Be patient with me, it is going to be very difficult to get through this post with a straight face.
Father Jim Lisante, a Long Island priest, has gotten into his own little political pickle for which he has now apologized. Fr. Lisante, speaking at a Republican Fundraiser in NYC, used the occasion of the invocation to put in a plug for John McCain.
[Newsday]”One final thing, Lord, I promise,” Lisante, dressed in his clerical collar, said at the end of the invocation, a videotape of which was posted on the Internet. “This November could you keep an eye on all of us and see that the change that we embrace comes from Arizona and not Illinois?”
He also made other disparaging comments about Obama, including criticizing him for failing to quickly distance himself from his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.
Yes Father, that was very very bad.
Lisante apologized for using the invocation for his comments saying “In hindsight I would have separated out the invocation, the prayer, from my commentary.” However he maintained that just because he is a priest he does not forfeit his citizenship.
“I do not as a priest forfeit my right as a citizen to a point of view, even when it comes to standing by a particular candidate,” he said. “Yes, I am a supporter of John McCain and I believe in him very much as a man of character and strength for our country.”
Let’s look at a little reaction. Keith Olberman called Lisante one of the “worst people of the day” (a badge of honor) and advised him and all preachers to “stay the hell out of politics.” Can anyone remember Olberman telling Pfleger to stay the hell out of politics during his months of support of Obama before it blew up in his face. How ’bout Rev. Al Sharpton? Rev. Jesse Jackson? Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.? Didn’t think so.
Fr. Thomas Reese, of course, has a comment. (Doesn’t this guy have anything else to do?) Fr. Reese, who was kicked out of his job as editor of the left leaning magazine America about 17.5 seconds after the election of Pope Benedict has this to say about Lisante’s endorsement.
U.S. bishops have been “pretty strong in saying their clergy should stay away from partisan politics,” Reese said. “It’s OK to talk about issues. But to get into endorsing candidates crosses the line in terms of church practice.”
As we all know, Fr. Reese has dedicated his life to staying in line with the “strong sayings” of the Bishops and the Pope.
The double standard of these guys amazes me. (Not Really). As for Fr. Lisante, what you did was probably over the line, funny, but over the line. I am very disappointed in you. (Not Really)