Asps in Rochester

For this I sadly tip my biretta to Ten Reasons  o{]:¬(

I want you to read this in light of certain entries on this blog about the whole ghastly wymynpriest thing (except for what "that blonde" had to say, of course.

Father Joan

In June of this year, Bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester appointed the notorious dissenter Sister Joan Sobala as pastoral administrator, i.e., de facto priestess, over the tradition-friendly St. Anne Church. The Women’s Ordination Conference calls her a person "key to the survival and success of the movement for women’s ordination." A now former parishioner shares her account of Sister Joan’s honeymoon period:
At the "third informational meeting" held before she was officially acting as the administrator, she made 2 statements, in front of a good size representation of the congregation, when asked if some of the previous traditional liturgical practices would remain the same at Saint Anne’s. She replied, "I AM what I AM and it IS what it IS".  [Glibly hostile blasphemy]

When asked about wanting to become a priest, she announced quite boldly, "It is no secret that since 1975, I have wanted to become a priest." When asked by a parishoner if she understood that this was against the acceptance of the Catholic Church, she told the parishoner that he was "out of line". This was very confusing to many of us, as we still cannot figure out exactly what or who, it IS she THINKS she IS.

Women who want to be ordained, and those who aid them, are setting themselves up as having a Magisterium superior to that of Holy Church.  But by doing so on this topic, they a veering away from Christianity itself.

It is one thing to attack, say, unity – which inflicts a terrible wound in the Body of the Church. 

It is entirely another to pierce the Church’s very beating heart, the priesthood, and then – asp-like inject the wound with venom.

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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78 Responses to Asps in Rochester

  1. Michael B. says:

    The obvious question is not what’s the deal with Sister Joan, but how can a bishop do this and remain in good standing with Rome? That has to change now. Isn’t it the Pope’s responsibility to save us from these wolves?

  2. Oh that is an easy matter: drop empty envelopes in the collection. I am sure that the diocese will get the message tout suite and the dear Sister will be sent packing.

  3. mysticalrose says:

    Well said, Fr. Z. Unfortunately, this is not a question of “veering away from Christianity,” however. They gave up Christianity long ago for neo-paganist/feminist/wiccan religion. These women want to destroy the Church — this is their only agenda. Those who support them — bishop or not — apparently seek the same.

  4. Fr Ray Blake says:

    “I AM what I AM”
    Obviously She is God amongst us, claiming Divinity. The whole point of being a member of the Church is we have the humility to accept its teaching and we do not set ourselves up as God. Thes type of people really belief God is in their own image.

  5. Maureen says:

    Our deadly heroines, yes, we praise still:
    The stern Judge Deborah, brave Judith, Jael.
    But none slew kindred when they came to kill,
    Or bled their babies in unholy grail
    To feed cruel Moloch, Ashtoreth, and Baal.
    They fought _for_ children, not some serpent’s treasons.

    All right, then. Picture Sarah, long bronze knife
    Poised last to butcher sheep but first, her boy.
    Then picture Mary, holding her Son’s life
    That Passover, to offer and destroy.

    Is this the woman you would ask to pray?
    Would you send children to crown _her_ in May?

    Our Eucharist’s both sacrifice and feast,
    Our Christ is God and sacrificial beast.
    If He did not set up His mom as priest,
    He — all-foreknowing of all times and seasons —
    Maybe we ought to think He had His reasons.

  6. James says:

    “Fr. Joan” ????

  7. Rob Alvelais says:

    “I AM what I AM”
    She thinks she’s Popeye!

  8. TJM says:

    I’m actually quite surprised that Bishop Clark is still in charge of that Diocese, particularly, if accounts of his personal life and views are true.
    This woman sounds like a crazy egomaniac. I’m surprised the congregation hasn’t voted with their feet thus causing this “tradition minded” parish to close. Tom

  9. Padre Steve says:

    These are very odd times we live in. So at this parish one is “out of line” if they are “in line” with the teachings of the Church!? Let’s pray that our Holy Father is able to right the ship!

  10. Rochesterian says:

    Ack! No! Not St. Ann’s! St. Ann’s is a good parish!

    The plot actually thickens, Fr. Z. One of the priests there at St. Ann’s right now, I believe, is Fr. Bonsignore, who is head of the local Latin Mass Community. Interesting.

    And Bishop Clark… ugh. Four years. Just four years and counting.

  11. patrick f says:

    Well, Had she been in St. Louis up until a couple weeks ago, she would have been handled better. its really sad that there are people in “leadership” roles in the church who do this idiocy. The key word is “Pastoral” in her “title”….she isnt acting very pastoral at all. She has no authoritative capacity at all, yet she calls someone out of line. Absolutely amazing. Are you sure this isnt an american anglican church we are talking about (j/k)

  12. TJM says:

    I noticed in the parish bulletin that “Sister” Joan gets top billing as Pastoral Administrator whereas Father Tyman is the mere “Sacramental
    Minister.” That guy must be nuts. Tom

  13. Father Totton says:

    What is meant by “tradition-minded” is this a parish where the Sacred Liturgy is (was) celebrated in a sacred manner?

    One last refuge of holiness and sanity in a diocese which still holds a reputation for the most far-out heterodoxy, and H.E. Bp. Clark wants to destroy it? Sad indeed.

  14. henrici says:

    The long-suffering faithful of Rochester have endured this episcopate for 29 years, with apparently 4 more to go. Surely there must be some way for the most obviously egregious papal mistakes in episcopal appointments to be corrected in less than 33 years.

  15. Michael B. says:

    Below is a thread of nearly 200 posts concerning the SSPX. A huge part of the suspicion the SSPX has for the Church involves exactly this kind of bishop remaining in office and in good standing with Rome. Isn’t it time for Rome to do something about the problem of heterodox bishops directly?

  16. bryan says:

    Just look at it this way…the number of days you’re facing is less than the number of days you’ve suffered under Bishop Clark.

