Friday, December 25, 2009

DOR "has failed the people"

A friend from Our Lady of Mercy Parish has an LTE running in today's D&C ...
Leadership caused Catholic downturn
We keep reading story after story about possible Catholic Church closings, declining attendance and the priest shortage. Earlier this year, a committee was formed in the eastern Greece-Charlotte area to decide what parish was no longer "viable." The committee concluded that Our Lady of Mercy, with the lowest attendance and lack of money, should be the first to close. The other churches in the area face the same problems and will be reviewed on a yearly basis.
When will we read a story about how the diocese has failed the people? They approved over a million dollars to build a brand-new Our Lady of Mercy in 2001, now the church is closing? How is that being responsible? The diocese has known for years about the low number of priests being ordained. How many have we lost to sex abuse? If the priesthood had been willing to give up some power, perhaps we would be in better shape today.
The schools thrived when the nuns ran them.
TIM TARTAGLIA
ROCHESTER
I'm afraid I have to disagree with my friend Tim.  While I do believe that DOR has failed its people, that failure involves something far more fundamental than a possibly ill-advised approval of a Church renovation project.

When those renovations of which Tim writes were approved in the late 1990s, weekend Mass attendance at OLM was averaging almost 800.  Within 10 years it had fallen to 275. The loss of over 500 parishioners - and the money those people used to put in the collection basket - is the primary cause of OLM's problems.

The real question here is why did roughly 2/3 of its parishioners abandon OLM in just 10 years?  Where did they go and why? Have they, for example, transferred to one of the surrounding Catholic parishes?  Or did they perhaps join one of the nearby Protestant churches?  Or maybe they just gave up on "organized religion" and decided to sleep in on Sunday morning?

It is difficult to give a precise answer to these questions, but it is possible to glimpse the outline of a solution. For example, an analysis of the Eastern Greece/Charlotte Planning Group's Mass attendance numbers indicate that very few of OLM's former members have gone to nearby parishes.  This data, coupled with the growth of nearby Protestant congregations and some purely anecdotal evidence suggest that many of these people are now former Catholics.

What this all ultimately points to is a massive failure of catechesis on the part of Bishop Clark and many of his pastors. People who truly believe in the Real Presence, people who truly believe that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, simply do not leave the Church for a Protestant denomination. And they simply do not decide to sleep in on Sunday.

That is how DOR "has failed the people."

Update: Some further examples of DOR's catechetical failures can be seen in the following statistics gleaned from various editions of the Official Catholic Directory:

  • From 1977 through 1994 DOR was baptizing about 19 infants per year per 1,000 Catholics. That number has now fallen to a shade over 10. 
  • 20 years ago 14.8 Catholics out of every 1,000 were getting married in various DOR parishes every year. That number is now 6.6. 
  • 20 years ago 207 out of every 1,000 DOR Catholics were either in Catholic schools or religious ed programs. Today that number is 104. 

Taken together, these data portend a bleak future for Catholicism in DOR.

73 comments:

Persis said...

Mike,
One thing I don't see as a contibuting reason is the change in the neighborhood in the OLM area. I have some relatives who have lived in that neighborhood since the church was opened. Back then, that part of Greece, was filled with mostly "blue-collar" Catholics, who worked for Kodak, Rochester Products, Delco, etc. In the past 20 years, many (if not most) of those jobs have been lost, and many of the people also left the area. I know that on the small street where my family still lives, they are the only people who have lived on their street for more than 10 years, and they have had 3 different families move into the house next door in the past 10 years.
Not that I disagree with you about catechesis, but, I really think that some of the numbers, especially in this area have a lot to do with it with the area demographics.
Again, not the only reason or even the biggest one, but one that I believe, is part of the over all problem in the Eastern Greece/Charlotte area.

I would really love to see some numbers regarding this, maybe with the Census coming up, we can get a better idea of just how many people have really left this area becasue of the job market.
Just my 2 cents.
Peace.

Lee Strong said...

I suspect the failures in catechesis predate the current diocesan regime, and are far more widespread than we'd like to admit. Look at all the "Catholic" politicians who misunderstand/misrepresent Church teachings across the nation.

As for the Protestsnt exodus, I did an article on that back when I was a reprter, and subsequent articles and studies by others helped ot point to some of the causes.

Made to feel welcome (when was the last time you were warmly greeted at a Catholic Church?).

Church rules on sex/divorce/birth control (lots of divorced couples left the Church and are now in the pews of Protestant churches)

Better preaching (a regular complaint)

Better music (also a frequent complaint)

Livelier services

And yes, disagreement with Church teachings (some of which they my not fuly understand due to bad catechesis for decades)

Anonymous said...

"Made to feel welcome (when was the last time you were warmly greeted at a Catholic Church?)."

That may be a top 5 reason for why I don't go to a particular church. If they are bombarding me while I am trying to pray before Mass, I do not return.

"Church rules on sex/divorce/birth control (lots of divorced couples left the Church and are now in the pews of Protestant churches)"

So much for the Blessed Sacrament when you can have birth control... This is probably a catechesis problem.

"Better preaching (a regular complaint)"

The feel good bland preaching isn't working? But I thought this is what people wanted?

"Better music (also a frequent complaint"

I thought people liked folk and contemporary music that we hear in 80%+ of Rochester churches?

"Livelier services "

There it is, being entertained is more important to people than receiving Christ in the Eucharist. Major catechesis issue. If people truly believed in the real presence, much less people would leave.

Mike said...

Persis,

You raise what the diocese calls the "shifting demographics" argument. I'm more than suspicious of that explanation, for several reasons.

First, when I originally raised the issue of declining Mass attendance with the bishop almost five years ago, I was told by Fr. Hart that all of DOR had been undergoing a "dramatic depopulation" (his exact phrase), that New Yorkers - including Catholic New Yorkers were fleeing our state for Sun Belt states. When I pointed out that, according to U.S. Census data, the 12 counties comprising DOR had not lost any population but had actually grown a modest amount, "dramatic depopulation" soon disappeared as a diocesan explanation, only to be replaced by the "demographic shift." That seemed just a bit too convenient.

Second, when the "demographic shift" was raised, first to me by Karen Rinefierd during my tenure as chairman of the EG/C PPNM Steering Committee as an explanation for declining Mass attendance numbers, second as one of DOR's reasons for closing 13 Monroe County Catholic schools last year and, third, as part of the justification for redoing the then barely two-year old EG/C Pastoral Plan, several of us involved with both Catholic schools and PPNM asked the diocese for the data upon which it was making its assertion. DOR has yet to produce that data, despite repeated (and ongoing to this day) requests. If that data actually exists, why is it so difficult for DOR to produce it?

