Tuesday, December 28, 2010

SI clergy to city: "Please Masters, allow us to exist!"

So, our Catholic leaders on Staten Island finally got around to responding to the removal of the Nativity scene from the ferry terminal. And what did they do? Monsignors Finn and Dorney, along with Reverend O'Hara from St. Theresa's, wrote a letter to the Advance. They whined that our feelings were hurt, and offered as a remedy- in all seriousness- to allow ALL the religious symbols of the season to be displayed in the Ferry. So, our Catholic leaders believe that it would be an acceptable solution for the likeness of our Lord, humanity's Savior, to be displayed along with the Channukah menorah, the Moslem crescent for Ramadan, and whatever other symbols any other religion chooses to put up. I'm sure the Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, Jains, pagans, Festivus followers, et al, have major or minor holidays in December, so if these priests' suggestion is followed, the Ferry terminal would look like a pantheon of gods. That would be equally as unacceptable as our Lord being banished. There should have been protests, there should have been street theater. There should have been live nativity scenes, with Catholic volunteers dressing up as the primary characters. There should have been ACTION, not just a pathetic letter to the editor from our tired, fatuous leaders.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Suicide of the Catholic Church- in microcosm

I attended the "Little Italy" church again this Sunday, since I wanted to go to their Christmas fair and possibly find some good deals on Christmas gifts. The 11AM Mass had about 70 people, all arranged in the "traditional Catholic seating pattern" I've described so many times. The large size of the church made it seem more sparsely attended than it actually was. The organist was a white-haired lady with a reedy voice who sat up in the choir loft. There was no choir. There was hardly any music, as that word is traditionally understood. Because of the horrible sound system in this church, I could not understand a single word she sang, or distinguish between the notes she played. It was a slurry of horrible, muffled noise that droned through the church, hymn after hymn. I didn't notice many people singing.

The celebrant was not the wunderkind pastor, who recently received this ridiculously fawning profile in the local rag, but a Filipino priest who is the curate. His English was better than that of most foreign priests, but he still neglected to speak as loudly as he needed to be heard through that awful sound system. His sermon was not inane, but merely banal. He spoke about how he had met a man who had suffered loss, but still remained hopeful and joyful. The priest said that we should look forward with great anticipation to the coming of Christ in this Christmas season, etc. Nothing stupid or offensive; merely forgettable. I'm surprised I remembered that much.

No, the highlight of this Mass was when the pastor arrived post-Communion to make a few announcements. Without even taking off his winter coat, he told us that he was eliminating the 11:00 Mass. With only 700 people coming to 5 weekend Masses, he felt that 5 Masses weren't justified. It is a humiliating fact that only 700 people- in such a large Italian Catholic area as Rosebank- come to Mass, but that's a completely separate issue. I agreed with the decision, if not his reasoning. I really don't see the need for a parish to have multiple Masses on Sunday, unless the number of people attending Mass exceeds the capacity of the church. It seemed to me like the proliferation of Sunday Masses began with some Vatican II mania for catering to "the people" and their ever-changing whims. Our schedules are not so tight on Sunday mornings that we need 4 different Masses to choose from. Unless a congregation is overflowing the church, we should have one Mass, where the entire parish can worship together, build community, and where the choir and priest can focus all their energies on 1 "performance", so to speak. However, my guess is that the pastor's decision was purely an accounting measure, with a bit of self-interest thrown in: less customers equal reduced services, which means less expense and more free time for him.

That impression was reinforced by his next announcement, that he was reducing the time for Saturday Confession, because of low attendance. It would now run from 4:00 to 4:30, instead of until the current 4:45 because, he explained, only a mere THREE PEOPLE usually come to avail themselves of the Sacrament. The tone with which he made this announcement betrayed no more emotion than if he were reciting the Bingo numbers.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. THIS was the spiritual leader of a community of souls?? If only 3 people are going to Confession on Saturdays, it is self evident that the people of that parish are sunk in unbelievable spiritual complacency and abysmal ignorance of their own Faith. And if their pastor's only response to such a disgraceful fact is to cut the Confession time by 15 minutes, then he is a man who is completely lacking in the even the most basic necessary mental or spiritual qualities of a priest, and should be relieved of his post for gross incompetence and deriliction of duty. I know that this pastor is relatively new, but I believe he has been there for over a year, and this is a reflection of his spiritual leadership. Such a revelation should be a fire bell in the night for any responsible pastor. I would think that a priest who was actually concerned about the souls of his flock would see the glaring need for a lot of sermonizing on the subject of sin, repentance and salvation, and a sustained and powerful effort to catechize, to evangelize and to win souls. But this pastor apparently is more concerned with his high flying diocesan career, his precious time and aesthetic fripperies, like purchasing $10,000 statues. But what else would one expect but bureacratic, placeholding sinecurism from someone whose clerical role models are the Dhimmi pastors Finn and Dorney?

After this joke of a Mass, I went to the school Christmas fair, where scowling parents tried to sell me $5 coffee mugs and hordes of ill-behaved tweens and teens chased each other around the gym.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Who will stand up for Jesus?

The Advance reports that the city has removed a manger scene from the Ferry terminal after receiving some complaints. A menorah and a "holiday tree" will remain, as they are not religious symbols, according to the officials. This sort of anti-Christian assault is nothing new in this country. But my question is what will our Catholic "leaders" on Staten Island do about it? What action will they take? What kind of example will they show? Will it be one of courage and constructive proactivity? Or will they scandalize us with their cowardice and craven submission to the secular order? In light of the whole Midland Beach mosque controversy earlier this years, one can safely guess what the answer will be.

