The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Priest “assaulted” deacon?

posted by deacon greg kandra

From the blog Clerical Whispers, we get this piece of news about a priest in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia who has been suspended because of an argument he got into with his parish deacon:

The Rev. Joseph J. Clark, an Irish-Catholic bartender turned priest, never planned to be in the middle of a fracas involving him, the Vatican and the Diocese of Arlington.

But since he was suspended from the priesthood by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde two years ago this month for arguing with a deacon, he has waged a quiet battle to win back his right under church law to preach and teach in the 400,000-member diocese.

His is the second case in five years in the Arlington Diocese to make its way into the papal court system.

The first case, involving the Rev. James R. Haley — who was silenced in 2001 after he accused Bishop Loverde of sheltering homosexual priests — remains unresolved at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy.

Father Clark’s case is now before the Signatura, the highest Vatican court.

Two cases at one time from one medium-sized diocese “is pretty rare unless there’s a new trend starting,” said the Rev. Thomas Reese, former editor of the Jesuit magazine America.

“Maybe bishops have gotten these ideas on how to deal with troublesome priests” from the new zero-tolerance rules on sex abuse.

Like all clergy in the Arlington Diocese, Father Clark, 49, cannot talk to reporters without permission from the diocese. He did not respond to requests for an interview.

The story of his suspension — according to diocesan documents and interviews with several laity and priests — began with an 11 a.m. Mass on July 24, 2005, at Holy Family Church in Dale City, Va.

Sometime after Mass ended, the priest got into an argument with a deacon, Gerald Moore, saying he improperly handled the consecrated Holy Communion wine, which the church teaches is the blood of Christ.

An Aug. 1 letter sent to the diocese by Julie Wheaton, Mr. Moore’s daughter, said her father went into cardiac arrest a day after being “assaulted” by the priest in front of “dozens” of people.

“I have encouraged my father to press criminal charges as well as file a civil lawsuit,” wrote Mrs. Wheaton, after identifying herself as a Denver police detective.

“I ask you … to immediately remove Clark from Holy Family and do not place him in any other parish where some other poor person would be subject to his uncontrollable anger.”

On Aug. 6, Father Clark was summoned to the bishop’s home in Arlington — “just for a chat,” said Fairfax resident Dan Graham, a friend of the priest. “He figured the bishop just wanted to hear his side of the story.”

But Father Clark was confronted by the bishop and two other priests, presented with a decree condemning him for “verbal assault and physical intimidation,” told to vacate his residence within a few hours and spend a “month of penance” at a local monastery.

“He lost his temper in dealing with a deacon,” another diocesan priest told The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity.

“There is some dispute about exactly what happened there, but he does have a problem with his temper. However, the bishop should have sent him to anger management. The bishop does have the tendency to handle things with an iron club.”

Contacted by The Times in September 2005, diocesan spokesman Soren Johnson said the incident with the deacon was “investigated thoroughly,” and the bishop was working with the priest to resolve the issue “with the hopes of returning him to ministry as soon as possible.”

But Father Clark never went to the monastery, Mr. Graham said. Instead, he sought an evaluation from an anger-management specialist in Philadelphia “and got a clean bill of health,” Mr. Graham added.

The priest then flew to Rome to seek out a canon lawyer to help him appeal to the Congregation for the Clergy.

Meanwhile, “all the priests were really disgusted by the Joe Clark incident,” said a layman active in the diocese on the condition of anonymity. “One of the senior priests got up at a priests meeting and read Loverde the riot act.”

The Arlington priest agreed local clergy were put off.

“The bishop doesn’t realize what he does is alienate clergy,” he said. “The morale is low in the diocese.”

It’s a tangled case, to be sure — and if you read the rest of the Whispers post, you’ll see just how complicated clerical politics can become.

Moral: don’t yell at a deacon. Especially if he has a heart condition and his daughter is a cop.

Imaage: Seal for Diocese of Arlington



Advertisement
Comments read comments(203)
post a comment
Anonymous

posted August 26, 2007 at 9:24 pm


Father Joe Clark is a great Priest and rooted in the faith. I’ve heard from more than 1 Diocese of Arington Priest that the Deacon at the center of the controversy had his own set of issues.Any investigation into that?



report abuse
 

John Duckett

posted September 8, 2007 at 10:07 am


I know Father Clark. I came back to the Church in March 2004 after 40 years. I considered him my spiritual advisor. He is a tough priest. That was just what I needed. People in line for confession would give up their place in order to avoid him. He elicited a full confesson. But he was always right on target. Father Clark was in law school when he answered the call, he said; bartender, who knows? A good bartender can do the Lord’s work as well or better than a lukewarm deacon. Father Clark is a hero, in my opinion. He loves God and the Church, and loved the deacon as well in providing necessary fraternal correction. This is more a story of a prideful deacon than a renegade priest. If the diocese had 50 Joe Clarks we’d see a renaissance of faith. Sinners like me would flock.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 30, 2007 at 10:43 pm


Fr. Clark was not given his due in this matter. Witnesses were not interviewed because this priest oppossed the Bishop on past collateral and illconceived initiatives regarding Good-Touch Bad-Touch and universal fingerprinting. He was a priest hung without a hearing. The deacon in question has been fighting the presbyterate for years and was even taken off the preaching schedule when Fr. Clark was assigned there. Fr. Clark has not been formally suspended and is simply without an assignment.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 30, 2007 at 11:51 pm


If people knew the details of this case they would be outraged. The moral of the story is that good priests in the wake of the scandal can be removed easily with false allegation. Rome will not duplicate a Bishops duty to investigate fairly.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 31, 2007 at 11:23 am


I was at Holy Family during the time of the incident and Fr. Clark was insisting that parishioners arrive on time for Mass. He also suspended the use of communion uder both species and the people and new pastor were angry with him and disposed to “do him in”. With the help the Chancery they did. The Bishop drafted the decree against Fr.Clark and dated it the date before he heard Fr. Clark’s story. So much for impartiality. The Bishop was found not to have given Fr. Clark “DUE PROCESS”. Fr. Clark is now seriously ill due to the stress flowing from his liturgical lynching. Any report that he lost his temper in the matter is a gross exageration and the rope which was used to hang the man. A true ecclesial tragedy!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 31, 2007 at 11:51 am


The Deacon was assaulted by his liturgical ignorance rather than Fr. Clark who simply told him to get on the ‘same liturgical page”. If a priest can be removed from ministry for such then the Church is in trouble. If a Bishop has such absolute power there is trouble in Denmark!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 31, 2007 at 2:10 pm


Fr. Clark who is a stickler for liturgical norms was sent to a parish know to be liturgically challenged. How did that happen? Other priests have described that assignment as “pure hell”. It was easily forseeable that Holy Family parish and Fr. Clark would mix like oil and water. To a thinking person this was a match designed to elcit trouble and it did. Fr. Clark, a good priest, a gifted homilist and orthodox confessor is dead to priestly ministry. That did not happen by accident but by design. The problem was not with the deacon who was simply a dupe but rather with the Bishop who is angry enough to destroy a good priest for questioning him on the issues of the day. That is the true story and I have known Fr. Clark since his first assignment.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 31, 2007 at 2:47 pm