    Maybe the good Lord will count that time towards your stay in Purgatory. One must have hope, even in the face of insensate evil.

    Is she evil or just deluded? I don’t know, but raising her status to I AM, to me, sounds like a petulant child who is used to bullying their way around and getting what they want.

    Maybe if she got red in the face and started holding her breath, at least then you’d know what you were dealing with.

    In the end, though, the biological solution will take care of the problem. And only she has to answer for her deeds at her particular judgement.

    So, pray for a conversion of heart. One must always pray.

  17. dark_coven says:

    I think we can all agree that this might be the “Counter-Church” prophesied by Scripture and Tradition. Some of these “priestesses” would even consider offering a “counter-extraordinary form” of the “Woman Wite.” They would oppose the true Church not only in the “Bogus Ordo” (their version of the Mass of Paul VI), but even mimic the Tridentine liturgy in their encantations and murmurs.

    For that I believe that their worship is perfectly valid not to Christ, but to the you know who…

    Instavrare Omnia In Christo.

  18. Monica says:

    She sounds just like the type of parish leaders responsible for the removal and hiding of tabernacles in many of the parishes where I live (Diocese of Richmond, VA). It resembles the same mantra that powerful parish dissenters push on passive Catholics regularly….”WE are what WE are. WE are Church. WE will celebrate. WE will stand. WE will NOT genuflect. WE are the ones that we’ve been waiting for.” You can’t challenge these types of leaders because they’ll just shout you down, make sarcastic comments, roll their eyes or try to get the rest of the passive Catholics to laugh at you. Recently at a confirmation rehearsal at a Virginia Beach parish, one Benedictine brother (product of Latrobe, PA) instructed the young people NOT to kneel when they receive communion like the show-offs do (as if this were the greatest problem facing the Church today). In that same parish, one priest even referred to people who were questioning the removal of the tabernacle as pharisees during one of his homilies (another product of Latrobe who has since moved to a parish in the diocese of Erie). I believe these kinds of antics happen all the time in parishes throughout this country and most Catholics remain passive and trust their parish leadership that thumbs its nose at the Holy See. If more Catholics would take the time to become informed and challenge these types of antics parish leaders wouldn’t get away with this.

  19. Thomas says:

    The church bulletin at St. Anne used to state at the very top “where the tradition of sacred music and Gregorian Chant is alive.” I noticed that that tagline is no longer present, and also the latest bulletin indicates the very talented cantor of 11 years is leaving.

    (I was a parishoner at St. Anne’s in 2001-3 and a regular attendee prior to that during my time as a student at the University of Rochester.)

    St. Anne’s was an oasis of liturgical sanity, theologically middle-of-the-road in an otherwise wacky diocese.
    It’s probably not accurate to characterize the liturgy as reform-of-the-reform, but it was the reform without the usual deformations (and increasingly conforming to the GIRM over the past serveral years), an excellent music program (probably one of the best parish choirs in America), incense, torches, well-instructed altar servers (male and female), etc.

    It attracted students and faculty from University of Rochester who found the spirit of liturgical experimentation and theological laxity at the University chaplaincy to be unwelcoming. Professionals and medical students at Strong Memorial Hospital also attended.

    It’s terribly sad. This leaves whatever students with an interest in liturgy or traditional expressions of Catholicism with no where to go (except to be lucky enough to find out about, and then find someone to drive them to, the Indult Mass community — which, frankly, can be a little intimidating to newcomers.)

  20. Johnny Domer says:

    I must say…incidents like this are probably why rad-traditionalists don’t want to leave their SSPX chapel. We who haven’t jumped ship to the SSPX and remain in the official Church are able to see, by reading, by blogs, by staying up with the news and with the Holy Father’s statements, the wonderful things the Pope is doing, the hermeneutic of continuity he’s promoting, etc. We can understand more how Vatican II isn’t contradicting what came before it. But in so many places, this Pope’s agenda has had no effect on people’s lives whatsoever; the priests are still a bunch of lefties, the bishop is hostile or indifferent to orthodoxy, you get some wackjob nun coming into your parish and ruining everything, and it’s all under the banner of the Spirit of Vatican II…is it that hard to see how someone who wasn’t so news- and blog-savvy could get the impression that Rome or the official Church is off-track, and that this Vatican II business everyone is talking about is just bunk? Then when he realizes that the Pope likes this Vatican II thing that’s been ruining his life, he thinks, and when he realizes that the Pope appointed or allows to remain in office this horrible bishop…is it that hard to see why someone would go to the group that says, “Vatican II WAS terrible and the Pope IS a modernist! Come with us and you’ll never see a feminist nun again! We think like you do!”?

    This is just a part of the crime, the utter and sheer violence to the Faith, that results from appointing bad bishops. I still don’t understand why Benedict continues promoting losers like Wuerl and doesn’t send people like Mahony to a monastery in Uzbekistan. I assume there’s a good reason because he’s a good man and an intelligent one, but I find it really hard to understand.

  21. Craigmaddie says:

    Michael B:
    Isn’t it time for Rome to do something about the problem of heterodox bishops directly?

    I have to say I agree with this. I believe that, as the successors of the Apostles, we owe our bishops a debt of love and obedience. But we have the situation where so many of those who were set up as watchmen on the ramparts have abandoned their posts and in some cases allowed the enemy into the gates. It really tears me up.

  22. Ron says:

    Michael B., in the very first comment, hits the nail on the head, and as, usual on a conservative Catholic blog, most subsequent commentators ignore the implications of what he wrote. This appointment respresents a direct attack on the Catholic faith, an attack originating with the bishop himself. Furthermore, this sort of behavior appears to be typical of this particular bishop. If Benedict XVI is the great defender of tradition that conservative Catholics insist he is, and if his predecessor deserves to be named in the same breath with Gregory I and Leo I, then why is this man still a bishop? It is John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI, the two darlings of the Catholic right, who are responsible for this situation. Otherwise, the doctrine of papal supremacy is meaningless.

