(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012) — Today, we tackle a new issue on THE PLANET: The Definition of Marriage. First, let us deal with a few quickies:

SCREEN SHOTS — A splendid time was had by all who attended THE PLANET’s free showing of the 1963 Robert Wise classic, The Haunting. We had the small theater at the college to ourselves, with crystal clarity, the big screen, comfy seats, and a good mix of students and “civilians.” The Professor kept his introduction smart, short, and sweet, and then we all sank in to the art of filmmaking at its zenith.

TOMORROW, WE’LL TELL THEM WHO SENT WHOM — Tomorrow we shall share information straight from the courts and other official bodies relating to the arrests (multiple arrests, on two consecutive days in July 2005) of Angelo Stracuzzi, for President and CEO of Greylock Federal Credit Union. The information is still relevant, of course, for a number of reasons, including:

(1) When a person in an official fiduciary role and an unofficial position of trust as a “Community Pillar” betrays his charges so blatantly, the effects never leave the community. This is particularly true as long as the transgressions remain blemished through justice not being served. Stracuzzi copped a plea to two assault charges involving a 13- and a 15-year-old boy. Two counts of solicitation of the prostitution of a minor were dropped. He received a suspended one-year jail sentence, one-year of probation (which he never served, as far as the public record shows), and court-ordered psychological counseling (which he never received, according to the public record). The stench from all this still hangs over Stracuzzi, his family, his victims, Greylock, and its members.

(2) Greylock FCU is member owned. That changes everything. Greylock isn’t a privately held company. The members are the owners. The members were abused as badly as anyone in the entire sordid affair. There is reason to believe a civil suit could be launched, seeking damages, since it appears that the statute of limitations of Stracuzzi’s possible violations of fiduciary trust says that his actions are still in play. Greylock and Stracuzzi, of course, would sorely want this to g0 away. Should it, though?

(3) It’s bearing on the Nilan-Moore Case. Clifford Nilan, according to public knowledge, failed in his duties as chief probation officer when it came to the administration of the probation of his good buddy Stracuzzi. Nilan’s behavior in that case revealed to any reasonable interpreter that he is willing to abuse justice to help his friends and connections. As chief probation officer, and at the same time serving his buddy Angelo in a senior administrative position at Greylock Federal CU (as treasurer and member of the board of directors), the evidence shows that he knew of Stracuzzi’s conviction on the Biddeford Affair for almost five years and said nothing. That would suggest that he violated his oaths as a court officer and a Greylock officer. Thus, if he would act this way for a buddy, to what lengths would a man like this go to protect his daughter after she had, according to police, run over and nearly killed a man while driving her vehicle?

OPENING DAY TODAY— For the local teams (Red Sox, Yankees, and a lesser extent the

A collection of Topps baseball cards, Red Sox, circa late 1950s/early 60s (Courtesy of Topps Inc.)

Mets), today is Opening Day, a designation that still requires capitals on the “O” and “D” — even in this era of $20 million-a-year ballplayers and ballparks as amusement parks.

We will not follow MLB except in a most casual way, this sport that once afforded KID PLANET with countless hours of childhood joy and ADULT PLANET a fairly lucrative living.

We wish your team well. May it win the division, the pennant, and the World Series (though we must confess, we have lost track now how the playoffs work except to say they have been watered down — we mean, “expanded” — to get more teams involved).

To show our antipathy, we shall be sporting a Houston Astros cap this year, courtesy of our good friend, Puggy Riccarini, Astros director of player personnel. We should ask my acting partner Dan Duquette, Orioles GM, for a Birds’ cap.

Play Ball!



Now with that, let us get to the issue of the day: The Definition of Marriage. In presidential politics, there is only one issue: The Economy. Everything else is ancillary.

Every major side issue — the military budget, national security, Social Security, healthcare — has to do with monetary philosophy and policy. Nonetheless, this being the age of the 24/7 newscycle, we have allowed religion and politics to mix, producing a toxic blend of civic zealotry. As a consequence, religious matters have taken on ill-fitting civil rainment, making political “issues” out of personal matters such as abortion and marriage.

Today, we share two views of marriage. The first is that of the Catholic Church. The U.S. Conference of Bishops has declared all-out war in defense of traditional marriage. Are they correct? The second is that of those who defend same-sex marriage We shall present their arguments and ask: Do they represent the Good here via their inclusion? We ask you to read and explore both arguments and then share your views with the rest of the community.