In a postscript, this article tells us the answer to the question posed in my headline. The black Protestant ministers of Staten Island will stand up for Jesus in this latest battle of the culture wars, while our Catholic priests and bishops cringe in terror and do absolutely nothing...as usual.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sympathy for the Devil

Disgraceful goings-on in this Archdiocese, under the leadership of our so-called "conservative" archbishop: Cardinal Hayes High School hosted a big event honoring Regis Philbin and Helen Gurley Brown for their donations to the school. Archbishop Dolan himself said a Mass that day and announced that Ms. Brown was donating a million dollars to the school for "scholarships and special programs". Perhaps realizing the scandal here, Catholic New York downplayed Brown's presence at the ceremony and her donation, as if it were an afterthought or an incidental occurrence that took everyone by surprise, as if she showed up on her own and decided to make her donation on a whim. But it is hardly plausible that a million dollar gift from one of America's most notorious public figures wasn't a centerpiece of this event and didn't happen without the full foreknowledge of everyone involved. And whoever wrote or edited the article knew that this was a disgrace.

Helen Gurley Brown is evil incarnate. She is one of the Sexual Revolution's original insurgents. She has perhaps done more than anyone else to corrupt American womanhood over the past 50 years, with her incessant propaganda for sexual hedonism. Her gift is blood money of the most corrupting sort, as she has always used her very influential voice to make abortion acceptable to American women. And what does our putative spiritual shepherd do when this vile whore proffers a treasure made off of broken lives, ruined souls and dead babies? He extends his flabby hand, takes her donation and says thank you. What a moral lesson it would have been for that high school and this archdiocese if the archbishop told her to keep her filthy money and repent! His action teaches those young men that money trumps all, even honor. A Gina Aceto wrote a letter to Catholic New York to express her outrage.

I thought that Brown was the only objectionable issue at that ceremony, but now I see that Regis Philbin is a divorced man. I wonder if he took Communion from the Archbishop's hands?

On a similar note, Catholic New York had a small item about how Mel Karmazin, the CEO of Sirius XM satellite radio, was given an award at the Telecare Award of Excellence luncheon, which is sponsored by Telecare TV, some sort of Catholic production company, headed by a Monsignor Jim Vlaun. Cardinal Egan attended the luncheon as well, since he had collaborated with Karmazin to start the Catholic Channel on Sirius radio, where it is one of 130 channels that subscribers can listen to. In Karmazin's long and sordid career, he has pumped so much moral filth into the American mind, that it's a sure bet he's a greater evil than even Helen Gurley Brown. Yet, the Catholic Church honors this mass poisoner of souls because he gave us 1 channel out of 130 on a radio station that is quickly going downhill. Again, why don't our priests and bishops seem to have a moral compass or any common sense?

Friday, November 12, 2010


This ad for St. Adalbert's school appeared in a Staten Island magazine for parents. In an interesting move, the word "Catholic" appears nowhere in the ad. Why?

In addition, if you look closely at the photograph, you'll see a group of students with an elderly veteran who is making a peace sign. Typical of modern America and fatuous modern Catholicism, this picture represents our repulsion for anything that suggests dignity: all must be degraded in the service of equality. So someone-maybe the smart-a** students or the hip photographer- saw this elderly veteran in his VFW uniform, and decided it would be hilarious to have him act the fool and impair his dignity. It's an affront to this modern age, with its mixed-up standards, to tolerate any notion that implies that one person or one value is better than another. Therefore, dignity, holiness, morality, reason, beauty, must be mocked, undermined and destroyed in pursuit of lunatic egalitarianism and relativism. "Who does he think he is, with his grey hair and his medals? Does he think he's better than us??"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

PLanned Parenthood on Staten Island

In a recent church bulletin was an insert from the Respect Life Committee of the Staten Island Vicariate, warning us that Planned Parenthood has opened up a mobile clinic on Central Avenue and Slosson Terrace on Mondays from 10-4. They expect to be open three days a week next year, in the office space of Community Health Action on Hyatt Street. The Respect Life Committee, which is made up of Dolores Celentano, Joann Fitzgerald, Deacon James Stahlnecker and its chairman Rev. Peter Byrne, announces that they are holding prayer vigils at the clinic each Monday and want other people to join them.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Victory in Midland Beach!

The anonymous board of trustees of St. Margaret Mary church finally met and anonymously voted against the plan to sell the vacant convent to the Moslem American Society. This is wonderful news. However, it is a disgrace that the Archdiocese and the pastor allowed this contentious issue to linger for so long, creating so much bitterness and ill-will. This plan never should have been approved in the first place, but once it became public knowledge and the intense opposition materialized, the archdiocese should have expedited a decision on this one way or another. Instead, for 2 months they've allowed this issue to boil over. There have been weekly protests, with signs like "Get out of my country"; there have been dueling Facebook pages; we've been lectured by our own Archbishop on tolerance; and the national media has focused its gimlet eye on Staten Island and its supposed bigotry. As we've seen in numerous other instances, our Church is utterly clueless about public relations; it's like they purposely do whatever will reflect most negatively on the hierarchy and Catholicism.

Nevertheless, we achieved victory eventually. And the lesson we can take away from this is that a significant percentage of the clergy and the bishops are wolves in sheep's clothing who don't give a damn about ordinary Catholics or Catholicism and who would sell us down the river for 30 pieces of silver or a pat on the head from the liberal media. It was a defiant and united people who stopped this outrage and forced the church to do the right thing in the end. Let us not forget that we ordinary Americans and Catholics have real power when we stand together and fight.

So, the mosque plan is finished. Good. But now what will be done with the vacant convent? In all this hubbub about the MAS, have Catholics experienced any shame at the fact that our religion is declining so rapidly that we are forced to sell off our religious buildings? Does the hierarchy experience any shame at the lack of vocations illustrated so dramatically in this vacant convent, not to mention the legions of shuttered churches? I wonder how many of the anti-MAS protesters are A&P (ashes and palms) Catholics, or simply functional pagans; I didn't see too many people at Mass when I visited St. Margaret Mary. I would hope that this controversy would impress upon us the need for a mass rededication to the Faith. We shall see.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Correspondence with the Archbishop

I recently sent a letter to Archbishop Dolan expressing my displeasure with the MAS situation, and urging him to stop this deal immediately, instead of inexplicably allowing the issue to linger and fester throughout the summer. I received the following absurd form letter, which defended Fr. Fennessy, whom I never even mentioned in my letter, and criticized me for blaming all Muslims for the World Trade Center attack, an accusation I never made.

