Some Catholics slam DiMarzio over same-sex marriage stance

The Brooklyn Paper
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The majority of Catholic churchgoers in Brooklyn we spoke to disagree with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s edict to ban politicians who voted for same-sex marriage from making official appearances at church events and to decline donations from any politician who approves of gay marriage.

The borough’s top Catholic grabbed headlines last week when he made the proclamation following the state legislature’s historic vote to allow same-sex couples to marry.

But not all members of his flock agree with the bishop stance that the law is a “nail in the coffin” of traditional marriage that would destroy “the single most important institution in human history.”

“I take what I need from my religion and ignore what I don’t agree with,” said Carroll Gardens resident Amy Cacciola, who attends mass at Sacred Hearts & St. Stephen Church on Summit Street at Carroll Street. “He’s a bit out of touch.”

Other critics said DiMarzio should not have thrust the church into the center of a debate that engulfed lawmakers — and captivated the public- for much of last month.

“I don’t think that the [bishop] should be saying these things,” said Humberto Chavez, a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sunset Park. “I don’t think the church should be involved in politics.”

DiMarzio announced his edict two days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill legalizing same-sex marriage. It advised parishes and schools to refuse any awards or honors from state officials who supported the measure, and barred them from appearing at special events such as graduations, though not from attending religious services.

Shortly after his proclamation was released, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s parish school in Williamsburg returned a $50 scholarship check from Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Williamsbu­rg), a gay nups supporter.

The controversial position also sparked an outcry from marriage equality advocates, many of whom are planning a celebration at Borough Hall on July 25, the day gay couples can wed.

But it did win praise from some rank-and-file Catholics.

“The bishop has to take a stand for what we believe in,” said Bob Amling, after leaving Sunday mass at the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church in Marine Park.

Maureen Cantone, of Carroll Gardens, said DiMarzio’s response was “perfect.”

“I’m proud of him,” Cantone said, who also goes to Sacred Hearts. “I hope every single donation [pro-gay marriage pols] give to the church is thrown out.”

Still, some thought the bishop’s decision could hit the church in its pocketbook.

“My church is losing money,” Sheila Pisciotta, who attends mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. “He’s losing out.”

— with Dan MacLeod and Haru Coryne

Updated 5:25 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Bay Ridge says:
"Man does not live by bread alone..." nor money. Contrary to the popular belief of athiests and their fellow travelers, the church isn't a for-profit business; if it was, it would be rolling in money just by making abortion, divorce, euthinasia, gay marriages, etc. sacraments and charging for their services.

Better yet, if we could collect a special tax that applied only to "cafeteria" Catholics, we could wipe out the national debt overnight.
July 13, 2011, 10 am
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
The hypocrisy of the old men who run the Catholic Church is boundless. The gays are easy to blame for everything- right? Oh, but that doesn't mean we hate them - no!

Somehow the adulterers and divorcees get a pass. Oh, and women, they should be barefoot and pregnant.

And btw, there are mainstream Christian religions that read the SAME Bible as the Catholics and Fundamentalists and, SURPRISE, their understanding of what the Bible says bout homosexuality is quite different. Some would say more Christ-like.

After all wasn't the message we were left with was to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, shelter those who are unsheltered... LOVE one another???

Something has gone terribly wrong in the seminaries, rectories and basilicas.
July 13, 2011, 2:03 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I thank all of the Catholics who have called out Dimarzio on this. It shows that not everyone agrees with him. Doesn't this bishop have better things he can do such as feeding the starving children in Africa or Latin America? I don't see why approving same sex marriage is the end of the world for him. If they try to do a rally in Albany to ban same sex marriage, I say rally back and call for a tax on any religious institution that is acting on this. If they want to be political, then start paying taxes like the rest of us do.
July 13, 2011, 4:05 pm
"Not Mike" from Bay Ridge says:
Who's Mike calling "Cafeteria Catholics"? He should use a more accurate term, "Majority of Catholics" do describe those about whom he pretends to be so upset on the Marriage Equality front.

Let's get to Mike's niftiest sleight of hand, "Contrary to the popular belief of athiests [sic] and their fellow travelers, the church isn't a for-profit business..." Technically, maybe it's not, although since no real accounting is EVER done by “The Church”; who really can say? Real Catholics need to learn about the real Catholic Church finances --- a good start is reading Jason Berry's "Render Unto Rome -- The Secret Life of Money in The Catholic Church", Crown Publishers, New York, 2011. Mr. Berry is a stallwart Catholic whose prior works were seminal in exposing the Catholic Church's pedophile scandal here in the United States.