Tell us what you think.



Read a welcome message from Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, Bishop of Oakland and chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.


What is marriage? Are a man and a woman really essential to marriage? What about the child … and the role of mothers and fathers? Is it discriminatory to defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman? What impact does the redefinition of marriage have on religious liberty?

These are just a few of the many questions about marriage today. They all hinge upon the first question: What is marriage? When the answer to this question is understood, everything else falls into its proper place.

Marriage is unique for a reason. We invite you now to find out why:


What does the Catholic Church teach about marriage?

Basing her teaching on God’s revelation in Scripture and the meaning of the human person, created male and female in the image of God, the Catholic Church teaches that marriage is the lifelong partnership of mutual and exclusive fidelity between a man and a woman ordered by its very nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children (see CCC, no. 1601; CIC, can. 1055.1; GS, no. 48). The bond of marriage is indissoluble – that is, it lasts “until death do us part.” At the heart of married love is the total gift of self that husband and wife freely offer to each other. Because of their sexual difference, husband and wife can truly become “one flesh” and can give to each other “the reality of children, who are a living reflection of their love” (FC, no. 14).

Marriage between a baptized man and a baptized woman is a sacrament. This means that the bond between husband and wife is a visible sign of the sacrificial love of Christ for his Church. As a sacrament, marriage gives spouses the grace they need to love each other generously, in imitation of Christ.

(From FAQ #3 in The Meaning of Marriage and Sexual Difference FAQs; see all FAQs)

Church Teaching About Marriage



A note on language: Why doesn’t this website use the terms “same-sex marriage” or “gay marriage”?

The terms “same-sex marriage” and “gay marriage” beg the question: What is marriage? Is it even possible for two persons of the same sex to be married? Using the terms “same-sex marriage” and “gay marriage” already presupposes (wrongly) that marriage comes in a variety of forms: “same-sex,” “opposite-sex,” “homosexual,” “heterosexual,” and so forth.

Put another way, the sexual difference and complementarity of husband and wife is not something that is added to a pre-existing thing called “marriage,” like you might add sprinkles to a sundae. Instead, male-female complementarity is at the very heart of marriage and part of its authentic definition. Marriage wouldn’t be marriage without a man and a woman, a husband and a wife. This is why adding alternative adjectives to the word “marriage” (“same-sex,” “gay,” and so on) produces not another “variety” of marriage, but a different thing entirely. It radically alters what marriage is in its very essence.

In contrast, the goal of the Marriage: Unique for a Reason website is to explain and illuminate the singular reality that the word “marriage” refers to: the faithful, fruitful, lifelong union of one man and one woman. A reality, you might say, without any adjectives. In the end, what’s at stake is precisely the authentic meaning of marriage. We invite you to explore the resources available on this website to understand why marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman.


Made for Each Other: Sexual difference is essential to marriage

“Love is Love,” declares a popular slogan in support of redefining marriage to include persons of the same sex. Its implication is clear: if marriage is about love, then any two adults who love each other should be free to marry … so the claim goes. Such an idea seems to have a certain appeal today, since it attempts to hold up the most universal of human ideals: love and freedom. But love and freedom don’t operate in a vacuum. Like breathing depends upon oxygen, love and freedom … and marriage … depend upon truth. Crucial questions cry out to be answered: Does love have anything to do with the human body, with being a man or a woman? Is there anything unique about married love? What is marriage? Keep reading…

Sexual Difference: Frequently Asked Questions

1.   Marriage: What’s a good starting point?
2.   Where does marriage come from?
3.   What is marriage?
4.   Why can’t marriage be “redefined” to include two men or two women?
5.   What is sexual difference?
6.   Isn’t marriage just about love and commitment between two people?
7.   Why does a person’s gender matter for marriage?
8.   How is the love between a husband and a wife irreducibly unique?
9.   What is complementarity?
10. Why does the Catholic Church care so much about marriage?
11. Where can I learn more about marriage?

What about same-sex attraction?