Dear Mr. ***********

Thank you most sincerely for your letter of...Your thoughtfulness is deeply appreciated.

Father Keith Fennessey is, in my judgment, a fine priest and pastor of the archdiocese, undeserving of the criticism that he has been receiving.

As to the proposed sale of the convent to the Muslim American Society, the archdiocese consented to it when the pastor wrote in favor of it. Since then, he has decided to withdraw his support for the sale, and the parish is attempting to resolve the matter.

The Muslim American Society is in dialogue and communication with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and as such one must be careful about drawing conclusions. Also, as your bishop, might I suggest that it is very unfair to link all Muslims to the attack on the World Trade Center. It was not that long ago when Catholics in the United States were suspect because of their ties to the Vatican, and such bigotry should not be revisited by Catholics on others.

With prayerful best wishes, I am,

Faithfully in Christ,

Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan Archbishop of New York

Friday, July 16, 2010

Archbishop Dolan shows support for gay groups?

Michael Voris recently publicized a visit by Archbishop Dolan to a Manhattan parish which is well known for being "gay-friendly". I encourage everyone to watch this video. During the visit to St. Francis Xavier, Archbishop Dolan was videotaped smiling and cheering as the parish's gay and lesbian groups were presented to him. A defender of the Archbishop could say that the speaker's description of these gay groups was somewhat ambiguous, as they were lauded for their efforts to help "LGBT Catholics return to the Sacraments and find an adult place in the Church of their youth", so the Archbishop could easily have thought that they were faithful Catholic groups trying to help gays live chaste lives in accordance with Catholic morality. However, an examination of the facts would disabuse us of that notion. The Archbishop is well aware of the stance of this parish and their gay groups; they march in the Gay Pride Parade every year under the banner of the parish and are quite public in their affirmation of the gay lifestyle. The archbishop wrote a letter to the lisping, effeminate pastor ordering him not to allow the gay groups to march under the church's banner. They complied by simply turning the banner around, an act of passive aggressive defiance, as everyone knew exactly who they were and who they were affiliated with. I bring up this story because it tells us New Yorkers something disturbing about the man who was appointed to be our spiritual shepherd. But on a more local level, I ask if this man is really going to have enough courage to quash the deal with the MAS, if he doesn't even have enough backbone to deal with an openly gay advocacy group in a Catholic church.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

El Pueblo Unido nunca sera' dividido

The "priest" who sold the convent to the terrorist-connected mosque has now written a letter to Archbishop Dolan saying that he is withdrawing his support for the sale, because he now feels that the sale would not "serve the needs of the parish". As if this Judas was even capable of recognizing the needs of his parish. Remember, this is the same man who sold the convent in secret to a Moslem organization with terrorist ties, for less than it was worth, and then called his own flock racists and bigots for objecting. Nevertheless, this is fantastic news. The Archdiocese felt the heat from an enraged people and probably leaned on Fr. Fennessy to fix the mess he made. This incident shows that we the people have power- a power most of us never exercised and never knew we had. We just have to stop being so afraid- of our neighbors, of the names that the Left will call us, of standing up and fighting for what we believe. This whole battle against the MAS is very, very encouraging. It's not over yet by a long shot, but this is the looking like it's the end of the beginning.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Meet the Neighbors

This video montage contains a clip of MAS Freedom Foundation Executive Director Mahdi Bray cheering for Hamas and Hezbollah.

What is to be Done?

What do we do now? According to the Advance, the ball is in the court of the Archdiocese. Archdiocesan spokesman Zwilling says that the trustees of the property consist of the pastor, 2 lay people, Archbishop Dolan, the vicar-general, and the Supreme Court. I say we keep writing and calling the archdiocese. The address and phone number are:

1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Let's make their ears burn.

I see here that Archbishop Dolan is feeding us another load of BS about tolerance and hospitality, so I'm not sure how receptive he will be about the concerns of his flock. Try to leave a comment if you like, but his Eminence's blog, like silive, is not too friendly to opinions that question the PC orthodoxy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mosque meeting

I attended last night's meeting of the Midland Beach civic association and luckily made it in before the doors closed. There was an Arab Protestant church handing out fliers at the door which stated that they would like to buy the convent for the full asking price and they would ensure that the Cross would never be removed from its walls. I thought that argument was very effective. As I entered the building a woman handed me a 40 page expose' of the Moslem American Society, written by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. This damning report fleshed out in more detail what everyone already knows about the MAS- it was established as a front group by terrorists, it's currently linked with terrorists, and it seeks to infiltrate, conquer and convert the United States to Islam.

The meeting began with an address by one of the three MAS representatives, a young and affable physical therapist. Although all three were foreign born and spoke with accents, they were all very, very slick. The primary speaker spun the expected line about the MAS- they're a peaceful organization which works with children, feeds the hungry, stands for tolerance, etc., to which the audience responded with furious shouting. The thing is that Staten Islanders have been educating themselves about the MAS for about a month now and we have seen the facts about this organization in black and white; no amount of denials or slick presentation can change what this organization, and Islam itself, really are.

The floor was opened to questions and the first speaker, who looked Arab, turned out to be the famous anti-Islamic writer Robert Spencer. I've read Spencer's book, "The Truth About Mohammed" and found his arguments about Islam indisputable, although I object to his neo-conservative associations. However, the man knows Islam and Islamic radicalism backwards and forward and posed some pointed questions to the MAS men about their connection to the Moslem Brotherhood and their president's public defense of certain terrorist groups and individuals. Their answers were evasive and unsatisfactory.

Other speakers came forward with equally incisive questions, citing the Koran, investigative reports, and the public statements of the MAS' own leaders, to show that this group is untrustworthy and unacceptable. One man had a great point about the MAS' boasts of charitable programs. He pointed out that prison gangs, like the Latin Kings, also perform charity and write children's books, etc., but such public displays don't really mean a thing when such groups are also involved in crime and violence. He cited the MAS leader Mahdi Bray's public defense of 3 men who were arrested for terrorist activities. At one point a Middle Eastern-looking priest got up and shouting about how he loved Jesus and Jesus was God, etc. He had to be quieted down by ushers.

Surprisingly, most of the speakers seemed to be women. At least, most of the best speakers were women. The men who got up mostly spoke in weak, quiet voices and rambled on endlessly about irrelevancies. The women of this community, who are generally reputed to be loud and obnoxiously pushy, gained my undying respect. They certainly were loud and pushy, but for a great cause, which was to defend their families and homes from a threat. As the saying goes, "The female of the species is more deadly than the male". They were all like Joan of Arc: brave, defiant and eloquent. One lady called Father Fennessy a Judas and asked the MAS why on earth they would want to come to a community that doesn't want them. Another challenged the speaker's constant declaration of respect for Jesus, and demanded to know if he believed that He was the Son of God. Another Iron Lady said that the FBI had told her the MAS was on the terrorist watch list and swatted down the MAS man when he unctuously addressed her as "sister". One woman cited the Koran's dictate to slay the infidels and demanded to know if we were infidels. Another cited the MAS' well known terrorist ties. An Egyptian woman detailed the barbaric treatment of Christians in her home country. At one point, the crowd shouted down a white civic leader and an Arab Catholic priest from Brooklyn, who had been invited to testify to what good neighbors the MAS mosque in Brooklyn are. The meeting was adjourned early when the "priest" in the crowd, who turned out to be the pastor of the Arab Protestant church, started shouting and got a group of people to start chanting.

Although at one point one of the MAS men started lecturing us on the Bible, they were generally polite and calm and faced an extremely hostile crowd without losing their temper. But that's what the public face of any organization is supposed to do. The overwhelming evidence has shown that this organization supports terrorism. The overwhelming evidence is that the Koran itself supports violence against non-Moslems. With the exception of the sex abuse scandal, the sale of the convent to this group is probably the most outrageous and scandalous thing I have ever seen the Church do.

The natives were as furious as any mob I've ever seen, and rightfully so. It was like a valve had been opened that let out decades worth of frustration and anger. We Americans, and we Catholics, have been forced to swallow so much insulting BS about so many things (Islam being one) for so long, without being able to say anything about it because of politically correct censorship. The newspapers won't print how we really feel; the radio or TV won't interview us; internet forums like silive delete any comments they deem incorrect; last night we finally had our say.

Trahison des Clercs

The co-vicars of Staten Island, Msgrs. Dorney and Finn, have sent an open letter to the Advance calling for openness and civility from Catholics attending tonight's meeting with the Moslem American Society. This letter is an outrage.

If anyone should be admonished to display "civility", it should be the Moslems. Have Catholics held public protests calling for the subjugation and forced conversion of Moslem nations? Have Catholic priests preached terrorism and suicide bombing from the pulpit? Have Catholics cut off the heads of innocent Moslems? Have Catholics attacked and destroyed mosques or other Moslem holy places? Have Catholics waged a campaign of assassination against Moslem clerics? Have Catholics fired machine guns into crowds of Moslem worshippers? Have Catholics ethnically cleansed entire regions of Moslem people? Have Catholics flown planes into buildings full of Moslems? No, but these are all crimes that have been and are being perpetrated by Moslems all over the world against Catholics and other non-Moslems, yet our own Catholic leaders feel the need to publicly lecture us on proper behavior!

They give a passing nod to the "legitimate questions" of the Midland beach residents, but then reveal what they really believe are the self-evident answers to those questions, when they sing encomia to the MAS' "sensitivity" to the community, and express gratitude to the MAS for "its commitment to dialogue and to fostering a better understanding between Catholic and Islamic faith communities". So what these fools are really saying is that they understand that the ignorant, uninformed Catholics of Staten Island have heard a lot of crazy rumors about their good buddies in the MAS and gotten all stirred up by fear mongering, but once the MAS meets us face to face tonight and says "We are not terrorists", we need to believe them, shut up and get back to being good, quiet sacrificial lambs again.

Why, oh why, have we been cursed with these weak and feeble minded shepherds? What they value most is not the good of their flock or the promulgation of the Faith, or even the safety of their community. Like other non-entities in this politically correct age, what motivates these weak men at their core is to be seen as tolerant, open-handed multiculturalists who get plaudits from liberal newspapers and get invited to fine banquets with politicians. These men are not made of the stuff of a Thomas More or John Fisher. These are the types who bend with every wind and base their values on the prevailing opinions of the powerful. Any priest with a brain or a backbone would have nixed this sale at the very beginning solely on the basis of the disheartening symbolism, never mind the issue of having a terrorist-affiliated group in the neighborhood. Instead, these simpletons take the MAS' sweet words at face value and see the golden opportunity to win brownie points from the media by an act of submission to Islam.

