My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rochester's Transformations in 2014

 
Dear Blog Visitors:
 
2014 will be a major year for transformations in Rochester. At the secular level, we will have a new mayor and administrators in City Hall. At the religious level, we will have a new Roman Catholic Bishop.

Concerning City Hall, I spent 23 years there, retiring in 2011 as supervisor of the City's accounts payable operations. I got to see much, in terms of day-to-day operations. My initial hope was that incoming mayor Lovely Warren would retain at least some of the talente...d department heads that were put into place by her immediate predecessors. While some positions were retained, there were multiple replacements as well. In retrospect, Lovely Warren had a good transition team, and I am impressed with choices she made. At the same time, I hope those not retained will be able to find employment soon, since they are extremely talented individuals.

I was happy to see that Charles Benincasa is being elevated from his position as City Treasurer to Finance Director. I worked closely with Charlie, and he will do a fantastic job in his new position. I am also pleased that Tassie Demps will keep her job as director of Human Resources. I worked closely with her when she and I were in the Purchasing Bureau, and her move to Human Resources a few years ago proved to be wise and beneficial to City employees.

Since I have worn two hats in recent years (my role in City Hall and my role as a married priest), I feel I must make a comment about the upcoming installation of Salvatore Matano as Rochester's new bishop. I wish him well, and I hope he will take a cue from Pope Francis, and work toward more inclusivity. I am not sure Matano's installation is the right way to begin in that direction, since the only persons invited are priests and deacons, which essentially excludes the women religious (nuns) and laity.

I will approach 2014 with an open mind and hope for the best of all possibilities.
 
Peace to all,
Ray

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pope Francis Named Person of the Year

 
 
Dear Blog Visitors:
 
When I was ordained a married priest by a married archbishop in 2006, it was in recognition of the fact that I had the same graduate theological degrees as my celibate counterparts, and that sex and gender restrictions sadly prevented many qualified individuals from entering a vocation they were called to.

I was very pleased to learn that Pope Francis has been named Time Magazine's person of the year. He has the potential to make the Roman Catholic Church a more welcoming and inclusive institution than what was experienced under his immediate predecessors.

It is my hope that in light of the shortage of celibate priests, Pope Francis will authorize the inclusion of women and married men at the altar. Since the imposition of mandatory celibacy in 1139, there have been many scandals in the church, inclusive of the sexual abuse crisis that peaked in 2002.

Women and married priests who have found the means to become ordained have found ways to minister independently of the institutional church. In my case, I continue to preside at weddings. Pope Francis has the means to bring these highly qualified persons into the wider Roman Catholic community with the simple stroke of a pen. Let us hope this happens.
 
Peace to all,
Ray