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RI Catholic Priest Tells Lawmakers Who Approved Marriage Equality He Will Campaign Against Them in Church

A Rhode Island Catholic priest emailed Rhode Island lawmakers who approved same-sex marriage legislation telling them that he would be preaching against their reelection from the pulpit, RI Future reports:

Sistare“I’m praying for each of you, that you turn back to God,” said an email purportedly from Father Brian Sistare, who is now the priest at Sacred Heart in Woonsocket. “I’m also going to let my Parish know exactly how you voted, so come re-election time, you will not be re-elected.”

As non-profit entities, churches are legally forbidden from engaging in political campaign activity.

The email was sent to the 26 state senators who voted for marriage equality and was signed and seemingly sent by Sistare.

Rhode Island's marriage equality law came into effect on August 1.

Sistare's full email, courtesy of RI Future, AFTER THE JUMP...

The email:

Dear RI Senators who voted for “marriage” between members of the same sex,

       Yesterday was a very sad day for our little state of Rhode Island.  I’m still shocked that each of you took it upon yourself to take the place of God and redefine what He has established.  Marriage has always been understood as the union between one man and one woman.  This is a 5,000 year old fact!  I’m wondering what you will do when a mother comes to you and asks to be married to her son, or a cousin wants to marry her first cousin, or when a man wants to marry 2 or 3 women, or a human being wants to marry his animal?  What will you do, now that you have decided that Marriage is no longer a sacred union between one man and one woman?

        For those of you Senators who are baptized Catholics, I invite you to go to the Sacrament of Confession to receive God’s Mercy and Forgiveness for your grave sin of voting against God yesterday, so you’ll be able to receive Holy Communion again in the Catholic Church.

        For those of you who claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, I also invite you to repentance in your own faith tradition; and to those who claim no religious affiliation, I pray that you also see the error of your ways.

        Your decision yesterday will have a lot of consequences on those of us who hold God’s definition of Marriage between one man and one woman.  Already my Pastor from my hometown of Westerly is being accused by a confirmed lesbian, of violating the tax exempt status of the Catholic Church for telling his parishioners to contact Senator Algiere about his upcoming vote – unfortunately, Senator Algiere, you betrayed your own Catholic Faith and your constituents in voting for sodomy yesterday.  Also, my little niece Giana was coming out of school the other day when her fellow 4 year old classmate remarked to her that 2 women could marry.  Thankfully, my niece told the little boy the TRUTH that this isn’t the case, that Marriage is only between one man and one woman.

        I’m praying for each of you, that you turn back to God.  I’m also going to let my Parish know exactly how you voted, so come re-election time, you will not be re-elected.


Fr. Sistare
St. Rocco Church
Johnston, RI

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Comments

  1. Is Brian Sistare a child rapist?

    Considering he is a catholic priest, it is a questiont that needs to be asked.

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 9, 2013 8:26:28 AM


  2. That man has some serious gay face, just sayin.

    Posted by: Travis | Aug 9, 2013 8:29:06 AM


  3. Hmm - strip his tax-free status and let him protest all he wants.

    Posted by: Mason | Aug 9, 2013 8:33:22 AM


  4. He's gay all right.

    I wonder, do the Founding Fathers have to come out of their graves to take care of this current issue of the Church repeatedly trying to meddle in the affairs of the State?

    Posted by: Jack M | Aug 9, 2013 8:37:11 AM


  5. In my opinion, Lana Del Rey is god. I'll pray to her to cure his gayface.

    If he buys 'Young & Beautiful' on iTunes he will be forgiven for being a bigot and closetcase.

    X.

    Posted by: Chris | Aug 9, 2013 8:37:20 AM


  6. Seriously what has to happen for our elected officials to yank the non-profit status of religious organizations. If an non-religious 510c3 organization published such a letter they'd get their non-profit status yanked.

    501c3's can comment on "issues" but not specific candidates nor can they engage in propaganda against specific candidates or issues.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Aug 9, 2013 8:38:52 AM


  7. He means he'll do all of this as soon as he gets back from Fire Island?

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Aug 9, 2013 8:41:58 AM


  8. Too funny! Miss Mary really seems to be on quite the little power trip there!

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 9, 2013 8:43:48 AM


  9. The priest has every right to surrender his churches tax exempt status to promote politics in his church.

    Posted by: Tim S | Aug 9, 2013 8:52:12 AM


  10. It's the US. Nothing will ever happen to him. Any official who even thinks about doing anything against him will immediately lose their job.