Back to the issue at hand. There was a corrupt financial motivation behind the lobbying, not a moral one. The reality is that the "Church's fight" in Albany wasn't about stopping passage of the Marriage Equality Act; passage of that bill was a fait accompli. Bishop DiMarzio and his amen corner's real fight was about making sure that the government money taps kept flowing into the Church's "secular" social programs, if the Church were to refuse to perform gay marriages in the face of the newly announced public policy in the State of New York.

If you don't believe that, just look at the fruits of DiMarzio's and his allies' labours. A Gay Marriage Bill that might have been stopped by keeping it off the NY State Senate floor for a final vote was allowed to go forward because it had "the necessary protective language". In other words –"As long as gay marriages aren't actually performed in Catholic Churches and New York State keeps the funding going to the Catholic Bishops' pet programs, then anybody who wants can be free marry to their heart's content." Everything else was "Bishop DeMarzio's Dog and Pony Show" with State Senator Golden as comic ring master and Mike Long’s Orchestra playing Khachaturian’s "Sabre Dance" in the background.
July 13, 2011, 8:34 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Some Catholics slam DiMarzio

And Some people can't tell the differnce between the Catholic Church and American Idol
July 16, 2011, 9:03 am
Some other people from here and there says:
Recently, Joseph Amodeo, a Catholic Researcher, recounted in the Huffpost Religion, that retired Brooklyn Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Sullivan of Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights had written about LGBT Catholics that, “Catholic teachings compel us to work toward the elimination of unjust structures and to treat people with dignity, regardless of their state in life or their beliefs. My own understanding of this community has also evolved over the course of four decades of ministry.” Bishop Sullivan goes further saying that LGBT Catholics, “are not rebels in their churches, but people who have taken spiritual messages of inclusiveness and welcoming to heart.” According to Amodeo, “By staying in the Church and living our lives, we are expressing our belief in the inclusive message of Christ; we are choosing to ask, seek and knock with the hope that one day "the door will be opened" (Luke 11:10)
Joseph Amodeo: Gay in the Pew: LGBT Catholics and Church Teaching
[All of Bishop Sullivan’s are from a guest editorial in the Buffalo News see his comments and the very positive response to them at: ]
July 16, 2011, 10:02 am
"Or Else" from Yellow Hook says:
In praise of an American Idol......

Has Jerry Kassar, Brooklyn Chairman of the Conservative Party, Chief of Staff for “Republican” State Senator Martin Golden, and regular columnist for another couple of community newspapers in Brooklyn added being spokesperson for Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio to his portfolio of titles and offices? That certainly seems possible after reading part of Kassar’s comments in his column this week called “Common Sense: Shame On You” in another local paper.

According to Kassar, “The Diocese of Brooklyn and its leader Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio are sticking to their guns when it comes to disapproval of New York's same sex marriage law” and they are doing it in the name of “almost a million Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens...” Of course what Kassar and DiMarzio and Kassar’s bosses, State Conservative Chairman Mike Long and State Senator Martin Golden, want to slip-by unnoticed is that more than half of those “million Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens” ignored the ministrations of Dimarzio, Long, Golden, Kassar and other social conservative voices. Most Catholics in Brooklyn expressed support for
“Marriage Equality”, which is now the law and policy of the state of New York.

Kassar is right when he observes that Bishop DiMarzio’s continued attacks on supporters of the new law have been "receiving a growing amount of media coverage both in New York State and around the nation.” What Kassar describes as “DiMarzio's principled stand” is widely viewed as churlish, petulant, vindictive and thuggish. Iin every precinct but Kassar’s narrow social conservative base the bishop’s stand is not viewed in the positive light suggested by Kassar. As the article above in this edition of "The Brooklyn Paper" points out, even church-going Catholics openly slammed their bishop's position on this POLITICAL ISSUE.

The most disturbing and problematic part of Kassar’s piece is his closing declaration that, “The bottom line is that Cuomo and the legislature desire peace with the Catholic Church [but] Bishop DiMarzio has put them on notice that this will not be the case.” If the Brooklyn Diocese were its own city-state and Kassar did indeed speak for his prince-potentate, Nicholas DiMarzio, Kassar's peroration would be akin to a declaration of war?
July 16, 2011, 9:02 pm
Love the Fair & Balanced reporting from Brooklyn heights says:

How can this article begin:“The majority of Catholic churchgoers in Brooklyn we spoke to disagree with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s edict to ban politicians” When in the same article 3 of the 6 quoted do agree? Seems to me 3 out of 6 is NOT a majority.

