Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gay marriage almost a reality in New York. Silence from Catholic leaders.

The New York State legislature is one vote away from making same sex "marriage" legal in New York, and apparently it's all come down to our esteemed Staten Island Senator Andrew Lanza. The Republican, Catholic Lanza (a graduate of Farrell high school) would like us to believe that he is so ignorant and uninformed that he has made it to 47 years of age without forming an opinion on the subject. I hope that this indecisiveness is just a ruse to mollify the liberals, so that after he votes against gay marriage, he can point to his long deliberation on the matter as proof of his judiciousness and fair-minded consideration. However, being from such an overwhelmingly Republican and conservative district as he has, I would have thought Lanza would have slightly more backbone.

In any case, my reason for writing on the subject is to point out yet again the complete and utter silence on this monumental moral debate from our supposed Catholic leaders on Staten Island. Archbishop Dolan did nothing but write a blog post, but even that is more than our co-vicars Finn and Dorney have done. Perhaps they might eventually get around to writing a letter to the Advance, like they did with the Nativity controversy in December, but that's not a given. I heard a prayer intention for Monsignor Dorney at Mass a few weeks ago, so I suppose he's not feeling well, not that he ever did anything for the Church while he was in the bloom of health. With these kinds of leaders, it is such an absolute embarrassment to be a Catholic on Staten Island these days.

I understand that not every priest is going to be a dynamo of action and a leader of men. But shouldn't our leadership positions be filled by men of such caliber? There are roles for shy and retiring priests in monasteries and theological seminaries and helping positions all through the Church, where they can pray, think, write, work and contemplate the Divinity all day long. Heck, Saint Andre Bessette the miracle worker was nothing but a porter, janitor and all-around handyman, and he became a great saint. But listless and passive personalities shouldn't be made pastors and bishops and "co-vicars" of hundreds of thousands of souls, when what is required of such positions are aggressive leaders who are prepared to fearlessly teach and proclaim the Gospel and engage in moral combat with the world. What do we get instead? A couple of men whose most vigorous action in living memory was to try to sell the St. Margaret Mary convent to the Moslems.The evangelicals are standing up for morality. Why can't the Catholics?

Well, it's leaderless resistance in the Catholic Church again. Please write and call Senator Lanza and tell him to vote no for gay marriage.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fiddling while Rome burns

I've written about the Little Italy parish before. This was the place whose hot-shot, do-nothing pastor made a big announcement about cutting a Sunday Mass and limiting Confession time because of a lack of attendees. This parish is back in the news for dedicating yet another hand-carved, $10,000 wooden statue, this time to St. Michael, the patron saint of police. The cops were just trying to keep up with the firemen, since they had gotten their own $10,000 statue of St. Florian the previous year.

Good Lord! $10,000 for a statue???  In the first place, that is a ridiculous price. How true is the old saying that a fool and his money are soon parted. Salesmen of magic beans will be flocking to Rosebank in droves now. You can find many similar looking statues on the internet for much lower than that, and the artist who made these is definitely no Michelangelo. The mass produced stuff looks even better. In these hard economic times, when we just had multiple Catholic schools close down on Staten Island, these statues are an insult.

Second, although this effort was headed by a layman, John Sollazzo, it was initiated by the pastor of the parish. This is his priority?? Artistic frivolities? What a silly waste of time and money. If this priest were a leader, he'd tell his flock to spend their time evangelizing. Then he'd tell them to spend their money helping deserving Catholic kids go to the parish's high-priced elementary school. So many of our pastors seemed to have missed their calling as ham comedians or interior decorators. What an embarrassment.