While that may be true to be fair to the Bishop it is plausible that Fr. Clark by temperment “went off” on the deacon but to be fair to Fr. Clark the lack of investigation and the disproportion between the alleged offense and the punishment is a sign that something is amiss. How much did Fr. Clark’s education cost the Diocese of Arlington $100,000 perhaps? Why the big stick? Who really has the anger problem here? And by what logic is the perfect made the enemy of the good? Sad situation…but message is clear that the Gospel call to repentance infuriates many…Who was guilty of canonical scandal the priest for correcting abuse or the deacon for commiting it? I just don’t get it!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 31, 2007 at 10:27 pm


This whole thing is horse manure and an indication of how far the Church has fallen. Not much need be said after hearing this… Where are the rights of the laity in all this? Apparently not existent! Has the Church learned anything. Yes… kill the messenger while convenient especially if he bears bad news.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 1, 2008 at 1:33 pm


Sounds like the “vindictive Bishop” that Fr. Haley and others have made him out to be. What a waste of human resources. I hear Fr. Clark is seriously ill at the moment. Stress induced trama.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 1, 2008 at 1:51 pm


I have been a priest in the diocese of Arlington for almost 20 years and it is well known that Fr. Clark has been targeted by the Chancery for many years for taking on pastors for their liturgical abuse: changing of rubrics, clericalization of laity, intercommunion etc… He has been in the crosshairs for sometime now however unfortunate though it may be. He has a relatively low threshhold for stupidity….



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm


Fr. Clark said in confession once as a young priest that little reform in the Church would happen until Pastors learned the lesson that their service is a service to truth not to arbitrary ego satisfactions. He said that an arbitrary power model dominated Church thinking rather than a service model predicated on the gift of self.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 1, 2008 at 2:29 pm


I heard the problem between Fr. Clark and Bishop Loverde was over whether to allow Sen. Joe Biden to qualify as a baptismal sponsor. The Bishop told Fr. Clark’s pastor to not challenge the Senator on the matter and allow him to be a god-father. This action substantially dispirited Fr. Clark and strained their relationship. It also supported past assessments of Fr. Clark as troublesome priest. I think we need more of that kind of trouble in the Church rather than a “looking the other way” model which leads to clerical advancement.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 1, 2008 at 2:42 pm


Fr. Clark is that “breed of priest” brought to this Diocese under Fr. Gould, the former vocation director who cares more about the celebration of liturgy than the real needs of parishioners. There are many others like him in this retrograde Diocese. Whatever his homiletic gifts you will never hear him preach about social justice.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 1, 2008 at 4:19 pm


I have heard Fr. Clark preach that any lasting social justice would depend upon as a foundation the attitudes that one brings to the altar of Christ and that reverence to God is the condition for reverencing humanity. He is certainly not a social activist and doesn’t pretent to be one but has often preached about the moral duty of civic responsibility.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 1, 2008 at 4:44 pm


His problem is that he doesn’t politic around with the homosexuals who seem to dominate the Arlington Chancery. He needs to polish a few more apples and maybe he will be readmitted to the club.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 1, 2008 at 7:08 pm


His homily on the Prodigal Son is the best I ever heard.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 1, 2008 at 7:14 pm


I heard he is not long for this Diocese. He said: “Preaching the Gospel is difficult enough and practically impossible without the support of the Ordinary”. “Priests understand this which is why morale is at an all time low”.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 2, 2008 at 2:39 am


I am more sorry for the plight of the people than for Fr.Clarks plight since the people have been robbed of the understanding due to them. At least Fr. Clark has tasted now the sweet cross of our Lord with understanding.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 9:47 am


The only eye witnesses to the “argument” flatly contradict the deacon–to wit–there was no loud argument, no signs of anger. Moreover, the deacon did not suffer cardiac arrest–total fabrication. I exchanged letters with long-distance accuser Ms. Wheaton, and I am convinced that she was “coached” by the Arlington Chancery, which is a gross violation of canon law and due process. This disordered and heavy-handed liberal bishop used the deacon’s flimsy complaint as an excuse to rid himself of an orthodox priest. Father Clark is just one of a dozen or more orthodox priests that this disordered bishop has removed or marginalized.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 11:37 am


Then this looks more like a Bishop’s anger problem with a priest than a priest’s anger problem with a Deacon?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 11:54 am


It is a problem with justice. Just as surely as he robbed Fr. Clark of his rights he also robbed the people of their rights to an untampered liturgy free from the accretions of the impious. Bishop Loverde couldn’t care less about the liturgy or else he would welcome its regulation by priests who are the ones charged with the implementation of liturgicl laws. He himself foungt with Cardinal Hoyos over the implementation of the Tridentine Mass. He simply refused to do it for many many years until finally he was ordered to do it. Why the big deal over that?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 12:08 pm


Why hasn’t the Congregation of Clergy supported Fr. Clark in this case? It seems from the outside to be open and shut.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 12:12 pm


The Congregation of Clergy, though sympathetic to Fr. Clark’s plight, ruled that even though Fr. Clark was deprived of his “due process” the Bishop has broad discetion to make administrative changes. They chose not to review his adminstrative discretion since technically their jurisdiction is not to be a trier fo “facts”.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 12:31 pm


But this wasn’t a routine administrative move. Fr. Clark had been recently transfered and it was alleged that he had violated a canon related to creating “scandal”. To this charge it was found he was not given “due process” although curiously enough the Congregation of Clergy found that he was guilty of creating “scandal”. Thats like saying: ” Well you didn’t give him a fair trial but since you hanged him and he is now dead then he must be guilty”. That is not justice!!!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 12:41 pm


“Scandal” by definition is leading or encouraging someone to ain. Correcting a subordinate, even an angry correction can not by definition be considered “scandal”. Even someone with a rudimentary theological education should know this.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 1:16 pm


The apparent indifference of the Vatican in this matter is truly disturbing. Priests are called to be ministers of the divine mysteries not fodder for episcopal execution. When the laity see that the institutional Church can view such clear injustice with all the sympathy of Herod they become convinced that someone is asleep at the switch and still has not awoken to the cries emanating from the Aubuse Scandal. Slaughter of the Innocents all over again. Herod rocks…



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 1:17 pm


This statement by Julie Wheaton is total fabrication and actually directs you away from the truth of what happened.”An Aug. 1 letter sent to the diocese by Julie Wheaton, Mr. Moore’s daughter, said her father went into cardiac arrest a day after being “assaulted” by the priest in front of “dozens” of people.”Apparently Deacon Moore did go to the hospital but was sent home and never admitted. (Out-patient cardiac arrest treatment? I don’t think so.) The actual truth is that it was Fr. Clark who ended up going to the hospital due to the stress of his lynching in the Bishop’s kangaroo court and being run out of the Holy Family rectory. He was admitted to Potomac Hospital and held there for several days to deal with several serious problems. Now he is again sick and it is not a stretch to say that his current ailments are stress induced.Contrary to Ms. Wheaton’s claims about “dozens of witnesses”, the facts say something different. It is a fact that there are only a couple of witnesses to what transpired after the 11AM mass at Holy Family, and they have attested in writing that there was no “assault” only a serious conversation between Fr. Clark and the Deacon. You can only conclude that if as Soren Johnson’s states a thorough investigation was made into what transpired, the results were totally ignored.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 1:35 pm