Third, I actually live within the OLM parish boundaries. Like any neighborhood, ours has its share of long-term residents and relative new comers, with some properties changing hands frequently. That's nothing new; it was happening here back when I was a kid in the 1950s. For "demographic shift" to be a real factor behind declining Mass attendance (or use of Catholic schools) the demographic that needs to be shifting is the percentage of Catholic families. IOW, it is primarily Catholics who need to be moving out, and they need to be replaced primarily by non-Catholics. I simply do not see that happening. Instead, many of the newer - and younger - people moving in seem to be Catholics-in-name-only. They were raised Catholic but no longer attend church or even belong to a parish. And so, if any demographic is shifting around here, it is the CINO demographic.

Mike said...

Lee,

You have a point - several, actually.

DOR is only one diocese among many where wimpy catechesis and liturgical abuses sprang up in the wake of Vatican II, clearly prior to Bishop Clark's 1979 appointment. I cannot fault him for what he inherited but I certainly can take issue with his 30+ year complicity in those practices.

Your list of the reasons people give for leaving the Church, while almost certainly valid (the list, not the reasons), doesn't seem peculiar to DOR. I believe I've seen similar compilations in several articles over the last few years.

But I still stand by my assertion that

"People who truly believe in the Real Presence, people who truly believe that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, simply do not leave the Church for a Protestant denomination. And they simply do not decide to sleep in on Sunday."

That kind of faith comes from both authentic catechesis and the work of the Holy Spirit.

And I don't think we can blame our current problems on the Holy Spirit not doing his job.

That just leaves catechesis.

Nerina said...

Hi Lee,

I've been in the position, lately (God, what are you trying to tell me?), of having impromptu conversations with former Catholics. These meetings usually take place at playgrounds or other areas where parents of young kids gather. Anyway, the conversation goes like this:

Former Catholic: "Don't I know you? I think you go to the church I used to attend."

Me: "Well, I go to St. X's."

FC: "That's right. You go to the 9:30 and you have all those redheaded kids."

Me: "Yep. That's me. How come you don't still attend? Do you go to another Catholic church?"

FC: "Well...we stopped going to a Catholic church. Now we attend X church. We had to use in-vitro for our kids and when the priest told me the teaching of the church I just couldn't believe it. I mean, could God really care how we get our children?"

A couple of observations. I am always amazed at how complete strangers will reveal such personal information to others (honestly, I'd prefer not to know when someone is sterilized or has used reproductive technologies). Second, I frequently note that even when given correct Church teaching, people simply don't want to hear it if it doesn't fit in with their choices.

Anyway. As I continue the conversation it becomes very clear that these people lack basic Catholic teaching (such as the teaching on the Eucharist and Real Presence) which makes me wonder if they are in any spiritual position to accept the "hard teachings" (such as birth control, reproductive technologies and the like).

Another conversation I had recently involved the exact items you mention in your post (i.e. better preaching, better music, better "worship"). I asked once, "But, don't you miss receiving the Eucharist?" The person responded, "well, we have communion service once a month, so its not like we're really missing anything." I counter, "yes, but, Catholics view Communion differently than other denominations." And the person then responds, "I guess so. Though, I don't think it matters as long as you receive communion." Again, this person is focused on their individual view of Church teaching, and they simply do not understand it. At all.

Fundamentally, it is a problem of poor or non-existent catechesis. I try to charitably present Church teaching when I find myself in these situations, but my attempts often fall on deaf ears. People look until they find the church that suits them and then they stop looking.

I am not saying that Catholic churches can't do better. What I am saying is that there is no preaching bad enough (unless we're talking about heretical), no music bad enough (and believe me, I put up with bongos, banjos and kazoos sometimes), no person unwelcoming enough, to get me to leave Christ in the Eucharist. I will put up with it all just to receive Him. Just to have access to Him. This is the fundamental Truth that must be realized. Until Catholics appreciate the spiritual reality of the Real Presence, they will continue to church shop and always be disappointed.

gretchen said...

"Until Catholics appreciate the spiritual reality of the Real Presence, they will continue to church shop and always be disappointed."

Amen, Nerina!

Lee Strong said...

I do agree - catechesis is a real issue. Most Catholics seem to have little real understanding about the Eucharist - or the difference between the Catholic teac8ings and the Protestant ones.

In case anyone got the wrong impression, by the way, I was not defending or endorsing the reasons people leave. I was just pointing out the reasons I've heard/read.

Lee Strong said...

Anonymous said - "Better music (also a frequent complaint"

I thought people liked folk and contemporary music that we hear in 80%+ of Rochester churches?

--- Actually, I've heard traditional music, choirs, folk, contemporary, etc. at various churches and at various times. Too often, it was bad - no matter what the style.

Bad organ and choir can be as big a turn off as bad contemporary.

Anonymous said -

"Livelier services "

There it is, being entertained is more important to people than receiving Christ in the Eucharist."

Sadly, given our culture, yes.

Mary Kay said...

I'd agree that good catechesis is essential.

Nerina makes a good point about the lack of foundational catechesis. Church teaching can not be reduced to a sound bite.

Anonymous said...

We are experiencing passion, and in many ways, death in the DOR, in terms of parish and school closings and the faithful leaving. If we dwell on this, it is surely very depressing. But it will not last! I am looking forward to the coming resurrection! Let us not forget that God is in charge, and WILL PROVIDE for us. Patience, people!

Anonymous said...

And he will provide us with a new bishop to kick the Joans of the diocese to the curb.

The Well Done Review said...

Here's an angle that's not often noted in how the Diocese is failing its youth:

The funding for youth programming has dried up. Youth Groups are shrinking/dieing, there are almost no DoR youth events (retreats, etc) anymore, and after Michael Theissen left for the NFCYM a few years ago, they sort-of promoted Sue Versluys to sort-of do his job and her own, but never really filled the jobs properly. Now Sue is retiring, and...well, what will they do now? If the model H.E. Bp. Clark espouses is so great, why are they even losing in this regard?

They recently sent out yet more regulations for things people CAN'T do (regarding youth) esp. in regards to facebook and cell phones and such, many of which are superfluous and counterproductive.

Anyhow, here's my question: why don't they send out a few regulations to priests telling them what they CAN'T do or say...ie DO NOT TEACH HERESY. that'd be a start.

Anonymous said...

"Church rules on sex/divorce/birth control (lots of divorced couples left the Church and are now in the pews of Protestant churches)"

This is probably the number one reason people leave the Church.

"So much for the Blessed Sacrament when you can have birth control... This is probably a catechesis problem."

