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Category Archives: Howard J. Hubbard

Public Service Announcement: St Patrick’s Confirmation Date

Roman Catholic Confirmation

There has been a lot of confusion and questions in the community regarding the date and time of the Roman Catholic Confirmation ceremony to be held at St Patrick’s in Ravena. St Patrick’s have been less than open and sharing about details regarding the ceremonies and have refused to respond to inquiries about the even. Even parents whose children are being confirmed are a bit miffed about how pastor Scott vanDeveer, deacon Steven Young, and faith coordinator Christa Derosiers have handled the event and getting the information out.

Since we have been unable to get any information from St Patrick’s parish officials, we went both to the St Patrick’s website, where we found nothing but out-of-date information, and to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany website were we found nothing as well. For being such an important event, it seems incredibly hush-hush. Obviously we are more interested in getting the word out than the local Catholic Community or the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. It seems that the local Roman Catholic Church is really proud of their events. That being said, the RC confirmation will be at:

St Patrick Roman Catholic Church
Ravena, New York
Sunday, April 22, 2018
from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Bishop emeritus Howard Hubbard
will preside and confer the sacrament

We realize that the day and time appear to be a bit bizarre but we have confirmed those details and it’s really from 6-8:00 p.m.

There is an article about the entire affair at What’s Wrong With You People?!? St Patrick’s Ravena, which gives vent to some of the frustration of parents, friends and relatives of the young people to be confirmed. What more can we say?

Congratulations from All of Us at Smalbany!

 

Roman Catholic Church: Collection Envelopes Determine Good Standing!

We were recently contacted by a reader asking us for an opinion about the question of whether the Requirement of Registration in a Parish and an Affidavit of Good Standing is appropriate for fulfillment of the role of confirmation sponsor. That’s a compound question consisting of two separate questions:

  1. Is a requirement for parish registration appropriate?
  2. Is an Affidavit of Catholic in Good Standing in the parish in which one is registered appropriate?

The second question necessarily follows on the first question.

The Roman Catholic Parish of St Patrick in Ravena, NY, a parish in the territory of the Diocese of Albany, NY (Edward B. Scharfenberger, bishop) has scheduled their Confirmations for April, 2018, and just recently sponsor designates were informed that they were to provide certain certifications as to their “fitness” to fulfill the role of Confirmation sponsor. We have obtained statements from sponsor designates and a copy of the form to be signed by the sponsor designates. In general, the “contract” is rather primitive and a bit late, since it appears it should have been provided to the sponsor designate right at the start of the formation period and not 2 months before the Confirmation! In addition, it contains a number of silly requirements, one of which caught our eye:

“The sponsor agrees to provide:

+ The Church of St Patrick the name and address of the Parish and Pastor where they currently worship;

+ Further provide the Church of St Patrick with an Affidavit signed by their current pastor certifying they meet these requirements:

– At least 16 years old,

– Fully initiated into the Roman Catholic Faith through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.”

The grammar leaves a great deal to be desired and it’s unclear whether the certifying pastor has to be “at least 16 years old” and “fully initiated” or the sponsor. Another problem is that it is the “Church of St Patrick” while we have always thought of the Church as being the Church Jesus Christ, and the church as used in the Church of St Patrick would clearly indicate the building and not the community, the mystical body; properly stated, it should be the “Parish” of St Patrick for obvious reasons. But the document has other flaws.

It raises the question of What business does a pastor have certifying a sponsor’s age? That’s done by way of a secular birth certificate!

In addition, the current pastor must sign an affidavit confirming the sponsor’s age AND that the sponsor has received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation, all of which are clearly proved by the respective certificates issued by the conferring parish, not necessarily by the sponsor’s territorial pastor. So we had a closer look at what’s going on here because something stinks in Ravena, and the smoke of satan is probably coming from the Albany Diocesan Offices.

Those observations are merely a further confirmation of the turmoil and confusion that reigns supreme in the Roman Catholic Church today, and are clearly visible in the parishes.[1]

First, let’s look at what the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law, the collection of rules and regulations governing what and how things are done in the Roman Catholic Church, has to say about what a “parish” is — this is an important first step because most “practicing” Catholics don’t have a clue what a parish is.

The Code of Canon Law (sections abbreviated “C.”) defines “parish” in the following terms:

515 §1. A parish is a certain community of the Christian faithful stably constituted in a particular church, whose pastoral care is entrusted to a pastor (parochus) as its proper pastor (pastor) under the authority of the diocesan bishop. [our emphasis]

And c. 518 expressly defines the parish as “territorial,” meaning,

Can. 518 As a general rule a parish is to be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful of a certain territory. When it is expedient, however, personal parishes are to be established determined by reason of the rite, language, or nationality of the Christian faithful of some territory, or even for some other reason. [our emphasis]

Therefore, a parish is territorial. As such it embraces all the Catholics of a given region on a map. When a bishop formally erects a parish, he establishes its specific boundaries, and all Catholics residing within those limits are ipso facto (and de jure) members of that parish, whether or not they know it. Canon law does not require anyone living within the parish boundaries to take the additional step of registering at the parish. The very fact that a Catholic lives in the territory of a particular parish is enough to make him or her member of that parish. Canon law does not require formal registration in that parish to be a member of that particular parish. Question 1 is thus moot. A dead issue. No registration is required.