Fr. Clark was murdered by the Herodians who wield power down in the Sanhedrin. A single bullit theory!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 1:53 pm


NO, I believe there were “others” in the “grassy knowl” but I believe Lee Harvey knows who they are! No magic bullit theorist here. He has a history of problems with former pastors mostly overy liturgical abuse.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm


Is that why the other priests did not do much to defend him?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 2:02 pm


The Bishop’s method of operation historically has been to instill fear and discourage certain bhaviours in priests by dedroying those who he regards as trouble. The Bishop has effectively “muted” the Arlington priests. They don’t respect him but fear him! He follows the old Sicilian ways! Power and fear as primary motivators of men. He treats his priests like they are jerks and complains about them publically.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 4:44 pm


Arlington is simply a stepping stone to another diocese and a Red Hat. This explains much of the dynamic. Tame the anti-USCCB pro-Roman clergy in exchange for a reccomendation from American Bishops for advancement. He may still be supported by the curious in the States but has exposed himself as a liability in Rome. A lumber jack who sees the forest but loathes the tree. He has spent the goodwill with which he arrived. His treatment of Fr. Clark is merely an appetizer on a long and impressive menu.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 4:49 pm


Why won’t Rome protect their most faithful priest sons?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 6:43 pm


It is incongruous to realize that the Bishop’s episcopal motto is: Encourage and teach with Patience. After reading this one can only conclude that it is somekind of ridiculous joke. How could a Bishop have a motto like this when he tubes his own priest without a hearing when he himself was out of town. How encouraging or patient in this? First Class comedy!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 3, 2008 at 8:58 pm


Did Fr. Clark really believe the the Sodomites who control the Episcopate and run the various chanceries around the country would actually protect his priestly rights when they considered the “buggering of boys” to be the height of heroic virtue? He put his trust in the wrong goup. Infallibility does not extend to the exercise of the virtues of temperance and justice. What was he thinking?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 4, 2008 at 12:41 am


The Bishop by reputation surrounds himself with those who have dirt in their file and therefore he can control or “yes” men who by temperement will leave everything unchallenged.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 4, 2008 at 12:50 am


Fr. Clark may not always use diplomacy to make a point but he is not the raving mad man the Bishop has made him out to be. I know him well and have never seen him lose his temper. He is passionate, zealous but quite level headed. He does not budge when he thinks he is right. Fr. Clark’s problems stem from not being perceived as being “docile enough”. And thank God for that!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 4, 2008 at 12:21 pm


The Bishop knew all those people down at that parish. He was stationed there while going to school at Catholic University studying of all things Canon Law. He ” set up” Fr. Clark at least that is the consensus of those who know him. The events recounted are insidious and odious if they signify whay they seem to signfy. An act premeditated and malicious calculated to destroy a man. Wow.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 4, 2008 at 2:08 pm


The logical question is did the Bishop get to know the Deacon when he was stationed at Holy Family? If he was friendly with Deacon Moore before all of this happened it would be a severe blow to both the Bishop’s and the Deacon’s credibility in this matter. It would look like collusion on their part do do Fr. Clark in.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 4, 2008 at 2:45 pm


There is more drama beween these two than between Britney Spears and K-Fed.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 4, 2008 at 5:26 pm


I think the Bishop is courageous now being responsible for any souls who have been damaged or lost. Reparation may be enormous!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 4, 2008 at 6:55 pm


This story is like the spagetti western “High Plains drifter”. When is Holy Family going to be painted red?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 4, 2008 at 11:10 pm


Right. And Deacon Moore can be the midget in the top hat.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 5, 2008 at 12:01 am


Yes, and he eventually becomes the new sheriff and mayor… exactly right!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm


The title of this story should be “Crisis in Authority from head to toe”. Can you imagine a building instpection losing his job after going after building contractors for hazzordous deficicies in electrical wiring. If someone is negligent, in any field, and lives or souls are at stake, they deserve what they get. This Deacon apparently broke every rule in the liturgical book. He had 20 years of experience. What does that tell you?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 5, 2008 at 1:10 pm


His formation was evidently deplorable and overlooked by priests for years.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 5, 2008 at 1:19 pm


The Anglo community at Holy Family had a founding pastor, Mgsr. Cosby and a series of troubled priests: homosexuals, adulterers etc…Mgsr. Cosby was more handiman and groundskeeper than priest. Their last pastor took care of the Latinos and left the Anglos to themselves. Spiritually speaking they are latch-key kids. The Deacon can’t be totally faulted!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 5, 2008 at 2:18 pm


But the Bishop can be faulted. Why the rush to judgement? Why not interview the man before deciding on the matter? What explains this bizzare behavior? He says he speaks in “signs and symbols” why not speak plainly, directly? Then maybe we would understand what he is trying to communicate.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 5, 2008 at 2:23 pm


It is clear enough that he intends to destroy the principle of subsidiarity with his ” My way or the highway approach”. He swats the gnat and swallows the camel whole! Master of minutuae.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 2:38 pm


Fr. Curtis Clark, Fr. Daniel Maiher, Fr. Tran Nhi, Fr. Larry Violet, Fr. Bork, Fr. Clark, whose next? only the shadow knows.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm


Smart money is on Fr. Pokorski, Fr. Decellea, Fr. Pollard, and Fr. Scalia. Men who speak their mind and think with the Church…The joy of the knife is alluring and addictive! Serial crimes don’t stop on their own.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 4:48 pm


I hate to say it but the solution may be in the civil courts. If the Church can’t police itself…



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 4:54 pm


Fr. Clark welcomed the lawsuit that the Moore family threatened reasoning that “presumptions of innocence” mean more in the civil areana than under canon law. If the Deacon was so aggrieved why did he not follow up on his threats? What kind of deacon threatens to sue Bishop, priest and Diocese anyway?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 5:04 pm


The kind that needs a practicum after twenty years supposed experience. That kind.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 5:11 pm


I think a practicum on the fifth and eighth commandment would also be helpful.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 5:20 pm


Get this one. Deacon Moore never officially gave his version of evemts until the day before Fr. Clark was suspended. He went in with a witness but remarkably reported that he could not remember anything that Fr. Clark said to him but it must have been pretty bad if it upset him so much. The Bishop never examined nor had time to examine this version of events yet accepted it hook, line and sinker. The decree was drafted by Chancery officials while Bishop Loverde was still away of vacation. Some refuse to confused and misled by the facts.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 5:26 pm