It is not a catechesis problem if you mean that they do not understand what the teaching is or why the Church teaches it. They do, but they still don't buy it. The abuse scandal was the nail. It eliminated whatever trust and respect many had in the clergy and had them saying," What right do THESE men have to tell us what to do in our bedrooms?"

"...there is no preaching bad enough (unless we're talking about heretical), no music bad enough (and believe me, I put up with bongos, banjos and kazoos sometimes), no person unwelcoming enough, to get me to leave Christ in the Eucharist. I will put up with it all just to receive Him."

Agreed, which is why I go.

Anonymous said...

"The abuse scandal was the nail."

Wrong again Irondequoit Catholic, it's not a nail, but an excuse.

Anonymous said...

Whatever. It's a fact and you can't pray or blog it away.

Anonymous said...

It's not a fact at all. People have been leaving in droves since VII, not since the abuse scandals came out in the 90s-2000s. Same with priests, who retired in large number immediately following the Council.

Anonymous said...

People were leaving before VII, one of the reasons Pope John called it.

The abuse scandal and the contraception ban were defiantly the reasons my adult family left. They were not the only reasons but they were the ones stated for the final decision. They were not looking for excuses. They attended Mass every Sunday, were married in the Church to practicing Catholics and raised Catholic kids.

These people did not leave the Church of their birth and heritage lightly. It wasn't a liberal or conservative thing either. They are on all sides including very conservative Republicans.

You can say what you want but these are facts. To deny them is fantasy.

I am the last Catholic in my family and from the tone of these sites many "better" Catholics would be glad to see me follow my family out the door. Catholics like me are dismissed as CINO, "Cafeteria" (there's a right side to the lunchroom too) and "Cradle" Catholics (as if there's something wrong with being born Catholic).

You will not bring the vast majority ex-Catholics or lapsed Catholics back by increased orthodoxy and tradition. They know very well what that is and decided to go anyhow. The orthodox ban on contraception and the crimes and cover up of men who hid behind a tradition of trust and respect are stated reasons for their leaving. Nor will you bring them back by scolding them that they were just looking for excuses.

The question remains, how small are you willing to go for a "smaller purer" Church?

Unless you change your attitude about people like me and my family today's parish closings will seem like the good old days.

Anonymous said...

"People were leaving before VII, one of the reasons Pope John called it."

Bulls*it. Certainly not in the numbers we witnessed after the Council, and especially the numbers who left in the 70s-80s.

"The abuse scandal and the contraception ban were defiantly the reasons my adult family left."

Because it's true for your family it's true for everyone else? Maybe you're related to a bunch of terrible Catholics who have been desperately waiting for an excuse to sit at home on Sundays and watch football and drink beer.

"You can say what you want but these are facts. To deny them is fantasy."

You're the one living in a fantasy land if you think more laxity will resolve the Church's issues.

"You will not bring the vast majority ex-Catholics or lapsed Catholics back by increased orthodoxy and tradition."

I strongly disagree, at least looking at the long term. You will not bring them back by increased progressive reforms. People will not take the Church seriously if she becomes less strict, as we have SEEN and WITNESSED after the council. Let's say the Church says birth control is suddenly not wrong; this will anger a lot of Catholics who have adhered to the Church's teaching, and will cause people to question the authority of the Church and whether she has succumbed to secular demands.

The Church defines morality, not bends to immorality because of secular corruption. Don't expect the Church to alter its beliefs just because they are too hard for people to adhere to. It just doesn't work like that.

Brighton Catholic said...

Wouldn't Irondequouit Catholic's time be better spent in the protected fornication he so loves?

Anonymous said...

Brighton Catholic,

What a horrible attack statement. How is this helpful in this very important discussion? There is a decline in so much of Catholic life. How does your approach help?

Chattanooga Catholic said...

Why don't you all shut up and go to confession.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good. And while we're at it why don't we shut down blogs like this and others that pit Catholics against Catholics and make us look like a bunch of idiots to non-Catholics.

gretchen said...

Anon 11:21,

"And while we're at it why don't we shut down blogs like this and others that pit Catholics against Catholics and make us look like a bunch of idiots to non-Catholics."

It isn't the blog that makes us look like a bunch of idiots. We seem to be perfectly capable of doing that ourselves.

Why don't we realize we are all on Team Jesus and start acting that way? (Or at least start trying... and if we fail, we can avail ourselves of the gift that is the Sacrament of Penance. I'll start the line.)

Anonymous said...

Or maybe this was Irondequoit Catholic's little strategy all along.. to Create phony arguments with himself just so people will get fed up with all the arguing and finally succumb to his progressive politicking. I'm sorry I.C., but I do not agree with your dissident views one bit, nor will I ever subscribe to the idea that the Church should appease dissidents in this "big tent" idea.

Anonymous said...

I'll be right behind you.

But I disagree that sites like this don't make us look like a bunch of idiots. While Fundi mega churches keep the building trades employed Catholics shoot spit balls at each other from the right and left side of an old school Cafeteria.

As I've been instructed, there are "progressive" Catholic sites as well as "orthodox" ones, but it is only on the "orthodox" ones that I see calls for bishops to be fired for reasons other than covering up child abuse or downplaying the Holocaust. I've seen the digital tallies of how many rosaries people say for Bishop Clark to retire, be fired or be called to another post. I've seen the daily countdowns. All indicate a fiery zeal to "save" the Church by getting rid of anyyone who is not deemed "orthodox" enough for the smaller purer-bigger better Church to come. Bishop Clark is apparently at the head of this list followed by anyone else who thinks Vatican II was a good thing. It also apparently includes the 95% of Catholics who still attend Mass but do not agree with or obey the Church's ban on contraception. What I continue to not understand is how these Crusaders intend to have a functioning Church left after they show 95% of its current members the door. For argument's sake substitute "contraception" with "X". If 95% of an organization's members refuse to obey "X" the organization may choose to expel them, losing almost all of their membership, or allow them to stay while not officially condoning their disobedience. Members of "orthodox" forums seem to favor the former. They seem to feel that from the remaining 5% they can grow a new Church as if they were with Noah in the Ark or the early Christians in the Colosseum. This reminds me of people I know who belong to churches that consider themselves First Century Christians or some other version of REAL Christians. The rest of us of course are pagans or worse. This to me is arrogant and childish. Another anti-Clark blog illustrates this perfectly with it's parody of The Creed, "I believe in one blog...". If a "progressive" site did that they'd be denounced as blasphemers and heretics.

So, confession, yes, discussion, disagreement and constructive criticism, check, but daily attacks on a bishop and Catholics you think are too liberal and setting yourself us as the only REAL Catholics in town, no.