These men need not be heeded. Canonized saints who are now in heaven went on Crusade to defend Christendom from Moslem takeover, so modern Catholics do not need to feel guilty about fighting this current invasion of our nations, despite what the Advance and the Judases in the Church try to tell us. This sale must not stand. We've been betrayed by our natural leaders in the government and in the Church. It looks like we'll have to stand up for ourselves, and I intend to do so tonight.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Meet the MAS

There will be a public meeting of the Midland Beach Civic Association Wednesday, June 9th at 8:00 PM to discuss the convent sale to the terrorist group. The address is 1126 Olympia Blvd. Be there and voice your opposition, loudly and forcefully.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mosque pastor leaves parish

Fr. Fennessy, who sold the convent to the terrorist-affiliated Moslem American Society, announced in last Sunday's bulletin that he is stepping down from his position to care for his ailing, 98-year-old mother. Whether this is fact, or the clerical version of "resigning to spend more time with my family", I don't know. And what impact this will have on the convent sale remains to be seen.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Convent sale not a done deal

Due to the popular uprising, the Archdiocese is now saying that the sale of the convent to the Moslem American Association is "not final". Spokesman Joseph Zwilling says that "There are still steps that need to be taken on a civil and church level." The Midland Beach Civic Association is holding a public meeting soon to discuss the matter. The Advance says that it's on 6/9 while the Association's Facebook page says it's on 6/10.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Moslem American Society

In the recent story on the sale of the St. Margaret Mary convent to the Moslem American Society, our joke of a local newspaper didn't bother to tell us anything about this organization. A basic Google search reveals so much.

The Moslem American Society was founded in 1993 by American members of the Moslem Brotherhood. The Moslem Brotherhood should be familiar to many Americans, as it was the group that influenced so many of the terrorists who have spilled so much blood all over the world. Bin Laden himself was influenced by the Brotherhood and his second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian, was a member. It was founded in Egypt in 1928 on the principle that “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations." The Brotherhood's goal was to submit society to sharia law. In keeping with these basic Moslem ideals, the Brotherhood began to engage in a wave of bombings and assassinations, which led to its suppression in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. However, it remains a powerful underground force.

With the influx of Moslem immigrants following the passage of Ted Kennedy's 1965 Immigration act, the Brotherhood began to take root in America. Like other subversive groups, they have established numerous front organizations, one of which is the Moslem American Society. The members of this new group were specifically instructed to lie in response to questions about its links to the Brotherhood, but the truth eventually came out. Nevertheless, they still lie about their ultimate goal, which remains a Moslem takeover of America, either through mass immigration or conversion, and the institution of sharia law. Over the years, its leadership has learned the way of the chameleon, and changed its appearance and its words to match that of any loyal American. They praise the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, and express their admiration for American freedoms. Yet, underneath they remain what they were founded to be: a front group for terrorists and Islamic conquest. And our Catholic clergy, who are either simpletons or traitors, allow them to establish a cell in Midland Beach.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Betrayal in Midland Beach.

The pastor of St. Margaret Mary parish in Midland Beach has secretly sold the church's convent- a convent the people of the parish scrimped and saved to build- to a group that is going to convert it into a mosque and Moslem community center. It's a mystery why this group would want to build in Midland Beach, which was a lily White area with few Moslems the last time I checked.

The motivations of the pastor, Fr. Keith Fennessy, can only be guessed at this point, but he is apparently a fanatical, left-wing multiculturalist, as he had rejected an offer from local developers in order to sell it to the Moslems, and whenever parishioners try to talk to him about this situation, "he accuses them of being bigots or racists." In a further insult, the street on which the convent is located is named after a Fire Captain who was killed on 9/11. The people of the parish and the community are so outraged that they are now calling for the pastor's dismissal (which won't happen) and impotently wondering what legal actions they can do to reverse this "done-deal" (which is nothing).

Whatever his motivations, this is a disgrace of monumental proportions. Does this priest have any comprehension of the disheartening symbolism of this action? We are supposed to be the Church Militant, carrying the Cross of Christ aloft, marching off to victory or martyrdom. Instead, we have compromising cowards for leaders, who actively connive to hand over our holy places to our enemies, who will now tear down the crucifixes and the icons, whitewash the Holy Name, and recite their infidel incantations over the building to "cleanse" it of the spirit of Christ. And our weak, Quisling priests and bishops will smile through their flabby, vapid faces and congratulate themselves for their masochistic act of degradation and submission to the enemies of the Faith. They probably take comfort in the thought that Allah and St. Ted Kennedy are smiling upon them from above, if these men believe in a spiritual world at all.

I realize we're supposed to love our enemies, but we're not supposed to surrender to them. And although most individual Moslems are not our physical enemies, Islam as a spiritual system is our age-old adversary, by Koranic injunction dedicated to our conversion or conquest. It is only by the Grace of God- and the swords and artillery of Catholic warriors- that Christendom was not reduced to complete dhimmitude in the past, when canonized Saints preached Crusade and fought under the banner of the Cross. In contrast, our Church today, like our political leadership, seems to be actively working for the other side. This action is an insult and an outrage. I look forward to seeing what the community and parish opposition will do.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Validity of Homosexual Vows of Chastity in Religious Life

This is off the topic of Staten Island Catholicism, but I had to recommend one of the best articles I've read in a long time. It deals with the question of homosexuals in the priesthood. A lot of Catholics (some of them sincere), when they want to express their toleration of homosexuality but do not want to seem like full-blown dissidents, will say that it doesn't matter if a priest is a homosexual so long as he is celibate. This penetrating and well written article demolishes that argument and I would recommend all to read it. It originally appeared in the New Oxford Review, which I encourage everyone to subscribe to. Catholic publishing, like almost all magazines and newspapers, is in a severe crisis and needs all the help it can get.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Incestuous, "elder abuse" by Staten Island priest

