A new bishop for Rochester: reconstruction continues

As I wrote when His Excellency Most Reverend Leonard Blair was translated from Toledo to Hartford: “Bishops are not being penalized for involvement in the doctrinal assessment of the LCWR.  They are being promoted.”   The Fishwrappers had a spittle-flecked nutty.  Micken’s of The Bitter Pill had a melt-down.

Now Bp. Salvatore Matano has been moved from Burlington, Vermont to Rochester in New York… where he replaces one of the most liberal and loooooong-ruling bishops ehvur.

I wrote about Bp. Matano HERE.  He celebrated a Pontifical Mass in the older, traditional form of the Roman Rite in the jammed co-Cathedral of Burlington.  At that time he said: “If this is what it takes to fill our churches, then so be it,” he said. “I will do whatever I can to fill our churches.”

Stop and say a prayer for Bp. Matano as he begins his ministry in long-troubled Rochester.  Stop and say a prayer for Archbishop Viganò, who is guiding these appointments.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mamajen says:

    Wow, very good news for my state! I was searching earlier trying to find information about him, and should have thought to search this blog. I’m glad you posted about it. We really need positive changes like this in New York.

  2. acardnal says:

    Fantastic news!

    Hopefully, he will follow Bp. Morlino’s lead and require his seminarians to learn the EF Mass.

  3. benedetta says:

    A home run!

  4. mamajen says:

    Goodness…was just reading up on the previous guy. I hope the new bishop can correct at least some of the wreckovation of Sacred Heart Cathedral.

  5. farmer88 says:

    How long have I waited to see this day? All 25 years of my life, as a matter of fact. Never thought I would see the day and now that I do, I can see that it is more beautiful than any of the days preceding it.

  6. Vincent. says:

    I am happy for Rochester. Now let’s pray for such a bishop for Albany!

  7. Jon says:

    There but for the grace of God go I.

    I grew up a scant twenty miles from the diocesan border. And while not perfect, the Diocese of Buffalo was as different from that of Rochester as Geneva from Econe.

    I’d remember to offer a prayer for Cardinal Ouellet, too, who is taking these fine candidates to the the Holy Father for his approval. Cardinal Ouellet, to all accounts, was the runner-up in the Conclave, and for most of the voting, a close runner at that.

    At only 69, his day, like that of the present occupant, may one day come.

  8. JonPatrick says:

    It’s a shame Vermont had to lose a good Bishop though. Here in New England, where the forces of darkness in our society seem to be at their strongest (e.g. Vermont being probably the most liberal state in the Union) we need strong orthodox voices in the Church.

  9. majuscule says:

    The Fishwrap pulled out snippets of past mentions of Bp. Matano from their archives. I’m sure they will cover this in more detail later.

  10. robtbrown says:

    Vincent. says:
    I am happy for Rochester. Now let’s pray for such a bishop for Albany!

    Yep. One down, one to go.

    I used to know a man, no longer living, who wanted to be a priest and interviewed with either Albany or Rochester. The Dir of Vocations asked him about women’s ordination, and he said he was opposed to it. He was then told the diocese would not be interested in him.

  11. mamajen says:

    Yes, hopefully Albany is similarly blessed. It’s hard to believe these men being appointed bishops at such a young age…all that time to cause so much damage. It would be interesting to know how they climbed the ranks so quickly.

  12. HeatherPA says:

    Such glorious news! My prolife little group that gathers in Elmira, NY to pray in front of the Planned Parenthood that is within sight of the church where Margaret Sanger received her First Communion (sigh) will be overjoyed!! We have prayed for this intention of theirs for years. This is not my diocese but I go up there to pray at the abortion mill.
    Thanks for letting us know the news, Fr. Z!

  13. MAJ Tony says:


    Now, maybe they will take back and restore Old St. Joseph’s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Joseph%27s_Church_and_Rectory_(Rochester,_New_York) I’m not even from there, but I found this and one Tradition-minded (granted OF Mass) right down the street.

  14. cpttom says:

    DEO GRATIAS! The people who walked in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light!

    Those of us who have lived in the shadows in Rochester Diocese as part of the orthodox underground are estatic over the choice of Bishop Matano. My phone and my email abuzzing since 6:30 this morning. Not only is he orthodox, not only is he a canon lawyer who is tradition friendly (in comparison to previous), but he is also competent and a proven Good Shepherd. This is what is needed to turn around the desolation that the DOR has become. Hallejuah, God is indeed kind and merciful!

