Saturday, August 20, 2011

Church Politics and Schools

Campaign Manager Mayor Ignores Court Separation of Church and State Decision . . . All About the Votes
De Blasio says school worship use will continue, despite ruling (Capital) The mayor’s office said the use will continue despite the U.S. Supreme Court upholding a lower court backing of a ban. Wiley Norvell said the administration “remains committed to ensuring that religious organizations are able to use space in City schools on the same terms provided to other groups.” “Now that litigation has concluded, the City will develop ‘rules of the road’ that respect the rights of both religious groups and non-participants,” Norvell said. The United State Supreme Court declined on Monday to review a Second Circuit decision that upheld a standing ban by the city Board of Education on the use of public schools for religious services, even as the practice has been allowed in the face of previous legal pressure since 2002.* Supreme Court Leaves Intact New York’s Ban on Religious Services in Schools (NYT) The court declined to review a case involving the Education Department’s longstanding policy barring religious organizations from using public school facilities.* The U.S. Supreme Court opted not to take up a case challenging New York City’s ban on religious groups using public schools for services, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would like to accommodate such groups, The New York Timesreports: * Editorial: Bill’s big bargain on faith (NYDN Ed) * The best of de Blasio (NYP Ed)* Now, de Blasio Creating His Own“Religious Liberty” Problem ( Gay City News)

Dolan: I Shrunk the Church

New York Archdiocese Appears Likely to Shutter More Churches(NYT) Documents show that Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has proposed that an additional 38 parishes merge, in addition to the 112 that were announced in November.*  Gov. Andrew Cuomo failed to enact a tax credit that could help parochial and private schools, so Dolan wants the governor to include it in his budget proposal next month, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett reports:  Timothy Cardinal Dolan pushes for school tax break in Gov. Cuomo's budget proposal(NYDN)*  The sweeping reorganization of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, set to take effect next year, is likely to involve the merger or the closing of significantly more parishes than was originally announced last month, archdiocese documents show.* Cuomo failed to enact a tax credit that could help parochial and private schools, so Cardinal Dolan wants the governor to include it in his budget proposal next month.

,,,,,,* Mayor Bill de Blasio attempted to quell any doubts that religious schools could comply with the strict guidelines the city has set for the extension of the typical preschool school day, a controversial topic in the Orthodox Jewish community. "Our program is six hours and twenty minutes," de Blasio said. "That is the standard—and so the rules of the road here for any organization, a community based organization, a charter school, a Catholic school, yeshiva, everyone understands one standard: six hours and twenty minutes.” As City & State previously reported, there are palpable concerns within the Orthodox Jewish community and among education observers that some yeshivas and Jewish community based organizations would struggle greatly to incorporate a completely secular program as mandated by the administration. Many of the Jewish-affiliated UPK schools are open about teaching the values of Jewish Law or incorporate the Torah heavily into their curriculum. (To read more, click here:

Eliminating the statute of limitations for sexual abuse has bankrupted the Catholic Church in a few states.  It was killed last year by Albany.  Was there a behind the scenes warning to the church and other religious leaders that if they objected strongly on gay marriage the bill to eliminate the statute of limitations would pass? Dolan's lack of anger yesterday demands more investigation. Or was it a profoundly changing power dynamic, where Wall Street donors and gay-rights advocates demonstrated more might and muscle than a Roman Catholic hierarchy and an ineffective opposition At Mass, N.Y. Archbishop Is Silent on Gay Marriage(NYT) * Archbishop Dolan feeling 'down' following New York State's historic gay marriage vote (NYDN) * Brooklyn bishop says that churches should refuse to allow NY state lawmakers opportunity to speak to their congregants (CHN) 

DISAPPEARING NYC: “The beautiful, vacant, and broke cathedrals of NYC” by Post’s Kate Biquelet: “The New York Landmarks Conservancy surveyed 1,200 significant religious sites across the city and found that more than two dozen historically or architecturally important churches have been shuttered or destroyed in the past decade. And Brooklyn parishes are especially in danger, said Ann Friedman, who runs the conservancy’s Sacred Sites program. … Archdiocese of New York plans to consolidate its 368 parishes in the largest wave of closings since 2007.”

A look at the leadership and lifestyle of Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan:

* This week’s 5-4 Supreme Court ruling upholding prayer before government meetings stemming from a case in Greece, NY is another victory for the prayer lobby’s efforts to bring back the “soft” establishment of religion in America, Katherine Stewart writes for the New York Times:
* The Times Union urges clergy to honor diversity of views while performing prayers before government functions and not to use the moment as an opportunity to market their particular brand of faith:
Saddled with an estimated $4 million in debt and low enrollment, 52-year-old Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School in Brooklyn will close in June.

City’s Catholic schools losing students to tuition-free charters


Court Rules City May Stop Churches From Using Public Schools

de Blasio Supports Worshiping in Schools

Wednesday Update
De Blasio Says He'll Work With Religious Groups That Use Public Schools to Worship

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the New York City Department of Education may restrict churches from using public school facilities for religious worship services.* New York City Can Block Religious Services in Public Schools, Appeals Court Says(NYT) Though a federal appeals panel ruled that New York City can prohibit religious groups from holding services in public school buildings, Mayor Bill de Blasio maintained his stance that he supports groups’ rights to worship in schools * Court Upholds City Ban On Church in Schools(WSJ) * Let them worship, Bill(NYDN Ed) The mayor seems to understand that the city has no business defining prayer* Push de Blasio to Let Them In Members to Rally de Blasio to End Policy He Opposes * Pastors are hoping de Blasio will allow worship in schools(NYDN)
NY1: "The Bronx church at the center a nearly 20-year lawsuit against the Department of Education held services Sunday for the first time since a court ruling upheld the city's right to ban religious services from public school buildings."

Church Cuts

Archdiocese Moves to Close Parishes Under Cardinal Dolan(WSJ)
The Archdiocese of New York is planning another round of closing and merging parishes, marking the broadest shake-up of the Roman Catholic institution since Cardinal Timothy Dolan took control of the diocese in 2009.

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