New York State Catholic Conference Statement on Recreational Marijuana Legalization

In its rush to legalize so-called “recreational” marijuana usage, we believe that our state’s elected officials are preparing to open a Pandora’s Box that will have multiple deleterious effects on individuals, families, and all of society.

While the Governor and some legislators see enhanced revenues for the state’s coffers through a new taxable marijuana industry, we are more concerned with consequences ranging from increased teenage and childhood usage, harmful effects on developing brains, addiction, natural progression to harder drug use, increased impairment-related transportation accidents and deaths, and other potential public health and safety issues.

Of particular concern regarding the movement toward legalization is the impact on children, and the normalization of usage that state approval encourages. Proponents argue that usage will be restricted to age 21 and older but, as we have seen in the alcohol and tobacco industries, producers of harmful products always find a way to market their products to children.

Studies appear to show racial and ethnic disparities in enforcement of marijuana possession, and we take this issue seriously. The state can and should take appropriate measures to ensure that skin color or zip code do not result in different outcomes for the same offense, including re-evaluating the justice of current criminal penalties for low-level possession. At the same time, we must not simply throw up our hands and legalize a harmful substance in order to declare the problem of discrimination solved.

The Catholic Church is not prohibitionist but at the same time we believe the government should not be encouraging destructive behavior, whether gambling or drug use, to raise revenue. Vice is not an appropriate economic development engine for a state that prides itself as a national progressive leader. Our state motto is Excelsior (ever upward), but policies that exploit addiction instead lead us ever downward.

We join with our state’s medical, education and law enforcement communities in urging New York State to reject marijuana legalization.

The Catholic Conference represents the Bishops of New York State in public policy matters.

Statement on Recreational Marijuana Legalization

Bishop DiMarzio’s recent column on marijuana :

Marijuana Is Very Dangerous

Diocese of Brooklyn Releases Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse

The Diocese of Brooklyn is releasing its list of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. By credible, diocesan officials believe that the allegation(s) may be true. The comprehensive list spans the 166-year history of the diocese. This list, which can be found here, contains names of clergy who have been convicted, who have admitted to sexual misconduct with a minor or have had allegations determined credible by the Independent Diocesan Review Board.

The list is categorized into two sections:

  • Clergy Members of the Diocese of Brooklyn with Credible Allegations (67)
  • Diocese of Brooklyn Clergy who were Deceased/or Resigned prior to a finding of credibility (41)

The fact that this list contains the names of clergy who are deceased differentiates it from other dioceses.

“We know this list will generate many emotions for victims who have suffered terribly. For their suffering, I am truly sorry,” said The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn. “I have met with many victims who have told me that more than anything, they want an acknowledgment of what was done to them. This list gives that recognition and I hope it will add another layer of healing for them on their journey toward wholeness.”

The list shows the number of incidents of clergy sexual abuse peaked in the 1960s and 1970s, but the reports largely came in post-2002 after the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was enacted and peaked again in 2017 (Graph 1) when the diocese started the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP). This program is administered independently by Kenneth Feinberg, whose firm handled the 9-11 Compensation Fund. The IRCP is another possible mechanism for healing that may help bring closure to victims-survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Other key points about the list are illustrated in graphs seen below:

  • The 108 names represent less than five percent (5%) of clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn (Graph 2)
  • About two-thirds of accused priests are deceased (Graph 3)
  • The vast majority of cases involved priests who were ordained between 1930-1979 (Graph 4)

Bishop DiMarzio committed to releasing the list at regional meetings (video below) he held with the lay faithful late last year where he answered parishioners’ questions about the sex abuse crisis. In those meetings, the diocese outlined the numerous programs mandated by the charter, including, but not limited to, a zero tolerance policy in which any clergy member credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor is permanently removed from ministry. Since 2002, the Diocese of Brooklyn has shared all of its files and allegations against clergy with the District Attorneys of Brooklyn and Queens.

The charter also mandates sexual abuse awareness training for children and adults; specifically all clergy members, teachers, parish and academy/school employees, catechists and volunteers who work directly with children. Employees and volunteers also must agree to initial and ongoing criminal background checks and must sign a code of conduct.

To help victims, the Office of Victim Assistance provides referrals for therapy, support groups for survivors and a yearly Healing Mass to pray for all who have been impacted by sexual abuse.

