Banned in Brooklyn: parish returns check from pol who backs gay marriage

From the In My Backyard Desk …

Following Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s hard line on politicians who voted for gay marriage, there’s now word that some parishes are not accepting cash gifts from those same politicians:

DiMarzio … demanded “all pastors and principals to not invite any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration.”

The ban was for the “foreseeable future,” and is already having an impact.

Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Williamsburg) told us the $50 check he sent for a student at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s parish school on Withers Street in Williamsburg was returned — along with a copy of the bishop’s statement.

“I’m disappointed,” said Lentol, a Catholic who voted for the bill, and often attends services at the church. “They’ve always accepted my checks.”

Mt. Carmel’s pastor, Joseph Calise, said he was following orders from DiMarzio.

“It couldn’t be done in Joe’s name,” Calise said of the annual award from Lentol. Calise added that a parishioner provided a matching award.

Lawmakers in the bishop’s dog house bristled at his hard stance.

They pointed to the exception in the law, secured by Republican leaders in exchange for their vote, that exempts religious institutions from accepting same-sex marriage.

“We would never force a Catholic priest to marry anyone they do not approve of,” said state Sen. Diane Savino (D–Bensonhurst).

And anger from the church shouldn’t stop Borough President Markowitz from following through on his plan to open Borough Hall for a slew of gay nuptials on July 25, the first day they’re legal.

“Whatever your convictions, love is love,” Markowitz said.

In an indication of how the ban will be enforced, Calise said state lawmakers were still welcome to attend regular church services and special events, such as Mt. Carmel’s beloved Feast of the Giglio.

“We wouldn’t stop them from coming” to pray, he said.

Read more.

Comments

  1. This is very sad. We must all pray.

  2. Barbara Peters says:

    I do not see the point in rejecting money that was meant for a child. If current Church policy is that no money will be accepted from sinners, then the collection baskets will be empty. Next time I attend Mass in Brooklyn, I will use my donation money to buy food for a homeless person.

  3. momor says:

    “Lawmakers in the bishop’s dog house bristled at his hard stance.”

    GOOD!!! He got their attention. I’m sure the politicians can’t believe money isn’t going to buy whatever they want, including respectability.

  4. yes, you cannot sell your soul for a mess of porridge; we must stand on our principle and our convictions. those whofail to exercise good moral judgement cannot expect to dig themselves out of the hole with money.

  5. ron chandonia says:

    The comments at the link make it sound as if your bishop had excommunicated these rancid pols and warned their families to make alternate plans for their funerals. Since it is evidently hatred for God and for morality which motivates these comments rather than the very mild edict from the bishop, he (and the rest of NY’s bishops) might as well have done what needed doing.

  6. PR DCN says:

    Bravo Msgr Calise, if more Catholics upheld the faith things in November would be different!!!

  7. RomCath says:

    “If current Church policy is that no money will be accepted from sinners, then the collection baskets will be empty.”

    Barbara, we are all sinners. We don’t need money from public sinners who give scandal by voting for immorality. The money in question was matched by someone else. So please spare us the bleeding heart and keep your two bucks when you go to church in Brooklyn.

  8. Praequestus says:

    “In an indication of how the ban will be enforced, Calise said state lawmakers were still welcome to attend regular church services and special events, such as Mt. Carmel’s beloved Feast of the Giglio.”

    How long before Dr. Peters starts string citing Cannon Law provisions to argue a contrary position?

    In all seriousness, the (over) reaction(s) of some Bishops does noting more than reinforce the worst stereotypes left over from John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign: Don’t vote for Catholic candidates for political office, they take their orders from the Catholic Hierarchy without regard to or respect for their non-Catholic constituents.

  9. momor says:

    “Don’t vote for Catholic candidates for political office, they take their orders from the Catholic Hierarchy without regard to or respect for their non-Catholic constituents.”

    Every politician votes without regard to some of his/her constituents since all do not agree with their elected representatives. If a person puts themselves out there as a Catholic with Catholic values while campaigning and gets elected then they are in fact doing their job if they vote according to the values they campaigned on. If they don’t follow the teachings of the Church then they have no business trading on their Catholicism and should keep it quiet so as not to mislead anyone.

    As far as internal Church discipline of politicans goes, it’s no one’s business if they are outside the membership of the Church. No one in the Church is calling for a recall and interfering with a duly elected official.