I think that makes us look like idiots.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you need to stop making up a bunch of lies, because everything you say is lies. You have no proof of anything you cite. Everything you write is speculation and stuff you pulled out of your ass.

"But I disagree that sites like this don't make us look like a bunch of idiots."

No thanks to you.

"Bishop Clark is apparently at the head of this list followed by anyone else who thinks Vatican II was a good thing."

Bishop Clark disobeys the Church. Vatican II didn't call for lay people running parishes, "Sacramental Ministers", lay homilies, liturgical dancing, and an effeminate rampant homosexual priesthood at the cost of solid orthodox men turned away for being "too rigid." Stop putting words into our mouths. Bishop Clark is not despised because he likes Vatican II, but because he hates the Church.

"As I've been instructed, there are "progressive" Catholic sites as well as "orthodox" ones, but it is only on the "orthodox" ones that I see calls for bishops to be fired for reasons other than covering up child abuse or downplaying the Holocaust."

Didn't I already cite for you Ray Grosswirth's blog? Didn't I already tell you about the National Catholic Reporter blogs? Do you listen to one word we say, or are you going to keep rambling on with the same tired nonsense? Take a look at ol Ray's blog and videos. He put up a video and article about Archbishop Burke before and said he was abusing his power and made charges of greed. Take a look at dioceses such as Scranton where liberals pushed to get their leader ousted. I'll admit that you won't find too many of these negative progressive blogs in Rochester, but that's because Rochester progressives have a liberal leader they love.

As for downplaying the Holocaust... like that even compares to bishops ordaining faggot priests who prey on kids.

"What I continue to not understand is how these Crusaders intend to have a functioning Church left after they show 95% of its current members the door."

Where are you getting that people who use condoms will be excommunicated? We need better catechesis about why this is wrong, we're not calling for their excommunication. Boy you have it all wrong.

"They seem to feel that from the remaining 5% they can grow a new Church as if they were with Noah in the Ark or the early Christians in the Colosseum."

So you're basically admitting that your progressive Catholics are a bunch of borderline Christians who will walk out if they can't have protected sex. So much for the Eucharist when you can enjoy bodily pleasures.

"So, confession, yes, discussion, disagreement and constructive criticism, check, but daily attacks on a bishop and Catholics you think are too liberal and setting yourself us as the only REAL Catholics in town, no.

I think that makes us look like idiots."

And you're the one to judge what's constructive and what isn't. I'd say exposing the liberal frauds is plenty more constructive that twiddling my thumbs while you talk about how you want condoms and birth control. How else will people learn the truth if we do not expose the frauds and inform them of what the Church teaches? But you want us to do nothing, because then you progressive have gotten your way.

You sir, are the fool.

Anonymous said...

"Another anti-Clark blog illustrates this perfectly with it's parody of The Creed, "I believe in one blog...". If a "progressive" site did that they'd be denounced as blasphemers and heretics."

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary published their own Credo in their parish bulletin. I think you're trying a little too hard.

Nerina said...

Iron. Cath.,

You've mentioned many times that most of your family left the Church over teachings on contraception/sexuality. You have asserted that they left as fully catechized people who simply didn't "buy" what the Church was teaching (I hope I'm paraphrasing correctly). My question for you is this: what do you mean that they were catechized? Did they understand the teaching as something other than a restriction? It is one thing to know the rules, so to speak, but another thing altogether to understand them and humbly accept them.

You also mentioned that the abuse scandal played a major role in the departure of family members. I can certainly understand that people who may not be enthusiastic about the teaching on contraception/sexuality would view the scandal as the proverbial "straw" breaking the camel's back. When the scandal first broke, I was very new to the faith and still had so much to learn. The scandal caused a big crisis of faith in me. Looking back, the only thing that kept me tied to the Church was grace. But I do remember thinking, "how can priests be guilty of this? Aren't they supposed to be immune to this? Aren't they to be trusted above everyone else?" I also thought "how DARE they teach about sex when they have committed such crimes."

Now I see that, like physical families, spiritual families have their "black sheep." Now I see that priests are under constant attack by the enemy. Now I see how important praying for them is. I can see, however, that for some people the scandal is an insurmountable stumbling block. I am sorry for your family members still angered by its. It must be a terrible burden.

A hypothetical for you: would your family members return to the Church if she reversed her teaching on contraception? Or do you think there is no going back for them?

I believe that we should desire everyone to be a member of the Catholic Church. But there is criteria for membership, is there not? Christ himself says, "take up your cross and follow me." It seems that for your family members, contraception is their cross (or perhaps for some it is the teaching on divorce and remarriage, etc...).

I think welcoming people back into the fold requires that we continually foster conversion, obedience and humility. I think what you advocate (welcoming everyone in, no matter what their beliefs) only weakens the Church and allows everyone to be their own Pope. I don't see how that benefits the Church at all.

On a final note, I certainly disagree with your approach to returning lost sheep, but I appreciate your desire.

Anonymous said...

I'm lying? Well, according to some so are you. If all the things you say about Bishop Clark are true isn't it the POPE'S job to deal with him? One thing I can't understand about you guys is why you think YOU have the authority to decide if a bishop should be sacked or not. I thought that kind of Super Laity stuff was reserved for liberals and Protestants.

As far as the rant on contraceptives, perhaps I'm missing something. I thought your basic thing was that to be considered Catholic you had to agree 100% with EVERYTHING the Church teaches, otherwise you are not "orthodox" and by definition not a real Catholic.

If that's just rhetoric and you don't REALLY want to kick out the 95% of Catholics who disagree with a very big Church teaching then I'm delighted. It shows that you recognize reality and how the Church could not operate without them.

So what "orthodox" teachings do you want your future "kick ass" bishop to enforce? If the style and structure of the liturgy is your big concern then have at it. I frankly don't care if the words change and we all start facing East. I'll keep going to Mass because I'm Catholic. Others might not feel the same but if they do then I agree they're going to Mass for the wrong reasons.

But if your new "kick ass" bishop starts denying communion to Catholics for doing or not doing something they should or shouldn't then I think he would be kicking his own ass as his flock disappears. This is Rochester New York, not Lincoln Nebraska. If you want to live in a super-conservative diocese move to Lincoln. I don't think there are enough super-conservative "orthodox" Catholics like you in this diocese to fill the pews like you think. Maybe I'm wrong. If I am I'll be sitting right next to you incognito.

But one thing I won't be doing is starting a blog to slam a conservative bishop I don't care for. I doubt anyone would. Maybe that's the difference between here and the places the blogs you site originate from. Here you guys pretty much have the market cornered for bishop bashing.

