Blog Post

NY Parish Returns Check from Lawmaker who Voted for Same-Sex Marriage

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist The fallout continued for Catholic lawmakers who voted for New York's same-sex marriage bill when a Brooklyn parish returned a $50 check from a legislator who voted in favor of the controversial law. The Brooklyn Paper is reporting that a $50 award granted to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish school in Brooklyn by Assemblyman Joe Lentol was returned. Along with the check was a copy of a statement by Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio banning all parishes in his diocese from accepting awards from any lawmaker who voted for the Marriage Equality Act. “I’m disappointed,” said Lentol, a Catholic who voted for the bill, and who often attends Mass at the parish. “They’ve always accepted my checks.” But not anymore. Pastor Joseph P. Calise made it quite clear that he was following the bishop's orders, which were issued the day after the law was passed. Because of the role these lawmakers played in destroying "the single most important institution in human history," Bishop DiMarzio has forbidden any of them to honor students or appear at any Catholic school or parish in his diocese. The ban, which is in effect for the “foreseeable future,” has upset many Catholic lawmakers who are quick to point out how hard they fought for the religious exemptions that were included in the bill. “We would never force a Catholic priest to marry anyone they do not approve of,” said state Sen. Diane Savino (D–Bensonhurst). Parishioners who spoke to The Brooklyn Paper were entirely supportive of their bishop. “Inviting people that voted for [same-sex marriage] into schools is not appropriate,” said Lorenzo Regalado, a parishioner at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James in Downtown Brooklyn, and an opponent of the new law. Charles Greene agreed. “I wish more bishops would take steps like that,” he said. However, the Archdiocese of New York has said that sanctions such as the above do not include refusing communion to Governor Cuomo or other Catholic politicians who supported the law. Msgr. Kieran Harrington, Vicar for Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn, told LifeSiteNews that “there are no plans to deny Holy Communion to elected officials at this point.” © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace® Photo is of Msgr. Calise