The verdict just came down in the case of the 86 year old Staten Island priest who was accused of compelling an adult, female relative to perform a sex act on him, while he was visiting Texas. Father Stephen Valenta, whose home was at the St. Francis friary- oops sorry- I meant the St. Francis Center for Spirituality- has been sentenced to five years probation after making a deal with the prosecutors and pleading no contest to a lesser charge of "injury to the elderly". He now will reside in a "monastery-type home for priests during his probation, and can't leave unless someone goes with him."
Except for a couple of cases, Staten Island really hasn't been touched by the church sex abuse scandal. Our priests may be apathetic, uninspiring, and sometimes heretical, but they seem to have kept their noses clean when it comes to the more vicious crimes, thank God. At first I thought this accusation was bogus. After all, how would it be possible for an 86 year old man, who by all accounts is in poor health, to force an adult woman to do such a thing? Also, several lay people who know him came forward to testify to his upright character. Now he pleads no contest to this charge and is sentenced to supervision in some sort of monastery/halfway house. Sure sounds like an admission of guilt to me. I see that his own "ministry" (which for some strange reason is based out of Iowa) seems to have stripped its website of every reference to him. Very sad.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Michael Voris on Staten Island

A few weeks ago I attended a speech by nascent Catholic celebrity Michael Voris at Holy Child church. Mr. Voris started a Catholic media company in 2008 and has recently begun to garner a lot of attention on the internet for his uncompromising orthodoxy and hard-hitting reporting on Catholic issues. Mr. Voris is a 48 year old Notre Dame graduate, a one time seminarian, and a former Emmy award-winning news anchor. At least that's what he's told us.

I have no reason to distrust him, but I'm finding it increasingly odd that I have not been able to find one single piece of independent information about this man on the internet, except for what he himself has revealed. And all of the various websites that rave about him are simply repeating the facts he's provided in his own biography and interviews. I have no solid reason to be suspicious, but I'd like to know a bit more about the man before I'm comfortable seeing him elevated to the position of orthodox Catholicism's public face in America. Where was he born? Who are his parents? Where did he go to school? Why did he leave seminary? Is he now or was was he ever married? Does he have children? Are there any skeletons in his closet that could potentially embarrass the Church and the faithful should they be revealed?

Barring my unease over how little we know about him, I really like the guy. He's a powerful and dynamic speaker, he's zealous and intelligent. So I was eager to hear him in person.

There were a lot of people at the church, although it was by no means full. It might have helped if it were advertised a bit more. The announcement I received said that he was speaking at 7:30, but the Stations of the Cross were just beginning at that time. I didn't mind. The Stations are always spiritually salutary. I'd never seen a priest just stand at the altar and recite the prayers though. Usually, they make the little pilgrimage to each station along the wall. I was disappointed at that. Anyway, Voris came on the stage at 8 and was introduced by the parish pastor.

His theme was "Christ and Caesar" or something to that effect. He spent too much time, in my opinion, merely reiterating the Gospel stories which we all know, but the speech was ultimately a rousing success. His peroration was especially fantastic. He said things that need to be said from Catholic pulpits over and over again, but never are. He basically told us how we need to suffer for the Faith, because there is no value in any other life than one in which we take up our Cross and follow Him. We need to be proud of our Catholicism and publicly witness to it, despite the repercussions. It was an excellent speech.

It made me feel ambivalent though. It was kind of odd to see a layman up there preaching the Gospel from the altar, with a priest sitting meekly in the first row. It made me sad that the clergy has so abdicated their responsibility to preach the Gospel with the power of the Spirit that we need a layman to get up there and give us spiritual meat. I for one have never in my entire life heard a priest speak with such passion and inspiration. I'm sure it was a novel experience for most of the people there as well. Still, I couldn't help feeling ashamed for the Church that a layman from Michigan had to come all the way to Staten Island, NY so we could be inspired with the Gospel message. This parish has multiple priests in residence. Why aren't they giving lectures and inspirational sermons on Friday nights? Why aren't they evangelizing? Why aren't they tending to the spiritual needs of the flock? Why did they need to bring in Michael Voris? (no offense to him).

One last thing- in keeping with Catholic tradition of audio ineptitude, the sound system completely failed at one point, but luckily it was only about 2 minutes before the end of his speech.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mysticism, gay Jesuits, and Catholic abortion providers

Just a few links that piqued my interest: The first is this very perceptive article from the NY Times, about the death of mysticism in contemporary religion, specifically Catholicism. The writer is absolutely correct. When was the last time you felt transcendence in a Catholic Church? When was the last time you felt the Spirit of God at Mass?? The last time I felt those things in Church, my priest was a man who took his vocation and our Faith seriously, whose attitude spread to the entire congregation. What I see now in my church-shopping travels are priests who seem to view themselves as bureacrats or administrators of some sort, who rush through Mass in 30 minutes, who would rather tell jokes than preach repentance, who would prefer to talk about the Yankees than the Gospel.

The other article was also from the Times. It was the obituary of a gay Jesuit who was one of the key figures in the gay rights movement for over 30 years. There's a picture of him marching in a gay rights parade with 3 other priests, all wearing their clerical collars. Can someone tell me how this man was permitted to remain in the priesthood for one second after "coming out"?

The 3rd article is about how the group which represents Catholic hospitals has come out in support of President Obama's health care bill, despite the fact that abortion supporters are telling their people that it will allow federal funding of abortion.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Catholic Church Chopping, Part IX: The Purell Parish

The next place I visited was a North Shore church which had- for the usual reasons I suppose- (falling membership, lack of money) been administratively joined with a nearby parish whose membership has become predominantly Mexican. The church building was one of the uglier specimens of modern church architecture. The church space was square, with primitive, cartoonish stained glass windows adorning one wall and an enclosed chapel/cry room. The traditional paintings and statues only served to emphasize the incongruity with their surroundings. The heavy concrete ceiling resembled a packing crate and gave me the feeling like it was going to fall down on us at any moment. Directly over the altar the architect had installed a gigantic tube. The purpose, I assume, was to cast down light upon the priest. Instead, I kept expecting to hear a loud flush and see the appropriate product come flowing down the pipe.

The music chosen by the pianist was probably the worst I've ever heard. All of the songs were written in the 80s and 90s and were consequently horrible. No melody, no tempo, no life; just a bunch of random notes that made these hymns utterly un-singable. The lyrics were hippy-dippy and were supposed to convey joy, but the hymns were dirge-like when played. It was utterly depressing and discouraging. No one sang.