  23. Hidden One says:

    Pray about it and then don’t worry about it.

  24. Matt says:

    What I don’t understand is how this Sister’s role can be justified. I went and looked at the Parish/Cluster website and downloaded a bulletin. They have 3 PRIESTS and 1 DEACON between the two parishes.

    It seems as though the excuse for these people is some sort of state of necessity too. Although I don’t think this one has a leg to stand on.

  25. Monica says:

    Do we owe a strong allegiance to Bishops who have a weak allegiance to the Holy See? The antics that are going on in parishes (i.e. St. Gregory the-not-so-great-anymore in Virginia Beach where Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers are still pouring the Precious Blood…after the consecration…to other vessels for distribution every Sunday with the parish pastor’s complete knowledge and consent) are not exaggerations; this is a reality that Catholics witness every Sunday (if not daily) in most parishes. I can only hope that the Holy Father is aware of this; however, does he realize just how bad it really is in many dioceses and parishes?…and that many parish leaders and priests continue to plow ahead as if there were no liturgical directives or instructions from the Holy See? They’re ignoring the Holy Father with what appears to be the approval of many of our Bishops. I wonder if the Holy Father has plans to get aggressive with such transparent defiance. Otherwise, I don’t see how the reform of the reform will ever have a chance to be planted where it is most needed.

  26. TJM says:

    Friends, be of good cheer. The days for these folks are numbered, they will soon be in nursing homes or have gone to their eternal
    reward. These 60s attitudes are generally not found in the younger members of the heirarchy or clergy. Tom

  27. Jordanes says:

    Ron said: It is John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI, the two darlings of the Catholic right, who are responsible for this situation. Otherwise, the doctrine of papal supremacy is meaningless.

    Of course they’re responsible. Every faithful Catholic knows and understands that.

    But anybody can complain, criticise, and condemn. The thing that matters here is: what do you think we should do about it?

  28. Peggy says:

    The trend of laity, men and women, managing or administering parishes is not unusual in a diocese with a shortage of priests. Priests are called “sacramental ministers” in that case. The priests are ministering to multiple parishes in many instances.

    This is true in the Belleville IL diocese, where the new (3 years now) bishop has been defamed and detested by the incumbent clergy and “lay ministry” and CTA (FOSIL) factions. Our lay administrators are called “parish life coordinators.” Bp. Braxton has brought in foreign priests, has worked hard to encourage vocations among young men holding a number of events with young men and priests in the diocese. He has also required parishes to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, though I’ve run into some parishes praying for all kinds of ministry, including in the lay state. Bp. Braxton has also established controls over the PLC practices and who may do what at a parish where a priest is not present to offer a Sunday Mass. Laity must go through diocesan-sponsored training to lead prayer services on Sundays. One PLC I know who is a kind and generous man, nonetheless, worries about his job security. I am sorry for him, but the priest as head of a parish is the ideal we should seek. He must recognize this, I think.

    I don’t like the PLC practice at all. There’s still much rot to deal with in the diocese. The attitude of laity who get into these positions is a big issue. Some serve with sincerity, maybe humility, many with a desire for control and power. I don’t like that it’s done, but a parish needs financial and administrative management when a priest is to minister to multiple parishes–often spread out in the rural areas. I get uncomfortable with the laity assuming some “ministerial” role or having some authority in how liturgical or devotional practices will occur at a parish.

  29. Howard says:

    All she needs is to catch and release a magic, talking flounder. I read a story once about a fisherman who was able to make his wife briefly pope this way.

    Whoops! Too late! It appears Sr. Joan has already made the same mistake as the fisherman’s wife!

  30. Ron says:

    “The thing that matters here is: what do you think we should do about it?” Well, for one thing, I think calling a halt to the papal cult of personality that has acted as an alternative to authentic Catholic conservatism for the past forty years would be a promising beginning. It would mean that Catholics were beginning to face reality, which is always a good thing. I was thrilled in 1978 when John Paul was elected. He was going to rescue the church. He didn’t. He allowed the Bernardin mafia to hijack the American church, and it is still in the drivers seat. I was thrilled again when Benedict was elected. He was going to rescue the church. He hasn’t, and it doesn’t look like he is going to, except on paper. Laypeople have kept orthodox Catholicism alive. Most bishops are our enemies, and the pope appoints the bishops. It is called connecting the dots. How do you erect a cult of personality around the men who appoint your persecutors and then do nothing to put a stop to the persecution, except smile and write another encyclical? I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.

  31. A Random Friar says:

    I´d be tempted to challenge her courage and prophetic voice: after all, those other women had the courage to get themselves “ordained,” right? She`s just working for “The Man” right now. How patriarchal. ;)

  32. Father Totton says:

    Regarding “Parish Life Coordinators” or “Pastoral Administrators” as they were once known in my diocese, some faithful of the Diocese of Lexington, KY, with the help of the Knights of Columbus, brought a canonical suit against a former bishop there and Rome ruled in opposition to this plan, stating that priests should be administering parishes. I wish I had more details than that, but that is all I can think of yet.

    The argument that such an arrangement frees up priests to do the sacramental ministry for which they were ordained only goes so far, and it denies the triple annointing of Christ as Priest, Prhophet and King (the kingly, being the governance of a parish) Furthermore, as an administrator holds the purse strings, he/she has a practical ability to hamper both priestly (cultic) and prophetic (preaching) dimensions of the priest’s ministry – This was the problem with ST. Stanislaus in St. Louis – except it was a lay board instead of a nutty nun.

    Parishes of a certain size may need a business office manager (it seems St. Ann’s is looking for a new one) to do books, reserve space, etc.) This is reasonalbe and it takes some tasks from the pastor’s desk so that he may minister more effectively as pastor, but to reduce the pastor to an employee on the staff of one who calls herself PLC or PA or whatever, is contrary to the core meaning of priesthood – why do we call our priest’s father?

