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!


Fr. John said...

You make some good points. I agree with you on a lot--especially about excommunicating the politicians. However, having looked over your blog posts, I have to say that it is 100% negative about the Catholic Church. Every church you go to (church shopping) you find something heretical or something that pisses you off. No place is perfect.

The feeling that I get is that you are happier to be miserable. You get a feeling of superiority when a priest messes up or does something that you feel isn't orthodox. You're merciless with priests and bishops. Does the Lord feel exactly as you do?

This is what I don't like about blogs. Yes, they give people a voice who otherwise would not have one (no one really cares what we say anyway), and sometimes a blog will really help enlighten people and spark interest. But most of the time, and certainly in the case of this blog, they give vent to the vomit of people's minds, and blogs become places where people vent their worst feelings about others. In short, they are extremely negative most of the time. They do nothing to advance the Kingdom, and thay are just one step above the comments you find on YouTube.

Just so that you know, I am a traditional priest who says both the Novus Ordo and the Extraordinary Form. And yes, many of the left-overs from the 60's and 70's are difficult to deal with. But for your own sake, you need to take a deep breath, clean your glasses, whatever, and STOP BEING SO JUDGMENTAL. Its not helping your soul and its certainly not bringing you any peace.
And besides, no one is listening.

Staten Pilgrim said...

Father: When a man has cancer, he and his doctors don't sit around congratulating themselves on the fact that the patient has good eyesight. It is right and natural to focus on what is killing the body. The Church is in crisis, yet some Polyannas, constitutionally averse to confronting unpleasantness, want to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that all is ok. "What crisis?" they ask, as churches and Catholic schools are closed by the thousands. "What crisis?" they ask, as mass defections of Catholics leave remaining churches practically empty. "What crisis?", they ask, as the vast majority of professing Catholics exhibit almost complete ignorance of their Faith and proclaim open dissent from infallible Church teachings. Yet, the only thing they can focus on is the unforgivable sin of "negativity". Yes, there is good going on in the Church, but for those who love the Church, it is necessary to focus on the cancer that will kill the good if it is allowed to spread.

I'm not negative about the Catholic Church. I'm negative about those who are running it into the ground, perverting the Faith and damning millions of souls in the process. I'm simply pointing out what is happening here in the trenches, on the local, parish level. Do you really think I speak only for myself? Do you think my observations are invalid? People want to believe that everything is wonderful and that priests are doing a great job? Fine, don't believe me. But why aren't your eyes opened as you witness the multitudes voting with their feet, right out the doors of the Church?

You discount and misrepresent my criticism as being picayune and obsessed with "perfection". I would jump at attending a merely imperfect church. I understand that no church and no man is perfect, but that doesn't mean we're supposed to_celebrate_the substandard, the heretical, the unqualified, the ignorant, the lazy and the apathetic in men who are supposed to be the shepherds of souls. Since the situation keeps getting worse and worse, it is manifestly obvious that so many priests go through their careers with no accountability to anyone, as their words and actions seem to evince a disconnect from reality, common sense, and human feedback. Well, I'm providing a little feedback and accountability here, hoping it will do more good than the blind, subservient approval they've been getting up till now.

You claim concern for_my_soul and criticize my blog for "not advancing the Kingdom". Excuse me? Are you as critical of those people in the pulpits who really are harming souls and hindering the Kingdom?

I am certainly not happy being miserable. Your amateur psychoanalysis is insulting. It doesn't make me happy to see the Church in such a state. You claim I'm merciless and ask if the Lord feels exactly as you do? I can't speak for the Lord but I can't imagine He's too happy with men who misuse their positions of authority, who disobey the laws of the Church, who promote indifferentism, who are spiritually lazy, who do not strive to improve their human abilities and spiritual fortitude in order to better lead and evangelize. James 3:1 says that the pastors will merit a stricter judgment.

Things are bad out there. Facing the problem does require dealing with negativity. Sorry if handle it, but problems don't get solved by ignoring them.

Fr. John said...