Speaking of which, from what I've read Bishop Martino was equally unpopular with "orthodox", "progressive" and in-between Scranton Catholics. It seems that only "orthodox" Catholics beyond his diocese thought he was the cat's meow. If he's the kind of "kick ass" bishop you're hoping for you're in for a surprise. No one likes an aloof autocratic monarch with bad people skills. You'd better hope your dream bishop knows how to kick ass with a smile on his face and make the recipient feel like he just got a pat on the back because Rochester New York is not going to put up with a Bishop Martino. In fairness to Scranton's ex-bishop it was very unfair for him to be posted there. How could anyone think an anti-union bishop could succeed in the birthplace of the American labor movement? Whatever his position on the "orthodox" - "progressive" scale a Rochester bishop must be in tune with the idiosyncrasies of this burg which is historically conservative and progressive at the same time. Kicking ass probably won't do it.

From shaking his hand, hearing him speak and reading his words I think Bishop Clark is and was a good bishop for Rochester. He seems to me like a pretty good guy which is why I jumped on here when I did. I just don't like seeing a guy get beat up by a mob.

Anonymous said...

"If that's just rhetoric and you don't REALLY want to kick out the 95% of Catholics who disagree with a very big Church teaching then I'm delighted."

Contraception is not heresy, it's also not on the same level as abortion. If you excommunicate for EVERY sin, you'd have no one left. The most serious of sins, however, do require excommunication. No, contraception is not at that level, but it is a sin nonetheless.

"But one thing I won't be doing is starting a blog to slam a conservative bishop I don't care for. I doubt anyone would. "

Good for you. I can't say that others won't, because I believe they will.

Anonymous said...

I hope they don't.

I agree with everything you say but I think we need to remind certain bishops that voting for a "pro-choice" Democrat for reasons other than supporting abortion is not a sin. Bishop Martino and others seem to think it's one that merits not receiving communion.

As far as Catholic legislators and how they vote, I'm anti-abortion but I read a very interesting thing yesterday. Someone asked if it was wrong to pay taxes to a government subsidized insurance fund that might indirectly fund abortions was it not equally wrong to pay premiums to a private insurance company that directly covers abortion. Most Catholics who are covered by private insurance are probably in that situation. Should the Church forbid them from being insured by those companies? If they refused should they receive communion?

Some lawmakers straight out support abortion rights, others don't, but have to work within a government that currently makes abortion legal. Is there ever any comparison between the Catholic worker who needs or chooses to be insured by a private insurance company that, like almost all of them, covers abortion because it is the best of all bad choices, and the Catholic legislator who votes for legislation that may indirectly fund abortion because it is also the best of all bad choices?

I know some say the lawmaker should be held to a higher standard because he/she is a public figure, but really, if we were consistent, shouldn't all Catholics absolutely refuse to have anything to do with anything or anyone that is in any way connected with abortion?

I'm not trying to confuse things, but I think some of this is worth thinking about when Catholic legislators are denied communion by their bishops.

Anonymous said...

Idiot.

Anonymous said...

Good morning to you too.

Have you checked your insurance policy and investment portfolio? You should also check the benefits policy of your employer. Remember, you cannot be connected to abortion in any way.

It's my perception that bishops excommunicating legislators over abortion diminishes the gravity of abortion in the eyes of non-Catholics. Instead of focusing on abortion itself they see the spectacle of a cleric punishing an elected official for not doing as the cleric instructs. It gives them the impression that Catholic legislators must obey their religious leaders in their public duties. It makes them wonder, "If I vote for a Catholic does that mean he/she will make laws based upon their religion? What if I'm of a different faith and I don't want his/her religious beliefs imposed on me? What if they start limiting my access to contraception? That's against their religion too." It could make some non-Catholics decide they can't vote for Catholics.

Excommunication is going nuclear and it doesn't ever seem to work. Threatening it on laity who vote a certain way is thermonuclear and has the same result. I think it would be better to work on changing hearts than issuing ultimatums. Excommunication is ineffective and makes public figures appear subservient to their religious leaders. It takes the public's focus off abortion itself and puts it on the drama of a bishop telling his elected representative that in matters of government he outranks him and the legislator must do as he's told. I think that doesn't help limit or end abortion. It may make it harder.

Anonymous said...

"Excommunication is going nuclear and it doesn't ever seem to work."

How would you know? It's not like it's used very often.

Anonymous said...

Are you advocating its increased use?

Anonymous said...

Only when necessary.

Anonymous said...

OK, but please answer me this. In Europe bishops including the Bishop of Rome, the pope, do not excommunicate politicians who vote wrong on abortion. They receive communion along with all the other sinners. Why is that and why is America different? In anticipation of "Europe has become unchristian" please remember that the pope himself serves communion to legislators who do what American legislators are excommunicated for.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what bishops in Europe do or do not do. I have no idea who priests in Ireland do and do not touch.

Anonymous said...

My mother went from being a daily communicant to ceasing the practice of her faith in about two weeks. That was in 1970 when the Novus Ordo began being used. My sisters also stopped practicing their faith but one returned in adulthood the other just before she died. However, there are other reasons people leave. Of course, it's a fact that some do leave because of the Church's moral teaching on marriage and sexuality. Just because someone might disagree with doing so does not change the fact that this happens. Why should we argue over why people leave rather than just call for greater holiness, better catechesis, orthodox preaching, liturgical orthodoxy... Would you rather win an argument or do something about the present state of affairs? Is the bishop to blame? Well, not all by himself. Pray, pray, pray and live your Catholic life in holy fidelity.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, but I think some of the "orthodox" teaching will and should eventually change. If I could (which I can't) I'd start with the teaching on birth control and marriage. Someone here said recently that if it did it would be basically a slap in the face to those who have obeyed it all along and would make them question the authority of the Church. I agree that it would. That was part of the argument against changing it posed to Pope Paul by the future Pope John Paul II and others, that the Church could not just say that it was wrong for hundreds of years, but the result good or bad of HV has been that almost all but 5-10% of Catholics have not only questioned but rejected the Church's authority on not only this but other teachings. People point to the recent "we don't know" change on Limbo. What does that do for the unbaptized babies who died when Limbo was an accepted fact and their grieving parents who spent their lives certain that their child would never see God, especially the ones who took their newborns to the church in bad weather to get them baptized as soon as possible and then died perhaps because of it? Some of those parents were still alive when the teaching changed. Some who faithfully practice NFP or just accept all the children God gives them would still be alive if the Church ever changed that teaching and they would be justifiably p***ed, but teachings do change whether they are called change or not.