How does one woman quoted here responding that she doesn’t agree the Bishop’s stand justify “But not all members of his FLOCK agree with the bishop stance that the law is a “nail in the coffin” of traditional marriage’? She clearly is not a member of HIS flock and is not representing anything or anyone but herself since she holds her own esteem above 2000 years of Catholic teaching and the Bible.

How does one guy here response concerning the involvement of the Bishop in this matter as ‘politics’ relate to “Other critics said DiMarzio should not have thrust the church into the center of a debate … This is not political. This is not a civil liberties issue. The Bishop is involved in this because of truth, faith and freedom of religion. Already, 2 Catholic foster agencies contracts are not being renewed because of this law. How is freedom of religion upheld by that? Will the religious right of baptized children NOT to be placed in same sex union homes be upheld in the state run agencies?

“The controversial position also sparked an outcry from marriage equality advocates, many of whom are planning a celebration at Borough Hall on July 25, the day gay couples can wed.” What does their hedonistic hootenanny have to do with the Catholic Church? And, wouldn’t it be true to say the ‘gay community’ whom are planning…rather than ‘marriage equality advocates?

Thanks for the dismissive and diminishing ‘rank and file’ description of the responders supporting the Bishop. And, the “some thought the bishop’s decision could hit the church in its pocketbook.” is just plain funny! If he wasn’t doing this, wouldn't he be accused of the hypocrisy of gladly accepting money from those he criticizes?

He could have been much harsher in his censure. He could refuse Holy Communion. Don’t really know if his choice is right or wrong. Do know that I’m very glad and proud he’s putting our money where our mouth is. Glad he’s willing to stand in opposition to this awful law. The rights of same sex partners could have been upheld through means other than untruthfully redefining marriage. Am hoping and praying he, all Catholics, all Christians, all people of faith and truth work hard to demand this illogical and unsubstantiated law goes to the people of New York to vote on.
July 18, 2011, 8:52 pm
Poor Little Sheep Who Have Gone Astray from Brooklyn says:
Bishop DiMarzio’s “The Sorry Politics of Albany”, posted categorically as “Put Out Into the Deep” on 13 July 2011 in The Tablet, cannot be taken seriously. It’s a joke, right?

It’s not like something Larry David might write; something more like Bob Hope, with a sly glint in his eye, waiting for the audience to get it.

“The [only] Sorry Politics in Albany” in this sad affair was that of Bishop DiMarzio and the rest of his out-maneuvered and overwhelmed allies. Where were the rest of the DiMarzio’s political allies of the recent past? Oh, that’s right, they were mostly voting against him.
July 18, 2011, 11:51 pm
You left out the Bishop's reasons for 'Sorry Politics in Albany" in his “Put Out Into the Deep” on 13 July 2011 in The Tablet: (How you got Bob Hope out of this is scary)

"First there was a LACK OF TRUE DEBATE on the momentous decision to redefine marriage in New York State. There were NO LEGISLATIVE HEARINGS and all sides of the issue were not presented to the legislators for their consideration. Secondly, the whole process was marked by BACK-ROOM POLITICS. Not that politics are always transparent, however, the closed-door political dealings, the THREATS and the promises which forced many legislators to vote against their own consciences is certainly not something worthy of our state. Thirdly, the clear INFLUENCE OF SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS that bought the process, at least as reported in the major news media, is truly disheartening. The large contributions of Wall St. hedge funds seems to have had a major effect on the voting patterns of our legislators. Fourthly, the fact the passage of this legislation TOOK PLACE ON THE LAST DAY of the legislative session, and truly at the 11th hour, before the Senate closed for recess is an example of the sorry state of affairs in New York State. THE DEBATE WAS CUT OFF, legislators were LOCKED IN THEIR CHAMBERS, and the general state of pressure and panic consumed the process."

Lack of true debate is against legislative rules, this was forced through on the last day. Locked in???? This is pathetic politics. It passed by only 2 votes swayed away from voting no (not against the Bishop). You call that 'overwhelmed allies'? This was RAILROADED through. 72 hours is the rule for representatives to digest the bill. Instead they were given 2 hours. This is unconstitutional according to legislative rules. All normal senate rules were suspended to force this agenda through. Many reps wanted to walk out. This CAN be brought before the people as an amendment if the congress votes twice to allow it. An amendment is coming.
July 19, 2011, 8:25 pm
Wiffenpoof to PLSWHGA Responder from Brooklyn says:
Of course Dimarzio's allies Dean Skelos, Marty Golden and the rest of the Republican-controlled State Senate could have stopped the vote or held it up to allow further debate, if a majority of their caucus really wanted to.... “Marriage Equality" opponent State Senator Reuben Diaz said as much, right before the bill passed.