I won't get into a war of words with you. But look at what I said. I agree with a lot of what you say--but every single one of your posts--every one--is angry.
May I suggest a great blog to you. WDTPRS. Have you heard of it? With Fr. Z? Believe me, he's very intelligent, and he sees everything that you see. But even he sees good things going on in the Church. In fact, he even periodically has people write in with their good news about the Church. Any media source must have at least some positive attributes in order for it to be effective.

Yours has none. I think you will find that if you adjust your view just a bit, and look for something positive in your priests (or pick a bishop you like and write about him), you will instantly get more people following your blog. As of now, your blog accomplishes absolutely nothing, and reaches no one.

It doesn't even take an amateur psychologist to see that your are very bitter and angry. I suggest, as a rank amateur, that you do something about it. Perhaps get a hobby. Believe it or not, if you prayed for priests and bishops as much as you judge them (anonymously, I might add) perhaps they might be inspired to the high standards of holiness that you hold them up to. The blogging thing, especially the smaller ones, don't do anything to help or change the Church. They just serve to put your anger in writing.

That's the last you'll hear from me on this. Pray about this. I'm certainly praying for you.

Staten Pilgrim said...

Ok- my archbishop tolerates gay parishes, closes churches and Catholic schools, and did absolutely zero to oppose gay marriage. I've only heard one or two decent sermons in church over the past 20 years. I am assaulted with offensive music and general impiety whenever I go to Mass, when I am lucky enough not to hear open heresy. I see mass rebellion of Catholics who either leave the church altogether or openly dissent from basic Catholic moral teaching. Do all the drug addict teens and broken Catholic families we see around us on SI have_nothing_to do with the utterly weak and impotent leadership from our parish priests? But you suggest I skip around singing Happy Happy Joy Joy.

You seem to be an acolyte of modern psychology and of the positive thinking fad, as originated with Mary Baker Eddy, and developed by Norman Vincent Peale and modern Pentecostal Word Faith healers. You seem to see something harmful or dangerous in allowing "negative" thoughts to enter one's mind. This is a erroneous New Age conception. I'm a generally happy person, but yes, I am bitter and angry about what is happening to the Church, which seems to me what any orthodox Catholic_should_be feeling. Anger can be righteous, you know. St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out that the absence of anger in the face of vice is a sign of sinful insensibility. Goodness, I can only imagine what you would say to a St. Jerome, or to Jesus after He overturned the money changers' tables.

I can also only imagine what your own church must be like if you think I'm holding priests up to some unreasonably high standard. I'm only asking them to do their jobs and be worthy of the trust they have been given. Is it really so much to ask a priest to show some enthusiasm about the Faith, show some moral courage, and give a coherent sermon? In other words, at least try to lead, inspire and teach.

I like Fr. Z's blog. He has a different focus than I do. He writes a lot about what he eats for dinner, and about the colors of liturgical vestments, in addition to more serious topics. If that floats your boat, I'm glad. Thanks for visiting and feel free to come back and comment again.

Anonymous said...

Don't let anonymous priests tell you how you should think or when you should bend over!
The freaking Prot reformation was about using your conscience ( well informed of course ) If you know what is real and righteous - stand by it - God stands by you! -
Let the sheep shaggers travel to their end of the pasture and let the righteous of God remain righteous!

Staten Pilgrim said...

I love and respect our priests, Anonymous. I don't like your offensive comments about priests, but I don't censor here.

Julie said...

Staten Pilgrim
Bravo, your responses were excellent. What a talent you have for writing. I'm enjoying & learning so much from your writing. I found your site through google, as I too was curious about Michael Voris & his backround. I had to comment after reading this as I can't understand why the church does nothing when we have spokesperson's like Pelosi, Como, Biden & too many to mention, making a mockery of our Church. I look forward to reading more of your writings.

Staten Pilgrim said...

Thanks for the kind words, Julie. Please let others know about the blog and join the discussion!

Joe R Newport, MI said...

Staten Island Catholic, I admire you for holding to the issues while an alleged priest avoids the issues and engages in a series of personal attacks on yourself and unnamed others with whom he disagrees. "Vomit of peoples minds," really! Is it possible to be a Catholic priest and not a Christian? I suspect Fr. John is an imposter. Incidentally, I googled "sin of negativity" and found your website. Did Jeramiah commit the manmade sin of negativity when he said, "Woe to the shepherds?"