Friday, July 29, 2011

Staten Island Priest Has Huge Collection of Statues, Relics

Catholic New York ran this story about a Staten Island priest and his unusual hobby. According to the article, he owns between 300 to 400 statues, from life-size to less than a foot tall, and an unspecified number of relics, presumably numbering in the hundreds as well. (There seems to be a theme lately with statues and Staten Island priests.) The article goes on to say although "...he can’t cite an amount, his collection has cost him a great deal. 'This is where my money goes', he said." Well, although a priest is entitled to do with his money what he wants, and it's not a bad thing to like statues or relics, I'm not sure this should have been a newspaper story. I think it kind of makes him and, by extension, the priesthood, look a little weird. Will a man who is publicly known for hoarding hundreds of little statues (figurines) be the type of person who inspires young men to consider the priesthood? It might endear him to crazy Italian grandmothers from Bensonhurst, but what about everyone else? I think people might consider him eccentric at best, genuinely strange at worst. I think it's time to start divesting himself of his hoarded treasures. The little statues might make good Communion or Confirmation presents. The larger ones could enliven his bare, Vatican II church. I don't know what church law says about relics, but surely it's not proper for one man to keep hundreds of them locked in his drawer. Collecting can be fun, but after a while, collections start to own us, rather than the other way around. The Son of Man had no place to lay his head, let alone the storage space to hold some vast collection of pretty things.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Where are the excommunications?

In response to the new gay "marriage" law in New York, Bishop DiMarzio of the Brooklyn Diocese (which also includes Queens) has instructed his Catholic schools not to honor any of the politicians who voted for it or accept any honors from them, nor to allow them to speak at the schools. At least Bishop DiMarzio is showing some outrage over this abomination, and taking some action, although it is by no means enough. What is he going to do about the Catholic legislators from his diocese who voted for this bill? I'm not familiar with these politicians but I noticed that a lot of them had Italian, Irish and Spanish surnames, so presumably at least some of them purport to be Catholic. Why aren't they excommunicated already?

Similarly, in our own diocese of New York, Archbishop Dolan's utterly passive response to this attack on the Faith has been nothing short of scandalous. He did nothing to try to stop the bill, and now that it has passed he's done even less. According to my count, there are 43 State Assemblymen from within the New York Archdiocese (see the wikipedia list from District 60 through 103). Of those assemblymen, there were 10 votes against the bill, 32 for it and 1 absence. Of those 32 "yes" votes, I see a lot of names that imply a Catholic background: Rodriguez, Kavanagh, O'Donnell, Benedetto, Spano, Cahill, et al. Of our Staten Island representatives, Lou Tobacco and Nicole Maliotakis voted against gay marriage. Michael Cusick and the openly gay Matthew Titone voted for it. Where are the excommunications?

In the New York State Senate there are, by my count, 20 legislators from the New York Diocese (see the wikipedia list from District 23 through 42). Of those, only 5 voted against gay marriage and 15 voted for it. Of the 15 who voted for it, I see names like Rivera, Serrano, Carlucci, Bonacic, et al. Of our 2 Staten Island Senators, Diane Savino voted for gay marriage and Andrew Lanza voted against it (although his cowardly delay only served to help the opposition). Where are the excommunications?

As for Governor Cuomo, although he works and temporarily resides in Albany (under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the gay-friendly, dissident Bishop Howard Hubbard), his official abode is outside of Mt. Kisco in Westchester County, which places him under the spiritual authority of Archbishop Dolan. Where is the excommunication, Archbishop?

The fact is that gay marriage couldn't have passed without the support of men and women who claim affinity with and membership in the Catholic Church. That testifies to the complete failure of the Church over the past 40 or 50 years to inculcate the Faith in its young members and to use its authority to correct those men and women who publicly defy the Church's teachings. These people don't believe in the Catholic Faith. Why do we tolerate them in our Church?

