A Development of Doctrine on the Death Penalty

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Recently, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, by amending the Catechism of the Catholic Church, declared that the death penalty is unacceptable in all cases. He built on the teaching of St. John Paul II who in his 1995 Encyclical, “Evangelium Vitae,” stated that punishment “…must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society.” 

The Immigration Conundrum

The issue of immigration reform has caught the attention of our country because of the unfortunate practice of separating children from their parents as they approach the border. Some of the people are seeking asylum or a safe haven escaping difficult situations in their home countries, especially violence and oppression. Others come seeking to improve their economic condition fleeing a life of poverty.

Redoubling Our Outreach to Youth

Anyone who takes the opportunity to assist young people truly puts out into the deep unknown waters of how one generation can reach the next generation, especially in regard to the things of faith. Faith cannot be taught. Faith must be caught. Faith must be transmitted by faithful witnesses.

Suicide Is Never the Answer

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Recently the issue of suicide has been brought to our attention and its rise in America has become troublesome. Anthony Bourdain, the famous travel chef and author, and Kate Spade, a well-known fashion designer, both committed suicide during the same week. These high-profile people brought attention to the rising suicide rate in the United States.

Honoring Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a well-celebrated event not only in our Mount Carmel parish in Williamsburg, but also in several others parishes in the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens. 

Let’s Celebrate Five New Priests

As we celebrate our Priesthood Ordinations today, I am pleased to take this opportunity to provide you with a review of our efforts for recruiting seminarians during this Year of Vocations and speak about our newly ordained.

Humanae Vitae Is Based on Wisdom of the Ages

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication by Blessed Paul VI, soon to be St. Paul VI, of his encyclical on the regulation of birth entitled, Humanae Vitae. The release of this encyclical, one of the highest-teaching methods of the Church, caused great uproar in 1968. The teaching it contains on the immorality of contraception continues to be controversial today; though perhaps, even worse, for many contemporary people, its teaching is deemed irrelevant and thus ignored. 

Marijuana Is Very Dangerous

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Our country and our state are in the midst of a substance abuse crisis. In particular, when we look at the opioid epidemic that seems to be threatening the health of our city, as well as the push for the legalization of marijuana in our state, my concern, as Bishop of the diocese in Brooklyn and Queens and as a social worker for the mental health of our youth, I feel obliged to speak out on this issue.

Marriage Is a Share in the Plan for Creation

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

On June 9th, the Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis will sponsor the annual Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Mass at the chapel of the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston. Auxiliary Bishop James Massa will be the main celebrant. This celebration invites all couples who have received the sacrament of Marriage, to renew their wedding vows. Special recognition will be given to couples celebrating their 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries. This celebration is not only for married couples, but also for families of the couples to come together and share in their wonderful love and commitment.