Different viewpoints on Diocese of RVC

Newsday [Melville NY]

February 6, 2023

By Joe Campbell, Pat McDonough, and Frank E. Philpitt

The Diocese of Rockville Centre’s proposal to offer a sexual abuse settlement of as much as $200 million raises many questions [“Diocese offers up to $200M sexual abuse settlement,” News, Jan. 28]. Church Canon law 1263 states that a bishop has the right to impose a moderate tax on each parish church.

Throughout the year, there are additional “second collections,” which are also delivered to the bishop of each diocese. My former church in Queens was recently paying an 18% tax with no accountability of where this money was being spent by the bishop.

How much money has been spent employing high-priced law firms by the diocese? When will the diocese’s financial concerns be controlled by faithful lay leaders who espouse transparency and accountability? If not now, when?

— Joe Campbell, Port Washington

St. Agnes is the patron saint of the Rockville Centre diocese. She is also the patron saint of victims of sexual abuse. When Agnes was 12, she tried to protect her innocence, but Roman leaders abused, humiliated and murdered her in 304 AD.

Roman Catholic leaders are prolonging the trauma that they thrust upon innocent children like Agnes. Our church portrays her holding an innocent lamb, the symbol of purity. On her feast day, Jan. 21, two lambs are blessed in Rome. Their wool is then used to make special vestments sent by the pope to archbishops as tokens of their power and union with the Holy Father. The irony is overwhelming.

— Pat McDonough, Long Beach

I was not aware that the Diocese of Rockville Centre has in any way hindered a “healing” process [“RVC diocese must let healing begin,” Letters, Jan. 25]. It appears that the reader and perhaps other Roman Catholic parishioners have forgotten what the church consists of and who is at its head.

To paraphrase our Founding Fathers, “We the people” are the church, and the Lord we profess to follow is at its head. Any type of “healing” needed must come from the prayers of church members.

Yes, what was done by certain clergy members is unforgivable, but that should not in any way influence one’s beliefs or precipitate discontinuing monetary support of the institution, as this reader has decided to do.

I find it admirable that she has chosen to “support other charitable organizations,” but as Roman Catholics, we must not forget to support the primary institution, God’s church.

In addition, one must remember that filing bankruptcy requires legal procedures that do not allow for assets to be “transferred out of reach,” as the reader said.

— Frank E. Philpitt, Hicksville