Did he forget the fact that he initially accused Fr. Clark of physically assaulting him in front of the new pastor Fr. Planty but then corrected himself when confronted by Fr. Clark with Pastor Planty as a witness. Does that not speak to Deacon Moore’s proclvity to exagerate? Even Fr. Planty in his official report to the Diocese maintained that Deacon Moore was a “less than credible” witness prone to exaggeration. Yet his testimony was accepted without examination. What could possibly be going on in this scenario?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 5:34 pm


I heard that the deacon slammed and accused both Fr. Planty, the Pastor and Fr. Carrier, the associate in the report which was supposed to be a write up on Fr. Clark. What does that tell one?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 7:18 pm


Anti-clerical bias?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 7:40 pm


You bettcha! And grave sin. If half of this is true then this is a grave miscarriage of justice. Unbelievable. Should be entitled: ” the Church eats Her own”. Stinky poo! What would Pope Benedict say if he saw this file?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 7:47 pm


I am glad to see the truth is finally out. I hope there is time enough to save this priest. The prophets are always thrown down the well. Same old, same old.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 6, 2008 at 7:49 pm


Where is Rueben when you need him?



report abuse
 

Damian

posted January 7, 2008 at 9:51 am


When the issues of purity, chastity and homosexuality are addressed in the bishop’s own life and diocese, then I will be interested in his email alerts.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 2:26 pm


Amen but your asking for a lot of excavation and self examination. Please pray for him… maybe that is what he is lacking.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 2:31 pm


He did write a pastoral letter on pornography. Ghost written…



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 2:33 pm


Where do they send Bishops to do penance and reparation? Where did Cardinal Law go?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 2:47 pm


If Fr. Clark never touched the deacon, which seems to be the case, then even the fact that he showed anger after witnessing irreverence around the altar, by no means could this be called “scandal”. The “scandal” is what the Bishop did to him. Seems to the “open” eye that Fr. Clark was treated like an arch-criminal. Doesn’t the Bishop have a duty to protect the reputation of his priests?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 2:55 pm


Fr. Clark has said that his greatest mistake was leaving his residence which he did out of respect for the Bishop. But unfortunately it gave the appearance of “serious wrongdoing”. In this day and age who is given 4 hours to vacate a premises? An imminent threat. Thats who. The Bishop structured events to make Fr. Clark look like a pedophile. Violent slander! Why does he hate the man?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 2:59 pm


The Bishop has given some great homilies on the evils of slander,defamation and gossip. They are in the Herald’s archive. His application of these principles is a little selective though.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 3:17 pm


A SHAM masquerading as justice. Preisthood is cheapened in this whold sordid affair. What mother could ever in confidence give her child over to Paul Loverde for character formation? Vocations seem tolerable only when serving expediency. This isn’t the way it was intended to be.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 4:26 pm


Some things can be repaired other things not. Bishop Loverde has done irreparable harm to this man; spiritual, physical and financial. For what reason? He had an argument with an upitty deacon? Are you kidding me? The board of directors of any other organization would fire any CEO or president who acted with such rashness or incompetence. Where is the Vatican? Blows me away.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 8:48 pm


It is not only thet. A few years earlier the Bishop admonished Fr. Clark for correcting an avowed homsxual music director( he wasn’t even Catholic) after the director deliberately started the music before Fr. Clark was ready. They had been fueding about the use of the Ambo. The director had friends in the Chancery and complained. This same director abandoned a parish in the middle of the Triduum service after an argument with the Pastor. The director’s contact in Chancery was removed after the Dallas Charter for pedophilia. Get this … the priests in the Chancery complained about the Bishop’s treatment of the pedophile. What does that signify? It was at that time that Fr. Clark was tagged with an “anger” problem.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 9:02 pm


What is the statute of limitaions for intentional torts?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 9:10 pm


Are you saying that Fr. Clark is a threat to the homosexual agenda in the Church?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 9:16 pm


No, but he is percieved as a threat. The Bishop thought he was the next Fr. Haley! Bad conscience, it seems.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 9:24 pm


In the midst of the Child Abuse Scandal a priest is accused of committing scandal by correcting a deacon? Rod Serling would be proud!The priest has to argue with homosexual music directors about liturgical practices. What has the world and the church come to?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 9:33 pm


Some of this, at least appears to be, priest on priest crime. The Pastor “doing in” their associate.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 7, 2008 at 9:37 pm


Many pastors are not paragons of virtue regarding their curates. A zealous associate is a bane to the peace of mind of those without a good conscience. Zeal itself is a threat to pastoral authority. An authority crisis without a doubt.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 11, 2008 at 3:20 pm


The anger expert who Fr. Clark took the initiative to visit, after reviewing the facts and a letter written by the deason’s wife concluded that the deacon and his family had an “unresolved” anger problem directed at the Church. How bout them apples?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 14, 2008 at 3:18 pm


Investigation of the deacon found him guilty of objectively “grave liturgical abuse”. His contempt was not satisfied until his false allegation. Affadavits were so sworn that attest to this view. His negative view of Fr. Clark coincided with the Bishop’s. He was left unpunished; the priest put out to pasture. Go figure.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 14, 2008 at 3:31 pm


It makes perfect sense. It seems that the Bishop supported adoption rights for homosexual couples when he was auxililary Bishop in Hartfort Conn. If that isn’t child abuse then I don’t know what is. Fr. Clark would be a natural opponent to this kind of nonesense.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 14, 2008 at 6:31 pm


Too bad Fr. Clark is not a child abuser… he would be back in ministry. The Bishop recirculated known pedophiles when he was the Bishop of Ogdensburg. Fr. Clark is certainly not the danger here.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 14, 2008 at 11:18 pm


He is guilty of exercising and executing his priestly rights and duties. How dare he do that.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 14, 2008 at 11:25 pm


Woe betide the priet in Arlington who exercises any priestly right that is in conflict with the will of the Bishop. Caveat Emptor! Message pretty clear to priests and laity. Mother Mary pray for us.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 14, 2008 at 11:42 pm


I am not convinced that Fr. Clark has an anger problem as some allege. Depends on what is meant. Is Eucharistic abuse worthy of anger? Is opposition to Chancery policy regarded as anger? Shouldn’t he be angry now given the severity of his punishment? Anger problems don’t simply go away. He has been fairly mild and forgiving in hia respnse to his situation. Doesn’t follow the depiction. I wonder why?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 15, 2008 at 12:02 am


Some people of questionable emotional balance and rash judgement may interpret Fr. Clark’s zeal and passion as amger. Regarding things of faith he can appear intense especially as regards the proper celebration of the Mass. So be it! This event happened in the Year of the Eucharist which was a universal call for heightened reverence toward the Sacred.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 15, 2008 at 11:31 am


I understand that Fr. Clark is dead but don’t think he was given a proper Christian burial according to the Ritual. Talk about liturgical abuse. They didn’t even have a vigil before earthing him.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 15, 2008 at 3:51 pm


I am horrified. The Church is supposed to outdistance the world in matters of justice. Not blaze the trail in abuse. This case is an indictment of everyone. The Bishop, priest, deacon and the Holy See. No sin in blindness but you say you see so your sin remains.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 15, 2008 at 11:40 pm


