25 thoughts on “Don’t Give to Caesar what is God’s

  1. Sam says:
    October 27, 2020 at 11:44 AM (Edit)
    As an aside, I find it offensive and needlessly exclusive when someone uses the word “man” to describe human persons, men AND women!

    You are offended by this. but you continue to deliberately call me “Andrew” instead of “Father”, which you know very well is offensive to me (and is exactly why you do it)? Please practice what you preach. I would find our conversations would be far more constructive if we could discuss differences civilly and charitably rather than with the insults and name-calling that are so frequently posted by members of “St. Ann’s in Exile.” Respectfully disagreeing and offering evidence-based rebuttals is constructive; name-calling is childish.

    • Sam says:

      I call you by your baptismal name of Andrew, because baptism is our highest dignity and calling. I believe in a church of equals, not in the patriarchy. This is the paradigm I embrace as closest to the Gospels and to Jesus. Please, take no offense, and be at peace. We are brothers, Andrew.
      As for the Scriptures, I am at a loss. Adam and Eve are Jewish stories. I have an excellent Catholic education, I promise.
      St. Ann’s In Exile is an exemplary group of Christian equals. We are hoping to return to our home within the next year as circumstances change there.

      • The decision to call my by my baptismal name rather than “Father” is not yours to make. The Church directs us to call priests “father” so as to acknowledge the special role he has in our lives as one ordained to act “in persona Christi capiti” (in the person of Christ the head.) By not using the title of “father” you show contempt for the gift of the Holy Spirit that ontologically changes a man at his ordination and makes him a spiritual father to us. As an analogy, is it better to call your parents Bob and Sue rather than mother and father? Is using their baptismal name more appropriate in that situation? Calling them mother and father respects the unique role they have in your life. I explain it to people this way: if I were not your priest but were just some man who lives down the block, would we have the same relationship? The answer is always “no.” So calling me “Father” is not done out of lording a relationship over you, but rather out of respect for the special role I have in your life.

      • Sam says:

        I truly wish peace unto you, Andrew. Alas, the “Church” makes no direction telling us to call priests “Father.” I find it to be a “power play” among some priests, setting up a patronizing relationship between priest and people from the get-go. Remember, WE are the Church! This is how things work at St. Ann’s In Exile, some call it marshmallow theology, but we find it delicious!

      • We can go around in circles arguing this all day and get nowhere. It is obvious to me that you hold a liberal position on morals, on Church authority, and on several other important areas. Your battle actually isn’t against me. I am teaching clearly and distinctly the official teachings of the Catholic Church. No one in your group has ever once complained that what I said contradicted Church teaching. If you have problems with what I preach, your problem is not with me but with the Church. I am reiterating what the Pope and the Magisterium have firmly revealed as the truth of Christ, which is my duty. If the Church holds conservative views on issues that you don’t agree with, your argument is with her and not with me. It has seemed to me all along that you feel comfortable at St. John’s because you don’t hear the truths presented in the way that I do and that they apparently give you “Catholic lite” there. If that’s your preference, fine. But I think I should also inform you that there are several parishioners of St. John’s and other parishes who have come to St. Ann’s precisely because they say I speak the truth unashamedly and they appreciate being challenged by the Gospel. They have told me they left their parishes because all they got was “rainbows and balloons” – a direct quote from one of them – and that they found me open to the Holy Spirit and truly preaching the challenge of the Gospel. So why don’t we just leave it the way it is. If you are happy at St. John’s, then by all means stay and contribute to your new parish without looking back. Let those who have come here to St. Ann’s remain and be happy as well.

        I know you will say that St. Ann’s was your parish before it was mine, and that you’re hoping Cardinal Dolan does not give me a third term as pastor of St. Ann’s. But what will happen if I move and the new pastor preaches the same way I do, which is very probable given the very conservative nature of many of the younger priests that we are ordaining? (Some of them make me look liberal!) Will you then spend twelve years fighting with him? Why do that to yourself? Give yourself some peace and move on. I wish you happiness in St. John’s if you are happy there. Let that be your new home and don’t look back. Peace to you and to all at St. John’s.

      • Sam says:

        Let’s get a few things straight, Andrew:
        1. I did not call my parents Bob and Sue because that would have been silly. Their names were Sal and Maria.
        2. No need to bad mouth St. John’s. They welcomed us when we became homeless. They preach a version of the Gospel that is nice and easy to follow.
        3. Just fyi, St. Ann’s In Exile has already written to Tim Dolan about the qualities we need to see in the next pastor of St. Ann’s, if this standoff is ever going to end. At this points all involved parties are looking for a good resolution to what has admittedly been a bumpy 12 years. We look forward to a fruitful dialogue.