    In essence this plan (which I thought was waning in most places) is akin to the secular arrangement of a fatherless home. Sure, he comes in on weekends, provides a couple Masses, shakes hands and moves on, but the role of Father is reduced to an occasional functionary. Troubling.

  33. A Random Friar says:

    Oh, and that last post was with the understanding that it wuoldincur an excommunication (which she seems to have done to herself already, just about)

  34. Mitchell says:

    For the life of me I can not understand how they can get up the nerve to take on the magesterium of the Church and attempt to re-invent doctrine..I just can’t.

  35. Sam says:

    Fr. Z –

    This is completely off topic, but no mention of the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae? I’ve been waiting all week to hear your thoughts!

  36. mbd says:

    From her comments,it appears that perhaps Sister Joan has delusions of becoming “Pope Joan”.

  37. Lucky says:

    The plan of “lay pastors” is hardly waning in some areas: I know that in the diocese of Jackson, Mississippi, there is a movement to establish these types of lay leaders. From what I understand, the growth of this program is being promoted to the detriment of growing vocations to the priesthood. I am sure that this diocese is not alone. Very, very discouraging.

  38. mbd says:

    From her comments it appears that Sister Joan has delusions of becoming ‘Pope Joan’

  39. A Rochester Escapee says:

    The Diocese of Rochester is a hotbed of internal antiCatholicism courtesy of Matt Clark, bishop. This is why Curran, Chittester and every other leftwing devil feels so at home there. I’m surprised we don’t hear more about rampant homosexual perversions too, as this bishop is quite fond of them and his own degenerate indiscretions with the neighboring bishop are not a very well kept secret. This is the same diocese that has openly promoted abortion, or hasn’t that gotten everybody’s attention yet? See http://rochestercatholic.com/ archives or email the site owners yourselves. Rochester is a Satanic diocese and I am not joking.

  40. Brian Kemple says:

    “If Benedict XVI is the great defender of tradition that conservative Catholics insist he is, and if his predecessor deserves to be named in the same breath with Gregory I and Leo I, then why is this man still a bishop? It is John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI, the two darlings of the Catholic right, who are responsible for this situation. Otherwise, the doctrine of papal supremacy is meaningless.”

    I think we (traditionalists) would all love to see Bishops like this gone immediately. But Bp. Clark is one among more than 5,000. Who is keeping tabs on all of them? How are reports of misbehavior examined, verified? And really, why do you think Archbishop Burke, a man who knows well all the problems of the Church in America, was appointed Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura?

    Have patience, have faith, have hope. Pointing fingers at the Holy Father is going to do any good.

  41. Brian Kemple says:

    Errr… is NOT going to do any good.

  42. Wendy says:

    Here’s something on the Humanae Vitae from the critics. LOL

    http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL563829

    Fascinating piece, fascinatng mentality.

  43. Derik Castillo says:

    I imagine that parishioners are writing letters to the Bishop, and to
    other autorities. What I can do is pray to the Holy Spirit, that He
    will illuminate the mind of Bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester.

  44. Wendy says:

    This statement from the above link strikes me as the crux of the problem

    ‘It also said the encyclical continued to be “a source of great conflict and division in the Church” and because most Catholics use contraception and feel they are not sinning, the policy has been “an utter failure.”‘

    They see Church teachings as policy and believe that sin can’t be sin if they commit it. :)

    Truth with compassion.

  45. Brian Kemple says:

    Hahah…
    “The letter was signed by groups such as… We Are Church”

    Come, sit at table. Be neighbor. We are sophisticated and do not use articles in world of community! I never got the idea that the “Sprit of Vatican II” means foregoing English grammar.

    I also suppose these types of Womynpriest, modernists do not find periodic continence to be one of “the positive aspects of Catholic teachings on sexuality.” It is, afterall, too hard to restrain yourself for love of your spouse, or to acknowledge the innate, indissoluable aspect of the marital vocation that is parental responsibility.

  46. Father Totton says:

    Lucky (or perhaps not so lucky with Lay Pastors in MS) my diocese was in full gear preparing for the eventuality that there would be only a few priests left. Then God gave us a new ordinary and he shifted gears, instead of putting all the dioceses resources into preparing for priestless parishes, he focused on vocations and increased the number of seminarians from 6 to 30 in four years. If we want priests, the vocations are there, but we have to avoid attitudes of defeatism which desire to live without priests. We need Bishops who are willing to shift the focus to providing these young men with teh resources to answer the call they have been given, and the numbers will take care of themselves.

  47. Louis E. says:

    JP II personally consecrated Clark.
    Those uncomfortable with Clark in Fulton Sheen’s old chair may also consider Albany,where he was a priest under Howard Hubbard,who has been there even longer and may be there even longer (appointed at 38 in 1977).
    Moynihan,in Syracuse,was a priest of Rochester under Clark.
    Upstate New York’s dioceses are in for a generational shift in a few years…it will be interesting to see who is appointed.I don’t think Sister Joan will be on any of the ternas.

  48. Ed the Roman says:

    Mark Shea has hypothesized that the American Church has gotten the bishops it demanded; soft on luxuria in all its senses.

    Well, now we’re getting sick of them.

  49. Patrick says:

    We get what we deserve. We deserve what we are willing to fight for, and to put our hearts and souls into.

    If we are satisfied to sit in the pews, and take what the Sister Joans of the world dish out, then we have gotten what we deserve.

    One way of addressing this sort of thing is to withhold tithing to the parish and diocese. Sending your tithes to the missions, or to a charity run by an order dedicated to helping the poor or ill would be one way of demonstrating how you feel.

    I would not counsel confronting these people, or speaking disrespectfully to any sister, priest or bishop. But there are ways of communicating that do not involve disrespect. It is our duty to make the ordinary aware of improper goings on. If that does not result in appropriate action, there is always recourse to Rome.