Didn’t Rome understand what a problem it would be for a liberal New England Bishop to succeed in diocese with the reputation of Arlington Virginia? How are Bishops chosen anyway?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 15, 2008 at 11:59 pm


Who knows? What we do know is that an orthodox diocese i.e. with pro-Roman sensibility is now in the hands of a liberal beauracrat. Recipe for disaster. Virginians cynically ask: whats next in this liberal regime. Every three months it is another scourging of some form or another.



report abuse
 

stramenticius

posted January 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm


Father Clark lives. Your prayers for his recovery from some annoying health issues are welcome.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 17, 2008 at 3:06 pm


Joe Clark is figuratively “dead” to the ministry. He is partially paralyzed on the left side of his body and absent a miracle he is physically ruined. Sad story.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 17, 2008 at 3:31 pm


When purple collides with black purple always wins! The current power structure of the Church needs to be reexamined especially a restructuring of the Curia. Power without justice always ends badly.(Hence the Child Abuse Scandal) The Congregation of Clergy is supposed to defend priests from arbitrary actions of Bishops. In practice they don’t. Clear enough here. Anti-diluvian reality: post-scandal priests viewed as “troublesome” are in the crosshairs and a “trigger pull” (false accusation) away from retirement.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 17, 2008 at 6:14 pm


The Bishop is a “carpetbagger” from the North who cares mostly about money and brought in a professional fundraising group to “shake down” the laity in his Capital Campaign. He paid them millions of dollars to employ hard sell tatics rather than simply asking his good Christian people for what was needed. PLEASE FILL OUT YOUR PLEDGE CARDS NEXT TO YOU IN THE PEW BEFORE STANDING FOR THE CREED. Their fundraising playbook is not the model of christian charity or justice. Church records of past contributions are not given privacy protection. One priest said: ” This system really works”. No doubt about that.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm


Privacy? Are you kidding me? Privacy was publically flushed down the toilet when the Bishop mandated universal fingerprinting in order to protect who? Yes you guessed it- the children. Who could oppose that?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm


As long as Rome refuses to defend priests against the arbitrary and unjust actions of Bishops then the Church in America can expect more of the same.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 12:33 pm


Vocations in Arlington have plummeted for obvious reasons. I understand that seminarians who legitimately chose not to use altar girls per request of the Bishop are ineligible for Ordination. The Arlington Chancery appears to have created a new “Impediment” to Holy Orders. NPNNA: Non progessives need not apply. Since when is Arlington known as a progressive diocese?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm


I find it amazing that many of these Priests who’s main problem with this Bishop is that their first loyalty is to Rome are not defended by Rome. It is a totally dysfunctional relationship.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 3:06 pm


Yeah, it is curious that instead of intervening they wait for the “dust” to settle. By that time much damage ist done.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 4:42 pm


Under the prudence of subsidiarity Rome hopes that things work themselves out at the local level. They wait for things to percolate up from below but when they do, even in cases of extreme abuse, they are reluctant to do anything. When has Rome ever disciplined a wayward American Bishop? They don’t seem to have the confidence to move on a one. This is not the tradition model of ecclesial discipline. Until that is reformed there is no human hope for change.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 4:48 pm


Do we really want Rome acting against good Bishops when complaints are made against them? Maybe that is their primary concern. Or maybe they are employing the prudence of letting the weeds and wheat grow together until the harvest?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 4:49 pm


Methinks that will simply accelerate harvest time…



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 7:21 pm


The many “gottchas” in the Church has crowded out considerations of justice and equity or this would never happen. Read St. Augustine on the matter in City of God. Human nature never changes. The human condition devolves finally into slavery and servitude. The Church’s embrace of political correctness underscores that it is off the missionary tract. One could conclude the “Good News” is not all that good. We still kill the prophets sent us…



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 7:54 pm


There have been over 100,000 hits on this blog site. Just think if a small fraction of these wrote the Vatican for justice in this matter?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 7:58 pm


You would end up with another reason for disapointment.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 8:00 pm


Maybe but maybe not. Christian hope is optimistic not cynical or negative.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 9:00 pm


Only the good die young.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 9:26 pm


This case is about indifferance to another’s suffering. 2000 years and nothing really has changed. We allow the “stringin up” of priests and don’t even blink. Indictment of the day and age we live in.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 10:46 pm


Yeah, what can anyone do?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 10:49 pm


The Philistines have the Ark; the liberals have the Eucharist. The people are cast aside and given wolves as shepherds.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 20, 2008 at 11:13 pm


Ecclesia semper reformanda!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 12:13 am


When reality presents itself as theater then you know you are in Arlington. Pray for your diocese.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 12:50 pm


The flying monkeys from the Chancery have lost all credibility. Pout water on them and they melt.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm


The saying goes: ” Hard cases make bad law”. This is not a hard case. The paper trail of Episcopal abuse begins with the date on the Bishop’s decree. It proves he reached conclusions before examining the facts. It should have been “easy” for the Holy See to side completely with the priest and send a message to other wayward bishops. This is an easy case. How could anyone possibly get this one wrong?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm


My theory is a man like Paul Loverde did not get to where he is without having low friends in high places. He went to Rome a number of times ” lobbying” the (completely unethical)Congregations… you know to sell his version of ” Its better for one priest to die than a diocese to perish”. Say it ain’t so Joe!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 4:22 pm


The bishop’s discretion does not include Scicilian vendettas. This bishop makes Al Pacino look like Saint Faustina. Why would Rome cover for such malicious wrongdoing? The lament of Habbakuk…how long Oh Lord How long?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm


Don’t hold your breath while waiting for justice on this one. Oscar Romeo was shafted by Rome’s version of justice.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 5:36 pm


I don’t think Bishop Loverde is a favorite in Rome. I have heard he is considered a problem (which means he will never get transfered. He never got the promotion to Cardinal in DC). The rumor is that Rome has so many problems with US Bishops that they don’t know where to start to clean up problems. I could give them a suggestion or two.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 8:42 pm


They have to be thought capable of pulling the trigger on an offending bishop. Right now discipline in the Church and in the culture itself is considered brutish. The perception amoung the people is that the run-the-mill bishop is accountable to no one and simply run amok This case is simply a symptom of the larger problem. Reform is needed in the Church’s accountability structure.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 8:49 pm


Loverde has crossed swords on more than one occassion with Vatican representatives. His arrogance and ambition knows no bounds. He openly speaks of moving to another diocese. That just creates false hope in some.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 10:48 pm


I am not a lawyer but one doesn’t need a lawyer to tell you when injustice is done. You know it when you see it. What a shafting this poor guy got. And Rome did nothing? Pity… you’d think they would defend their own.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 11:01 pm


That is part of the mystery of this whole mess. Fr. Clark is part of the common good of the Church not a tumor on the body politic. In not defending him properly the Church has failed in its basic duty to be promoters of justice. They joined the lynch mob and hanged him from a tree. Bitter fruit hanging.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 21, 2008 at 11:28 pm