The fact that parishes are by definition territorial does not mean that it is illegal under Canon Law or wrong to require people to register; it may be useful to ask them to register in their parishes for administrative reasons, such as for example, census purposes or for surveys, or for demographic purposes.

In the American Catholic Church the parish registration system has been superimposed on top of Canon Law, but parish registration is not a part or provision of Canon Law. In fact, the parish registration system must never be used in such a way as to contradict Canon Law; if there is a conflict, Canon Law must take precedence. This includes the situation where a local bishop, called the local ordinary, or his staff makes up some “local” law or rule for the diocese; that local rule cannot replace Canon Law or contradict it. Period.

But the question posed is Confirmation Sponsors. On the question of parish registration as regards confirmation sponsors, The purpose of c. 892 and its requirements are merely to make clear that the sponsor of the confirmed person is to ensure that the confirmed behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the obligations inherent in this sacrament. That should be no problem in theory, but let’s move on.

In the Roman Catholic Church the requirements to be a Confirmation sponsor are the same as those for a Baptismal godparent. As regards the requirements for a person to fulfill the function of confirmation sponsor c. 893 refers back to c. 874 which lays down functions for fulfilling the function of a baptismal godparent, that is, the requirements for fulfilling the role of confirmation sponsor are the same as for a baptismal godparent. According to Roman Catholic Canon law, the requirements for both a Baptismal godparent and a Confirmation sponsor are:

Can.  874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;

2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;

3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;

4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

In other words, the person chosen by the candidate for confirmation or the candidate’s parents, or both, must be someone who takes his or her Catholic faith seriously enough that s/he may serve as a mentor for the person to be confirmed. In essence, the first requirement then, is the trust and confidence of the candidate and his/her parents that operate in determining the fitness of a person to be sponsor. To abrogate that authority or to demean the capability of the candidate or his/her parents to determine suitability in practical terms would be an affront.

The way records are kept.

Canon Law makes no statement, provision or requirement that the proposed sponsor be formally registered in a parish, nor does relevant Canon Law set forth any criteria or system for determining fitness in terms other than that the sponsor designate be a witness of Christ and a capable mentor. Nor does Canon Law lay down a protocol on how that s/he be examined for his/her fitness to be a confirmation sponsor, but merely states to the effect that the person takes his/her Catholic faith seriously and can be a mentor for the candidate.

Scott VanDerveer, pastor of St Patrick, Ravena.

Steven Matthews, pastor, St John Baptist, Greenville.

Since the Code of Canon Law nowhere mentions parish registration, and certainly does not state or even imply anywhere that a sponsor in sacramental Confirmation must be registered at a particular parish, such requirement is being made an obstacle is canonically illicit and unlawful. In other words, the territorial parish of St Patrick Roman Catholic Church, Ravena, NY (Scott VanDerveer, pastor) is wrong to require an Affidavit of Parish Registration and the Parish of St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Greenville, NY  (Steven Matthews, pastor) in Greenville is wrong to deny the sponsor designate a letter testifying to the fact that the sponsor designate is a member of the territorial parish of St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church. If the sponsor designate lives in the territory of St John the Baptist parish, that person, if Catholic is a member of that parish.

While the Code of Canon Law expressly indicates that a Confirmation sponsor must be a committed Catholic, it does not provide a hint of guidance how this is to supposed to be determined, much less proved. This raises the question whether the territorial parish of St John the Baptist RC in Greenville or the territorial parish of St Patrick RC in Ravena have in place a consistent and reliable system to decide who is a suitable sponsor, and how to document that assessment. For the criteria used to test the quality of Catholics, we have to turn to the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, and to the so-called Precepts. But those so-called Precepts do not possess the quality of law and are extremely difficult if not impossible to verify (the link below).

The Precepts are a classic example of unenforceable control but the gremlin gatekeepers, the so called “Faith Education” directors use them like swords, but without Church authority or common sense to understand them.

We have to ask: Do the concerned pastors know each of their flock by name and do they have intimate knowledge of what their parishioners’ lifestyle and characters are? Or can we better presume that the candidate and his or her parents are better able to make that assessment? Does the fact that someone appears every Sunday at liturgy make him or her good Catholic, and thus a better sponsor than one who does not? Or is the measure one of the magnanimity of financial contributions to the parish, or the fact that both time and treasure are determinants? Can the pastor even recognize the person by sight? Would those be applicable objective criteria to satisfy the requirement that the person takes his/her Catholic faith seriously and can be a mentor for the confirmation candidate?

Again, an example from the Cathedral Church of St Patrick (Charlotte, NC). Explicit statement that collection envelopes are used to document attendance.

Figuratively speaking, this problem can be restated in hypothetical terms as, “Is the use of collection envelopes the final arbiter of whether a person is a Catholic “in good standing” and competent to serve as a confirmation sponsor?” But that’s not even a hypothetical situation! Many parishes are using collection envelopes to decide whether or not a “practicing Catholic” is a “Catholic in good standing!”

The criterion for Catholic “in good standing”?

Here’s a depraved, reprehensible and embarrassing excerpt from the BAPTISM AND/OR CONFIRMATION SPONSOR GUIDELINES of the Cathedral Church of Saint Patrick (Charlotte, NC), which is by no means uncommon and is representative of many American parishes, in that St Patrick’s makes a number of illicit and illegal requirements:[2]

The sponsor is required to certify this information (St Patrick parish, Charlotte, NC).

and the sponsor’s parish pastor must certify

Do these administrators and pastors know their Canon Law or are they arbitrarily applying a personal interpretation of the phrase, “in good standing?” This has been known to happen all too frequently and with tragic results.

Furthermore, while we know that well-meaning Catholics may work long hours in parish offices and programs for low or no pay, and their “dedication” is commendable, they do play a critical role in the life of a typical parish but – and that’s a really big “but” because they do not hold ecclesial office pursuant to c. 145, they are not accorded by law any spiritual authority over other members of the parish.[3]

The bottom line is that the pastor is the person ultimately responsible for the spiritual well-being of his parishioners, and as Canon Law states, parishes are territorial and all Catholics in that territory are “parishioners” under the terms of Canon Law. Therefore, the pastor is responsible for the canonical, pastoral, spiritual well-being of his parishioners. If he is unaware of a problem or a situation that can transfigure into a problem, it is important that he be informed about it, and that he deal with it appropriately. By respectfully calling the pastor’s attention to such an issue, the whole parish, diocese and certainly the whole Church ultimately benefits.[4]

Figuratively speaking, this problem can be restated in hypothetical terms as, “Is the use of collection envelopes the final arbiter of whether a person is a Catholic “in good standing” and competent to serve as a confirmation sponsor?”

The answer is administratively maybe, canonically NO!

Unless the lay administrators of the Parish of St Patrick have an established system approved by competent authority for determining membership in the territorial parishes of St Patrick or of St John the Baptist, the requirement of certifying membership in any parish is served canonically by the mere provision of proof of domicile, said domicile being situated in the territory of a given parish ipso facto and de jure establishes the person as a member of that territorial parish. Canon law takes precedence over local law in the event of ambiguity, vagueness, over-broadness or arbitrariness of the local provision.

RC Diocese of Albany chief rulemaker, Scharfenberger.

In terms of the fact of “in good standing,” unless specifically stated in clear and unambiguous terms How? in practical and objective terms a pastor is to determine “good standing,” and which criteria are to be applied for such determination, as well as the specificity and reliability of such criteria when applied to an ever-changing and practically protean population of a territorial parish, made even more difficult by the mobility of today’s populations, the arbiter in the first instance must be those who are intimately familiar with the character of the sponsor designate; in the second instance, testimony or reference or direct observation my be called upon to further confirm fitness. Otherwise, any claim to system or protocol that may be proffered by pastor or lay administrator is subject to scrutiny, and likely to be found insufficient, if not illicit or even canonically unlawful.

It is our determination that the territorial parish does not have the canonical authority to require registration of persons as members of a parish, that in virtue of their residing within the territory of a given parish makes them de jure members of that parish and entitled to a letter confirming that fact, providing that they can give a showing of having been validly and licitly baptized into the Church.

As established at c. 874 §1 (CCL) the requirements for acting as a confirmation sponsor are also set forth by canon law, that is, the sponsor designate must be baptized, have received the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, and have been confirmed pursuant the terms and conditions of Canon Law. Furthermore, the sponsor designate shall be 16 years old or older, shall not be not be bound by any canonical penalty, and shall not be the father or the mother of the person to be confirmed. The law also requires that the person shall lead a life of faith but does not provide specifics.

How do you score? Do you know how to score? Are you a “Catholic in Good Standing?

Catholic “in good standing.” There then arises the question of what is meant by a Catholic “in good standing.” It is generally purported that a so-called Catholic in good standing is a baptized Catholic who claims to live by the Precepts of the Roman Catholic Church as promulgated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which derive presumably from the statements expressed or implied in §§ 2041-2043 of the said Catechism. The observation, however, obtains that monitoring those “precepts” for each parishioner is at best daunting if not entirely impossible.[5] Furthermore, even if the precepts were verifiable in any credible way, keeping those precepts would be a question of Pharisee vs tax collector (Lk 18:9-14), demonstrating more technique than disposition (inner forum).

Either the pastor or his administrators would have to take a Sunday mass, reconciliation, Eucharist attendance, and would have to have some method of verifying their ascetic (fasting and abstinence) practices as well. Some parishes have inaugurated a control of collection envelopes to keep tabs on their flocks but not everyone chooses to use collection envelopes and many simply drop cash into the collection baskets. Most persons today would object to such monitoring and auditing practices.

External observation and compliance do not testify to inner holiness by any means and one would benefit by keeping in mind the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, while admitting that the majority in the pews are Pharisees or at best ignorant of anything approximating the so-called “precepts.” Moreover, it is flies in the face of reason to even suggest that the majority of Catholics today qualify even in one or two of the precepts; accordingly, the majority, though living moral and ethical lives, would be rejected by the Church as not being “in good standing.” So, the reasonable conclusion is that the term “in good standing” is not verifiable in reliable objective terms, and that such verification would necessarily have to resort to a creation of an exclusivist, verifiable class of individuals within any parish, perpetuating an already excessively technical and legalistic hierarchical and paternalistic institution that has had its well-earned share of criticism and condemnation, and has tragically resulted in the hemorrhaging of the faithful from an ailing Church. The term “in good standing” is a farce and should be abandoned post haste.

 

The Precepts used to determine a Catholic in good standing are taken from the RC Catechism. The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church is “a text which contains the fundamental Christian truths formulated in a way that facilitates their understanding” and is “a ‘point of reference’ for bishops, priests, catechists, teachers, preachers, scholars, students and authors.”   The RC Catechism contains doctrine (teachings of the Church) doctrine and some dogma (universal truths of the Church) but in itself is not dogma![6]

Furthermore, the USCCB notes that:

“By its very nature, a catechism presents the fundamental truths of the faith which have already been communicated and defined. Because the Catechism presents Catholic doctrine in a complete yet summary way, it naturally contains the infallible doctrinal definitions of the popes and ecumenical councils in the history of the Church. It also presents teaching which has not been communicated and defined in these most solemn forms.” (17)

The Catechism is a resource book and may be difficult for the “people in the pews,” to understand. According to the bishops’ statement:

“It would be helpful if the reader had some theological background, but the Catechism itself presents a considerable amount of theological background material.”[7]

Most lay ministers and parish administrators do not have theological or pastoral training; it is also true that putting important decisions in the hands of amateurs is a very slippery slope. Add to that the power dynamics and the political and social forces that are prominent in parishes and we have a very hazardous situation indeed.

Any guidelines or protocols existing in a particular parish must, of course, comply with Canon Law, as must any local law, and must be applicable uniformly and impartially to any given situation, including that of confirmation sponsor. The local ordinary and then his presbyter pastor are the ultimate authorities for determining such guidelines and protocols which clearly do not fall within the purview of persons not having canonical authority to promulgate or to interpret such guidelines or protocols.

If a question or problem should arise with regard to the provisions of canon law or to local laws, guidelines, or rules licitly, lawfully, and validly promulgated and ratified, such question or problem should be consigned to the parish pastor in the first instance for resolution. Pursuant to c. 145 and c. 519, lay persons or lay administrators do not have canonical authority in such spiritual matters.

The pastoral, spiritual, administrative procedures in the individual locales use to interview, screen, assess, guide, instruct, mentor, or otherwise prepare sponsor designates for their role as sponsor is beyond the question posed, and are thus beyond the scope of this opinion. That statement notwithstanding, the fact that they are beyond the scope of this opinion does not in any way detract from their importance nor from the responsibility of the parochial ecclesial officers to ensure that such procedures are in place and are implemented objectively and impartially, and that the associated lay ministers and administrators are adequately discerned, formed and mentored to ensure the well-being of confirmation candidates and their sponsor designates.

And the result is bad disciples!

Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger demonstrating the virtue of poverty. A bit too theatrical and ostentatious to be convincing, or to our taste. Whom does he think he’s fooling, anyway?


Notes

[1] The parish of St Patrick in Ravena has a number of problems not the least of which is their website which is an indicator of the lack of professionalism and care that one would expect. For example, there is a page entitled “We have come such a long way in a relatively short period of time!  Take a look at our History! / St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Parish began as a mission church in 1859 where the Church overlooked the Hudson River in Coeymans.  In 1917 it was rebuilt at it’s [sic] current site on Main St in Ravena / So who were our Pastors?” That page shows a series of images of a man’s headshot; apparently all the pastors were look alike clones. The Hudson River is not all that the parish of St Patrick in Ravena overlooked. Maybe pastor Scott VanDerveer should spend some time checking his minions’ work and grammar. It’s an embarrassment.

[2] Isn’t it an interesting coincidence that the local parish of St Patrick in Ravena, NY, should share the same deficiencies as the parish of the same name, St Patrick, in Charlotte, NC? What does that tell you?

[3] Can. 145 §1. An ecclesiastical office is any function constituted in a stable manner by divine or ecclesiastical ordinance to be exercised for a spiritual purpose. Further, at  §2., the Code states “The obligations and rights proper to individual ecclesiastical offices are defined either in the law by which the office is constituted or in the decree of the competent authority by which the office is at the same time constituted and conferred.”

[4] C. 519 The pastor (parochus) is the proper pastor (pastor) of the parish entrusted to him, exercising the pastoral care of the community committed to him under the authority of the diocesan bishop in whose ministry of Christ he has been called to share, so that for that same community he carries out the functions of teaching, sanctifying, and governing, also with the cooperation of other presbyters or deacons and with the assistance of lay members of the Christian faithful, according to the norm of law. [emphasis provided]

[5] Appendix I, Catholic Catechism, Precepts

[6] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), “Frequently Asked Questions about the Catechism of the Catholic Church” (http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-catechism-of-the-catholic-church.cfm last accessed on February

[7] Having made that statement, I would like to ask the bishops Who is to decide or determine what is what in the Catechism? Without formation and training it is a hopeless task for the lay person to discern what is doctrine, what is dogma, what is theology, etc. The whole statement is a collection of ecclesial double-talk!

 

Sean Eldridge: Does he even know how to represent the 99%?

No Politician is the Perfect Pick. In fact, every politician is an imperfect pick but some politicians are more imperfect than others. When they forget their imperfection they become incompetent and dangerous.

Sean Eldridge: Can he really represent the 99%?

Is This the Altrnative? Lord Help Us!The 'White Obama" Sean Eldridge with his hubby Chris Hughes and New York state Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk The [Disgusted] Editor,/big>

Is This the Altrnative?
Lord Help Us!

The ‘Pink Obama” Sean Eldridge with his hubby Chris Hughes and New York state Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk

Question is really, can Sean Eldridge even acknowledge we’re here, let alone understand our needs. Are his ears attuned to voices so different from ours that he is deaf to the 99%? In fact, isn’t Sean Eldridge a bit overly arrogant to think that with his disconnection from the rest of us not only in job experience, in life experience, in moral values that he can possibly represent but a small part of this constituency? Do we need another arrogant deaf politician in Washington? Our answer is NO! Sean Eldridge is so vastly different from us that he cannot possible appreciate who we are and what we need.

First of all, he and his “hubby“, Chris Hughes (of FaceBook bucks), are multimillionaires, members of the exclusive 1% club. They live in different worlds than we do. They inhabit planets that revolve around different suns, different centers, than ours does.

In fact, both Eldridge and Hughes should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail for having co-created that monster addiction, FaceBook, that has our dimwit young people and many half-witted adults glued to their electronic devices, oblivious to the world around them, while they squander their lives on ASOCIAL media, pouring out their impoverished emotions and souls into empty cyberspace. You’ll have to agree that Facebook is the farthest thing from “social media” and has created a culture of illiterate zombies. No thanks! Mr Eldridge and Mr Hughes! If that’s your idea of serving America, you might just as well put on an ISIS uniform and just decapitate America!

What is the 1%? Who is the 1%? Read the truth in Forbes Are You Rich Enough? The Terrible Tragedy Of Income Inequality Among The 1%

Secondly, Sean Eldridge and his kind they talk to different people, their own kind, who, like Eldridge and “hubby” Hughes, are members of the same country club, the 1% club, and have different priorities, values, ethics, morals, and very few needs and many greeds.

Is Cecilia Tkaczyk Eldridge's Fag Hag?

Is Cecilia Tkaczyk Eldridge’s
“Fag Hag”*?

* What in hell is a “fag hag“? Read about it here: Fag Hag.

And speaking of “their own kind” Cecilia Tkaczyk is one of Eldridge’s clubmembers. In the picture we selected above, most of Eldridge and Hughes gender-orientation community would call her a “fag hag” in that picture (she’s posing with Eldridge and “hubbyHughes at the Hudson Valley Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender 2014 Gala where Eldridge spoke) ; that is, a woman who hangs out with gay men. She’s OK with that and—believe it or not—, so are we. Here’s why: she saves us the trouble of wasting any more words on her. One picture is worth a thousand words. She’s telling us in unmistakeable terms who she is, what she is, what she supports, and that she doesn’t deserve to be re-elected. Actually, she allegedly wasn’t elected in the first place but we won’t comment further on that scandalous misuse of the democratic process that put her in single-term office.

For an entertaining discussion of fag hags etc. (Warning: this article can get a bit steamy 😉 ), visit Why Do Gay Men Need Fag Hags?

Thirdly, Sean Eldridge’s values, morals and ethics—more accurately we should say his lack of values, morals and ethics—are far different from ours. First of all, how many of this constituency think same-sex marriage is acceptable, even necessary? Isn’t marriage by its very definition a union between a man and a woman, for the purpose of procreation, and then protecting those children and educating them to be good members of the community? But Sean Eldridge believes that marriage as an institution needs to be redefined to fit his chosen lifestyle. How many of us agree with that self-centered point of view? But then, when it’s convenient for him, he uses a loophole in the Defense of Marriage Act, federal legislation he opposes, to avoid full disclosure of his and his “hubby’s” actual financial status, how much they really have! You see, millionaire Eldridge wants to flash that he’s “married” to millionaire Chris Hughes but argues that the Defense of Marriage Act does not recognize same-sex marriages, so in the “eyes” of DOMA, Eldrige and Hughes are not married, not spouses. So Eldridge reasons that he doesn’t have to disclose his and Hughes’ combined income. Sean Eldridge wants his cake and he wants to eat it too. But we’re not invited to the party.

Read more about Eldridge’s hypocricy at DOMA Limits House Candidate Sean Eldridge’s Financial Disclosures

Eldridge and Hughes didn’t get their millions by not supporting corporations and ensuring that their investments pay off. But when corporations “pay off” and their investors become millionaires, somebody else is paying. Guess who that is? Do you think that he’s going to refuse the dividends on his investments because the corporations are screwing the little guy? Do you really believe Eldridge when he says he never took a dime from a corporation? Then where did he and “hubby” Chris Hughes get their millions? From the Easter bunny?

easter bunny money

Sean Eldridge, in his pretty-boy poses with his “hubbyChris Hughes, just oozes phoney! His sugary and equally phoney campaign ads are just as flaky as he is. We don’t need another snowflake in Washington claiming to represent us. We have an Oreo snowflake in the White House now who got there riding the race card and has all but destroyed this country with his lack of experience and total lack of leadership. We don’t need the “Pink Obama“, Sean Eldridge, moving his shaved butt to Washington only to promote his club’s agendas, and making his offensive contribution to plunging this country into deeper distress, anxiety, and moral decline.

Moving-animated-picture-bunny-hopping-easter-eggs-basket

Sean Eldridge is not the Easter Bunny!
Sean Eldridge is a much bigger fake!

Sean Eldridge’s hypocrisy shows through his facials and manicures. He’s as phoney as his cosmetic smile. Voters need to get the failure Barack Hussein “Oreo” Obama out of Washington, and keep the “Pink Obama” from setting up shop in Washington.

The “Pink Obama”, Sean Eldridge, wants us to give his ego a free ride to Washington on our backs and at our expense.

Sean Eldridge is not the Easter Bunny!He's a much bigger fake!

Don’t become a bunch of hopping eggs in Sean Eldridge’s bunny basket!

We’re not saying that any politician is or can be perfect; most politicians are human (at least on one side of the family tree) and thus by their very nature are imperfect. The problem arises when they start to think that they are not imperfect, and forget that some are more imperfect than others. Sean Eldridge is one of those wannabe politicians who forgets his imperfection, who has lost the connection with who he really is, and by doing so is starting to believe his own lies; Sean Eldridge is more imperfect than his opponents.

Don’t Vote for Sean Eldridge or Cecilia Tkaczyk—the Antichrist Duo!

There are better alternatives.

Support Strong, Natural Family Values The Editor

Support Strong, Natural Family Values
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Posted by on October 5, 2014 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, ACLU, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union, Andrew Cuomo, Anti-Community Activity, Arlene McKeon, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Barbara Cumm, Barbara Finke, Bob Freeman, Capital District, Carver Construction, Cecilia Tkaczyk, Chris Gibson, Chris Gibson, Chris Norris, Christopher Norris, Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Coeymans Town Budget, Conspiracy, D. M. Crosier, Daniel Contento, David Lewis, David Soares, Democrat in Name Only, Dignity Act, DINO, Dr Alan R. McCartney, Edward B. Scharfenberger, Elected Official, Elections and Voting, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Eric T. Schneiderman, Fag Hag, Gay Men, George Amedore, Government, Governor Mario Cuomo, Greed, Greene County, Greene County Board of Elections, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Elections, Greene County Sheriff, Gregory Darlington, Howard J. Hubbard, Hudson Valley, Hypocrisy, Jeff Ruso, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Joseph C. Teresi, Joseph Teresi, Keith Mahler, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Larry Conrad, Latter-Hyslop-Brown, Laverne Conrad, LGBT, Liar, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misinformation, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Conservancy, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Republican Club, New York State United Teachers, Nick Dellisanti, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, NYSUT, Official Misconduct, Oreo Obama, Patrick E. Brown, Paul Tonko, Pete Lopez, Peter Masti, Phillip Crandall, Pink Obama, Port of Coeymans, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena Health and Fitness Center, Republican in Name Only, RINO, Robert J. Freeman, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, Scary Clowns, Sean Eldridge, Selkirk, Stephen Flach, Thomas E. Dolan, Tits on a Bull, Tkaczyk, Tom Dolan, Transparency, Unamerican Activity, Vote NO!, William Bailey, William Misuraca

 

New Baltimore Reformed Church: Slow Agonizing Death

What has happened to the New Baltimore Reformed Church?!?

Is this the fate of the NB Reformed Church after almost 180 years of history?

Is this the fate of the NB Reformed Church after almost 180 years of history?

What do you get when you take a 175-year old church and a solid core-congregation when the Reformed Church of America Regional Synod of Albany, Classis, made a poor decision to put a freshly baked female pastor in the pulpit. Inexperienced, ambitious, feminist, and stone-deaf when it came to hearing what the congregation leaders were saying, she just had to make changes. The New Baltimore Reformed Church went to hell in a handbasket and deteriorated from a vibrant local community to an emaciated skeleton of what it was.

The investment portfolio of the New Baltimore Reformed Church was remarkably healthy; that is, until the new pastor went on a remodeling and spending spree. It was pure shock when driving by the church to see a sign: “Save our church!” in front of the historic building. Save it from what? The damage was already done.

PUHLEEZ! Gimme a break! Stop the pseudo-Christian rhetoric and start thinking Gospel!

PUHLEEZ! Gimme a break!
Stop the pseudo-Christian rhetoric and start thinking Gospel!

But there was plenty of time for pursuing politics and ambition. While the congregation that unwittingly gave her a contract to be pastor was hemorrhaging members there was plenty of time for Albany activities.

And you think that politics should stay out of the pulpit? Well think again, friends, it’s post-menopausal women in collars now! And they all have a feminist agenda. Forget Genesis 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. God created female and she was going to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (starting with New Baltimore Reformed Church). It was her way or the highway; most of the old congregation took the highway.

For months now, driving by the New Baltimore Reformed Chuch, it looks like no one cares to even change the sign…Yes, the opulent sign that is/was intended to announce to the public the events at the church has stagnated in pre-Christmas announcements, giving the impression to anyone driving by that the church might be closed. What would you think if you drove by on February 20, 2014 and saw the announcements for pre-Christmas events of 2013.

No One Seems To Care to Change the Sign You'd think the pastor would take the time!

No One Seems To Care to Change the Sign
You’d think the pastor would take the time!

Almost two months later and the sign has not been changed. Not even to wish passers by a simple “Happy New Year 2014! Come on in!” No one in the New Baltimore Reformed Church congregation is left who cares enough even to update the sign. It’s obvious that the pastor has better things to do. What would they be, one wonders?

That sign sends a very resounding and clear message to everyone passing it on Route 144: Ghost Church!

Even the Christmas Nativity figures and crêche have been left out in the February snow drifts. No one seems to care that the Lenten season and Easter is just around the corner and the Nativity scene and its figures are rotting away in the February weather. It’s just money. But there’s plenty of time for Farmers Markets, and hanging out at Albany Medical Center, and playing pompous in Albany.

Read our response to a local resident’s comment on another local church gone satanic, Saint Patrick Roman Catholic in Ravena, New York. Read a specialist blog’s response to the resident at: Smoke of Satan…Again…Still!

Nativity Scene and Figures in Drifts An Indifference and Carelessness that wouldn't have happened a mere 10 years ago!

Nativity Scene and Figures in Drifts
An Indifference and Carelessness that wouldn’t have happened a mere 10 years ago!

The New Baltimore Reformed Church announcement board and the Nativity scene speak volumes about what has happened to the historic church and its congregation: Total Wanton Neglect! And no one in the Reformed Church of America hierarchy seems to notice, know or care. Shame on you! Shame on you Regional Synod of Albany, Albany Classis! But even greater shame on you, Susan Kerr, for neglecting your duties to the church and to the community.

But there’s plenty of time and money to leave stacks of fliers in the Post Office and elsewhere announcing a

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
March 4, 2014
4:30 p.m.– 7:00 p.m.
All You Can Eat

Donations will benefit the roof repair fund.

But still nothing on the announcements board in front of the church! Go figure!

Read our related, topical article at Where have all the mothers gone?

What's next, Pastor Susan, male strippers? The Editor

What’s next, Pastor Susan, male strippers?
The Editor

Editor’s Postscript

Is this what we've become, as Christians?

Is this what we’ve become, as Christians?

This article is in no way intended to bash a small treasure of a church that has suffered under the effects of poor leadership at the Regional Synod and local level, combined with unconventional and insensitive pastoring, if pastoring it can be called. Some individuals placed in such influential positions have other agendas and, if they are not closely monitored and regularly observed, they can be churchicidal. New Baltimore Reformed is just one of many examples that can be named.

