Changes in the Rochester Catholic Diocese
July 21, 2014
ROCHESTER, NY – For almost 40 years, some Catholic churches in the Diocese of Rochester have allowed women to preach the weekly sermon. Although this practice was and is against church law, former Bishop Matthew Clark allowed, and some say, encouraged the practice of women preaching.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that the new bishop of the diocese, Salvatore Matano, says he is now drafting guidelines to make clear that only priests and deacons may preach in Catholic churches. This, says Bishop Matano, that women preaching is contrary to the universal law of the Catholic Church and must come to an end in the Rochester diocese.
The move is expected to be welcomed by Catholics loyal to church teaching but upsetting to so called dissenting Catholic who supported Bishop Clark who was universally considered to be one of the most anti-Rome bishops in America. He was often called on the carpet for this practices including his masses for homosexuals and saying that he would support the ordaining of women to the priesthood.
The practice of having lay people preach at Mass actually began under the late bishop Joseph Hogan but blossomed under Clark. Bishop Matano told the D and C he found the practice “perplexing” in light of church law.