You come to expect this stuff in business, government and politics but it is especially ugly in the Church. Bishop Loverde is not the only problem uncovered here. The Holy See shoulders some of the disapointment. After all who really expects much from the American Bishops? The bar has been set limbo dance low.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 12:24 pm


Corruption exists when an organization can’t or won’t defend its most important principles. The Bishops can’t say ‘no’ to inanity. They march for life but allow any heathen to desecrate God’s Holy Temple. Bishop Loverde allowed Sen Joe Biden to be a baptismal sponser(ever seen his voting record?) at an Arlington baptism. The Bishops ignore weighty matters of Canon Law and then act in draconian fashion over a priest correcting a deacon. What hypocrisy! What did one blogger say: ” swat the gnat and swallow the camel whole.” Justice is secondary to public image. Their image is becoming as tarnished as lawyers. The bishops have become politicians; they have abandoned apostolic vigilance. Canon 915 is unambiguous yet goes unheeded. And the beat goes on… When will Pope Benedict appoint apostles as Bishops. The time has come. Darnel is poisoning the wheat.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 12:27 pm


Don’t blame all bishops for the actions of one rogue bishop.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 12:47 pm


Fair enough. But the bishops are responsible in cooperation with the Pope for unity in Church teaching. They don’t effectively police themselves through peer review or fraternal correction whatever you want to call it. Watch the Bishop’s Conference. It is an ugly blend of the beauacrat(the many) together with some who understand the model of Fatherhood(the few) and they disagree on most everything. More inspired by Robert’s Rules of Order than by Gospel demands. The spectacle is a witness to mediocrity not a platform for any real reform. The Bishops with their “eye on the ball” are booed down. Calculated not for inspiration but for invisibility. Like pre-pentecostal apostles they live in FEAR behind closed doors in the upper room. What self-reliant wimps! (Most)



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 1:05 pm


The Church has an audit team to assess compliance with the Dallas Charter. (No juridic value) Why not form an audit team of priests who assess a Diocese’s compliance with Church Law: canon and liturgical. Any discrepencies would simply be reported to the Holy Father and subject to his judgement. Most Bishops feign surprise or shock when informed of some of the “goings on” in their Dioceses. They plead ignorance. Why not assist them with reliable information? Kinda like an “ecclesial FBI” that attempts to pro-actively solve problems before they become newsworthy. Lets face it not every diocese is trustworthy and faithful to the Tradition. That is a certifiable reality not seriously challenged by the sober or sane.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm


Good point. I hope this blog site is read by someone who has the will and ability to do someting constructive about the problem. The problem is not with teaching but application of law and discipline so we are confronted with a “personel problem.” How are Bishops chosen anyway? Who makes an assessment of their fitness before their names are sent to the Holy Father? The beauracrats or Fathers. Understandable are the reasons for secrecy but the process should be a little more transparent abd open to some contribution from the laity. The model of the “old boys club” and the “lavender mafia” must give way to greater objectivity in chosing bishops.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 1:44 pm


Priests are so reluctant to say ‘NO’ to anyone about anything and the ones who do say ‘NO’ are considered non-pastoral and are marginalized or destroyed like this Fr. Clark. Christianity’s call to repentence by its nature involves saying ‘NO’ alot to alot. Nothing new or heady about this yet sounds novel in current times.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 1:54 pm


As Pope Paul observed: ” The smoke of Satan has entered entered the sanctuary”. A form of ecclesial HIV. An auto-immune disease in the Body of Christ, the Church. Modernism in full bloom! We need more white blood cells not less!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 2:20 pm


May God have mercy on us sinners.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 2:32 pm


The Bishop had absolutely no contact with Fr. Clark for two years. He wasn’t even invited to the Triduum Mass for priests on Holy Thursday. Vindictive as they come if signs and symbols mean anything. Makes Lizzie Borden envious I believe.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 2:54 pm


Historically Bishops in various countries have gone astray since the time of St. Athanasius till the time of King Henry VIII bishops have chosen the “path of least resistance” since even the time of Judas. They cerainly cannot be trusted to infallibly exercise virtue in full measure though their words may contain no error. Our Lord says: “Do as they say not as they do” refering to successors to the “seat of Moses” underscoring the fact that infallibility in teaching is not necesarily translated into action. This must be kept in mind when evaluating a mess like this. It is fitting that a Bishop be Holy but not always the case. Disapointment should not lead one to doubt truths of faith. This is a legitimate rule of prudence.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm


Amen!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 3:06 pm


Pardon me but I am not only disapointed but embarassed by why I have read here. This is a post-mortum of a figurative homocide anyway you slice it. The investigators simply put the corpse on trial following the lead of the Bishop. I expect more from my Church, pious platitudes don’t really warm my heart. Attempting justice would help. This case stinks to high heaven.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 3:19 pm


There can be no justice without an judgement based on “morally certain” facts. Not even a pretense was made about fact collecting. Fr. Clark was not interviewed by the Bishop before his suspension. That says it all! Not only was injustice done but not even an attempt was made to mask it. This is studied habitual arrogance when a bishop is so confident that no attempt is made to cover egregious malfeasance. The former Vicar for Priests made public assurances that Fr. Clark was given “due process” at the same time the Congregation of Clergy was studing the matter. What a steaming pile of dung. Stinks a mile away. No wonder Arlington vocations are down.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 3:26 pm


If you have any suggestions on how to affect change in this case, please state them. After Fr. Clark’s removal by the Bishop there was a vigorous letter writing campaign to the Papal Nuncio and to Rome with no results. It was like corresponding to a black hole.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 3:28 pm


The Congregation of Clergy and presumably the Pope himself has given American Bishops “running cover” to use the Administrative section of the Code of Canon Law to justify virtually any action against priests. If this priest was such a bad priest then he should have been removed for “just cause” before this non-event. I wonder what lies were told at the Congregation of Clergy which justified the Bishop’s action? A whopper or two no doubt!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 3:37 pm


This much is clear. To those who don’t know this priest he will always be THE PRIEST WHO ASSAULTED THE DEACON. Fair or unfair that is the way it is. He can never be a preacher of Truth anymore since his reputation is ruined. What does a man own but his good name? He has been stripped of this for no good apparent reason. The law of Karma inexorably will rear its head. Cosmic justice.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 3:49 pm


This is the devil’s doing. His fingerprints are all over everything. Everyone quite blinded by his briliance.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 7:29 pm


Whoops.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 7:43 pm


Fr. Clark and other priest filed recourse against the Bishop’s post Dallas initiative regarding universal fingerprinting. The Bishop by all reports was infuriated and considered their recourse as a lack of obedience. He made it clear that those who filed recourse would never be made pastors and so far has been true to his word.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 8:04 pm


I thought priests have a right under Canon to file recourse when a Bishop’s action affect their canonical rights.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 8:33 pm


They do in theory but in practice it is a more “ify” proposition. The wrath of a Bishop scorned. No pastors in that aformentioned group. The joke is that all of them are PPVs (permanent parochial vicars). Fr. Pokorsky, the former CFO of the Licoln Diocese, the co-founder of CREDO and ADOREMUS, over 15 years a priest is not fit to be a pastor. Are you kidding me? Bitter fruit hanging on the poplar tree.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 8:43 pm