The priest spoke in an odd, sing-songy manner, which made me think he might have been drunk, but as he held himself pretty steady on his feet, I suppose it was just a vocal idiosyncrasy. His sermon actually made sense. He compared sin to drug addiction- how we start off with just a little bit and before we know it we're sinning more and more and can't stop. That would have been a great theme for a sermon, but unfortunately he delivered it as if his intended audience were 12 year olds. I would have loved to hear the adult version.

The most embarrassing part of the Mass took place after the handshake of peace. The priest came down into the aisles and shook hands with everyone in sight. When he returned to the altar, he took out a big bottle of Purell, dispensed himself a dollop, and spent 30 seconds rubbing his hands with it. He then left the bottle on the altar for the rest of the Mass, right next to the Body and Blood of Christ. First of all, it's incredibly insulting to shake hands with someone and then disinfect yourself right in front of them. If he's so concerned about catching swine flu, he should just forgo the handshake and remain at the altar, as most priests do. Secondly, leaving a bottle of Purell up there on the altar next to the Eucharist was sacrilegious in my opinion. He made himself, the Mass and our Faith look absolutely ridiculous.

On a positive note, this parish has Stations of the Cross, a Bible Study and is having a "Mission". However, in yet another instance of bizarre Catholic thinking, the Mission is held during the week at noon, and the Bible study is at 9AM on Saturday mornings. Come on- let's try to schedule these things so people can actually come!

I returned to this church again this week. The pianist had a small choir this time and the hymns were slightly better, although still sub-par. No one sang. There was a different priest this time, a mustachioed gentleman who looked like an old cowboy. He had a loud, booming voice, which was good. Unfortunately, his sermon rambled from one disconnected platitude to another. When the handshake time came, he too went and shook everyone's hands. As for the Purell, it retained its position of honor on the altar next to the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, Humanity's Savior and Lord of the Universe.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Archbishop to flock: "get off my back"

The Catholic New York contained an interesting article from the archbishop last week. Usually these columns from the throne aren't really worth reading, since their entire purpose is to say absolutely nothing and offend no one, but I found this one slightly noteworthy. Archbishop Dolan grudgingly acknowledges that there is a lot of criticism of priests in this archdiocese, but then petulantly belittles the criticism by 1. giving an anecdote about how the holy Cure de Ars (the patron saint of priests) was a target of criticism, and 2. how he (the Archbishop) gets complaints about his priests from both liberals and conservatives. The implication here is that 1. if even a saint was criticized in the past, that must mean that criticism of priests today is invalid and baseless, and 2. if both liberals and conservatives are complaining about priests, that must mean that the criticism is invalid, and that priests are talking a wise middle road.

Archbishop Dolan wallows in self-pity for a while, saying "[p]riests can't seem to win", it "seems 'open season' on priests", "[p]riests might as well hang a bull's eye on the clergy shirt", etc. Then he changes tack and attacks the critics with the charge that they are reviving the ancient heresy of Donatism!

This column was insulting, from a number of perspectives: his dismissal of the magnitude of the problem and the way he flippantly reduces the critic's legitimate complaints to "homilies or occasional crabbiness". Good Lord, it's so much more than that; just read my blog, just listen to your flock. For goodness sake, go undercover to one of your outer borough churches and see how your priests are driving the Church into the ground.

In addition, his liberal/conservative argument was sneaky, I thought. There are no liberal or conservative positions when it comes to Catholicism. There's either faithfulness to the Magisterium or unfaithfulness to the Magisterium, orthodoxy or heterodoxy. Put those terms in place of "liberal" and "conservative", and I think you'll see the actual basis of the respective complaints. The so-called conservatives are most likely complaining about heretical sermons, feminist nuns, gay rights advocacy, indifferentism, and all the rest of the panoply of outrages and active destruction that suffering Catholics have to deal with. The so-called liberal complaints most likely have to do with priests who show too strong a devotion to Catholicism, and too little dedication to the Democratic party agenda and progressive overthrow of our Faith. The point is that the real situation is not as rosy as it looks from the vantage point of the Cathedral, and if the Archbishop really doesn't know that, he should quickly inform himself, instead of defending the indefensible.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Catholic Church Shopping Part VIII: Little Italy

The next stop on the tour was a big church in a North Shore neighborhood of Staten Island known for its narrow, labyrinthine streets and its large Italian population. This neighborhood is home to a famous Marian shrine that is an official national historic site, where a big holy day celebration is held every year, which for some reason involves a lot of gambling and dancing to the oldies. Anyway...

The parish has been around since 1902, but the old church was replaced in 1957 with a tan brick structure, whose design and materials I have seen used in other boroughs around that time period. The Vatican II era church must have thought that Catholics were too spoiled by all those centuries of beauty and grandeur, so it decided that we needed to look at blank brick walls as penance. As a nod to the past, and to avoid total disorientation, a large Byzantine-style mural was painted in the apse. I noticed an Italian flag beside the altar, but no American or Vatican flag, but I may have overlooked them. The Stations of the Cross seemed to have been taken from the old church. The only bulletin was in Italian.

The pastor of this church, at only 38 years old, is already a real big shot in this archdiocese. He's a professor of canon law at the seminary in Yonkers and was recently appointed judicial vicar of the Interdiocesan Appellate Tribunal, which is the highest court in the state for annulment cases. I believe it was he who said the Mass I attended, as the priest was young and had an air of leadership.

It seemed surprisingly sparse for an 11:00 Mass, with maybe around 75 people. The organist sang from the usual canon of modern church music, which is to say that the hymns were nothing remarkable. They were not the worst she could have chosen though. Surprisingly for a Catholic church, a few people were actually singing along. She probably didn't want to push her luck though, so she didn't sing more than 1 verse of each hymn.