  10. Barbara Peters says:

    Who among us is not a “public” sinner? But I am grateful that I have a bleeding heart and not one that is hard. I can understand that people are angry and/or unsettled about this vote, but rejecting this act of charity made for the purpose of benefitting a child does nothing to advance the Church’s position on the marriage issue.

  11. RomCath says:

    We are not all public sinners. We do not all give scandal to others so Barbara please speak for yourself. This politician gave scandal by his vote. This act of charity was a political move to garner favor in light of what he had done. If not why did he go on local TV tonight? Who cares about his fifty dollars? Big deal. Too bad you are not as concerned as upholding the Catholic faith as you are about this ploy.

  12. Barbara Peters says:

    RomCath: Can you please describe for me a sin that does not cause scandal? And unless we are sitting alone somewhere with no one else around, aren’t our sins public? And since sin is an act that separates us from God, why is a public sin worse than a privte sin? And finally, fifty dollars means alot to me – it would pay for me to get to work for a week and allow me two small lunches.

  13. Manny says:

    I applaud it. Actually it’s not enough, but it’s a start. These “Catholic” politicians need to be defeated. Something must be done about Andrew Cuomo’s flouting of the Church and her laws.

  14. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    Same here Manny. Kudos to the person sending the cheque back WITH the Bishop’s statement. That’s playing hardball and getting our TRUE Catholic faith back “brick by brick.”

  15. Wendy says:

    Barbara,

    Politicians are public figures, so when they publicly make declarations against the church’s teaching AND state that it is their Catholic faith that brought them to this decision, they are misleading the general public about the Catholic Faith. So in essence they commit a sin and then lead others, perhaps Catholics who become confused about their faith, to commit sin as well. In our society this takes root in the media and society as misinformation spreads. It is for this reason that public figures are held to a higher standard in regard to the things that they make public. It is also for this reason that you are wrong when you say all sins are public. Though your sins may be known to some it is not on the scale of a politician.

    I am pleased with the bishop’s decision, not because I believe that the politicians need to be punished, but instead because the Church has to establish that the politicians were in error and they were not following Catholic teaching. By not doing so, the Church would allow itself to be redefined by certain Catholic’s standards. That would be a scandal. As for returning the money, you almost have to ask, how much is your soul and the soul’s of others worth?

    Wendy

  16. RomCath says:

    “Can you please describe for me a sin that does not cause scandal? And unless we are sitting alone somewhere with no one else around, aren’t our sins public? And since sin is an act that separates us from God, why is a public sin worse than a privte sin?”

    Barbara, I am hoping you were not serious in this response. Not all sin causes scandal. Do you even know what scandal is? The Lord spoke about leading others astray–better to have a millstone around one’s neck than commit scandal. Public sin is worse because it can lead others into sin or they can be lead into thinking what is wrong is now right.
    You focus on the 50 dollar act of charity. You think that makes up for voting to redefine marriage? Why is that 50 dollars more an act of charity than Bishop Demarzio’s pointing out to a policitician that he was morally wrong to vote for same-sex marriage? I would say the Bishop did what a Bishop should do.

  17. Rudy says:

    Good for the bishop, hurrah.

  18. Barbara Peters says:

    I believe the Lord’s millstone comment had to do with leading children astray and had nothing to do with “scandal” or “public sin.” Why do you think that people who sin and are hypocritical in their own lives in front of family, friends neighbors and even strangers do not lead people “astray?” St. Francis said, “Preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words.” All Catholics are supposed to live as witnesses to the Gospel. I have no quarrel with a Bishop teaching the Gospel – in fact I believe that is exactly what a Bishop should be doing. However, I think that rejecting an act of charity does nothing to teach or lead on this issue. I think what is needed is pastoral outreach not punishment. I think tihs kind of edict just leads more people away from the Church and drowns out the Lord’s message. Why do you think Jesus went to the homes of sinners and ate with them there? If the Bishop doesnt want to give these politicians any awards, that is his perogative, but nothing you have said changes by mind that rejecting an act of charity is not leadership on this issue. My focus is not on a dollar amount – my focus is on the act of charity. Only God can judge what any act is worth.

  19. Mike says:

    That’s playing hardball and getting our TRUE Catholic faith back “brick by brick.”

    There’s nothing True, Catholic, decent, or Christian in any of the bishop’s responses to this legislation. The Catholic Church is demonstrating that it has nothing to do with God save rejecting Him.