I'm sure the Dimarzio "allies" PLSWHGA was referring to included those like a certain member of the Democratic Leadership who had been supported by the bishop, but who voted for Marriage Equality.

Speaking of locked rooms and lack of true debate, how might one compare the State Senate's openness in handling the "Marriage Equality" issue with the Church's openness in handling the clergy-sexual abuse problem? Particularly focus on the Church's successful efforts at bottling up child protective anti-pedophile legislation in the NY State Senate.
July 19, 2011, 11:24 pm
back @ W from brooklyn says:
Yes, the Republicans in are in trouble. A Republican controlled congress passed a non-republican agenda. The one Democrat voting no, Ruben Diaz did say that. How could that happen without the irregularities and bullying mentioned before. Thank you, Gov. Cuomo for leading an already corrupt state government to a higher level of ignominy.

2 Republicans did not vote in favor of the people they represent. Hopefully, they will when the amendment vote comes up. Or they will be out, at the start in the primaries.

To bring up the sexual abuse scandal within the church is just sad. And, doesn’t ‘count’ in any discussion of the politics of same sex unions since according to the John Jay study, the gender of the victim in the general public, females are the overwhelming majority. In the Churches case, the victims were overwhelmingly male. Also in that study, the amount of abuse is no more than in the general population. So, tragically, the Church’s success in ‘bottling it up’ seems to be equal to all areas of society. How did I know this would eventually come up? Signals the end of the discussion with you. Ignorance and bigotry cannot be reasoned with.
July 20, 2011, 6:33 am
"back@W" isn't Wiffenproof from Brooklyn says:

It's "the New York State Senate" not "congress"... and there won't be any "amendment vote" coming up, even in that body, much less in the NYS Assembly.

btw, the PLSWHGA/Wiffenpoof comparison of the NY State Senate Republicans' handling of the "Marriage Equality Act" in 2011 with their handling of the "New York State Child Protection Act" in 2009-2010 was quite apt. A demonstration of a direct connection or linkage on those two issues by Catholic Church lobbyists and the Church's controlled Republican State Senators was outlined in:

As for the so-called "John Jay Study/Report", it has been widely criticized from all sides in and around the U.S. Catholic Church-pedophile scandal. Also remember, the John Jay Study was commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Actually there were two studies conducted by John Jay CCJ that were commissioned by the USCCB; and the one now being talked about deals only with data from the disclosed incidents of child abuse. Because of the Church's historic reliance on secrecy in these matters, conclusions based on such data would necessarily be extremely suspect.

Hopefully, a New York State Senate now freed from overweening influence by Catholic Bishops and their surrogates will again take up a "New York State Child Protection Act" in the near future.
July 20, 2011, 11:22 pm
ignoring the propaganda from brooklyn says:
This law is not just a Catholic issue. Got in by 2 squeaky votes against the constituencies they represent. Voters that are probably not Catholic in majority. NEED to VOTE on this. Why are marriage redefiners so frightened of it and so very sure it will never happen?

This law is not just a Catholic issue, not even a solely religious opposition agenda. Anyone with clear vision understands that marriage brings forth the generations and same sex unions do not. Marriage requires the law protect and support the more vulnerable in the relationship, women and children. Same sex unions do not. Adding SSUs into the mix only clogs and clouds the already inefficient court system trying to do so.

Why aren’t the issues of women and children EVER considered in any discussions I’ve seen supporting SSUs as marriage.

SSUs could have been legally validated without the gay community’s unreasonable need to change and imitate (yes, imitate since SSUs do not physiologically complement each other physically and biologically WILL NEVER produce children w/o a third participant) 90% of the populations societal system of marriage.

Why does the overwhelming majority have to change to suit the underwhelming minority. Talk about 'overweening influence'.

But I'm sure this will only read as hate-filled bigotry to you and all others blinded by the 'overweening'.
July 21, 2011, 7:35 am
...Bah, Bah, Bah! from Brooklyn says:

You seem like a real "true believer", but wake up and smell the coffee, you're being diverted by the real villains, the real betrayers.

I'll use your words from your own question, "Why does the overwhelming majority have to change to suit the underwhelming minority"?

BECAUSE, there was no effective opposition to "Marriage Equality" on behalf of the majority in 2011. That bill could have been stopped in this senate session, but it wasn't. WHY? Lot's of key people didn't weigh in on this; including some very well known to those making the loudest complaints, and issuing hollow "Bulls" even now.

It's the "abortion vote" in the New York State legislature all over again. Layer upon layer of betrayal. Trust nobody! They're all bums.
July 21, 2011, 7:13 pm

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