If the bishops refuse to do what is needed, why don't our priests do something? Write, preach, speak out! If any of these pagans ever go to Mass and presume to receive the Eucharist, I believe Canon Law # 915 states that those who persist in manifest grave sin are not allowed to receive Communion. Priests have the discretion to refuse Communion to anyone they choose. I've read of priests refusing the Host to people who were chewing gum, or who were drunk, or who were wearing some sort of obscene T-shirt. Why couldn't an individual priest, acting on his own authority, refuse the Body of Christ to a notorious and unrepentant public sinner such as Andrew Cuomo or one of his legislative myrmidons? Please, somebody DO SOMETHING!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Welcome to Babylon

At the midnight hour on June 24th, 114 cowardly and perverse Albany politicians (many of them Catholic) decided to legalize "homosexual marriage" in the State of New York. This is a sickening abomination. Our commentary here will be limited to the disgraceful complicity of the Catholic Church hierarchy in New York. Yes, complicity. What else does one call it when the so-called opposition effectively laid down and surrendered without doing anything but issuing a few token words of disapproval? There was no reason to expect any help from gay-friendly bishops like Hubbard in Albany and Clark in Rochester, who probably raised a glass in triumph when they heard the news, but we had reason to expect better of Archbishop Dolan. As the head of the nation's largest diocese and the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, his lack of leadership in this fight has been a scandal of historical proportions. So far as I am able to discern, his actions in defense of marriage consisted of writing a blog post and giving an interview to a radio show in Albany. Even the New York Times commented on the Church's impotent response to this history-making attack on Christian civilization:

"It was befuddling to gay-rights advocates: The Catholic Church, arguably the only institution with the authority and reach to derail same-sex marriage, seemed to shrink from the fight. 

As the marriage bill hurtled toward a vote, the head of the church in New York, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, left town to lead a meeting of bishops in Seattle. He did not travel to Albany or deliver a major speech in the final days of the session. And when he did issue a strongly worded critique of the legislation — he called it “immoral” and an “ominous threat” — it was over the phone to an Albany-area radio show. 

Inside the Capitol, where a photograph of Mr. Cuomo shaking hands with Archbishop Dolan hangs in the governor’s private office, the low-key approach did not seem accidental. Mr. Cuomo had taken pains to blunt the church’s opposition. 

When he learned that church leaders had objected to the language of the marriage legislation, he invited its lawyers to the Capitol to vent their frustration. 

Mr. Cuomo even spoke to Archbishop Dolan about the push for same-sex marriage, emphasizing his respect and affection for the religious leader. An adviser described the governor’s message to Archbishop Dolan this way: “I have to do what I have to do. But your support over all is very important to me.” 

By the time a Catholic bishop from Brooklyn traveled to Albany last week to tell undecided senators that passing same-sex marriage “is not in keeping with the will of their people,” it was clear the church had been outmaneuvered by the highly organized same-sex marriage coalition, with its sprawling field team and, especially, its Wall Street donors. 

“In many ways,” acknowledged Dennis Poust, of the New York State Catholic Conference, “we were outgunned. That is a lot to overcome.”

Rumor has it that the bishop limited himself to lobbying for protective language in the bill to shield religious institutions from prosecution if they refuse to conduct gay marriages. How much more humiliation can we take? How much more craven and cowardly can these bishops become? Rather than begging for crumbs from the table of Caesar, Archbishop Dolan and the New York Church should have positively welcomed the chance for martyrdom. He should have thrown defiance at these dogs and dared them to do their worst. Let them confiscate St. Patrick's Cathedral and turn it into a gay re-education center. Let them abolish the Catholic schools. Let them throw our bishops into prison. We can get other bishops. We can build other Cathedrals when we win back this state. Let them persecute us for His name's sake. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. Better to go back into the catacombs than compromise with evil. Better to lose life and lucre than make common cause with Babylon and continue to die this slow, lingering lukewarm death. Better to die than deny the Faith.

Now that it is all done, writs of excommunication should be issuing forth from chanceries all over the state. This bill could not have passed without the votes of many, many Catholics, including that of Governor Andrew Cuomo. However, the bishops will do nothing. If they don't excommunicate people like Cuomo for advancing policies that kill unborn children, they're not going to do anything about a mere gay marriage vote. Most of the bishops are cowards at best, and deep cover enemies of the Church at worst. However, the Holy Spirit changes hearts, so let us pray that He revives the souls of the whited sepulchers in mitres, who have done so much damage to the Faith, by acts of both omission and commission.