The Church’s teaching on marriage recognizes that every human person is made in the image of God and has inviolable dignity. Every human person is a gift, deserving respect and love. It is important to acknowledge that persons with homosexual inclinations have suffered and can suffer a great deal…. The Church cares for and accepts persons who experience homosexual inclinations. She refuses to label anyone. Many with a homosexual inclination attend Mass regularly, are active in parish life, and seek to receive the sacraments. Keep reading…


Made for Life: Marriage welcomes the “supreme gift” of the child

Any honest consideration of marriage must think about children, the hope of our future. For millennia, people of every generation and of every culture have understood that the marriage of a man and a woman is the central pro-child social institution and the rock of the natural family. Marriage has never been about the relationship of just any two adults. Marriage brings together a man and a woman who unite as husband and wife to form a unique relationship open to welcoming and caring for new life. As the union of husband and wife, marriage is a union open from within to the blessing of fruitfulness. Children are born “from the very heart” of marriage, from the mutual self-giving between husband and wife (CCC, no. 2366). They are the “supreme gift” of marriage and its “ultimate crown” (GS, nos. 50, 48). Keep reading…

The Gift of Children: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does marriage have to do with children?
2. Does the Church think that marriage is a mere “instrument” for having children?
3. What’s the difference between a husband and wife who can’t have children, and two persons of the same sex, who also can’t have children?
4. Why is a child meant to have both a father and a mother?
5. What about single parents? These families lack a father or a mother, just like households headed by two men or two women.
6. Aren’t children adaptable to many different family forms?
7. Don’t studies show that children do fine with two “moms” or two “dads”?
8. What about adoption?
9. New technology like “in vitro fertilization” (IVF) can enable two men or two women to have a child. Why does the Church teach that this is unacceptable?  


Made for the Common Good: Marriage safeguards justice

Are you a bigot if you support preserving the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in the law? It is no exaggeration to say that the most common criticism leveled against those who hold to the classic and time-honored definition of marriage is that they are being “discriminatory.” “Marriage,” goes the argument, “is a human right. It’s unfair to exclude people from marriage simply because they want to marry someone of the same sex.” However, this begs the prior question of marriage. Rights, equality, fairness, and non-discrimination are all important principles and values for the good of society. But an honest consideration of these principles requires an honest consideration of the natural facts of marriage. Keep reading…

The Common Good & Human Dignity: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does “intrinsic dignity of the human person” mean?
2. What does marriage have to do with human dignity?
3. Does the Church believe that people who experience same-sex attraction have equal dignity?
4. What does “the common good” mean?
5. Isn’t marriage a private relationship? What does it have to do with the common good?
6. Isn’t marriage just a religious issue that the government should stay out of?
7. What are basic human rights?
8. Is marriage a basic human right?
9. What’s the harm of same-sex “marriage”?
10. But isn’t it unjust discrimination to not allow two men (or two women) to marry?
11. What about civil rights?
12. Isn’t allowing two men or two women to marry just an extension of allowing interracial couples to marry?
13. What about equality and fairness?
14. What about “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships” between two persons of the same sex? 


Made for Freedom: Marriage and religious liberty stand – or fall – together

Marriage, the lifelong and exclusive union of one man and one woman, is a distinct good in itself, and deserves to be protected. At the same time, because marriage and the family are the foundation of society, proposals to “extend” and ultimately “redefine” marriage to include two persons of the same sex threaten not only to empty marriage of its meaning, but also to collapse other fundamental pillars of society. One of those pillars is religious liberty. Keep reading…

Marriage and Religious Liberty: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is religious liberty?
2. How are marriage and religious liberty connected?
3. How could changing the legal definition of marriage have any effect on religious liberty?
4. But would ministers really be forced to officiate at the “wedding” of two persons of the same-sex?
5. What’s the real threat to religious liberty posed by same-sex “marriage”?
6. Have any of these threats come to pass?
7. Doesn’t a religious exemption protect institutions and individuals if they believe that marriage can only be between a man and a woman?


Now this, the PRO Same Sex Marriage Arguments.