  50. Xpihs says:

    According to the parish website: http://www.saintannechurch.org/staff.htm

    They have four priests. Fr. Tyman, Fr. Lynch, Fr. Lawlor and Fr. Yu.

    From the Diocesan website: http://www.dor.org/Planning/Contact%20Us/faq.htm

    25. What is the justification for appointing pastoral administrators (non-priest pastoral leaders) when there are non-retired priests that are serving in roles other than pastor?Bishop Clark has made clear that he desires to appoint a pastor for each of the diocese’s parishes. Given the number of parishes and the number of priests, this is not possible. Therefore, in accord with canon 517.2, he has appointed non-priests to provide pastoral leadership when it is not possible to appoint a priest as pastor. While only a priest can be appointed as pastor, not every priest will necessarily have the experience, health, desire, and/or aptitudes to serve as pastor. The judgment of the suitability of a priest to serve as a pastor and to serve in a specific setting is made by the Bishop in consultation with the Priest Personnel Board. While ordination is a necessary requirement to be appointed pastor, it does not necessarily confer the abilities, skills, and qualities required for effective pastoral leadership.

    But Canon 517 says:

    Can. 517 §1. When circumstances require it, the pastoral care of a parish or of different parishes together can be entrusted to several priests in solidum, with the requirement, however, that in exercising pastoral care one of them must be the moderator, namely, the one who is to direct the joint action and to answer for it to the bishop.

    §2. If, because of a lack of priests, the diocesan bishop has decided that participation in the exercise of the pastoral care of a parish is to be entrusted to a deacon, to another person who is not a priest, or to a community of persons, he is to appoint some priest who, provided with the powers and faculties of a pastor, is to direct the pastoral care.

    Thus how can he be invoking 517.2 if there are not a lack of priests? Huh?

  51. Phillip says:

    Bishop Matthew Clark was the celebrant at 2007 NCYC in Columbus, which gives you an idea of his vision of Catholicism. Check it out here:

    http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2007/11/columbus-part-ii.html

    Boniface
    unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com

  52. Joseph says:

    This bishop Clark sounds like a Pretty Ineffable Guy. May God grant Rome the intestinal fortitude to stand up for the faith that so many have given their lives for, and to not only discipline, but BE SEEN BY THE FAITHFUL to discipline those evil shepards who would lead their flocks to the wolves. We need to know that our Holy Mother Church will protect us.

  53. Warren says:

    Sister Joan has definitely made an asp of herself. I wonder if she might recall something about someone who crushes the head of the serpent.

  54. Sammy says:

    I agree with Joseph. I too want to see and know that my Mother the Church is publicly taking care of all this very public and scandalous business. At the same time, I have to acknowledge that The Church, like God Himself is slow to anger. Good thing for me, let me tell ya!

    Regarding the SSPX comments: I can sympathize. It is rather like a child who was rightfully punished for playing with matches, even though he intended the fire to cook over and to keep the family warm. But he is also rightfully indignant, because his parents have seen his siblings play with matches, burn down the chicken coop and the barn. Then they stuck their tongues out at Mom and give Dad the finger when they took his car without permission to go buy more matches so they can set fire to the house and kill all inside. But Mom and Dad don’t even wag a finger at them. Pretty hard to take.

  55. JPG says:

    I recall a post some time ago with Fr Z with some helpfu
    suggestions. 1. Someone needs to make Rome aware. Thus letters to the appropriate dicastries in a typewritten form stating simply to the point the particular violation and context. Using the evidence of this woman’s own words in a dispassionate way will be I think more effective. This complaint needs to come from more than one person. 2. CC the Papal pronuncio and Bp Clark. This will put the Papal representative as well as the Bishop on notice. Starting with the Bishop is pointless. 3. perhaps CC the press although they will likely given their collective proclivities like the nun. Multiple complaints from Parishioners pointing out the dissent and liturgical abuse held and promoted by the nun and the Bishop may at last provoke action. This callous , insenstitive and clearly calculated move to irritate and provoke the Parishioners must be challenged in a dispassionate if not legalistic way I would think obtain a serious hearing. The tendency to circle the wagons amongst those with the purple hats may yet thwart any effective action.
    JPG
    Fairfield, CT

  56. Jane says:

    What a nerve this nun has.

  57. David Billington says:

    Undoubtedly there is still a great deal of heterodoxy being practised in the Church. Sadly it was ever so. Even under the strictest of Popes in the Middle Ages bishops and priests often did their own thing. During the French Revolution more bishops and priests joined the Constitutional Church than remained loyal to Rome and need I remind people of the wholesale apostasy of the Anglican church under Edward VI and Elizabeth I. JP II was a great evangelist but he came to the Papacy with limited experience of the international church. He was reliant on both the local bishops, the nuncios and the curia for advice on who to appoint. Much of that advice, especially in the early years of his reign, was poor. Benedict is a much more savy administrator. Already we have seen the fruit of this. Just running through my old 1998 Australian Catholic Directory I have noticed that several of the more egregious bishops have passed on and have been replaced by more faithful men. That does not mean that there are not still pockets of rot in the church. But the spread of the disease has been arrested. I think we have to pray for Our Holy Father. He faces an almost impossible task. The priesthood is shot through with heterodox thought. There really would be a ‘priestly crisis’ if all those who deserved to be sacked were sacked in one great ‘Night of the Long Knives’. It will take a generation to restore the faith of the priesthood but Benedict is doing it one diocese at a time. There will be no overnight restoration. Nor can there be. Yet just among parishes of my own aquaintance I have seen two restore the altar rails in the last two years. Benediction is making a comeback and the Rosary is being recited. Who would have believed such things possible even a few years ago. We should also remember that Pope St Gregory VII one of the great reforming popes and a man who fought against the secularisation of the Church in his day died in exile exclaiming “Amavi iustiam et odivi iniquitatem; propterea, morior in exilio” (“I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore, I die in exile.”). Yet after his death the things he fought for gradually triumphed and the secularists went down to defeat. The tide has turned and its flow will only increase but it will take time for it to gain full strength. As we suffer for the sake of Christ let us say Sancti Gregori ora pro nobis.