The only thing to remark on about the Mass was that the sound system was screwy, as is usually the case in Catholic churches. Like some primitive tribe cowering before their first encounter with a missionary's flashlight, the concept of electronic amplification seems incomprehensible and terrifying to Catholics. The sound system is usually just terrible in Catholic churches while, as I've often complained, the tiniest storefront church has enough hardware to host 50 Cent. We just don't seem to get it. The priest's lavalier worked fine, but the microphone at the pulpit was so bad that the lector was almost inaudible. We were able to make out when he stopped speaking, which was the only way we knew when to give the responses.

As for the sermon, the priest chose to speak about that day's second reading, which was Paul's famous disquisition on love (as an aside, the lector not surprisingly chose to read the short form of the reading. I will spare you my rant on that subject). The priest had a good speaking voice. However, his subject- love- was a difficult one, being so broad, and I'm afraid he wasn't up to the task that day: love, love, love, blah blah blah, love is a charism, love is a choice, etc. More vague and ethereal platitudes. I didn't follow any of it.

Incredibly, this Mass was yet another sprint to the finish line. Some local priests seem to be trying to break some sort of record. I timed it at 35 minutes.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mt. Manresa

In our continuing pictorial documentation of Staten Island's Catholic institutions, today we'll look at Mt. Manresa Jesuit retreat house. I've previously written about some of the scandalous activities that go on at this place, but today I'm only dealing with images and history.

In 1911 the Jesuits purchased one of Staten Island's grand estates for the purpose of establishing a lay retreat center, as had become popular in Europe. In addition to the original 20-bedroom mansion, the Jesuits constructed several new buildings through the years. In 1964, the old house was knocked down and replaced with a modern conference center/office building/dining hall. A more complete history can be found here. The center continues to host a wide range of retreats and public programs. My class went there for a retreat in high school and I remember being very impressed by the facilities. I would not describe them as opulent, but to me the dark wood furniture, the well-stocked library, the soft arm chairs and the tasteful, serious decor was the last word in comfort, such as you would find in rectories, traditional funeral homes or the club room of a Victorian gentleman. If a man was going to give his life to the Church, I thought, this was the way he deserved to live. Anyway, here are some pictures.

The original mansion:

Its dining room:

The entrance:

The water tower, dating from the 1800s:

Shealy Hall, I believe:

Stairway up the hilltop...

...which has a great view of the Manhattan skyline

Entrance to the Sacred Heart grotto:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Catholic Church Shopping Part VII

The next place I visited was a 101 year old church in an old section of Staten Island whose many well-preserved buildings give the place a late-19th century atmosphere. The church was absolutely gorgeous and looked like it had been built yesterday. I expect that there had recently been a lot of money expended to gussy the place up. Since it was named after one of the most popular Italian saints and was located in a heavily Italian neighborhood, I was surprised to see so many Polish names on the stained glass windows as well as a Polish-American pastor. A relatively small church, it was filled with over 100 people at a noon Mass.

Most of the people entered their pews with the sadly familiar one-quarter genuflection and the sign of the blob. The "choir" consisted of one young lady who sang syrupy modern hymns to the accompaniment of a guitar. Her voice was fine, but the effect was that of listening to a minstrel at a Renaissance Faire. I almost expected her to break into "tra-la-la" and "hey nonny nonny" at any moment. There was no way I was joining in such an effeminate sing-along, especially since NO ONE else in the entire church was singing, except for a few older women under their breath.

The priest was a stocky middle aged man who rushed through the Mass in 35 minutes with the tone and attitude of a bored telemarketer reciting the same sales script for the thousandth time. The readings and Gospel received the same treatment, and he even opted (no surprise) to use the "short form" of St. Paul's famous analogy about how the body of the Church has many parts. As an aside, I ask again- WHY do we even have a short form of Bible readings??? Are we Catholics so impatient to get out of church that we must truncate the Word of God, just so we can leave 30 seconds sooner? This is pure insanity.

As for the sermon, it was obvious that the priest fancied himself something of an intellectual, as he quoted Alan Bloom, Machiavelli, cited a wide range of historical incidents, introduced philosophical conundrums and enlightened us with current Biblical historiography. Unfortunately, his rambling disquisition lacked any coherence or relevance and, like most Catholic sermons, was vague, nebulous, disjointed, superficial and thus completely useless and discouraging.

He began by bemoaning the modern embrace of cultural relativism, which has the effect of breaking down any notion of good and evil. If all cultures are equal, then what would we do if we were the British governor of India and witnessed a Hindu widow about to engage in suttee? Or, in another example, if the U.S. lost the War of 1812, what would we do if we were the British governor of a conquered South Carolina and witnessed blacks being bought and sold? We have to believe in objective truth, Father declared, or else we would have to tolerate these evils! He then went into a bizarre digression about the lives and careers of the 4 Evangelists. (According to him, Mark was always getting rejected by the Apostles, like a little brother). His point, I think, was that the miracles of Jesus were witnessed and objectively attested and thus we should realize that Faith is not a blind leap but a logical extrapolation from the facts. Great point. But what did all these discombobulated ideas amount to? The assertion that there is objective truth? That Jesus Christ performed miracles? For crying out loud! Why would you waste your time arguing these basic truths to a group of people sitting in church worshipping Jesus Christ????? These truths are so so obvious that it is almost insulting to actually give a sermon on the topic. If they are mentioned at all, it should only be as the basis of a sermon on much deeper subjects. We wouldn't be here if we thought that Jesus was a fictional character! We wouldn't be here if he thought that there was no objective truth! We are neither atheists nor 5 year olds! On what planet do our priests live??? What kind of Catholics do they expect to produce, feeding us spiritual pap like this week after week, year after year, decade after decade??

On a positive note, the church had the best sound system of any Catholic church I've ever been to. I could actually hear the priest talk, which was a welcome surprise. The next progression would be to hear something worth listening to.