There is a lot of bitter fruit hanging from Arlington poplar trees these days.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 8:48 pm


Are we a Church of law or a cult of personality?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 8:52 pm


Thats a question that has already been answered abundantly.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 22, 2008 at 8:56 pm


One priest thinks the Bishop should be challenged not on his administrative discretion but on his manifest canonical abuse of power. He would have to explain himself directly to the Holy Father. That still might happen.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 12:13 am


The pastoral reforms of the Second Vatican Council have not taken root in this Bishop’s heart. He learned his “take” on Canon Law studying the Pio-Benedictine Code of 1917. He needs a practicum on how to deal with men in my opinion. He doesn’t seem to acknowledge gender specific differences. Ergo his non-chalance with altar girls. The Arlingon laity is now set on collision course with the infallible Church teaching which reserves the priesthood to males. His actions can be regarded as a “come-on” to progressives liberal women who now consider female priests as a possible future reality. The ecclesial waters have been Chummed with bait. Bloodletting to follow as women feel betrayed by more false promises. He should know that trouble is the forseeable effect of his action yet rushes in anway where angels fear to tread. He has put his priests between rocks and hard places. Priests involved in the inevitable conflict will not be supported or backed by the Bishop if his past actions are an indication of his practical pastoral posture.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 9:25 am


For the Bishop to be challenged on his manifest canonical abuse of power, there would need to be a candidate in the clergy able and willing to go the distance. As we have seen, personal sacrifice can be very costly to ones health and ministry.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 11:46 am


There have been changes in Rome recently which suggest that the Pope has exhausted his patience with those who play “fast and loose” with Canon Law. The time may be ripening for change in the MO of the Congregations.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 11:59 am


Fr. Clark is simply a pawn in the games that Bishops play. He was used by Bishop Loverde to make a point to the other priests at least one priest told me that is the current belief among the clergy.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 12:03 pm


So the man is a pragmatist and is willing to take a risk or two to achieve what he wants to accomplish. Can’t knock a man for that!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 12:10 pm


So its OK to do evil that a good may be achieved?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 12:14 pm


Sure, thats the way of the world, every day and twice on Sunday. Thats the world I live in.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 12:21 pm


Fool, don’t ask for whom the Bells Toll? It tolls for you.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 12:29 pm


Look, I feel for this Bishop. He had a dilemma on how to get rid of a “PAIN IN THE ASS” priest. He solved his problem in the best way he knew how. He exercised Real Politic big deal. That is the way of the world and yes thank you, the way of the Church also. We are not in Valhalla.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 1:01 pm


Since when is removing a believing priest a good thing. There are enough impostors left in ministry.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 1:04 pm


I heard from a credible source that Fr. Clark has withdrawn his recourse because of his illness and is trying to put all this behind him.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 1:13 pm


The Bishop who has not admitted any culpability in this mess will probably reassign him as Chaplain of some retirement home. Arch-Bishop Harry Flynn did something like this to Fr. Nesbula(a troublesome priest: too critical) and they all use the same playbook. Let these “problem priests” preach to the deaf and the dying. At least by God’s providence the sick are given good care.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 1:21 pm


Regardless of his health Fr. Clark will never get a suitable assignment from his bishop. Seems that too much blood has been spilled for any real reconciliation. A real shame. The Bishop doesn’t appreciate his men.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 1:55 pm


This Bishop can exercise “Real Politic” as a means to serve his ends but the resulting scandal is quite damaging. I have seen the casualties of this scandal first hand. Not only has it damaged the credibility of the Church itself, it has also has severely damaged the Bishop’s image and credibility. It has not however seemed to have damaged his fund raising ability.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 1:56 pm


Fr. Clark is maimed and afflicted and may not be in any condition to allow him to accept any assignment anytime soon. He is simply grateful to be alive.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm


The people in Northern Virginia are not only rich but generous. If a Bishop flatters them they quickly do his bidding. Their charity is to their credit not attributable to the acumen of the leader. He fleeced them during the Capital Campaign. Many wounds still exist over his hard ball approach to raising funds and the targeting of the more affluent.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 2:46 pm


One priest remarked: ” The Bishop is salt in the wound. He constantly does things which irritate his priests.” Under this Bishop even the stability promised a pastor by canon law does not exist. The Bishop would rather protect his alternatives rather than demands of the law. Broad disatisfaction. He can’t seem to leave well enough alone. His nickname is Bishop Munchhausen named for his proclivity of poisoning water and then rushing heroically to the rescue to provide the antidote. This modus operandi is getting tiresome to those of us privy to have seen the repeat performance.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 3:01 pm


What you say is true. The Chancery does not acknowledge any substantive difference between an administrator and a pastor. The Bishop can move an administrator at whim but not so with pastors. At least under canon law.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 4:02 pm


In baseball the use of steroids and testosterone enhances and improves performance; in the Church even a whiff of testosterone seems an impediment to Orders and ministry. The y chromosome is indeed in trouble in the effeminate Church. I know seminarians who were taught in Seminary to get in touch with their feminine side. How pathalogical is that during the dog days of Scandal? We get what we feed.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 4:16 pm


Talk about getting what you subsidize,Fr. Steve Rosetti, of St. Luke’s Institute fame, said at a conference with Arlington priests that the real problem of the Scandal was the “anger” of the victims of abuse. He basically says the same thing in his book: The Joy of the Priesthood which was required reading for Arlington priests. Since when in the Tradition of the Church has anger toward injustice been a problem? Its connected to one of the beatitudes. The Bishop has been brainwashed by Freudian practioners of psuedo-spiritual arts. You should see when he gets angry. His anger is legendary amoung those who work in the Chancery.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 4:36 pm


Yea. I can see it now. “I’M GOING TO SCRATCH YOUR EYES OUT YOU BRUTE!”



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 4:49 pm


Wow! Trouble in paradise. Am I wrong but wasn’t Arlington considered to be one of the best dioceses in the Country with a strong vocation program? OR have I mistaken it with another?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 5:32 pm


THE GOOD OLD DAYS ENDED WITH THE DEATH OF THE GREAT BISHOP JOHN RICHARD KEATING. Here was a man who loved the Priesthood and his priests. A true Father and Shepherd. R.I.P.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 5:57 pm


Tall, regal, goodlooking brilliant and beloved. I am sure the current replacemnet is haunted by his considerable shadow.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 6:27 pm


A sea change into something rich and strange. Full fathom five thy father lies, of his bones are coral made; those are pearls that were his eyes. The poetic version documenting disaster.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 6:32 pm


Bishop Keating was a man’s man and a priest’s bishop. No doubt about that God rest his soul.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 7:37 pm


Has anyone read Bishop Loverde’s dissertation? I think its entitled: On the consultation of the laity before the naming of Pastors. His readers must have been Calvin and Zwingli and maybe some prominent Anabaptists. Read this MUSH which explains some of his muddled thinking. It certainly explains his “vetting” process during his long term appointments of administrators. Priests are institutionaly emasculated before they are given any responsibility. I think Fr. Staples and Fr. Kleinman were both administrators for three or so years. Strange but true. In Rippleys. This man does not trust priests.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 7:58 pm