  2. 19melissa70 says:

    Charity Never Faileth!

    • Sam says:

      Peace unto you, Melissa. I am Sam, parish president of St. Ann’s In Exile. We share your profound pain ans disappointment and would love to welcome you to our community. We preach love. Some call it “marshmellow theology,” we call it “delicious.”

    • Hello Sam! Well, for every letter you write against me the Cardinal will get one hundred in favor. The Cardinal has repeatedly told me I am doing an excellent job at St. Ann’s. When I first came to St. Ann’s people were convinced it was going to close. Now we are a vibrant parish with many active ministries that serve young and old, male and female. Our collection has almost tripled. When he had to call me this summer and tell me St. Ann’s school needed to close because of the COVID, he told me it was an exceptionally hard decision for him to make, as “no one has shown as much grit as you have to keep your school thriving.” He reassured me that I was in no way to blame for the closure and that I had given it my all and that he was very proud of all the excellent work I have done at St. Ann’s. Msgr. Moloney at St. John’s is a good friend of mine and has complimented me numerous times over the great work I am doing here. I passed my first evaluation with flying colors. They told me they had to really scour the letters and evaluations they received for anything even remotely negative, which they said was more constructive advice than criticism. Whether I stay or go at St. Ann’s does not worry me. If the Cardinal wants me to stay, I will stay. If he asks me to take on another parish, I will go and hold fond memories of my success at St. Ann’s. I have peace, as I have done the Lord’s will.

  3. 19melissa70 says:

    If you think I have a lack of “Christian Charity”, I would expect you to provide an example as proof.

    • The example is you calling Trump a “Breeder” and a “Sicko.” You may disagree with someone, but calling him names is not Christian charity.

    • Sam says: I don’t know what Adam and Eve thought of the apple.
      That’s just a myth.

      Aha!!! Now we know where you come from! You are stuck in the revisionist theology of scripture scholars of the 1970s that treated everything as myth and not reality. Pope St. Paul VI rejected the idea that Adam and Eve are just a myth. That explains a lot! You need to get with the modern church and out of the errors of the 1970s.

      • 19melissa70 says:

        Not just stories, definitely truth.
        Wasn’t an apple though, was it?
        It was a fig.

      • Sam says:

        Peace be unto you, Andrew. No need to flip your wig on this. It is well known that Adam and Eve never happened. I am going off what I’ve been taught in Catholic parishes and schools all my life, including the once great St. Ann’s before the takeover.

      • Don’t worry Sam. I’m not flipping my wig. (I don’t wear one! :)) I’m merely pointing out that that particular strain of biblical approach, popular when you were young, has today been discredited and dismissed. Read Pope Benedict XVI’s writings on interpreting the Bible. You will find it enlightening.

  4. 19melissa70 says:

    F*** Donald Trump!
    He’s nothing but a “Breeder”.
    His idea if being Pro-life is using a woman for childbearing. When she stops bearing, he dumps her to the trash and tries to find a younger woman who can.

    • Please limit your comments to those that are directly related to the topic of discussion and refrain from using uncharitable words and making nasty comments. Such responses only give witness to your character and your lack of Christian charity. They do nothing to support any argument you are trying to make.

    • Actually, it was the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that they were forbidden to eat. It’s a beautiful way of saying God told them not to try to decide for themselves what is right and wrong and listen instead to Him. God is all knowing; man is not. God will never deceive us. If we listen to Him and follow what He tells us to do all will be fine. But if we ignore what God teaches us and think we can decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong, we will ruin everything. That’s what Satan tempted them to do and that’s what they did. As a result, Paradise was lost to us and the Devil was given his entry into our world. So it’s our fault that there is evil in the world, not God’s. And whenever we continue to follow our own beliefs and feelings rather than what God teaches us through the Church we help evil thrive. As Blessed Carlo Acutis said: “Outside God is noise, turmoil, quarrel, war. With God everything is order, everything is in order.” Do as God tells us, not as we want, and we will have peace. It’s that simple!

      • Sam says:

        As an aside, I find it offensive and needlessly exclusive when someone uses the word “man” to describe human persons, men AND women!

  5. Angie says:

    Well, if you are for Trump, you hit the jackpot at St. Ann’s this week.

    • I never mentioned any candidate by name. I only laid out the Church’s teachings on which issues are of most importance
      to us. If you believe that means you should vote for Trump then you have told yourself that Trump is more in line with Church ethics than Biden is. You said it; I didn’t!

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