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The Pride of Archbishop Molloy High School Print E-mail
By Mark Stricherz   
Wednesday, 29 June 2011

By now, everyone knows Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s role in legalizing gay marriage in the Empire State. Cuomo made the issue a priority, he buttoned-holed lawmakers, and he went so far as to lobby Republican fundraisers.

Less well known is the role of Democratic state Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. According to Michael Barbaro of The New York Times, Addabbo indicated to Cuomo that his vote could be had:

Persuading Senator Addabbo proved trickier. Same-sex marriage advocates had nicknamed him the Counter, after he told them his vote would hinge entirely on a tally of his constituents who appealed to him for or against the measure. By mid-May, Mr. Addabbo sent word to Mr. Cuomo that the numbers were not there for same-sex marriage

Until then, members of the same-sex marriage coalition had deliberately refrained from inundating Mr. Addabbo’s office with feedback from supporters of the bill, fearing it might alienate and offend him. But now, the advocates received a message from the governor’s office: Open the floodgates. Brian Ellner, who oversees the marriage push for the Human Rights Campaign, called the head of his field team, who had compiled an exhaustive list of supporters of gay rights in Mr. Addabbo’s district.

“Bury him in paper,” Mr. Ellner said.

Cuomo’s strategy worked. Addabbo, in a reversal of his opposition to same-sex marriage in 2009, voted on June 24 for the legislation.

Careful though it was, the Times’ story failed to mention that Cuomo and Addabbo share similarities beyond their historic role in upending the traditional definition of marriage. Both men identify as Catholic. Both are graduates of Archbishop Molloy High School, a co-educational Marist school in Queens (Cuomo was class of 1975, Addabbo 1982). And both are members of the school’s Hall of Fame.

The Archbishop Molloy website says that its students “recognize their own self-worth and develop a lifetime of Christian values, critical thinking, leadership skills and service to others.” Only the very best of these are named to the school’s Stanner Hall of Fame (Before it moved to its current location in Briarwood, Queens, the school was called St. Ann’s Academy and its students “St. Ann-ers,” a nickname which became “Stanners.”)


     A Catholicpolitician: pro-choice, pro same-sex marriage

Among the honorees are Catholic priests and prelates; victims of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center; and church officials, such as Richard Doerflinger (Class of 1971), the associate director for pro-life activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Addabbo was honored at a school ceremony last November. After participating in a Mass at the Ralph DeChiaro ’31 Theater, Stanner alumni and their family members heard from English teacher Dennis Vellucci, who nominated Addabbo. “He has constantly demonstrated the same intelligence, deliberation, honesty and integrity that characterized him even when he was a high school sophomore,” Vellucci said according to the school website.

Archbishop Molloy officials may not have known of Cuomo’s and Addabbo’s positions on gay marriage at the time. Yet knowing that both were pro-choice would not have been difficult.

After Addabbo was elected to the state Senate in 2008, NARAL Pro-Choice New York hailed his victory. “Anti-choice titans Senators Caesar Trunzo and Serphin Maltese were brought down by pro-choice Senators-elect Brian Foley and Joseph Addabbo. For the first time in over forty years, we gained pro-choice leadership in the State Senate!” In Cuomo’s case, school officials bestowed him the honor after his failed 2002 gubernatorial bid, during which he ran as a proponent of legal abortion.

Honoring Cuomo and Addabbo clearly put the school on the wrong side of the Catholic bishops. In 2004, the USCCB released “Catholics in Political Life,” a document about rules governing the American church’s relationship with Catholic officeholders. It warned Catholic institutions and groups not to “honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

After the gay marriage bill was approved, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn and Queens issued a strongly worded statement about the vote. In addition to denouncing Cuomo for opening “a new front in the culture wars that are tearing at the fabric of our nation,” Bishop DiMarzio also issued a warning similar to that of the bishops seven years earlier: “In light of these disturbing developments and in protest for this decision, I have asked all Catholic schools to refuse any distinction or honors bestowed upon them this year by the governor or any member of the legislature who voted to support this legislation. Furthermore, I have asked all pastors and principals to not invite any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration.”

Archbishop Molloy officials have been put in a tough spot. Will the school retroactively strip Cuomo and Addabbo of their awards? It’s difficult to say. Voicemail messages to school officials were not returned.

Archbishop Molloy is hardly alone in its tributes to politicians who favor abortion rights and gay marriage. My beloved alma mater, De La Salle, a Christian Brothers high school in Concord, California, honored slain gay activist Harvey Milk with a bust. On the coasts at least, honoring Catholic public officials whose stands on key issues are not Catholic is not unheard of. But as the public scandal grows, what, if anything, will the bishops do to stop these schools from paying tribute to Catholic public servants such as Cuomo and Addabbo?