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 9, 2013 8:53:59 AM


  11. PRosecute

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Aug 9, 2013 8:54:38 AM


  12. END NON-PROFIT STATUS NOW....

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Aug 9, 2013 9:03:24 AM


  13. I agree with Steve's comment. No US politician will EVER lobby to get tax exempt status pulled from any church or religious institution. The fairly accepted concept of separation of church and state is a joke when it comes to religious figures honoring it or the IRS changing the tax status of churches. It's not going to happen so we might as well live with it and figure different ways to attack these hate-filled homophobic and/or racist and/or anti-woman and/or anti-Semitic religious organizations.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Aug 9, 2013 9:03:43 AM


  14. I doubt that the priest's e-mail constitutes "meddling in the affairs of state." Read the e-mail. He did not ask his parishioners to do anything. He merely said he would inform them of how the legislators voted. He then expressed the opinion that doing this would lead to their defeat in the polls. But that is not meddling in the state. The dissemination of correct information cannot be construed as meddling. For you anti-religiion types to prevail, the Catholic Church itself would have to declare an OFFICIAL policy telling people how to vote. E.g. "According to Catholic Faith it is sinful to vote for Democrats." And even then, the Supreme Court would have to decide if freedom of religion trumps or is trumped by separation of Church and State. In the past, the court has held that a Church can express any belief it wants. E.g. the Mormons can SAY that plural marriage is God's will. Westborough Baptist Church can SAY that the US is damned. None of this changes their tax-free status, nor should it. As long as the priest merely informs the congregation about voting records, he is safe.

    It is highly improbable that the founding fathers would want to abolish the tax immunity of Churches, since they are the ones who established it.

    Posted by: Ernst Rhoem's Ghost | Aug 9, 2013 9:07:19 AM


  15. Remember when the Church determined the law? It was called "the Dark Ages"

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Aug 9, 2013 9:15:06 AM


  16. C'mon folks, fatuous comments aside, doesn't it strike you as pathetic that one of the Catholic church's eunuchs presumes to speak for God and tell other people what they must do, say, and believe, and how they should vote? The medieval mindset of the RC and fundamentalist churches has turned them into an irrelevant laughingstock.

    Posted by: Onnyjay | Aug 9, 2013 9:15:37 AM


  17. @ghost you don't know what you're talking about.

    "The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations

    Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

    Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

    On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention."

    Posted by: candide001 | Aug 9, 2013 9:17:53 AM


  18. @ghost you don't know what you're talking about.

    "The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations

    Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

    Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

    On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention."

    Posted by: candide001 | Aug 9, 2013 9:17:53 AM


  19. For all the folks here who keep saying that the church should lose it's tax-exempt status: how do you know that this priest is not aiming for just this? A serious call to have tax-exempt status removed ignites the Christian Right and immediately gives them millions (yes, millions) of new allies. I say you're being played here. This priest knows what he's doing. Every Catholic politician knows that the church's teaching is on homosexuality. It is YOU his statements are aimed towards. He's relying on you to react emotionally.

    Posted by: Mary | Aug 9, 2013 9:22:35 AM


  20. Please do so, and now that you are a political organization, here is your tax bill for all those buildings you own.

    Posted by: Bubba | Aug 9, 2013 9:50:40 AM


  21. Baby rapist says what?

    Posted by: screamingqueen | Aug 9, 2013 9:57:49 AM


  22. Whatevs. Like most sane Catholics, most of his parishioners will yawn with their mouths closed and go on supporting marriage equality anyhow. I'm not Roman Catholic, but most Catholics I know take a very laid-back pick n choose attitude to their church. Which drives the leadership crazy but hey you can't have everything.

    Posted by: leprechaunvict | Aug 9, 2013 10:11:44 AM


  23. Isn't it time that our legislators remove the Tax Exempt status for all churches that get involved in political discourse? This would be all churches.

    Posted by: THurts | Aug 9, 2013 10:16:13 AM


  24. The Catholic Church recognizes the relationship of Newt and Callista GIngrich as a "marriage." This despite their relationship beginning as an adulterous affair while Newt was legally married to another (with whom he had an affair while married to yet another woman). This affair went on for SIX YEARS, yet the Church decided his first two marriages didn't really happen (so his children are bastards) and they could recognize an immoral relationship as a "marriage." How dare Mr. Sistare or any other Catholic question anyone else's morals?

    Posted by: CPT_Doom | Aug 9, 2013 10:25:35 AM


  25. Tax the Catholic Church already!!!!

    Posted by: kranbree | Aug 9, 2013 10:32:28 AM


  26. 1 2 3 »

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