  15. Maynardus says:

    Wow. This is a huge sea change for that wretched and long-suffering diocese. Granted, almost anyone would have been an improvement after the long and lamentable incumbency of H.E. Matthew Clark but this is pretty darned good. In general the Catholics of Rochester will be very pleased with Bishop Matano, but I would offer a word of advice: cut him some slack and don’t try and judge him immediately or by any one action. He is a very smart man, and he has a tendency to shoot from the hip. He can be very blunt, and he does not always suffer fools gladly; but his orthodoxy is unquestionable and his leadership and management skills are proven – in other words, he’s got the “teaching, sanctifying and governing” bits covered. But I can only imagine some of the “sob stories” we’ll be hearing from the Fishwrap et al whenever the good bishop exercises his office by offering some “fraternal correction” to some of the “lost sheep” who’ve been free-ranging across the barren plains of Rochester for many years.

    Yes, I believe this is a good thing for the Diocese of Rochester… Deo gratias!

  16. McCall1981 says:

    So it looks like the promotion of good, orthodox Bishops under Francis continues. Is this happening in spite of Francis (thanks to Card. Ouellet), or dare we hope that Francis actually supports these good Bishops?

  17. Adam L says:

    I hope he also makes an effort to restore the Catholic schools in the diocese. I’m originally from the area, and I know that the schools there have been languishing for years.

  18. kpoterack says:

    “So it looks like the promotion of good, orthodox Bishops under Francis continues. Is this happening in spite of Francis (thanks to Card. Ouellet), or dare we hope that Francis actually supports these good Bishops?”

    I am sure that Cardinal Ouellet plays a big role in selecting these men – as is his job. I am pretty sure every pope is given a full report and dossier on these men, so no pope simply takes the word of his chief advisor on these matters. We shall see, but at the very least, Pope Francis seems open to the advice of Cardinal Ouellet.

  19. thomas tucker says:

    JonPatrick- where I live, in Washington State, we could probably give Vermont a run for its money as the most liberal state! :)

  20. TridentineAvenger says:

    Very, very interesting. I moved to Vermont only this past summer; I never met Bishop Matano and haven’t had an opportunity to get a sense of the man. My limited perception is that the Diocese of Burlington is troubled due to lack of priests, small widely-scattered congregations, a generally liberal and worldly political mindset among the faithful, and limited cash flow. Most diocesan events are held in the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph because the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, rebuilt after a devastating fire in the 1970s, is ugly as sin and everyone knows it, but there’s no money to improve its aesthetics. In the past few years, finances have taken another hit with the Diocese settling a priestly abuse lawsuit that necessitated selling the Bishop’s residence and chancery. I got the idea that Bishop Matano was an able manager who was trying to do his best with what he had to work with. I’m not surprised he’s being called to lead another troubled flock.

    The solemn high pontifical Mass that Fr. Z referenced was never repeated, and the Forma Extraordinario was only a monthly phenomenon until recently — now we have the Mass every Saturday and Sunday in Saint Albans in the northwest corner of the state. The pastor worked with Bishop Matano to ensure that the pastoral needs of all his people were being adequately met before starting the Mass, rather than roughly insisting on his Summorum Pontificum rights . . . so we have every hope that Bishop Matano is willing to work in good faith with the devotees of Tradition and foster their growth and development. I wish him God’s grace in New York and prayers for a Godly successor.

  21. Jim R says:

    Thank God – literally and figuratively.

    His Excellency, the Ordinary Emeritus, came as close as anyone to killing off the faith, in toto, in an entire diocese. The whole Corpus Christi/Spritus Christi debacle should have got His Excellency removed years ago. Well, the Pope had trouble deciding to what to do with Cranmer in the 16th century so I suppose figuring out what to do with the Ordinary in Rochacha in the 2000s was similarly murky. Pity that so much had to be lost and destroyed until he retired.

    A new dawn. Hope springs eternal.

    Now let’s also pray that Sr. Joan repents for all she has wrought.

  22. OrthodoxChick says:


    I second you on that.