PRO Gay Marriage

  1. It is no one else’s business if two men or two women want to get married. Two people of the same sex who love each other should be allowed to publicly celebrate their commitment (357 KB)  and receive the same benefits of marriage as opposite sex couples. [40]
  2. There is no such thing as traditional marriage. Given the prevalence of modern and ancient examples of family arrangements based on polygamy, communal child-rearing, the use of concubines and mistresses and the commonality of prostitution, heterosexual monogamy can be considered “unnatural” in evolutionary terms. [3]
  3. Gay marriage is protected by the Constitution’s commitments to liberty and equality. The US Supreme Court declared in 1974’s Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur that the “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause.” US District Judge Vaughn Walker wrote on Aug. 4, 2010 that Prop. 8 in California banning gay marriage was “unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses (343 KB) .” [41]
  4. Denying same-sex couples the right to marry stigmatizes gay and lesbian families (117 KB)  as inferior and sends the message that it is acceptable to discriminate against them. The Massachusetts Supreme Court wrote in an opinion to the state Senate on Feb. 3, 2004 that offering civil unions was not an acceptable alternative to gay marriage because “…it is a considered choice of language that reflects a demonstrable assigning of same-sex, largely homosexual, couples to second-class status.” [42]
  5. Gay marriages can bring financial gain to state and local governments. Revenue from gay marriage comes from marriage licenses, higher income taxes (the so-called “marriage penalty”), and decreases in costs for state benefit programs. [4] The Comptroller for New York City found that legalizing gay marriage would bring $142 million to the City’s economy and $184 million to the State’s economy (127 KB)  over three years. [43]
  6. Gay marriage will make it easier for same-sex couples to adopt children. In the US, 100,000 children are waiting to be adopted (319 KB) . A longitudinal study published inPediatrics on June 7, 2010 found that children of lesbian mothers were rated higher than children of heterosexual parents in social and academic competence and hadfewer social problems (293 KB) . A July 2010 study found that children of gay fathers were “as well-adjusted as those adopted by heterosexual parents (144 KB) .”[44] [45] [46]
  7. Marriage provides both physical and psychological health benefits and recent research suggests that refusing to allow same-sex couples to marry has resulted in harmful psychological effects. [5] The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and others wrote in a Sep. 2007 amicus brief, “…allowing same-sex couples to marry would give them access to the social support (277 KB)  that already facilitates and strengthens heterosexual marriages, with all of the psychological and physical health benefits associated with that support.” [47]
  8. Allowing same-sex couples to marry will give them access to basic rights such as hospital visitation during an illness, taxation and inheritance rights, access to family health coverage, and protection in the event of the relationship ending. [6] An Oct. 2, 2009 analysis by theNew York Times estimates that a same-sex couple denied marriage benefits will incur an additional $41,196 to $467,562 in expenses over their lifetime compared to a married heterosexual couple. [7]
  9. The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association found that more than a century of research has shown “no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.” [8]
  10. Marriage in the US is a secular and dynamic institution that has gone under several major transformations. Interracial marriage was illegal in many US states until a 1967 Supreme Court decision. Coverture, where a woman’s legal rights and economic identity were subsumed by her husband upon marriage, was commonplace in 19th century America. No-fault divorce has changed the institution of marriage since its introduction in California on Jan. 1, 1970. Nancy Cott, PhD, testified in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that “[c]ivil law has always been supreme in defining and regulating marriage” (343 KB)  and that religious leaders are accustomed to performing marriages only because the state has given them that authority. [41]
  11. Legalizing gay marriage will not harm heterosexual marriages or “family values.” A study published on Apr. 13, 2009 in Social Science Quarterly found that “[l]aws permitting same-sex marriage or civil unions have no adverse effect on marriage (109 KB) , divorce, and abortion rates, [or] the percent of children born out of wedlock…” [48]
  12. Massachusetts, which became the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004, had the lowest divorce rate in the country in 2008. Its divorce rate declined 21% between 2003 and 2008. Alaska, the first state to alter its constitution to prohibit gay marriage in 1998, saw a 17.2% increase in its divorce rate. The seven states with the highest divorce rates between 2003 and 2008 all had constitutional prohibitions to gay marriage. [2]
  13. If marriage is about reproduction, then infertile couples would not be allowed to marry. Ability or desire to create offspring has never been a qualification for marriage. George Washington, often referred to as “the Father of Our Country,” did not have children with his wife Martha Custis, and neither did four other married US presidents.[9]

This, unfortunately, has become a “major” issues among certain political activists on both extremes of the spectrum. We would like to gauge the extent to which you agree or disagree with the Bishops of the Inclusionists. All are welcome to this community forum.






  1. DC
    April 5, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    Dan,You ask if the Anegelo thing should go away. Yes and no. Should the actions of the board upon learning of Angelo’s crimes be reviewed? Yes. Should Angelo’s sevarance agreement be scrutinized and be made available to GFCU members? Yes. Do the GFCU members, management, or board have any case against Angelo for breach of fiduciary duty? NO WAY IN HELL. You have to show that the members were financially harmed. How are you going to do that! The growth and prosperity of the credit union under Angelo’s charge defeats any claim. The first criteria in a civil case is “damages”. You can’t show damages, plain n simple. Yes we should stop grumbling about Angelo. Unless he comes back here to be the PHS boys lockerroom monitor.

    • Steve Wade
      April 5, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      DC How about the payout Stracuzzi got when he left the credit union? That was millions of dollars that could have gone to members of the credit union. If I was a credit union member I would have taken my money out as a protest to the board!

      • Molly
        April 5, 2012 at 9:43 am #

        Agree and I did take my money out of there! And you’re right – it was millions of dollars in severence pay.

        • The Embalmer
          April 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

          do u have proof of the package angelo recieved was millions?

          • danvalenti
            April 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

            With respect to what kind of package Angelo received to exit Greylock quietly, as far as I can determine, nothing was ever admitted or confirmed publicly. In 2010, when all this was breaking, I was in regular contact with John Bissell, who was acting as spokesman for GFCU during the mess. He never confirmed or denied any settlement. I had several contacts within Greylock who told me that there was a settlement deal reached. Another source was a local attorney, who said he had reason to believe the settlement was considerable. I shall have to review my reporting at the time, but from recall, the attorney said it was in the low seven figures. Again, that hasn’t been officially confirmed, but it does bare looking into, in my judgment. If the credit union had to pay a dime in exchange for a “resignation,” then every member-owner was harmed.

      • DC
        April 5, 2012 at 11:28 am #

        Steve, the Greylock members have a right to question Stacuzzi’s pay out. I don’t dispute that. Was it in the millions? I don’t know. Is it in print somewhere or is it speculation. I would like to know. It doesn’t change the fact that there is no civil case against Stracuzzi for his failure to notify the board. Again, a breach of policy, faith, trust, whatever…..but no “damages”, no case.

        • dusty
          April 6, 2012 at 9:49 am #

          The irony of it is that they had to pay HIM while it was he who damaged THEIR reputation.

          But then again I guess he owned the place

          did Nilan also get a settlement?

  2. Still wondering
    April 5, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    Dan, I don’t care at all about “same-sex marriage”. It’s legal in Massachusetts and I’m sure that Supreme’s will overturn the DMA.
    Moving on… your point about what Cliffy will do, would do or has done to protect his daughter is a very good one. I think he would stop at nothing and would break any law or policy. In the final analysis, he regards himself as above the law and so far that belief is holding true.

  3. Molly
    April 5, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Considering that it’s the Catholic Church that is the major one fighting for keeping traditional marriage lends so much LESS credibility to the arguments than if they just kept their mouths shut. For one, how in the hell would they know? They think so little of marriage that they don’t even allow it for their own priests! And with all of the pedophile priests that they have harbored and protected over the years (and mostly against little boys!), how dare they try to have ANY say? I was brought up Catholic – went to Catholic Schools for 12 years. Saw how they treated women of the church and especially the nuns and what little regard they still have for them. I was baptized, made my first Communion, Confirmed and married in the Church. I was also “divorced” within the Church for it is NOT the “true meaning of marriage” in which the Church is concerned but the “true value of money”. I was literally told the following words, by the Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield: ‘…until death do you part or you pay $200 to the Church for an annulment – yes even after children have been born from the marriage.” I petitioned the Vatican to change the marriage vows within the Church to include the Bishop’s words and was never even granted the honor of a reply. When I was married, I spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars to have the altar decorated with flowers, and wanted to bring some of them to the reception. I was told that I could not because they were “blessed”. OK. BUT – if I pay $300, then I can. I asked to hear the “unblessing ceremony” but was never allowed to. So as I said, the Church being the fighter of this leaves a lot to be desired.

    One of my very best friends I met during my time spent in Syracuse, NY – we worked together at a large Corporation there as did her husband, also a friend of mine. They had two small beautiful children and seemed so happy. He is a giant of a guy and by most definitions, “all male”! Loves everything the stereotypical guy loves – hunting mostly, but cars and ski-doo’s and mechanical things (not that women can’t and don’t like those things, too – just saying). One of his arms is bigger than my entire waist and all muscle – this is a big guy and all male! And a nice looking male, too! Which is why I was so surprised when his wife came to me to confide to me that she thinks she’s gay and she wants to leave him to be with a woman that she had met. She went through hell over this – as did he. And for a long time, I had both of them calling me on the phone almost constantly – her trying to deal with it all and him trying to understand and not knowing what to do or how to “compete”. And then there were (are) two children involved as well, that will have to deal.

    It’s now been about 11 years since this all started – they did divorce, she did end up with that woman and has recently met a new one, he does have a girlfriend but not anyone he intends to marry I don’t think. The kids have had their share of problems but how much is related to the gay piece of that and how much is related to the problems that most teenagers seem to go through today? There is no way to ever measure that of course.

    But for me to have sat back and “judged her” and told her that she needs to deny, for life, her attraction to another woman and her love for her, and not to men at all including her husband, would’ve been wrong of me to do. I did then and still do support her decisions and it is good to finally see her happy as hell she did go through for a very long time! So I DO support people who are gay and if that is what will make them happy, who is anyone else to tell them that they can’t or shouldn’t or whatever? I want my friend happy – she’s an excellent person and deserves that. And she is, finally.

    Even though I also believe that there are many truly gay people out there that can’t be happy unless they are allowed to be openly gay, I also think that there’s been a lot of “fad” around this as well and we already are starting to see this fad fade away somewhat. And it will continue to, leaving only the “truly gay”. Should they be allowed to marry? They should have the full legal rights of married people, with all that entails including medical decisions and financial matters, etc. But I think I still reserve marriage as between a male and a female…

    • Steve Wade
      April 5, 2012 at 11:26 am #

      Molly Good response Its all about the money for the Catholic church. If you go by the Catholic church then Angelo would have been perfect to be a priest. I also agree that too much is made about Gay marriage stop making it a issue and soon no one will care.

      • Scott
        April 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

        I watched an interesting documentary on sexual abuse in the catholic church and just when I thought I couldn’t despise their religion and practices more well I do. I also learned that the whole reason the priest practice celibacy is because the church want’s their wealth when they die (according to the documentary.) where as before they passed everything to their son’s. This in turn has created sexual repression resulting in the child abuse that plagues the church. As if it isn’t bad enough to abuse children the catholic church not only covered it up but allowed these offenders to be around fresh victims and to this day deny it. Two woman went to Rome and were turned away by the Vatican. I also learned GW passed something or other protecting the pope and church from prosecution. All that and the current pope is a Nazi war criminal anyways so I ask who gives a shit what the catholic church’s opinion is? My belief we are here to pro create marriage IS between a man and a woman. If a religious institution does not want to marry the same sex that is their right as Americans. Same sex couples also have the right as Americans to be joined and deserve the same respect and legal standing as couples of the opposite sex. It’s not rocket science live and let live.

        • levitan
          April 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

          Why are you (global) weighing a religious institution’s position to argue civil and legal matters?

          Very odd, I must say.

          • Molly
            April 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

            What?? You aren’t even being cohesive…

          • levitan
            April 6, 2012 at 6:56 am #


            I see you are also confused by the project of comparing arguments pertaining to a Church and those that pertain to a State.

        • danvalenti
          April 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

          The Church has made many mistakes, to be sure. We can also respect your comment on the origins of the celibacy requirement for priests. We have to strongly disagree with your characterization of Pope Benedict XVI. That adds nothing to your argument since it has no basis in fact.

          • Scott
            April 6, 2012 at 4:12 am #

            I’ts part of my opinion and it is factual he was in the Nazi army like it or not.

          • danvalenti
            April 6, 2012 at 9:42 am #

            Your opinion is sacrosanct. The facts are not. The fact is that as a boy, Joseph Ratzinger was automatically conscripted into the Youth for Hitler movement. This was not a choice, the same way young men in America must register for the draft upon turning 18. Ratzinger was never in the Nazi Army. Please, if you are to use fact, use it with the sacredness of accuracy. Your upset with the Catholic Church has enough reasonable grounds for complaint without weakening your case with these misstatements. You are better than that.

    • Tony Dinsmore
      April 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

      If the Catholic Church is so oppressive to women, maybe you should renounce your faith and join a more “pro-woman” religious institution. I suggest you start with Islam.

      • Molly
        April 5, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

        Nice… I am really surprised by the number of men on here who really hate women!!! It’s been coming out more and more lately and this is blatant.

      • Scott
        April 6, 2012 at 4:13 am #

        they’re sexually repressing their men.

      • Scott
        April 6, 2012 at 10:48 am #

        If it makes you feel any better they’re just as atrocious.

