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.