In 2004, Bishop DiMarzio established an Independent Reporting Line for anyone to report allegations of abuse. That phone number is 1-888-634-4499. All reports generated are immediately reported to the Brooklyn or Queens District Attorney.

Evidence to date shows that the Charter has worked. Since 2002, there have been two credible cases involving active diocesan clergy.

“While even one is too many, this shows that we are on the right path to ensuring these horrendous acts of abuse are never repeated,” Bishop DiMarzio said.

The “List of Diocesan Clergy for whom the Diocese received allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor” can be found here.

Video statement by Bishop DiMarzio (English):
https://vimeo.com/317481719

Video statement by Bishop DiMarzio (Spanish):
https://vimeo.com/317482137

Video of Bishop DiMarzio’s Regional Meetings with the Lay Faithful (English):
https://vimeo.com/315322688

Video of Bishop DiMarzio’s Regional Meetings with the Lay Faithful (Spanish):
https://vimeo.com/315895204

Graph 1

Graph 2

Graph 3

Graph 4

PASSING OF REVEREND MONSIGNOR VINCENT A. KEANE

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR
DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York 11215 ● 718.399.5990 ● FAX: 718.399.5934
E-mail: curia@diobrook.org

Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Reverend
Monsignor Vincent A. Keane, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Monsignor Keane was born
on September 10, 1932, in Queens, New York, was ordained to the Priesthood on May 31, 1958, and
died Tuesday, February 5, 2019, at the Bishop Mugavero Residence, Douglaston.

Monsignor Keane served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Pastor of the Parishes of Saint Francis de Sales
(Belle Harbor), and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (Bayside), Associate Pastor of SS. Joachim
and Anne (Queens Village) as well as Parochial Vicar of Saint Pascal Baylon (St. Albans). He also
served as Principal of Cathedral Preparatory Seminary (Elmhurst), Spiritual Director of the Cathedral
Seminary Residence (Douglaston), Diocesan Director of the Apostleship of Prayer-Sacred Heart
Devotion, Faculty of Cathedral College, Temporary Executive Director of the Immaculate Conception
Pastoral Center and Director of the House of Formation.

The arrangements are as follows:

WAKE:

Immaculate Conception Center
7200 Douglaston Parkway
Douglaston, New York 11362
Tel: (718) 229-8001
Friday, February 8, 2019
2:00 PM – 7:30 PM

VIGIL:

Immaculate Conception Center
7200 Douglaston Parkway
Douglaston, New York 11362
Tel: (718) 229-8001
Friday, February 8, 2019
7:30 PM

FUNERAL:

Immaculate Conception Center
7200 Douglaston Parkway
Douglaston, New York 11362
Tel: (718) 229-8001
Saturday, February 9, 2019
10:30 AM

BURIAL:

Saint John Cemetery
Middle Village, New York

Monsignor Keane was a member of the Priests’ Purgatorial Society. All priests are invited to
concelebrate the Liturgy. Please bring your diocesan vestments.
If you wish to send condolences, please mail to The Family of Rev. Msgr. Vincent A. Keane, c/o the
Bishop Mugavero Residence, 7200 Douglaston Parkway, Douglaston, New York 11362.
Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he rest in
the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.

Reverend Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, J.C.L.
Chancellor and Moderator of the Curia

PASSING OF REVEREND MONSIGNOR ROCCO D. VILLANI

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR
DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York 11215 ● 718.399.5990 ● FAX: 718.399.5934
E-mail: curia@diobrook.org

 

Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Reverend Monsignor Rocco D. Villani, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Monsignor Villani was born on April 1, 1928 in Brooklyn, was ordained to the Priesthood on June 3, 1961, and died Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at Saint Brendan (Brooklyn).

Monsignor Villani served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Pastor of the Parishes of Saint Brendan (Brooklyn) and Saint Mary Mother of Jesus (Brooklyn), as Temporary Administrator of Resurrection (Brooklyn) and as Parochial Vicar of the Parishes of Saints Simon and Jude (Brooklyn) and Saint Anthony of Padua (Brooklyn). He also served as Spiritual Director of Cathedral College (Douglaston) as well as Chaplain of Saint Brendan High School and Bishop Kearney High School. On February 25, 1988, he was named Prelate of Honor to His Holiness.