  4. Concern
    April 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Question: Is Angelo collecting any money or benefits from the City Of Pittsfield????? Health Ins . Or anything!!!!!

    • Still wondering
      April 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      He probably is collecting the state pension (and medical benefits) for elected officials. When he was on the city council, you were vested after only 6 years.

      • dusty
        April 6, 2012 at 1:26 am #

        I would love to see here in print for all the public to see, just what the benefits of city councilors are. Don’t they get fully paid health insurance for themselves and their families? And after x amount of terms is it a permanent benefit? What other benefits do they get?

        Some tax payers feel they should tread lightly on their councilors because they believe they are volunteers. This is not true and you should call yours if their is an issue in your ward that needs correcting. That is what they get paid for with tax payer money.

        • danvalenti
          April 6, 2012 at 9:43 am #

          Councilors receive and $8,000 yearly stipend for their term. The council president gets $10,000. Councilors can opt into the city’s health insurance program. To the best of my knowledge, if they do, they pay 15% of their premiums. Taxpayers Pick up 85%. After six years of service, that benefit can become perpetual.

          • dusty
            April 6, 2012 at 9:54 am #

            Thanks…so not the bad deal some of them would portray it to be. The health insurance alone is worth at least ten grand and possibly a few thousand more.

          • Molly
            April 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

            Wellllll, the fact that after only six years of service, they can forever get great health insurance for only 15% of the premiums is a HUGE deal!

  5. Wally Ballou
    April 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    On the marriage issue the Church is perfectly correct to define marriage the way it does. But it cannot impose the way it defines marriage (tradition, one male & one female) on the state.

    On Stracuzzi agree board actions at Greylock should be looked at again upon hearing of his arrest and also questioned about what they knew or didn’t know. Nilan was a board member all the time he headed probation. So he had to know. So a board member knew. Had to know. Members need also to know how what were the terms of any steelements to get Angelo and Cliffy to “resign.” Members can sue on that respect alone. Suggest John Bissell be called on this, now on the matter of fiduciary role I would say “maybe”. Until we (Im a former “member” and like Molly took my money elsewhere with me, to Berkshire Bank) know how much Angelo took out as a “condition” he resign, we were hurt. Any member of Greylock would do well to demand answers.

  6. Steve
    April 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Outstanding insight Molly, thanks !

  7. Tony Dinsmore
    April 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Interesting to see how the marriage debate turned into the “I hate Catholics” forum. As Arthur Schlesinger Sr. once said, anti-Catholicism is “the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people”. If everyone was as tolerant as these tolerance pushing liberals, we would be living in a society reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

    • Scott
      April 6, 2012 at 4:18 am #

      I always thought antisemitism held that rank. Abuse of child especially sexual is the most vile thing one can do to say the least the administration could have handled it a lot better and they failed millions of children and their families. You can’t deny that. There is a huge difference in belief in the word of God, giving your life to Christ and the catholic institution that has made it’s own rules.

      • levitan
        April 6, 2012 at 6:46 am #

        Scott, anti-semitism certainly outranks anti-catholicism in history and intensity. Even Pope Benedict is sensitive to anti-semitism and continues JPII’s attempt to make right on the past.

        Additionally, I tend to ignore brief quotations that are orphaned from their context. This quote is not even a complete sentence.

        • MaryKate
          April 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm #


          Often it is said a quote is taken out of context, as in your response, “Additionally, I tend to ignore brief quotations that are orphaned from their context. This quote is not even a complete sentence.” So I searched for the quote to see if you are correct in your statement. I also dislike when orphaned statements are made to fit the bill of a discussion.

          As quoted by John Tracy Ellis in his article “American Catholics and the Intellectual Life”, published in Thought 30 (Autumn 1955):
          “In the spring of 1942 I had the fact brought home to me in a forceful way when Professor Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr., of Harvard University, one of the outstanding autorities in American social history, remarked to me during a friendly chat in Cambridge, “I regard the bias against your Church as the most persistent prejudice in the history of the American people.” ” (

          As a side note, Professor Schlesinger was not Catholic, he was born to a Prussian Jewish father and Austrian Catholic mother and the two joined the Protestant Church. He once characterized prejudice against Catholics as “the deepest bias in the history of the American people”.[3]([3]”No You Don’t, Mr. Pope!”: A Brief History of Anti-Catholicism in America, A Three Part Series Offered by the Saint Francis University’s Catholic Studies at a Distance Program Delivered by Arthur Remillard, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. Saint Francis University CERMUSA website, retrieved May 2007) (,_Sr.)

