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Catholic Life Features

Rochester’s Bishop Matthew Clark laid to rest


The Most Reverend Matthew H. Clark, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Rochester, died the morning of Jan. 22, following a period of declining health. Bishop Clark was 85. 

Born on July 15, 1937, Bishop Clark was ordained a priest on Dec. 19,

1962, in Rome by Archbishop Martin John O’Connor, for the Diocese of Albany. On May 27, 1979, Bishop Clark was ordained a bishop by then pope, St. John Paul II and subsequently installed as the eighth bishop of Rochester on June 26, 1979, where he served for over 33 years until his resignation was accepted on Sept. 21, 2012, shortly after his 75th birthday in accordance with the Code of Canon Law.

Bishop Clark was considered a progressive, and often clashed with the conservative hierarchy in the Vatican over his advocacy for a greater role for women in the church, and for greater acceptance of gay and lesbian people. 

A funeral was held Jan. 30. He will be interred in the bishop’s crypt at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester.