Skip to comments.Recorded Calls to Voters From Brooklyn Bishop Praise a Democratic Leader
Posted on 11/03/2009 9:20:07 AM PST by Alex Murphy
In an unusually overt step into politics by a religious leader, the Roman Catholic bishop of Brooklyn is urging voters, via robocalls, to support Vito J. Lopez, an assemblyman and the Brooklyn Democratic boss, whose hand-picked candidate is in a tough race for a City Council seat.
The bishop, Nicholas A. DiMarzio, in a recorded phone call sent to every registered voter in City Council District 34, praised Mr. Lopezs legislative service to the Catholic Church this summer. Mr. Lopez played a key role in defeating a bill that would have let adults file suit over childhood sexual abuse that may have occurred long ago.
Mr. Lopez, a longtime kingmaker in Bushwick and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has energetically championed the candidacy of Maritza Davila, who is running against Councilwoman Diana Reyna in District 34.
By recording his message, a legal scholar cautioned, Bishop DiMarzio could be treading close to legal lines limiting political advocacy by nonprofit organizations whose tax-exempt status could be jeopardized.
There are constitutional rules and I.R.S. rules, and the I.R.S. rules are really more pertinent here, said Nelson Tebbe, an associate professor at Brooklyn Law School who specializes in the relationship between religion and the Constitution.
Bishop DiMarzios spokesman, Msgr. Kieran Harrington, dismissed that concern as absurd. His intent was to thank Vito, who has taken the greatest grief for helping us, he said.
Officials with the Diocese of Brooklyn, which includes 1.5 million Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens, have made no secret of their dislike for Ms. Reyna and Representative Nydia M. Velasquez, who, along with local nonprofit housing groups, have fought Mr. Lopez over the rezoning of a 31-acre parcel in Brooklyn called the Broadway Triangle.
Ms. Reyna and Ms. Velasquez have suggested that the diocese ousted a priest as head of a local housing
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
....Officials with the Diocese of Brooklyn, which includes 1.5 million Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens, have made no secret of their dislike for [Councilwoman Diana] Reyna and Representative Nydia M. Velasquez, who, along with local nonprofit housing groups, have fought Mr. Lopez over the rezoning of a 31-acre parcel in Brooklyn called the Broadway Triangle.
Ms. Reyna and Ms. Velasquez have suggested that the diocese ousted a priest as head of a local housing group because he annoyed Mr. Lopez, and that in exchange, Mr. Lopez derailed the child abuse bill in Albany....
....Ms. Reyna, who is Catholic, declined comment on Sunday. Her supporters privately say that they see little benefit in engaging in an open war with the church, particularly since a number of priests showed up at a recent rally supporting Mr. Lopez.
Vito J. Lopez is a Democrat. Ms. Reyna and Ms. Velasquez are Democrats, too.
I guess now that the Obamahitler is in power, everyone knows that the IRS will not lower the hammer on a clergyman who supports a Democrat.
But let a minister or priest attempt to use his position to endorse a Republican, and watch the fireworks ...
Hey! Yous need ta unnerstan dat da good bishop knows which sida da bread his new cathedral is buttered on! Got dat, fat boy?
For the IRS to take action, the Bishop has to be reported. Who is going to report him for directly campaigning for the Democrat? The Left has that all handled - conservatives - not so much. So it is only safe to campaign for Democrats if you are a Minister, Reverend, Rabbi or Priest.
**bishop, Nicholas A. DiMarzio**
Archbishop Dolan will be all over him for this. Bawling him out, that is!
this “bishop” should resign. I wonder if he spoke up for any pro-life candidates and allowed voter guides in his churches? I bet the answer is NO.
Well, I don’t know the details, but I wouldn’t rush to condemn the Bishop.
I think that the bill Lopez “derailed” was one of several put forward this year in various states that would remove all statutes of limitations for sex harrassment lawsuits against the clergy, BUT would not do so for school teachers who belong to the unions.
It deserved to be shot down.
As for condemning the bishop, I’ve seen numerous endorsements by black clergy over the past couple of weeks. It’s time the IRS stopped singling out the Catholic Church or white churches and treated everyone alike.
He wrote the voters guide... with others.
But he came out and said abortion is not on the same level as other issues and anyone that said that misused the guide.
To me it wasn’t said enough and the guide wasn’t strong enough (but who am I).
But the re-examination article from above (wjz) pissed me off.
Question... Who on this thread has a link to the audio?
Oh, Coleus... the site:
thanks, i’ll e mail him.
I need more information on this. The story was not clear. Did the Bishop endorse this candidate in the recorded message, or did he record his thanks to the politician for knocking down the bill?
There is clearly a difference between the two and before I attack, I’d like to know the facts.
Anyone have specifics on this?
i see nothing on you tube and probably the only people who would have a recording would be someone who was called and had the message left on their voice mail.
I agree, we need to know more. But I did just have a look around the diocesan website, linked in #10, and I thought it was pretty impressive.
In the meantime, until we do know more, I think this bishop looks better than most.
I think so too. Thanks for looking.