  58. This leaves whatever students with an interest in liturgy or traditional expressions of Catholicism with no where to go (except to be lucky enough to find out about, and then find someone to drive them to, the Indult Mass community—which, frankly, can be a little intimidating to newcomers.)

    Our Lady of Victory – St. Joseph (210 Pleasant Street in downtown Rochester) is the place to go. You will find a reverent celebration of the Pauline missal with generous doses of Latin, tasteful hymns, solid preaching, and a packed congregation. It’s the only parish we visit during trips home, and I’ve noticed more than a few men and women of college age in the pews.

  59. Sounds like a bit of a nut case! I mean the bishop of course. The successor to Fulton Sheen.

  60. Seminarian says:

    I would like to invite everyone here to pray for your future priests. We seminarians who wish to remain faithful to the Magisterium and the Holy Father in regards to liturgical (and doctrinal, and moral) directives often feel as if we are fighting a losing battle. We love what the Holy Father is doing and teaching the Church through his example, but we are all too aware of the sad reality in the parishes where we go to Mass. We are often put into the category of “conservative” or “rigid” when we simply follow or choose to follow the correct liturgical norms (I’m speaking about the Novus Ordo Mass here) and show any kind of disagreement to liturgical innovations and abuses. It is frustrating as a seminarian for it tends to wear one down over time, and I would appreciate it if you would all keep us in your prayers.

    On a more positive note, blogs such as this one are an inspiration to us. They give us courage and strength to “keep up the good fight”, as Saint Paul says. And they strengthen are Hope as well, knowing that there are priests (and bishops) out there who are faithful to the Church and who are doing a great deal to confirm the faithful in their Faith. Thank you, Fr. Z.

  61. cathguy says:

    I am a faithful Catholic and love the Holy Father.

    I simply ask the following questions humbly, and I admit I am only a member of the laity.

    Why do we hear apologies for the sex abuse scandal but see so little concrete disciplinary action against the Bishops guilty of cover up?

    Will there be no changes to cannon law to address accountability?

    Why does a local Bishop place a dissenting woman who loathes tradition in charge of a tradition friendly parish?

    Why is there no disciplinary action against the Bishop?

    I simply ask the questions…

    I would point out that in the wake of a different scandal, a layman who had extensive experience with the FBI was called in to help deal with the crisis in the US. He resigned after a year or two. The reason? He said he was shocked to find that the “hierarchical” Catholic Church really had no hierarchy at all. All Bishops were equal, and there was no pecking order or accountability…. Anywhere….

    Nothing like the FBI.

    If Bishops were magically made to lead or work in typical lay settings such as corporations, small businesses, or even government institutions with legislative oversight, hierarchy, and REAL accountability (like… if you screw up you get FIRED) for a week or two, what do we suppose would occur?

    What if the faithful of that parish were magically turned into loyal customers of a product the Bishop produced? (I am NOT trying to downplay the Mass here… just drawing an analogy)

    Would the Bishop be lauded for his exemplary leadership? What would his shareholders say?

    I realize the priesthood and the episcopacy are NOT jobs.

    I am just asking the questions.

  62. If Bishops were magically made to lead or work in typical lay settings such as corporations, small businesses, or even government institutions with legislative oversight, hierarchy, and REAL accountability (like… if you screw up you get FIRED) for a week or two, what do we suppose would occur?

    A tyranny of liturgical and catechetical mediocrity.

    And if you’re really “just asking the questions,” you ought to read the questions in the Compendium about the fourth mark of the Church.

  63. Joe says:

    Dear A Rochester Escapee (and Fr Z): “I’m surprised we don’t hear more about rampant homosexual perversions too, as this bishop is quite fond of them and his own degenerate indiscretions with the neighboring bishop are not a very well kept secret. This is the same diocese that has openly promoted abortion …” These are serious charges. “his own degenerate indiscretions with the neighboring bishop”? I suggest this post be removed and the real proof sent to the Papal Nuncio.

  64. Matt Q says:

    “If Bishops were magically made to lead or work in typical lay settings such as corporations, small businesses, or even government institutions with legislative oversight, hierarchy, and REAL accountability (like… if you screw up you get FIRED) for a week or two, what do we suppose would occur?

    A tyranny of liturgical and catechetical mediocrity.

    And if you’re really “just asking the questions,” you ought to read the questions in the Compendium about the fourth mark of the Church.”
    Comment by Rich Leonardi

    Dear A Rochester Escapee (and Fr Z): “I’m surprised we don’t hear more about rampant homosexual perversions too, as this bishop is quite fond of them and his own degenerate indiscretions with the neighboring bishop are not a very well kept secret. This is the same diocese that has openly promoted abortion…” These are serious charges. “his own degenerate indiscretions with the neighboring bishop”? I suggest this post be removed and the real proof sent to the Papal Nuncio.”
    Comment by Joe

    )(

    First of all, CathGuy asks a legitimate question which any Catholic has the right to ask as well any other individual on the planet. What of these bishops and their accountability to the Faithful in particular and the Church in general, as well Joe Public?

    Secondly, why should CathGuy’s post be removed? If you’re offended, don’t read it. Remember, if you don’t stand up for someone else’s right to freedom of speech, there’s no one left to stand up for yours, nor would you deserve it.

    Thirdly, the Nuncio? When does a Nuncio have to do with anything? When was the last time a Nuncio intervened in anything? Conferences put out false teaching. Any intervention there? Bishops have been known and admitted to covering up the molestation scandals. Any intervention there?

    ======

    Henrici wrote:

    “The long-suffering faithful of Rochester have endured this episcopate for 29 years, with apparently 4 more to go. Surely there must be some way for the most obviously egregious papal mistakes in episcopal appointments to be corrected in less than 33 years.”

