ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Community Calendar

Community Artists Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

Families in Nature
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Charlestown

Time, Tide & Water exhibit
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Westerly

"Shakespeare in Hollywood"
2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Westerly

Opening Reception
2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Westerly

Movies in the Park
7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Westerly

RI Blood Drive
9 a.m. - Noon Charlestown

... View all of today's events


Stay Connected
Friends to Follow


ADVERTISEMENT


The Supreme Court, Sun not infallible


Is it the policy of the editors of The Westerly Sun to slander and defame a local clergyman in order to advance their pro-gay marriage agenda? One would think so, given the content of this past Sunday’s front-page article concerning the Supreme Court’s decisions of June 26. For those who missed it, here’s the line to which I am referring: “Chris Irwin, a Westerly resident who earlier this year had filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (since withdrawn) against St. Pius X Church of Westerly alleging Rev. Raymond N. Suriani’s lobbying from the pulpit was a violation of the church’s tax-exempt status …”

What was the relevance of mentioning this complaint (which was withdrawn because it was baseless!), other than to attack me personally and undermine my credibility as a religious leader in this community?

This is a perfect example of yellow journalism at its worst. First of all, as The Sun originally reported it, the complaint to the IRS focused on me, not my parishioners. Saying that the complaint was “against St. Pius X Church” wrongly implies their direct involvement. Secondly, the line accuses me of “lobbying from the pulpit” — which I have never done. On the Sunday in question, I simply encouraged my parishioners to make their positions on the issue of gay marriage known to Sen. Dennis Algiere. I did not tell them what to say to the Senator. I merely told them that we have the civic and moral responsibility to let our leaders know where we stand on issues like this, because they are elected to represent us, and to serve us.

I did that because, as far as I know, we still have a right to free speech here in the United States of America.

The Sun has also said in past articles that I made this appeal to my parishioners during a homily. On that point they have also been wrong! I made my appeal at the end of Mass during my announcements. It was NOT the topic of my preaching that day.

Before I close, let me express my personal reaction to last Wednesday’s decisions. Someone from The Sun called me for a comment on the matter last Thursday afternoon, but I did not have the time to get back to the writer. I was preparing myself to go to Long Island to officiate at the marriage of a former altar server of mine — and, to be perfectly honest, my presence at his wedding rehearsal was much more important to me than giving a comment to The Sun.

But I will do so now. My personal response to these decisions is as follows: Marriage is — and always will be — between one man and one woman. Nothing the President or the Supreme Court or The Westerly Sun says can ever change that timeless truth. The Court was wrong in the Dred Scott decision of 1857, it was wrong in the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 — and it was wrong last Wednesday.

This, of course, should not surprise us because the justices of the Supreme Court (like the editors of The Westerly Sun) are not infallible.

And that’s why I pray for both groups every day.

The Rev. Raymond Suriani is pastor of St. Pius X Church in Westerly.



Back to ColumnGuest
Top Stories of the Week

Hope Valley-Wyoming fire chief nears his last call after 51 …
HOPE VALLEY — Sylvia Stanley is preparing for the day in mid-July when her husband, Fred, who has served as Hope Valley-Wyoming fire chief for … more ...

Police logs: Thursday, July 2, 2015 …
Richmond Kari L. Scholle, 26, of 370 Hillsdale Road, Richmond, was charged on June 24 with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. She … more ...

8 vying for Westerly council vacancy …
WESTERLY — Two former councilors, a licensed clinical social worker, and the town’s former human resources director are among a field of eight candidates seeking … more ...

Belting it out at Fenway: Grillo to sing national anthem …
PAWCATUCK — It came as no surprise to Michael Grillo’s friends and family when they heard he’d hit it out of the park during his … more ...

Fourth of July parades, fireworks, and celebrations …
Parades STONINGTON Stonington’s Fourth of July all town parade kicks off Saturday, July 4, at 10 a.m. at Wadawanuck Square, winds through the streets of … more ...

Comments