The arrangements are as follows:

WAKE: Saint Brendan Roman Catholic Church

1525 East 12th Street Brooklyn, New York 11230 Tel: (718) 339-2828

Thursday, January 24, 2019 Friday, January 25, 2019 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

VIGIL: Saint Brendan Roman Catholic Church

1525 East 12th Street Brooklyn, New York 11230 Tel: (718) 339-2828

Friday, January 25, 2019 7:30 PM

FUNERAL: Saint Brendan Roman Catholic Church

1525 East 12th Street Brooklyn, New York 11230 Tel: (718) 339-2828

Saturday, January 26, 2019 10:30 AM

BURIAL: Saint John Cemetery

Middle Village, New York

Monsignor Villani was a member of the Priests’ Purgatorial Society. All priests are invited to concelebrate the Liturgy. Please bring your diocesan vestments.

If you wish to send condolences, please mail to The Family of Monsignor Villani c/o Saint Brendan Roman Catholic Church, at 1525 East 12th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11230.

Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.

Reverend Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, J.C.L. Chancellor and Moderator of the Curia

 

 

PASSING OF REVEREND ROBERT BLYMAN

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR
DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York 11215 ● 718.399.5990 ● FAX: 718.399.5934
E-mail: curia@diobrook.org

The Diocese of Brooklyn has been informed of the death of Reverend Robert Blyman, a priest of
the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The funeral arrangements are as follows:

Date of Death: Saturday, January 5, 2019
WAKE: Church of Our Lady of Mercy
500 South Oyster Bay Road
Hicksville, New York 11801
Tel: (516) 931-4351
Thursday, January 10, 2019

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
VIGIL MASS: Church of Our Lady of Mercy
500 South Oyster Bay Road
Hicksville, New York 11801
Tel: (516) 931-4351
Thursday, January 10, 2019

7:30 PM
FUNERAL: Church of Our Lady of Mercy
500 South Oyster Bay Road
Hicksville, New York 11801
Tel: (516) 931-4351
Friday, January 11, 2019
11:00 AM

BURIAL: Abbey of Regina Laudis Cemetery

Bethlehem, Connecticut

Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he
rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.
Reverend Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, J.C.L.
Chancellor and Vicar for Canonical Affairs

PASSING OF MR. FRANKLIN EDMUNDO PEÑAFIEL, BROTHER OF REVEREND ROMEL PEÑAFIEL

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR
DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York 11215 ● 718.399.5990 ● FAX: 718.399.5934
E-mail: curia@diobrook.org

 

Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Mr. Franklin Edmundo Peñafiel, brother of Reverend Romel Peñafiel, a priest of the Diocese of Loja, Ecuador who is presently ministering as Parochial Vicar of Blessed Sacrament, Jackson Heights. Mr. Peñafiel died Wednesday, January 2, 2019 in Florida.

All arrangements will be taking place in Florida. A memorial service may be held at a later date.

Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.

If you wish to send condolences, please mail to Reverend Romel Peñafiel, Blessed Sacrament R.C. Church, 34-43 93rd Street, Jackson Heights, New York 11372.

Reverend Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, J.C.L. Chancellor and Vicar for Canonical Affairs Moderator of the Curia

PASSING OF REVEREND ANDREW K.SOLEY, C.S.Sp.

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR
DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York 11215 ● 718.399.5990 ● FAX: 718.399.5934
E-mail: curia@diobrook.org

 

Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Reverend Andrew K. Soley, C.S.Sp., a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, Province of Ghana, who was ministering in the Diocese of Brooklyn as Parochial Vicar of the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Brooklyn). Father Soley was born on November 7, 1952 in Ghana, West Africa, was ordained to the Priesthood on July 23, 1994, and died Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn. Father Soley served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Parochial Vicar of the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Brooklyn).

The arrangements are as follows:

WAKE:

Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel
7201 15th Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11228
Tel: (718) 236-8300
Sunday, January 6, 2019
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

VIGIL:

Our Lady of Guadalupe R.C. Church
7201 15th Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11228
Tel: (718) 236-8300
Sunday, January 6, 2019
7:30 PM

FUNERAL:

Our Lady of Guadalupe R.C. Church
7201 15th Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11228
Tel: (718) 236-8300
Monday, January 7, 2019
10:30 AM

BURIAL:

Holy Ghost Preparatory School
Bensalem, Pennsylvania
If you wish to send condolences, please mail to Father Soley’s sister, Ms. Mary Kumi, c/o Our Lady of Guadalupe R.C. Church, 7201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11228.
Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.