          I have to agree with Tony Dinsmore when he states how the marriage debat has turned into “I hate Catholics” forum. Let us stick to the topic at hand, the marriage debate.

          Yes, Molly, it did “turn into it” – Dan used the Catholic Church’s stance on marriage as well as Pro Same-Sex Marriage stance. I am not reading any “gay” bashing, but I am reading “Catholic” bashing as stated in one of your previous comments, along with other commentors. It is too bad that you had such a bad experience with the Catholic Church, but your experience is NOT the experience of all. It is shameful and horrendous of the child molestations and cover-ups that has occurred in the Catholic Church; however, I fail to see how this remark of yours (or those of any other commentors) bears any weight on the marriage debate. I do agree with the last of your statement, “They should have the full legal rights of married people, with all that entails including medical decisions and financial matters, etc. But I think I still reserve marriage as between a male and a female…” Molly, all I have said above I speak/write in respectful response to your comments. Your comments are always thought provoking and respectful, I may not always agree, but you certainly make excellent points.

          • danvalenti
            April 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

            This is a beautifully written reply, disagreeing with another post but in a thoughtful and respectful manner. That’s the type of dissent that helps all of us.

          • Molly
            April 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

            I agree Dan — thank you Mary Kate for your respectful and well-written post and your opinions.

      April 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

      Well said. The liberal mind is sick. They need help.
      I was a Catholic for the first 17 years of my life. I am no longer affiliated with that Church. However, to bash them is stupid. How about focusing on the real problem in America, liberal, progressive God hating, moral hating, sick liberals? These creatures are the downfall of this nation.
      As a Libertarian, I could really give a shit who gets married to who.
      I find homo behavior to be disgusting. I don’t associate with those who practice it. But I’m certainly not going to deny them their choice. Do what you want. Just don’t put it in my face.

  8. Molly
    April 5, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    It didn’t “turn into it” – Dan had a VERY long post about the Catholic Church’s stance on marriage — that’s what today’s post is about! So how do you think that it “turned into” that?

    • Scott
      April 6, 2012 at 4:21 am #

      Molly, Catholics are religious extremist just like Muslims they think they are right because they are indoctrinated with these beliefs at a very young age.

        April 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

        @ Scott-
        Dude, chill out. I have always enjoyed your posts. There are people I don’t like. I keep it to myself. You are blaming the people for the administration’s bad policies. That would carry weight if the leaders of the Catholic Church were voted in. They are not. At least not by the lay people. Like I said, I’m not a Catholic. But your attacks on them are DOA.

        • Molly
          April 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

          I don’t consider Scott’s postings to be attacks at all but rather he’s merely stating his opinion, which is what this board is for and what you are, as well, doing.

        • Scott
          April 7, 2012 at 4:15 am #

          Not at all in fact I envy them for keeping their faith regardless of the admins choices to cover up abuse. I even stated that there is a difference between having faith in God and an institution. It’s like the seventh day Adventist holding everything Ellen White taught as if she was a profit. I understand the difference between the word of God and amendments made by institutions for their own purposes and needs.

  9. tito
    April 6, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    I know this is off topic, so please don’t crucify me, but does anyone know where I can purchase some BALLOONS for Easter? Thank you.

    • levitan
      April 6, 2012 at 6:47 am #

      Tito, I feel your frustration. Wherever it is you want to go, airplanes are faster.

      • steve wade
        April 6, 2012 at 7:30 am #

        Don’t forget today is good Friday so don’t eat meat or you will burn in hell. But if you bugger a alter boy you get to go to a new parish!

      • danvalenti
        April 6, 2012 at 9:37 am #

        This wins the “Wit of the Week” award for snappy reparte. Well done, L.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

      Tito Try balloon shop corner Eagle St. and First St.

    • Diogenes
      April 7, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

      Why would you want balloons?? They’re SO overrated!!

  10. Scott
    April 6, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Dan, I agree it is a gray area I did some reading and he wasn’t a big part of the Nazi movement and did run for the hills the first chance he got. He guarded airplanes and was only a member of the Hitler youth but didn’t participate in their functions.

    • danvalenti
      April 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

      Many thanks. Yes, that is the more accurate portrayal. I thank you for helping to make this website the beacon that it is.