Ravena’s Roman Catholic Church of St Patrick is another local casualty, although many might say it has a healthy congregation. Numbers don’t necessarily indicate health in a church congregation, nor does the fact of good attendance indicate anything close to a faith community. All it means is that something might be going on that speaks to the locals, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be spirituality or faith. Tony’s recent comment on Ravena’s St Pat’s and his impression of Fr James Kane there is right on target, and situation, as in our reply, is much, much worse than Tony has experienced. Kane and his various deacons are an absolute disaster. But this is endemic in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and has been for decades. It has only gotten worse as bishop Howard Hubbard has gotten more and more tired, sicker and older. Hubbard was inexperienced when he was ordained bishop of Albany. Vatican II had just reached stateside. The Church was in a whirlwind of flux and all hell was breaking loose. The result was that Albany became notorious as one if not the most liberal RC dioceses in the country, and Hubbard achieved that dubious distinction, along with his long-time friend bishop Matthew H. Clark , in Rochester, now succeeded by bishop Salvatore R. Matano (who is hopefully of a more traditional, conservative spirit). Add to that the volatile mix of “liberated rabid nuns” who were leaving the schools and convents in droves, dropping the religious habits and getting some really bad habits to replace spirituality, and plunk a population of castrati priests who like being “friendly” and you get what we have today: hemorrhaging churches and disgruntled faithful.

Hubbard’s RC Diocese of Albany’s Pastoral Center, home of the diocesan administration and a cluster of small defensive fiefdoms catering to the various interests of the diocese, is jam-packed with female lay religious (nuns and wannabe nuns), misfit lay officers, and a bunch of ailing aging priests who are hanging on like barnacles on a ship. Jim Kane is one of them and there are plenty like him. What’s worse is that the former director of the deaconate, Frank Berning, went a step further by handpicking company boys to ordain as deacons. It’s an ignorant, arrogant men’s club. There are many examples of damaging decisions in the church and  Jim Kane is only one. A very competent parish administrative officer at Ravena St Pat’s found she couldn’t work with Kane because he was so out of touch and demanding; she left to take a position at Athens’ St Pats. Another example at Ravena is a former catechist (instructed youth in the RC catechism) who had so much unresolved grief at the death of his wife, a father of two adolescent girls, and with loads of  psychological baggage, guilt, etc. that he wanted to become a priest in later midlife. A successful veterinarian and company man, and general bishop’s asskisser, he was promised ordination. I know this man rather well and was shocked to learn that he was to be ordained, given his character and psychological flaws, but that’s the way it worked under former bishop Hubbard. But what can you expect when a parish is “led” by a “pastor” the likes of Jim Kane, who has the indifference to place a known adulterer, the scandalous “Dirty-hands Jerry” Deluca and Cathy Deluca in the position of lay liturgical readers, reading from the sacred Lectionary at Divine Liturgy?!?! And yet the congregation of St Pat’s don’t utter a squeak of outrage or protest!

Putting persons like angry, male-hating nuns  in charge of many offices, placing “priests” like Kane and my vet friend in pastoral positions, not ensuring that these people have the skills to be good pastors, good preachers, good sounding boards for the community, and erecting rabid gatekeepers while losing control of the diocese is how it happened in Albany

We can only hope that Albany’s bishop-elect Edward B. Scharfenberger will pick up on the cues and clues and have the balls to take the bull by the horns and make the necesary course corrections for the Albany Diocese. It’s going to take extreme courage and perseverance given the opposition and rage that will almost certainly result but the diocese needs to be cleaned up completely in order to heal to health! Leave one malignant cell and your dead.

Another example, this one in Troy, is an example of how carelessness or downright desperation kills a vital parish. St Ann Maronite pariish in Watervliet (formerly in Troy), an Eastern rite parish in full communion with Rome, received a young Lebanese monk, recently ordained, hardly any parish experience, hardly any English proficiency, as pastor. He was left on his own and quickly assumed the role of spiritual tyrant and dictator. Little Fr George Bouchaya, appointed to St Ann’s as pastor by Brooklyn bishop Gregory Mansour, quickly polarized the parish, dividing the faithful into disgruntled groups. It was a time ripe for those petty power-grabbers under the surface to now surface and take over. The parish hemorrhaged important members, attracted disgruntled members from surrounding RC parishes that were being merged or closed, and who were not being spiritually fed by their Hubbardesque pastors. It was a disaster and continues to be a shadow of what it was simply because a bishop didn’t have the foresight or the awareness of what was going on, and was unwilling to accept the truth when informed by persons of good will.

So, who’s killing the church and creating the church of the living dead? You know already, so why ask?

Worship with Them Editor for Religion & Sprituatitty

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Editor for Religion & Sprituatitty