I am not interested in winning arguments here although as an Irishman I'm always up for a fight. I jumped in because I didn't like to see Bishop Clark beat up. I don't know him personally. If I did he'd probably tell me to cut it the hell out and I probably should. But the other reason I chimed in is that I'm sick and tired of run of the mill Cradle Catholics like me being slammed on sites like this. We and our ancestors have been loyal to the Church and kept it going for 2000 years and to be told we aren't good enough to call ourselves Catholic is a huge insult.

I'm sorry for your mom, but I can understand how jarring the changes of VII must have been. I do understand the feelings people have for what they held dear and miss. My mother left for opposite reasons including the "orthodox" ban on contraception which in her medical case was the only way she could continue a loving marriage with a husband who was away more than home. My father was "orthodox" and wouldn't consider it. They ended up sleeping in separate rooms and leading separate lives. When she sought support for other problems the local priests weren't interested. As she sees it, when she needed the Church it wasn't there for her. As far as she is concerned the Church left her.

I on the other hand am determined to stay no matter what. Like some here who despise the changes of Vatican II I dislike some things that didn't change and I am furious at the systematic cover up of child abuse. But I'm staying because I'm Catholic, once in never out. I understand why others leave, but I think it's bad when any Catholic leaves the Church. Maybe it's not right but I'd rather my kids not go to any church than join another one. "Cultural Catholics" like me, as bad as we are, are called such because we have an ancestral loyalty to the Church. I think that's worth something and not worth putting down. I think Catholics of all stripes should appreciate and support each other and stop throwing mud across the Cafeteria.

I wish you well.

Anonymous said...

You suck.

Mary Kay said...

I can't keep all the Anonymouses (anonymice?) straight.

Anon 2:09pm (today), do you have a source for the bolded sections?... that the Church could not just say that it was wrong for hundreds of years, but the result good or bad of HV has been that almost all but 5-10% of Catholics have not only questioned but rejected the Church's authority on not only this but other teachings.

My sympathy for the marital situation you described but I don't agree with you that dumping orthodox teaching is the answer. That goes back to the point that Catholic teaching can't be reduced to a sound bite.

Nerina said...

Anon @ 5:25,

A seriously unkind and infantile response to Anon's posting @ 2:09PM.

Anon@ 2:09PM,

Thank you, again, for contributing to this discussion. Obviously these are emotional discussions which require an openness on everyone's part. I am sorry that some people can't rise to the level of mature discourse.

I hear stories like the one about your mom and I honestly can't imagine the burden she bore. I can also see where contraception seemed like the obvious and good answer.

I certainly know the theological reasons for the Church's teaching and I also understand the emotional and physical benefits of NFP, but when all is said and done, I obey because I am betting my last dollar on the belief that the Church speaks for Christ Himself and if I want any chance of becoming the person God made me to be, I have to assent to Her teachings.

You and I will never agree on the teaching of NFP/contraception (and I've mentioned before that even though I accept the teaching and practice it, it is a HUGE cross at times - one which I have stumbled with many times), but I hope I have conveyed my objection to being judge and jury when it comes to defining Catholics. I'm trying to figure this all out too.

Persis said...

Anon. 2:09 1/8/10~

I have to agree with Nerina and also offer my thanks for contributing. You have some very interesting ideas and insights.

Mike, this kind of went off on a tangent, but it did give me something for my blog, which I would love to hear your comments on, please check it out-

www.oneofthewoman.blogspot.com

Peace!

Anonymous said...

I am the anon whose mom left the practice of her faith in 1970. My wife and I practiced NFP for a few years after our fifth child and then were blessed with a sixth. After a few more years of NFP we ignored the rules expecting to get pregnant but were not so blessed again. Now it is past the time, barring a Zechariah and Elizabeth miracle. At time it was VERY hard but we only now see the wisdom and beauty of it all. Our example, of normal, flawed human beings, also enabled other members of our parish community to have the courage to have more children than originally planned. If we had to do it over, we would have liked to have at least one more child. We have never been tempted to leave the Church because of high moral expectations. On the contrary, our six adult children all practice their faith. Four of them are married and none of them lived together before marriage. Ahh, thirty-five years of marriage are not a coincidence but a blessing. But they are a blessing not to be had if God's plan for marriage is not followed.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who disagree on contraception on this blog, did you take the extended course offer on NFP offered by trained NFP councelors?

Anonymous said...

Bishop Clark is taking far too long to address the situation in Haiti. What a loser.

Anonymous said...

HAITI RELIEF from DOR Website.

http://www.dor.org/commun/index.asp

Who's the loser?

Anonymous said...

In case you don't want to click.

HAITI RELIEF

Responding to the unfathomable devastation in Haiti and in cooperation with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Clark has requested that all parishes and Catholic faith communities in the Diocese of Rochester conduct a second collection this coming weekend (Jan. 16/17) to aid the people of Haiti. The money collected will be sent to the international Catholic Relief Services, which is mounting a tremendous effort to help and already has committed an initial $5 million to relief efforts.
.
These funds will be used to provide immediate emergency needs for such necessities as water, food, shelter and medical care, as well as to the long term need to rebuild after widespread destruction, and to the pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Church in Haiti.

Those wishing to contribute may also donate by calling 1-877-HELP-CRS, donate online at www.crs.org or send a check to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090. In the memo portion of your check, please write: Haiti Earthquake

Would an apology be in order?

Anonymous said...

No. He should have written a letter and held a Mass for the people of Haiti. Sorry, his response was not good enough.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Clark should retire for his handling of the Haiti situation. A good bishop would have held Masses for these people, but this one doesn't care. All he cares about is ordaining women.

Anonymous said...

Dear Super Catholic,

My wife and I donated to Catholic Relief Services today at mass. Tomorrow we'll give a little more to the Red Cross.

What did you do?

Or do you attend the Church of Rush Limbaugh and figure you gave with your income tax?

I've been squabbling with you people for months, so long that I've almost developed a kind of understanding and affinity, but your undying hatred for Bishop Clark is off the charts. It's un-Catholic and un-Christian. You despise him so much that I don't think there is anything in this world he could do that would please you.

Again I ask, you who feel entitled to judge Bishop Clark, what have you done?

Anonymous said...

"A good bishop would have held Masses for these people, but this one doesn't care."

If he had celebrated a mass for the victims no doubt you would accuse him of using the tragedy to promote himself as Limbaugh accuses our president of exploiting it for political gain. How many times have I read on these pages whining and griping about all the "special" masses in this diocese?

There's no pleasing you.

Admit it, you just hate Bishop Clark.

Anonymous said...

"but your undying hatred for Bishop Clark is off the charts. "

The man kept child abusing priests in service in this diocese, so I'd say my hatred for him is no greater than yours for Fr. L Callan.