  23. Nan says:

    @JonPatrick, OrthodoxChick and McCall1981. I have a contender for you: Minnesota, where the dissident Catholics are calling for Abps. resignation due to alleged mishandling of sexual abuse and where the law has recently been changed to a) allow gay marriage and b) eliminate the statute of limitations as to child sexual abuse with a 3-year lifting of it for past abuse.

    Oh, and whoever just questioned whether Pope Francis supports the bishops he’s named? We just got Bishop-Elect Andrew Cozzens to be installed on Dec. 9, a holy and faithful priest.

  24. Phil_NL says:

    I’ve always said, and will continue to say, that what matters most, especially in the long run, isn’t what Pope Francis does or doesn’t do in his day-to-day work and appearances, what matters most are the bishops he appoints (or better said, approves). Those are decisions that have an impact 30 or 40 years hence.

    And so far, we’ve had no reason to complain in that area. Quite the contrary, I’d say.

  25. MacBride says:

    I grew up in Rochester..Sacred Heart Cathedral was my home parish where I received Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation. My mother still goes to the wreckovated Cathedral (I cannot bring myself to go there anymore when I am home..instead I go to the TLM at St Stanislaus). I hope my mom never again has to sit through a bongo drum Mass or a Mass with liturgical dancers. I am gald for Rochester. I can’t wait to see the joy over at the Clensing Fire blog.

    I am sad this bishop is leaving Vermont. Finally Vermont has a TLM every Sunday and Holy days. I drive 2 hrs from the Adirondacks to St Albans for the TLM every Sunday. I pray whomever his replacement is, he will be open to the TLM so it can grow in the state of Vermont.

  26. When Buffalo’s Bishop Kmiec retired, Mean old reactionary Benedict XVI sent them as a replacement a devout catechist from New England.

    When Rochester’s Bishop Clark retired, progressive, forward-looking, reformist, did-we-mention-he’s-from-the-Third-World Pope Francis sent them as a replacement . . . a devout catechist from New England.

    Hermeneutic of Continuity, FTW!

  27. NoraLee9 says:

    I have a nephew and niece in Rochester. We go up for holidays on occasion. Last time enere there we could not did an EF Mass held in the AM with any groups with whom we were familiar, or the diocese for that matter. My daughter and I had recourse to the local Franciscan/ Sedevacantists. They’ve been there a while. Their home base is in Filmore. Bishop Sheen was installed as Bishop of Rochester in 1966, no? It is a shame that the diocese has been such a wreck spiritually, for so long. Hopefully, next time I visit my nephew (and family), we will be able to find a more regular situation in which to attend Mass.

  28. mamajen says:


    That’s good to know about Buffalo! I saw that they have a new bishop, but I didn’t know anything about him. I went to college out there, and it was a mixed bag to say the least. I experienced some rather atrocious things while there.

  29. kpoterack says:

    Phil NL said:

    “I’ve always said, and will continue to say, that what matters most, especially in the long run, isn’t what Pope Francis does or doesn’t do in his day-to-day work and appearances, what matters most are the bishops he appoints (or better said, approves). Those are decisions that have an impact 30 or 40 years hence.”

    Amen! Word is that Pope Francis and Card. Ouelette are good friends. So, there is good reason to believe this happy association of recommendee/approvee will continue. Oremus!

  30. Pingback: Rochester Has a Bishop! | Over the Rhine and Into the Tiber

  31. By the way, Bishop Hubbard turned 75 last month. I can’t wait to see who is sent to Albany. I wandered across the diocesan border earlier this year for Sunday Mass and was dismayed; it was if I had fallen into a time warp and gone back twenty years. Let’s hope that Rochester starts its rebound now.

  32. MacBride says:

    @NoraLee9 – Latin Mass at St Stanislaus every Sunday at 1:30 pm (Rochester’s Una Voca chapter). Sometimes you can find a TLM at Our Lady of Victory in downton Rochester. I have been to a Novus Ordo there ..and they do it the way Vatican II intended..lots of Latin.

    I’d stay away from Filmore…Most Holy Family Monastery…stay far away,

  33. Fr. Denis Lemieux says:

    God bless Bp Matano. I can think of few jobs more difficult than that of an orthodox, faithful bishop being sent in to clean up decades of institutionalized error and disobedience. We need to pray for him… and cut him a lot of slack. Rochester didn’t get into this mess overnight, and it won’t get fixed overnight, either. Prayer and fasting, folks!

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