    )(

    Henrici, there is no relief. Bad bishops get to continue on and on, and no matter how much the Faithful suffer, Rome couldn’t care less. Obviously. Rome doesn’t admit to mistakes. Look at us out here on Los Angeles. ( **Pray** **2011** ) We can identify and have kinship with you Rochester people.

    It so happens the anti-spam phrase on this entry is “pray 4 bishops,” and so we must. In fact, I don’t believe the Faithful pray enough and do penance for the Clergy nowadays then as before. This can be attributed to the false thinking which came out of V-II, when V-II said nothing or even addressed the aesthetics of practicing the Faith. It came in a round-about way when Catholicism began to be presented as a song-and-dance religion with clown Masses, folksy even heathen music, etc. People get the picture.

  65. puella says:

    I thought I had read somewhere that the Little Flower also wanted to be a priest. Can we say so blanket-fashion that Women who want to be ordained, and those who aid them, are setting themselves up as having a Magisterium superior to that of Holy Church?

    It is surely possible to witness and admire the awesome state of life that is being a priest, whether you’re a man or a woman. It’s surely possible to desire to also be able to stand so close to the altar, to the tabernacle, and to be able to touch Christ’s physical reality – even if you are a woman. But does that alone necessarily mean that you are assuming an authority you simply don’t have?

  66. First of all, CathGuy asks a legitimate question which any Catholic has the right to ask as well any other individual on the planet.

    I didn’t question his right to ask it.

  67. Maureen says:

    The Little Flower did indeed have a phase where she wished she could be a priest.

    When she was a kid.

    There’s a lot of difference between that sort of kid’s daydream (which in the natural course of life turned into a healthy supportive love of priests and praying for them), and seriously, defiantly advocating ordination for oneself as an adult (when all the evidence of tradition, the laws of Christ’s Church, and your own vocation as a sister seem to point to God not wishing this).

    On that note, though, I would like to note that Sr. Joan has not gone and gotten herself pretend-ordained. She is thus a pretty darned obedient daughter of the Church, for the circles she runs in.

  68. michigancatholic says:

    It so happens the anti-spam phrase on this entry is “pray 4 bishops,” and so we must. In fact, I don’t believe the Faithful pray enough and do penance for the Clergy nowadays then as before. This can be attributed to the false thinking which came out of V-II, when V-II said nothing or even addressed the aesthetics of practicing the Faith. It came in a round-about way when Catholicism began to be presented as a song-and-dance religion with clown Masses, folksy even heathen music, etc. People get the picture.

    Perhaps. But many laity simply don’t know what to think. And it’s hard to see why one should care, and care, and care, when obviously the people who run the church clearly don’t care.

    There are all kinds of evidences of the Church not caring. It’s been very deeply established and it’s nearly impossible to miss. Witness the recent idiocy about the USCCB and the new translations, or this long-standing trouble in Rochester, NY. And we can’t forget the gold-plated example, who of course was PJP2, who refused to govern and who didn’t care much about liturgy, it has been said many times. HOw in blue blazing perdition can a person be pope and not care about the liturgy??? That’s the kind of pope that would put Clark and Mahony where they are. That’s the kind of pope that would make Bernardin a cardinal without the most cursory check on what his past activities had included. The period of PJP2′s reign was, more than any other, the period in which most of this stuff was legitimized, and legitimization in all this is what really counts most when you’re talking about large numbers of people. The Great, indeed. The whole thing was wish-&-hope lala-land for the faithful. I am very relieved that we are past that, chronologically anyway.

    At least Benedict XVI seems to care about the liturgy and he seems to be trying. I think he’s really better than most and I may be wrong, but I think, thanks to his prior years at the CDF, he might have as much of an inkling of what really goes on as any high-placed non-layperson could. He certainly needs to exert himself, it’s been a little slow but he’s done some of that, to his credit.

    The rest of the job is probably going to depend on laypeople. I say that with a fair amount of trepidation. The problem is, many laypeople have been co-opted into complicity in the form of lay ministry, etc etc. Thus, the rest of us have to work that much harder. We have got to withhold funding, call people on the carpet publicly, withhold approval, and insist absolutely on getting what we have a right to–decent behavior by clerics, regular dignified masses according to official rubrics and an end to controversy over indecent topics, ie. homosexuality.

    The rest of it–spiritual attention, good teaching and the like–is generally completely absent and forgotten. WE need to stop pretending about that and get the basics of priestly morality and the mass fixed first, because without them, nothing else is reliable or reasonable. Then we can get to the finer points which we don’t have and haven’t had for some time.

    But you say, what about getting it fixed just by praying? Fixing something like this quagmire we’re in requires prayer and faith because everything does, even fixing dinner or doing your regular day job. But both of those, just like fixing these problems, also requires some guts and some elbow grease. The Church isn’t going to come around because we wish it would like in a Cinderella movie for 3 yr olds. Anymore than someone’s going to give you a million dollars so your job problems go away, or anymore than someone’s going to cook your dinner so you don’t have to worry about it. Don’t get me wrong–Keep praying, but we can all stop rolliing our eyes and trying to look holy now. Any. Time. Work is also required. Earnest prayers are accompanied by work and change. WE have to mean for this to happen, in every way, in every aspect of our faculties, or it simply won’t.

    Resolution will come around with God’s help and with our prayer (yes), but also our absolute insistence, hard work and intransigent pressure to fix this. Even the Exodus out of Egypt required some effort, if you recall. When people care enough to make the practical details happen, they will. Until then, no amount of idle wishing is going to do anything.

    The Church is, in a theological manner of speaking, our Mother. I suggest we start doing the decent Christian thing: defending her and treating her as we would our elderly Mother. This means at the very least, giving the boot to swindlers and crooks [aka Clark, etc] who insist on walking in and out of her house day and night and using her substance for their debauchery. I might also add that if we can’t get rid of people organizationally, we might make their lives far too miserable to contemplate and hope they leave. Lay it on, it’s the least we can do for them. It might save their souls, and ours.