Anonymous said...

Then you might as well hate every bishop in the U.S. because they did the same thing. They were under orders from the Vatican to keep cases of child abuse secret under pain of excommunication. The orders were issued under Pope John and restated by Cardinal Ratzinger. They've been explained away as being more narrow than they appear but there doesn't seem to be any way to explain that NO bishop anywhere turned abusers over to the police until the scandal became public. Until then they all treated it as an in-house matter. As far as Fr. Callan goes, he was who he was for plenty of other reasons. If he was the kind of priest or bishop you hope for in the DOR good luck getting your pews filled. You guys hate Bishop Clark because you think he is a flaming liberal from the 60's and you can't stand his style of Vatican II shepherding. You think he's a heritic. You hate his guts. If he celebrated a mass for the victims of the Haitian earthquake you'd boycott it and start a page on how he was exploiting it for his own ego. I'd bet good money that not a single one of you would attend. Using that as another call for his retirement or firing is just pulling more nonsense out of where you sit. The man could retire to a leper colony and die helping lepers and you'd accuse him of somehow doing it wrong. There is absolutely nothing he could do that you wouldn't find fault with. So again, since you brought up Haiti, what have you done to help the Haitian people? Or are you just full of it?

Anonymous said...

What part of Bishop Clark is currently the worst bishop in the United States do you not understand?

And yes, he is very much a heretic.

You can call what I feel about the man hate, fine, but those are your words and not mine.

Anonymous said...

Don't change the subject of your original post.

You brought this thread to life by saying Bishop Clark failed on his response to the Haiti earthquake, so much so that you called him a loser and said he should quit because of it.

When I showed you his response on the DOR website and how my family donated at yesterday's mass you said that wasn't enough, that he should have written a letter and said a special mass himself.

Answer these two questions if you are willing. I doubt you are.

Would you have attended a mass for the Haitian people celebrated by Bishop Clark?

What have you done personally to help the Haitian people?

Anonymous said...

Third question.

How is your response to the earthquake superior to Bishop Clark's?

Mike said...

Guys,

I've let the two of you go at it for a while, but lately things have gotten a bit too personal for my taste. So ...

COOL IT!

NOW!

Anonymous said...

I'm not the same person who made that Haiti comment. That's the problem with anonymous posting. In fact, I don't even know if I'm responding to the same person from earlier or not. It gets too confusing. I will give you a Haiti response just to shut you guys up about Haiti already...

"When I showed you his response on the DOR website and how my family donated at yesterday's mass you said that wasn't enough"

Didn't Jesus say something about people who like to do good works and then boast about them? What's wrong with doing acts of charity and then not seeking glorification for what you have done afterward? Yes, I donated. How much? None of your business? How? Why do you need to know? To what organization? Like hell am I going to say. But I did help, and that's as far as I'm willing to go about what acts of charity I do. For the love of all that is holy, you sound like one of those Spiritus Christi people that needs to brag about how charitable they are. Great, you and your family gave money. Good for you. Maybe you can get your name carved onto one of those giving trees that I see in the narthex of so many parishes. And if you gave a real lot of money, maybe you'll get a gold leaf too. Then maybe God will love you more.

Anonymous said...

When I said, "I wish you well" I meant goodbye but "Bishop Clark is taking far too long to address the situation in Haiti. What a loser.." is such a cheap shot it deserved a rebuttal. I only mentioned that my wife and I donated to illustrate that Bishop Clark's actions proved results. We were going to send all our money to the Red Cross but split it with Catholic Relief Services after reading his appeal on the DOR website. I agree, it's nobody's damn business what I or you do, don't let the left hand etc, but the OP's crack about Bishop Clark's reaction to this tragedy is pure b.s. and no one here has the guts to say so. You're following the 11th Commandment of the GOP, "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican" or DOR Catholic fan, both of which I assume you mostly are. I could be wrong but I also detect the distinct smell of Dittoheads. The OP did what Limbaugh accused our president of doing, using tragedy to advance his own agenda. It was baseless and tasteless and he or she should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Do you watch Chris Matthews?

Nerina said...

Anon @ 7:23,

I'm curious why you would choose the Red Cross over a Catholic charity (you mentioned that AFTER reading Bishop Clark's appeal, you gave to CRS). I am not trying to be argumentative at all, but I am always looking for worthwhile charities.

I have found CRS to be very effective and responsible. My husband and I also give regularly to Food for the Poor and Catholic Medical Mission Board. As a Catholic, my first consideration in choosing a charity is whether or not it is Catholic. If not strictly Catholic, then I look for a Christian mission (I believe Food for the Poor is Christian, but also very good at what it does). Of course, there are other considerations (like the percentage that goes toward programs v. administrative costs).

Thanks for your perspective.

P.S. I think the diocese would make a real statement by sending a large donation to CRS. Words are nice, and I'm glad Bishop Clark inspired you, but actions are even nicer. Masses would be great, too!
This doesn't have to be an either/or approach, it can be both/and.

Anonymous said...

The Red Cross has a good record despite some problems. It's just what we've done. We donate to Catholic and other christian charities on a regular basis too. Again, I don't want a plaque and I don't want credit for anything, I was just pointing out that the OP should put up or shut up about Bishop Clark's response to this tragedy.

As far as the diocese making a cash contribution that would be nice but some conservative Catholics I know would freak out if their regular Sunday contributions were going to a defined charity. The line I've heard is that all charity should be voluntary meaning no one should be taxed to provide it or likewise expected to donate in the Offertory basket if they don't want to. I'm guessing there are a few here who feel the same.

As far as Bishop Clark celebrating a mass for Haiti I doubt many here would attend so I don't know why they would want him to do it. The animosity toward Bishop Clark here and elsewhere is so intense that I would expect his detractors would NOT want him to celebrate any mass anywhere.

The main thing here is that someone called Bishop Clark a loser for a response supposedly so poor that he should lose his job because of it. Does anyone else here actually believe that? Is there anything people can say about our bishop here that is not allowed? Or is it just open season on him all the time?

I think the answer to that is yes.

Anonymous said...

"Do you watch Chris Matthews?"

No. I almost never watch TV.

Anonymous said...

"I was just pointing out that the OP should put up or shut up about Bishop Clark's response to this tragedy. "

Well, you certainly didn't shut up with your shameless Clark defense after I proved to you that he defended child abusers, the very same thing you used to trash Fr. L Callan more than one time. But I guess it's alright for Clark because he's a progressive minded thinker like yourself?

Anonymous said...

And I guess Fr. Callan was alright with you because he was a mean authoritarian with a Cheshire grin, exactly the kind of kick-ass cleric you drool for.