 
Mark Stricherz, a new contributor to The Catholic Thing and a blogger at CatholicVote.org, is the author of Why the Democrats are Blue: Secular Liberalism and the Decline of the People’s Party (Encounter Books). 
 

 
The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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Comments (15)Add Comment
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written by Manfred, June 29, 2011
Thank you or a very well-written and well researched article, Mr. Stricherz. Welcome to TCT. You have captured post-Vatican II US Catholic high school education. This is the mess of pottage the NY bishops sold their souls for two months ago when they met with Cuomo the Catholic to insure Catholic schools would continue to receive state funding. In #2357 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church it clearly states that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered" and "Under no circumstances can they be approved." Now either the Catechism or Catholic education is irrelevant and one of them should be terminated.
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written by Ars Artium, June 29, 2011
The charge made by "Manfred" is a very serious one, i.e., that Archbishop Dolan made certain agreements with Governor Cuomo and obtained state funding for Catholic schools in exchange for unstated concessions on the marriage question.

I am troubled by the fact that hard evidence with links to incontrovertible proof that this did indeed happen is not provided.

Can this evidence be provided? Will thecatholicthing require that it be provided immediately or, if it is not, remove the post?

It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this matter. Is this assertion detraction (caused by oversimplification), calumny, or devastating truth?

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written by Brad Miner, June 29, 2011
@Ars Artium regarding "Manfred": You make a good point, but the comments section at TCT is for readers and in no way reflects the opinions of "the management." It's evident that "Manfred" doesn't know what he/she is talking about, given his/her use of the phrase "sold their souls." By definition this could be asserted as fact only by someone present at the transaction, and I'm assuming "Manfred" isn't a bishop.
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written by debby, June 29, 2011
Hi everyone.....i have refrained from comments of late-so many sad events pulling my heart down. have chosen to look at the Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament and remember His Faithfulness and Promise to return in Glory, to sleep with Him at the bottom of this boat and try not to throw up at the storm distracting me from Him.
I cannot help but wonder at the behaviors of such persons: Archbishops, Bishops, famous priests, politicians, others in the public square, who "call" themselves Catholic yet are Protestant (at the very least)/Pagans (probably more likely) in their behavior. Have they not fashioned & hung the very millstone Jesus spoke of about the necks of their souls? How many people have been "led astray" by the likes of these? Even the whole fiasco with Fr. John Corapi, the latest prominent American priest scandal, is in this boiling sea--he & his "fans" blame Bishops as well, possibly with credibility. Yet we sheep who are trying to love God with all our being & His Image truly present in our neighbor, our love primarily demonstrated by Obedience to Holy Mother Church, are herded by some True Shepherds of the Good Shepherd and some wolves in Shepherd's clothing. We are left to "discern the spirits" of the very ones we are called to obey! How do we remain Catholic as a universal One (the relationship of the Holy Trinity with the Whole Catholic Church) while Catholic as the "one love" of Christ- His only- in the most profoundly intimate relationship possible?
i'm telling you, i am with Louise pulling weeds! (her comment from the other day) i cannot personally take much more of this.
it is not a matter of me putting my head in the sand.
it is more a "not casting pearls before swine."
i just cannot discern who is the pig in the flock of sheep any longer. and i love Jesus Christ! i love the Roman Catholic Church. i love the Holy Father. and ArchBis Timothy Dolan and Chaput. and Fr. Corapi (tho sorely grieved by his actions). i want to authentically live revealed Truth with all my self. but right now, i feel so sick.
please all my brothers and sisters, pray for me. let us pray for each other and the whole world. there is a heart and soul at stake. it may be mine, yours, a child you dearly love, a stranger, who gives up over this insanity.
thank you.
p.s. my 1/2 sister is a lesbian who is "getting married" soon. she is a "Right-winged Conservative Republican-Tea-Party, Fundamentalist Baptist Lesbian." this is very personal to me. her soul is on fire and the world around her is smiling.....
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written by Chris in Maryland, June 29, 2011
Debby:
The Lord of All, who upholds the universe by His word of power, has a message of hope for you.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied" (Mt 5:6).

Your brother in Christ,
Chris
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written by Ars Artium, June 29, 2011
Thank you, Brad Miner, for your reply. I understand your point but fear for those who cannot, for one reason or another, separate fact from fancy.

There is the possibility that some persons might conclude that this is a legitimate charge simply because it appeared on thecatholicthing web site - that it could seem more credible because of that fact.

In any event, thank you for this endeavor which enlivens my mornings with information, instruction, and good counsel.