  20. Mike L says:

    Is the ban just on Catholic politicians giving donations or is it a ban on all politicians that voted for the the law? And since, in effect, the state now backs the law, are we going to return all state moneys that go to the Catholic Church for charities?

    I think returning the millions that various Catholic charities receive from the state would do much more than what I see as a public relations ploy over $50.

    Mike L

  21. RomCath says:

    Barbara, perhaps you might reread paragraphs 2284-2287 of the Catholic Catechism. It seems you don’t quite get what it is.

    2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”86 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.87

    Jesus was not literally speaking simply of children.

  22. RomCath says:

    Para 2286 speaks specifically of legislators such as those who voted for same sex marriage. The Bishop was correct in admonishing them.

    2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

    Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to “social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible.”88 This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,89 or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

  23. Peter says:

    Why stop at gay marriage supporters. Why not ban legislators who support the death penalty?

  24. Steve P says:

    @Peter– because the death penalty is not definitively a moral evil. Yes, it has been suggested by JPII that most modern states should have no need of the death penalty for the sake of the security of innocent citizens, but the death penalty is not in and of itself morally wrong. It can be justified in certain circumstances. (similar to “just war”) Now, unjust war, torture, abortion, etc. Those ought to be held up as well if they are to be consistent. Which would of course have a number of other politicians in line for correction.

    @Barbara– part of persistent “public sin” is that there is no recognition that what I’m doing is wrong, and no intent to amend my life. Are we all sinners? Absolutely! But I don’t try to convince others that my sin is acceptable and right and good, and that it ought to be praised, recognized or validated.

    It’s an important step to stand on principle, and a painful one to apply consistently. We’ll see if other parishes and Church leaders have the courage to follow through on it.

  25. RomCath says:

    Before making comments such as Peter #23 above, it would really be helpful to know what the Church says on certain issues. The Catholic Catechism is a good place to start:

    Paragraph 2267 –Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

    If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

    Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”68

  26. Peter says:

    The modern Pharisees are out in force. Leave rationality at the door and simply quote Church teaching by rote. What a lifeless and unloving faith you advocate. I know full well what the Church teaching on the death penalty and gay marriage is. That’s why I posed the question. The legalistic responses from RomCath and Steve P illustrate how the Church’s lack of true pastoral leadership is strangling the faithfull. I see clearly the hypocrisy in choosing to emphasize opposition to gay marriage over opposition to the death penalty. Yet the Bishop will welcome the support of those death penalty supporters. The Church’s tendency to focus primarily on issues of sexuality is peculiar at best, and suggestive of more deeply rooted problems within the Church’s leadership at worst.

  27. MhariDubh says:

    Are they going to video tape the collection on Sundays? Those horrible people may put cash in the basket. Or – oh no! they may give the money to others to write the check. If the schoolkids have any fundraisers and hit up their local “public sinner” does the school 1. not count the sale toward any rewards, and 2. give the money back? Also, will the church retroactively give back any money given to it by mobsters and other criminals (who have maybe committed murder)?

    I realize I’m being sarcastic and hyperbolic but, yet again, I just don’t feel Catholic enough.

  28. RomCath says:

    “I see clearly the hypocrisy in choosing to emphasize opposition to gay marriage over opposition to the death penalty.”

    Peter I am glad you see it. I don’t. Comparing gay marriage to the death penalty is apples and oranges. One is always wrong, one isn’t. Obviously you pick and choose what to follow in the Cathechism. Maybe you should remove the plank in your eye before calling people Pharisees.
    I rather think it is society that focuses on and is preoccupied with the sexual not the Church. What the Church teaches about sexuality is the beauty of a God-given gift to be expressed in a marriage of man and woman who are married to each other. If that sounds peculiar to you I’d say the deeply rooted problem isn’t with the Church.
    If you know full well what the Church teaches on these matters then why did you pose the question in the first place? Are these teachings to be followed or not or do you support same sex marriage contrary to what the Church teaches?

  29. pagansister says:

    So it was deemed not necessary to help a child with that $50? It was sent for a student, and now I guess that student won’t have something he/she needs due to the politician’s vote? Wow. Guess children take 2nd place when it comes to the “Churche’s” stance on an issue”. It could have been anonymous donation.

  30. RomCath says:

    Pagan, your concern for this child is heartwarming but the gift was made up by someone who was perhaps more concerned than this politician about teaching Catholic morality.

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