You're right, I didn't like Fr. Callan and I had company. He could have taken some people lessons from Msgr. Burns. But I'd never start a blog to attack him like this and others attack Bishop Clark.

The accusation that Bishop Clark's response to the earthquake was so lacking that he should quit is utterly without fact or logic. It is just another transparent excuse to attack a man you hate, though worse than every other because it exploits the death and suffering of the Haitian people.

There is not one person here who has seconded your absurd accusation about Bishop Clark's response to the earthquake, no doubt because it is too far over the top for even your fellow Clark haters. There are also none including the monitor who will say you stepped over the line into pure character assassination. No surprise because it's obvious that any and all swipes at Bishop Clark no matter how baseless or vile are par for the course.

Even you have nothing to defend your slander except to bring up an unrelated topic, a priest I mentioned in the context of why in part STA's attendance has been so low. You have a point about the protection of child abusers, they all did it, including your cherished "orthodox" bishops, but until you're ready to call for all their resignations you're just blowing smoke, shifting the focus from your contemptible use of the Haitian earthquake to defame Bishop Clark.

As much as I didn't care for Fr. Callan I would feel the same if he called for donations and some disgruntled parishioner called him a loser for not doing more. He wouldn't deserve that and neither did our bishop.

Anonymous said...

"But I'd never start a blog to attack him like this and others attack Bishop Clark. "

A) I don't believe you, and B) You don't need one because you can just hijack orthodox blogs to carry out your attacks.

"There is not one person here who has seconded your absurd accusation about Bishop Clark's response to the earthquake"

I didn't make that post. Are you sure that YOU didn't do it just to make you progressives look wonderful and the orthodox bad? I wonder...

"Even you have nothing to defend your slander except to bring up an unrelated topic, a priest I mentioned in the context of why in part STA's attendance has been so low."

Just like how you have hijacked post after post at this site and others with unrelated attack posts and jokes about dead priests?

"but until you're ready to call for all their resignations you're just blowing smoke"

And while you continue to defend Clark while attacking others (i.e- L. Callan, the Irish bishops, and a few orthodox bishops in America you have accused), you're a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

"But I'd never start a blog to attack him like this and others attack Bishop Clark. "

A) I don't believe you, and B) You don't need one because you can just hijack orthodox blogs to carry out your attacks.

Which is it, you don't believe me or I don't need one? B is correct. I've never posted on anything other than this and Cleansing Frier, all because you sanctimonious retros think you're the only Catholics in town and it's your God given mission to tear down your bishop.

"There is not one person here who has seconded your absurd accusation about Bishop Clark's response to the earthquake"

I didn't make that post.

I stand corrected. There are at least two people here who believe (or say they believe) the manufactured nonsense that Bishop Clark should quit because of his response to the Haitian earthquake.

Are you sure that YOU didn't do it just to make you progressives look wonderful and the orthodox bad? I wonder...

Nope, but wonder away if it makes your conspiratorial head feel better.

"Even you have nothing to defend your slander except to bring up an unrelated topic, a priest I mentioned in the context of why in part STA's attendance has been so low."

Just like how you have hijacked post after post at this site and others with unrelated attack posts and jokes about dead priests?

Just as I'll continue to as long as you guys attack Catholics like me and a bishop you hate.

"but until you're ready to call for all their resignations you're just blowing smoke"

And while you continue to defend Clark while attacking others (i.e- L. Callan, the Irish bishops, and a few orthodox bishops in America you have accused), you're a hypocrite.

Ah, we have something in common after all.

Anonymous said...

By the way Brother Hypocrite, I'm on record here approving the resignation of each and every bishop in the world who covered up child abuse but in this country since only one (Law) has then I guess it's not going to happen. We'll never know if any offered and were rejected by the Vatican. Eventually the Church is going to have to explain how and why they kept it under Ecclesiastical wraps. It's becoming more and more obvious that it was official policy from the top down. Only the scandal becoming public has led the bishops to adopt new call-the-cops rules. Does that get them off the hook for the past? No. All of them including Bishop Clark should have done the right thing and turned abusers over to law enforcement for committing CRIMES then taken whatever consequences came their way.

But that's not what you guys rag on Bishop Clark for. Until I brought up the subject it was never spoken of. Your beef is that he is this side short of the Antichrist, rubbing his hands together in evil glee as he does all he can to destroy the Church.

Whooo-haaa-haaaa-haaa-haaa!!!

You've made him out to be cartoon figure of liberal malevolence. I feel sorry for you because the chances are one in a billion that the next bishop will be all you hope for. Maybe you'll be happier that way. If he was what would you have to complain about? The last remaining heretics I suppose. And when they are gone? Peace and "orthodox" love all around? Special delivery. It's not going to happen. Despite your fantasy you'll always have to deal with Catholics, priests and bishops who aren't "orthodox" enough for you. It's been that way since Jesus sat down to eat with sinners.

So go on with your comic book fantasy of hunting down heretics with Bishop Clark as their Evil Leader. But keep the storyline at least somewhat lucid. Accusing a bishop who calls for prayers and money for earthquake victims A LOSER WHO SHOULD LOSE HIS JOB for not doing more makes no sense at all unless you're just reflexively looking to find ANYTHING new to blame him for.

I guess I'm the only one who thinks that was a cheap shot.

Astounding.

Anonymous said...

Ho hum, more of the same from you. You need to find Jesus fast pal, because there is way to much rage bubbling up inside you. Unlike the orthodox, who post good things in addition to the criticism posts, you can only find yourself to write negativity. Such a poor Christian soul you are. Oh wait, I guess I'm not supposed to consider you Christian because you said we orthodox don't.

Mike said...

Anon. 5:44 wrote, "But I'd never start a blog to attack him like this and others attack Bishop Clark"

Okay, now you've got my attention.

I did NOT start this blog to attack Bishop Clark (or anyone else). And, before you ask, I do NOT hate him (or anyone else).

I only post factual information, items that are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge.

If those facts are, shall we say, unflattering to the bishop, is that my fault?

If losing over 25% of his Mass attendees in a mere 8 years makes his diocesan catechesis look anemic, is that my fault?

If posting the worst record in the country (for dioceses within 25% of DOR's size) regarding closed Catholic schools and lost Catholic school students make him look incompetent, is that my fault?

If calling attention to all the liturgical abuse, disregard for clear directives from Rome and open dissent taking place in DOR makes the bishop look like he's inverted his on version of Catholicism, is that my fault.

If ... well, there could be several more ifs but I think you get the picture.

BTW, you stepped over the line with the above accusation. Anonymous comments are now off and will stay off until further notification. Get a Google ID or shut up.