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written by Manfred, June 29, 2011
@Ars Artium
@Brad Miner Please go to Father Zuhlsdorf's blog of January 4, 2011 and read his report on the "concubinage" issue and the fact that Bp Hubbard of Albany presided over the Inauguration Mass of Go. Cuomo. Read Fr. Z's take on Bp. Hubbard.
Read newsapaper reports of the March 8, 2011 meeting of Gov. Cuomo and the NY bishops. The subject of "same sex marriage" apparently never came up.
Go to Catholicvote.org of June 14th(?) and see Kathryn Lopez's column on the "same sex marriage" bill introduced by Gov. Cuomo. SHE chose the photo of Abp. Dolan and Gov. Cuomo cordially shaking hands. The proof of my claims will be demonstrated when we learn if Gov. Cuomo suffers any sanctions whatsoever for being the main impetus behind this disaster for the Church and this Country.
My forecast is he will quietly consent to abstain from Communion most of the time and therefore the bishops will not make the issue public. However, he did achieve his goal in further secularizing his State and ultimately this Nation. Even Christ had to have Judas.
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written by Brad Miner, June 29, 2011
@Manfred: My objection is to your use of the phrase "sold their souls," a charge singularly lacking in both civility and accuracy. And I've already read all that stuff you list; so too, I suspect, have most TCT readers.
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written by Other Joe, June 29, 2011
Debby:
He said He would never leave us alone, we can only choose to leave Him. I also have stopped blogging. There is no value shouting in a closed echo chamber (or casting pearls as you put it). Your note caused me to write this because I found it moving. There are many, many people who keep their unpopular opinions to themselves. You are not alone. It is obvious that what is going on in general is based largely on deception. The falling away speeds up with each passing year. Those who have enthroned man in God's place are giddy in triumph, they dance in the streets. But we know how the movie ends and they pretend not to. It is a time for prayer, but not despair. Take heart from one of the (mostly) silent voices.
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written by Chris in Maryland, June 29, 2011
Manfred has put his finger on a big issue here:

Will The Church extract herself and her schools from these corrupted arrangements with finacially and morally bankrupt governments? Why is the Bride of Christ yoked to a "partner" who has every intention of devouring her own children?

The Church can't evangelize someone or something that it is beholden to. Period.

When will all of us in The Church look at what we've allowed to happen (we've been on auto-pilot) and admit to ourselves that the current state of affairs is a sham: no Catholic college or university, no Catholic high school, and no Catholic grammar school, can produce well-formed Catholics when they are beholden to corrupt sources of money flowing from outside the Church.

When will The Church wake up and realize that its primary duty is a "preference for the spiritually impoverished" AND NOT its current preference for "the war on poverty"?
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written by Aeneas, June 29, 2011
Welcome to TCT Mark! A sobering article indeed. I agree with those who say Cuomo should be excommunicated, maybe this other guy should be as well.
To Debby who said of her half-sister "she is a "Right-winged Conservative Republican-Tea-Party, Fundamentalist Baptist Lesbian"...how is that even possible?
It's too contradicting to be even plausible.
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written by debby, June 29, 2011
@Aeneas- she is 27 and grew up in NJ. that is how such contradiction in philosophical orientation can be wed with aberrant lifestyle. plus we share a vilely abusive father in parentage, hence the split between what was lived before us and what should have been. my family history would make soap-opera writers blush. i care about her soul as well as her life here on this planet for the breath of time we are given. i am the only Catholic in the family. when MY CHURCH lives such vulgarity in the public square, my words fall on skeptical ears--i can best love her by placing all my hope in the God Who Redeems the most lost of sinners, me and the next guy. so, while i agree that her description of herself (those are her words) makes no reasonable sense, it is how she sees herself. don't you think this is a key problem in our world? words matter. The Word became Flesh. yet a couple of generations have been lost to ambiguity and spineless "theology." Baptists are as guilty as Catholics in this area. And i forgot to mention that she is in the military and a big country western fan.....
to Chris and Other Joe- thank you for your prayers. you are also in mine. i am not despairing of God's will--only sick of our so-called culture. "Thy Kingdom COME!"
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written by Manfred, June 29, 2011
@Brad:

Your point on "sold their souls" is well taken. Obviously I meant it as a cliche as it is normally used. I have no knowledge of anyone's soul. I am too focused on trying to save my own.
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written by Brad Miner, June 29, 2011
@Manfred: A gentlemanly (or -womanly) reply. Well said.
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written by Yezhov, June 29, 2011
Really, should we be all that surprised at Cuomo's push to legalize gay "marriage"? His relationship with his current squeeze is based on the same principle: sterile sex.

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