Why aren’t priest appealing to Rome?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 7:59 pm


And suffer the fate of Joe Clark? Thats why!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 23, 2008 at 8:58 pm


Then the voice must come from the laity: VOX POPULI



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 9:35 am


The average lay person does not have a clue to what is happening here, and out of self preservation most Priests won’t discuss it with them. The best way to change things is for the laity to become informed and for them to withhold direct financial contributions to the Bishop. The only real talent this Bishop has is in raising money. You take that away and he is sunk.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 9:54 am


I disagree, the precept to support the Church is not suspended because a Bishop is immoral or imprudent. Attacking his pipeline for funds could hurt innocent people. Thats his game and not for the faithful. He is narsicistic in tendency which means he rarely ingnores mail with his name on it. Constantly question what he is doing if you want to have an impact on what he does. After gold mining his second avocation is monitoring his self image. Ask Mary Ann Kreitzer of Les Femmes the answer to that question. Always use registered mail of some sort or another. Make sure he has to sign RECEIVED. His curiosity won’t be restrained. He’ll read. Believe me he’ll read. Faxes to the Chancery also work. Everyone has access to Faxes which makes it a form which engenders accountability. Collective effort.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 9:57 am


Isn’t the threat to do something different from the actual carring out of the threat?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 9:59 am


Sure ask any three year old who threatens to hold his breath forever. This is the first human attempt at terrorism.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 10:09 am


The woman from Les Femmes is a good example. She is constantly monitoring the minions of “flying monkeys”(I like that term) that do the Bishop’s bidding down at the Chancery. She reminds me of the woman dealing with the unjust judge in the Gospel. She won’t take “No” for an answer when justice is at stake. Take her example. Document, document, document. Look what happened with the proposed speaker at Good Shepherd Dr. Tambasco. Disinvited after a hoopla. More hoopla when necessary I say. HOOPLA!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 10:17 am


A staple of Ignatian spirituality is that the adversary, the devil, prefers secrecy when he does his bidding. The natural opponent to secrecy is transparency. Don’t be afraid to be the “LIGHT” down, and I use this term advisedly, down at the Chancery. You want to see some “flying monkeys” melt? More light. Remember the second precept of the Episcopate: It is better to seem to be than to be. Demand authenticity when some foreign substitute is offered. Image rules. The Laity does have the right to be heard under the Code. Another dirty little secret.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 10:26 am


Look at what this blog is about. Innocent people are being hurt now, just not financially. Innocent priests are being persecuted and their lives destroyed, their family members are suffering, and the parishioners who depend upon them are deprived of their sheppard. You may be able to modify this Bishop’s behavior to a certain extent with certified letters but in the end the underlying problem remains.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 10:42 am


N.B. They wanted to wisk Fr. Clark away to a monastery,and a penitential retreat based upon a coerced admission to wrongdoing.(contrary to the Code) What did Richard Rich say to Cromwell about eliciting Thomas More’s confession? “RACK HIME” I believe. Torture continues in the Modern liberal Church. The “flying monkeys” still retain the utensils of suffering. To wit: the Freudian psychology of St. Luke’s Institute and Fr. Steve Rossetti.How about a little electra-shock therapy Scarecrow? Lets Zap the anger out of them. And your little dog Toto too!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 10:58 am


St. Peter says that faith is “tested” proved and refined with fires of adversity. If the Diocese of Arlington can survive this Bishop they will be better off than under the prosperity enjoyed under the Great Bishop Keating. Bishop Loverde acts like king Saul both annointed and at war with God’s annointed. Arlington, like David will profit under God’s providence-even purification- but the wicked king Saul in Scipture dies with his children at Beit Shean. Pray for their souls!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 11:06 am


This story is a monumental mystery or as one blogger said poetically,” a sea change into something rich and strange.” Shakespeare? Strange indeed!



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 11:10 am


Are you telling me that the days of the flying monkeys are numbered?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 11:12 am


Oh, yes, the Shepherd will be struck and they will be scattered. They will take refuge near Shecem but will hang on the city walls.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 11:19 am


This blog should be entitles: When weeds strangle wheat. Accurate, I believe.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 12:43 pm


Some on this blog seem to have forgoten the spirit of the beatitudes in all this. 7 fat years under John Richard Keating and 7 famine years of testing under the new bishop. He certainly is no worse than King Herod. But even Herod was used to accomplish God’s purposes. Surely if a deacon in a diocese seems to think that accusing priests and threatening Bishops(rightly or wrongly) is appropriate behavior there is abundant need for purification and further formation. Longanimity means the ability to suffer well. The Church has to her shame turned away from that virtue. Abundant need for a confession or two in this scandal.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm


I remind you that one of the beatitudes is related to the pursuit of justice… Can we really claim to be Christians when we are indifferent to injustice perpetrated on our priests. Take your choice what the deacon did or what the Bishop did based on the deacon’s testimony. Justice took a holiday.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 24, 2008 at 1:00 pm


This blog would be a little more accurate if it read: Bishop flogs priest. Anger knows no bounds. 40 lashes later priest barely clings to life. Monkey trial, scourging with cruxifition still expected. Evil is so predictably boring.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 28, 2008 at 4:47 pm


The blog should be titled ‘Deacon sets up the Priest, Bishop pulls the trigger”.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 31, 2008 at 11:09 am


No. It should read Bishop sets up priest, deacon pulls the trigger. The deacon is not bright enough to set anyone one up. He was the poor soul who was used in an episcopal “power play” against this priest. What did the King say in Thomas Becket’s case? ” Who will remove this “troublesome” priest? The Deacon, thats who will help from the Pastor, the Bishop and the Congregation for Clergy. Should be given new title: Congregation who covers the ass of bad bishops. They did not adequately do justice in this case.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 31, 2008 at 1:24 pm


The Bishop has said publically that he does not trust his priests and informed the media of his decision to use altar girls and the Tridentine Mass before discussing this with his own priests. He does not trust them and they don’t trust him. Can you imagine a situation so bad that a Bishop would talk to the Washington Post before talking to his own team of priests?



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 31, 2008 at 6:23 pm


Loverde’s reputation fof beating up on traditional priests in Ogdensburg is well known. He has ended priestly service from time to time for no grave reason.



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted January 31, 2008 at 10:17 pm


Many accusations in the modern Church come from those laden down with anger issues themselves. What about the anger of the deacon and his seeming inability to take instruction from the priest. What was his punishment? Did he follow though on his threat to sue the priest, the bishop and diocese?



report abuse
 

Saint Francis Project

posted March 27, 2008 at 2:52 pm


Is there any way i can help? I am lay person and have no fear of people in powerful positions



report abuse
 

Pingback: Priest vetting

Agen Bola

posted May 12, 2012 at 3:01 am


another problem from bishop, what a accusations of modern church



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.