Reverend Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, J.C.L.
Chancellor and Moderator of the Curia

Passing of Mrs. Lucille Joseph

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR
DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York 11215 ● 718.399.5990 ● FAX: 718.399.5934
E-mail: curia@diobrook.org

Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Mrs. Lucille Joseph, mother of Reverend Lucon Rigaud, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn who is presently ministering as Parochial Vicar of the Church of St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Jamaica. Mrs. Joseph died Saturday, December 15, 2018 in Haiti. All arrangements will be taking place in Haiti.

A memorial service may be held at a later date.

Please pray for the repose of her soul and for the consolation of her family and friends. May she rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.

If you wish to send condolences, please mail to Reverend Lucon Rigaud, St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, 150-75 Goethals Avenue, Jamaica, New York 11432.

Reverend Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, J.C.L.
Chancellor and Vicar for Canonical Affairs
Moderator of the Curia

Passing of Reverend Patrick G. Burns

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR
DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York 11215 ● 718.399.5990 ● FAX: 718.399.5934
E-mail: curia@diobrook.org


Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Reverend Patrick G. Burns, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Father Burns was born on March 17, 1961 in Brooklyn, was ordained to the Priesthood on May 23, 1992, and died Friday, December 14, 2018 at Holy Name of Jesus Rectory.

Father Burns served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Pastor of the Parishes of St. Michael (Brooklyn) and St. Martin of Tours-Fourteen Holy Martyrs (Brooklyn), as Administrator of Blessed Sacrament (Jackson Heights), as Parochial Vicar of the Parishes of St. Catharine of Alexandria (Brooklyn), Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians (Woodside) and St. Francis de Sales (Belle Harbor). He also served the Parishes of St. Leo (Corona) and SS. Peter and Paul (Brooklyn). Additionally, he ministered with the Office of Parish Giving.

The arrangements are as follows:

WAKE:
St. Michael Roman Catholic Church
352 42nd Street
Brooklyn, New York 11232
Tel: (718) 768-6065

Thursday, December 20, 2018
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

VIGIL:
St. Michael Roman Catholic Church
352 42nd Street
Brooklyn, New York 11232
Tel: (718) 768-6065

Thursday, December 20, 2018
7:30 PM

FUNERAL:
St. Michael Roman Catholic Church
352 42nd Street
Brooklyn, New York 11232
Tel: (718) 768-6065

Friday, December 21, 2018
10:30 AM

BURIAL:
Holy Cross Cemetery
Brooklyn, New York

Father Burns was a member of the Priests’ Purgatorial Society. All priests are invited to concelebrate the Liturgy. Please bring your diocesan vestments.

If you wish to send condolences, please mail to his brother, Mr. Michael Burns, at 31 Roosevelt Walk, Breezy Point, NY 11697.

Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.

Reverend Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, J.C.L.
Chancellor and Moderator of the Curia

Passing of Mrs. Carmen Josefina Luces

OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR
DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
310 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, New York 11215 ● 718.399.5990 ● FAX: 718.399.5934
E-mail: curia@diobrook.org


Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Mrs. Carmen Josefina Luces, mother of Deacon Fernando E. Luces, a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Brooklyn who is presently ministering at St. Rita, Long Island City. Mrs. Luces died Monday, December 3, 2018 at SS. Joachim and Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Brooklyn.

The arrangements are as follows:

WAKE:
Conway Funeral Home
41-45 58th Street
Woodside, New York 11377
Tel: (718) 639-3220

Thursday, December 6, 2018
3:00 PM – 8:00 PM

FUNERAL:
St. Rita R.C. Church
36-25 11th Street
Long Island City, New York 11106
Tel: (718) 361-1884

Friday, December 7, 2018
10:00 AM

BURIAL:
St. Michael Cemetery
East Elmhurst, New York

Please pray for the repose of her soul and for the consolation of her family and friends. May she rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord.

If you wish to send condolences, please mail to Deacon Fernando E. Luces, 96-08 57th Avenue Apt. 8J, Corona, New York 11368.

Reverend Monsignor Anthony Hernandez, J.C.L. Chancellor and Vicar for Canonical Affairs Moderator of the Curia