  69. "that blonde" says:

    My name HERE is what I am now referred to around Saint Anne’s Church, because I got out before Sister Joan ever even knew my name. Nonetheless, THIS blonde is hurt, and more importantly OUTRAGED. Sister Joan Sobala has managed to drive away a young man, who was a great friend, as well as a respectful child, who made rosaries and sold them in the atrium of the church, who has also pledged his life to devotion and respect for the Catholic traditions of the church. His fervor has led him into a decision to join the seminary after his college education is completed. He WAS an acolyte who wanted to distinguish himself from HER, by purchasing (with his own money) a black cassock, so that he would be reverent, as well as considered a DIFFERENT servant from the Pastoral Administrator. She wears a WHITE cassock. She was outraged and chastised him openly in the sacristy, in front of others who have shared the altar in harmony previous to her installation. It never ceases to amaze me, how people who feel threatened, either concerning their notoreity, or popularity, (meaning Sister Joan)tend to project off onto innocent bystanders who mean no harm, but quite adversely, mean to do good. It is definitely due to jealousy, and an insecurity of conscience. She obviously knows that she has been digging her own grave, and now, the dirt won’t stop falling in on her head. What else to do, but to act like “she MEANT to do that?”

  70. michigancatholic says:

    You know, by the sounds of that ^, if I lived near that parish, I’d get the heck out of there. Sounds like the devil has taken over.

  71. henrici says:

    At the “third informational meeting” held before she was officially acting as the administrator, she made 2 statements, in front of a good size representation of the congregation, when asked if some of the previous traditional liturgical practices would remain the same at Saint Anne’s.

    I’m getting in a bit late on this. But I don’t understand this discussion, or why such a question would even be asked. What would a “pastoral administrator” have to do with the liturgy, surely the province of the priests (or “sacramental ministers”)?

    I would think that a pastoral administrator would be concerned with administrative matters — budgets, supervision of the clerical and support staff, maintenance of the parish plant, etc. I’d think every large parish with several priests would have a male or female lay administrator to handle these kinds of routine matters.

  72. AB says:

    Not all that long ago a heterodox bishop in Northern France was removed from office.

    Any Pope who, knowing of this situation, allows Bishop Clark to go on feeding poison to his flock for another four years is himself gravely at fault.

  73. A Rochester Catholic says:

    The St. Anne’s situation is the latest trial for the Rochester diocese but I believe Pope Benedict knows about all the problems in Rochester.

    About 10 years ago, I had an opportunity to travel to Rome and was able to go to the then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s Thursday morning Mass. Afterwards, he kindly took some time to speak to our group (in English) and have pictures taken. Some of us said that we were from Rochester, NY, in the United States and his smiling reply was “Ah, Rochester, I know Rochester!” Interpret it any way you want to but I like to believe that, despite the large number of dioceses around the world, our good Holy Father knows and has known for a while the suffering Catholics go through in the Rochester diocese because of the constant dismantling of the Catholic faith that has gone on here for so many years. Benedict will know what to do four years from years from now.

    As for now, we continue to pray for Bishop Clark that his eyes will be opened and that God will place in his soul these last four years a desire to teach the authentic truths of the Catholic faith.

  74. Steve K. says:

    Sister Joan sounds like the twin of the lay woman parish administrator at my former parish, to a tee. I left there, had enough of her and her cronies teaching heresy night after night to catechumans in RCIA (I was an RCIA sponsor).

    Monica – if you don’t already, I recommend attending St. Benedict’s in Chesapeake.

  75. “Ah, Rochester, I know Rochester!”

    The CDF was involved in the James Callan excommunication, which took place around the time you would have seen him. I’m told the diocese has stayed on the Ratzinger/Benedict radar screen.

  76. hoping says:

    While I’m not happy with what is going on at St. Anne (I am a parishioner there – at least for now), I think it is appropriate to point out that two of the priests assigned to this cluster – Fr. Lynch and Fr. Lawlor – are both retired. As such, it probably isn’t appropriate to consider them as being “available” to serve as pastor for this cluster. I don’t know Fr. Lawlor, but Fr. Lynch has been helping out at St. Anne for the past few years – we are privileged to have him, but I don’t think he would be looking to serve as pastor (here, or anywhere) at this point in his career.

    So – while I’m not happy that Sr. Joan is there, saying “look at all of the other priests assigned to those parishes” is probably not the strongest line of argument to follow.

  77. A Rochester Catholic says:

    Rich,

    Yes, the Callan situation was going on around the time we saw Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome. In fact, some people I was with handed Cardinal Ratzinger a binder of information on the dissent in Rochester.

    What’s difficult to understand is why those in power here in the DOR still don’t get it now in 2008. Dissent doesn’t help anyone and it leads to a loss of Catholic identity and, as a result, a loss of vocations and less Catholics practicing the faith. Bishop Clark seems to be sincere but very misled.

    By the way, Rich, your blog “Ten Reasons” is good stuff- it’s helpful to news about what’s left of the Rochester church somewhere besides the Courier- thanks Fr. Z. for plugging it.

  78. BocciCiotti says:

    I hereby volunteer to kindly and gently and with great charity and in fraternal correction, just beat the living crap out of the witch. And tell her there is more of that waiting for her every time she steps out of line. I assure you, she will mend her ways.

    It worked in my parish when we got a priest spewing trash from the pulpit. All it took was a little evening visit from a group of angry elderly Italians to straighten him right up. I think the old women scared him the most. C’mon, people. have you no men amongst you? I mean real MEN? Ho about a rightously irate old woman?

    You people have more clout than you know. Use it. They only get away with such things because you let them. Fight! And don’t be nice about it. Nice is for losers and you people are in a war.