bishop Clark the edge in this one since the bill sponsors are clearly anti-Catholic. Anti-Orthodox (Bishop Clark) is better than Anti-Catholic (Conneticut bill sponsors).

Read the facts:

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/TOB/S/2009SB-01098-R00-SB.htm


The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut have stated "This legislation forces a radical reorganization of the legal, financial, and administartive structure of our parishes. This is contrary to the Apostolic nature of the Catholic Church because it disconnects parishes from their Pastors and their Bishops. Parishes would be run by boards from which Pastors and Bishops would be effectively excluded."

Dr. K said...

The Beckett Hall moves makes sense for two reasons:
1. Most of the young men will be taking pre-theology courses at Fisher, so this would be a much closer commute than the former Most Precious Blood rectory.
2. St. Thomas Moore has a lay pastoral leader now. The priests who live there are mostly retired "sacramental ministers". They're treated like dirt as it is around here, so it's not surprising to see the DoR saying "get out and find another rectory."

I haven't heard anything about St. Bridget's closing yet. The two parishes (S.B. and Immaculate Conception) really aren't that close to each other geographically. Neither church draws more than 100 per week, I can't envision both staying open forever. When I went to I.C. for a holy day Mass two years ago, there were six persons in the pews.

~Dr. K

Dr. K said...

Also on Immaculate Conception, the last time I went there, the back rows of pews were roped off. It's quite a large church, and must be very costly to heat during the winter. I think St. Bridget's (now in the St. Theresa's church/school building) would be the smarter choice for the DoR black community to use.

~Dr. K

Rich Leonardi said...

Connecticut Bill #1098 would end this dictatorship and return the financial control of each parish community to a lay board of directors.Lather, rinse, repeat.

Dan, financial control never belonged to the laity in the first place, so you cannot "return" it to them.

Tex said...

Trusteeism failed in the DoR, as the laity became way too powerful over parishes and priests refused to serve at trustee-run parishes.

Anonymous said...

When we talk about a lay board of directors that should take over financial control of the parish, we are talking about our own parishioners. The same parishioners that are on each parish council today. They financially support the parish, volunteer their time and talent to the parish and always make the best interest of the parish a priority.

I have 100% faith in our Catholic parishioners to take over financial control. We have a community of highly educated and financially successful people. Many of our older parishioners have been coming to Mass for 30, 40 and 50 years. Every parish is a family.

Before Bishop Clark became the bishop of Rochester 30 years ago, the Diocese of Rochester was a thriving diocese.

After watching Bishop Clark close 50 schools and over 25 parishes "against the will of the parishioners" over the past 30 years, we need legislation to force a change in the legal, financial and administrative structure of our parishes.

During many of the closings, you didn't hear of a protest. You didn't read about it in the Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper or see it on the 6 o'clock TV news. Many parishioners just walked away from the Church. This is why most of the two hundred and seventy thousand parishioners,
(270,000) no longer attend Mass.

Rich Leonardi said...

So they walked away from the Church and yet are ready to assume financial control. 'Got it.

If you want to join a congregationalist denomination, the U.S. is full of them.

Anonymous said...

I read where Fr. Upson is going on sabatical. Any Idea who is going to replace him at St. Thomas More/OLQP as sacramental minister?

RochChaCha said...

So are we to assume that only Catholic parishes are in need of laity-controlled boards? Is it not possbile that this legislation, which only references the Roman Catholic church, is intended to cause disruption and even destruction of the church? Just because someone is a parishoner of the church, it does not mean that their motives are always good. I've seen laity supporting the abuses in the DOR, so why would expect that all of sudden just because they are a lay member of the controlling board, that they will have the Catholic Church in their best interest?

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart, the Vicar General and expert at liturgical loopholes, is the likely replacement. Of course they could always do Sunday services in the absence of the priest, something I bet Bishop Clark and Fr. Hart would love to see.

Anonymous said...

William Pickett, the former President of St. John Fisher College and former employee of the Diocese of Rochester, is quoted in a past Catholic Courier Newspaper saying that the perfect Mass would be at the Blue Cross Arena with 10,000 parishioners.

He was actually conveying a message to you, from Bishop Clark.

The next round of parish closings is coming soon.

Before the many school and parish closings, parishioners never had a reason to talk about building ownership issues. Several years ago, most parishioners never knew that the bishop is basically the sole owner of the buildings, since he appoints the other 4 members of the corporation, according to the New York State Religious Corporation Law.

Anonymous said...

"the perfect Mass would be at the Blue Cross Arena with 10,000 parishioners. "

Was that about Bishop Clark's installation?

Also, if Bishop Clark keeps up his program of liturgical abuse and disobedience, the Blue Cross Arena would prove to be too spacious for the entire diocese.

Anonymous said...

If my memory serves me well, William Pickett was dancing around the issue in the article, but was trying to say that Bishop Clark should close all of the parishes and have one mega church.

About 10,000 parishioners and residents did attend Bishop Clark's installation Mass at the Rochester War Memorial in 1979 (The building now known as the Blue Cross Arena). Pictures of the Mass are on pages B2 and B12 of the June 2009 Catholic Courier.

Bishop Clark only attracted about 700 parishioners to his 25th anniversary Mass, five years ago. Most of the people were priests, nuns, his family members and diocesan employees. 349,000 parishioners stayed home.