Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Laity urged to be stronger advocates for church issues in civic arena


BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) -- Speaking to members of the Cathedral Club of Brooklyn, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio said laypeople must take a more active role in politics and community affairs. He urged lay Catholics to be advocates for "the unborn child, all who have been marginalized or abused, our schoolchildren and their parents, the alien in our midst, those impacted by the darkness of war, and the soldier serving in distant lands." The Brooklyn bishop spoke at the annual dinner of the Cathedral Club Jan. 29 in the main ballroom of the New York Hilton in Manhattan. Honored at the dinner was Joseph Pistilli, president, CEO and chairman of the board of First Central Savings Bank. But Bishop DiMarzio warned that Catholics "face monumental attacks that distract from the positive vision and the work we seek to accomplish." He said, "As many of you know, the state Assembly has proposed legislation that would have a devastating impact on our church and exploit a painful chapter in our history -- namely, the statute of limitation rollback for cases of sexual abuse of minors."

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