Bishop DiMarzio’s 18 Years in the Diocese
Dear Editor: It was interesting reading about the accomplishments of Bishop DiMarzio during his tenure as Bishop for 18 years (Put Out Into the Deep, Aug. 7).
Indeed, it has been a huge accomplishment for the growth of diocesan concerns, improving on vocations, changing some of the patterns in governance and leadership, and creating a diocesean home for immigrants. In addition, he has encouraged various linguistic apostolates within the diocese, created variety within ministries, and supported vulnerable and marginalized communities, among many other accomplishments. I was very fortunate to serve the diocese for nearly two-and-a-half years as a parochial vicar.
I did gain a lot of pastoral experience encountering various communities during my stay from December 2016 to May 2019. I began my ministry in the diocese at St. Patrick’s Church, Bay Ridge. From there I went to Mary Queen of Heaven, Mill Basin; Basilica of Regina Pacis, Bensonhurst; and St Bartholomew‘s Church, Elmhurst; followed by Queen of Angels, Sunnyside; and St. Mary’s of Winfield, Woodside.
Thanks to Bishop DiMarzio for his kindness and accommodation. May God keep pouring out His blessings upon him.
Francis Sunil Rosario
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Thank You, Father Costello
Dear Editor: I want to tell my pastor at St. Luke, Father Costello, that I can understand why he was unable to accede to the request of some of our friends and neighbors that he sign the religious exemption form for local college students regarding the COVID-19 vaccinations (“Remove the Abortion Question From Vaccines,” Aug. 7).
The Church does have its own rules and one of them, as explained by Father Costello, is that, notwithstanding the distant past origin of some vaccine stem lines, the vaccine is currently acceptable to be administered to those in need of its therapeutic effects.
As a faithful subject of Christ’s kingdom, Father Costello had to follow the Church’s lead and turn down the parishioners’ requests. That’s as it should be.
I did find his further question and suggestion to be interesting. Indeed, why haven’t new, non-fetal-tissue stem lines been created? I’m not a cellular biologist, but Father’s mention of stillbirths [and miscarriages-my suggestion] does raise an interesting possibility. However, our society has become so polarized that, even in that event, some may doubt that there was a stillbirth that gave rise to the line and still refuse to be vaccinated.
Garrett Edward Dempsey
Response to Father Costello’s Letter
Dear Editor: Father John Costello’s letter to The Tablet (“Remove the Abortion Question From Vaccines,” Aug. 7) was both thought- provoking and disappointing at the same time. It is sad to see the lack of courage shown by bishops, individual priests, and chanceries to the faithful Catholic who is appalled by the use of fetal stem cell lines in the testing and the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines.
We need a vaccine that is acceptable to the consciences of everyone. Unfortunately, there has only been silence from most of our leaders who should be demanding it. And now, our religious leaders are failing to even give a religious exemption letter
to a college student or a working person supporting a family that does not want to participate in these morally compromised vaccines. Where are the shepherds protecting their flocks?
Ethicist Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk has urged those who get the vaccine to protest publicly and demand a COVID vaccine be made without fetal stem cell lines. We have heard much praise for the vaccine, but not the public objections of the many individuals who have gotten the vaccine. One can write a letter to the manufacturer or the media to publicly protest. The scientific community that makes the vaccines will never change how they are made if they do not hear from you.
We need a vaccine that has not been made through the death of an unborn child.
We hope that the young people and others that are following their consciences refusing vaccination with these tainted vaccines are not punished and refused admittance to their college because of not having a religious exemption letter. Do not lose hope and be strong.
Geri and Tim Haggerty
Editor’s note: See “Dioceses Begin to Address Vaccine Mandates and Religious Exemptions” for an update on guidance offered by dioceses on this topic.
Interview with Father Albert Amakyi
Dear Editor: It was a pleasure to read the article on the summer ministry of Father Albert Amakyi from Ghana (“Priest From Ghana Inspired by New York Catholics Each Summer, Aug. 7).
As a parishioner of Queen of Angels Church, I have had the good fortune to get to know Father Albert during his many summers of service to the parish.
The picture that accompanied the article captured the true essence of Father Albert. He is humble, compassionate, and radiates the joy of God. More importantly, he transmits that joy to everyone he encounters. The parishioners of Queen
of Angels are truly blessed to have Father Albert as our spiritual companion whenever he is able to spend time with us. He is an inspiration to all.