Cafeteria Catholics

No special effects: A straight shot of Catholicism

Sold to the Highest Bidder!

 

By Efrain Cortes

Before we get down to business, I think it is appropriate to state that I believe Mr. Brown to be a good, sincere Catholic who has done much to promote authentic Catholic teaching in a diocese in dire need of it. However, I believe Mr. Brown is being swept away by a spirit of deception. And so it is that I write this with a sense of urgency, and with the sincere hope that Mr. Brown will come to see the error into which he has been lured by the unprincipled.

That having been said, Let's get down to business!

Leo Brown: "That's not all we wanted to talk with you about Fr. Jim. We got other things going on...Specifically we want to get to the "Evening Among Friends." Now this is the second time that you and Richmond have gotten together with some other people to try to help out the community. Explain the concept first, and let's talk specifically about what's coming up."

Fr. Sichko: "The whole concept of "An Evening Among Friends" was brought up over a year and a half ago when I was appointed as pastor and also realized that with that appointment came a $1.9 million debt of a building project that St. Mark has had. And it was very important [to] the finance council and [to] myself to get that debt down as we grew as a parish and as we grow as a parish, to be able to free other monies up for ministry. And you're not able to do that when your paying off an enormous debt such as that."

Fr. Sichko: "…But in the same aspect, you have to have some type of platform and program that attracts all different types of individuals. And so I brought forward this program, this concept of not only raising money for us, but the money that we raise, not keeping it just for us, but giving it to others...And so that's what we've done. Last year we brought in Regis Philbin. We collected over $100,000 in net profit. We gave part of the proceeds to the YMCA, part of the proceeds to Kidz Konnection, and then we paid off the largest amount towards our debt in one single payment then we have ever had in the history of our parish."

Leo Brown: "Wow. Amen."

Fr. Sichko: ..."And at the same time it attracted individuals from all over the states who decided to come to this evening event. This year we've touched it up a notch (sort of speak). We have Mr. Bill Cosby coming, and our evening VIP performance was a sell out. It sold out 3, 4 months ago."

Leo Brown: "Oh, wow!"

Leo Brown: "And Fr. you know, I think we need to deal with this because you have been criticized to some degree because of secular artists coming to perform for ah, you know, an event of this nature. This was never promoted in any way, shape, or form as being catechetical - was it?"

Fr. Sichko: "It, it never was. It was totally a type of venue in which we could minister and be ministered to, in providing an opportunity to get our debt down. It was nothing to do with...someone coming in and speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church or on Catholic values, etc. etc."

Leo Brown: "And really has nothing to do with the personal lives of these individuals at all...And they're not going to be trying to teach any sort of (chuckle, chuckle) dogmatic, you know, you know dogmatic sort of, you know, like I say, any ah, teachings of their beliefs or whatever, it's, it's entertainment."

(Diocese Live, "Real Life Radio" WMJR 1380, interview with Fr. Jim Sichko April 11, 2006).

Well fellow Catholics, it appears that Mr. Leo Brown, General Manager of Catholic Radio WMJR 1380, and Fr. Jim Sichko have conspired in a bit of a cover-up in their promotion of the ever scandalous, "An Evening Among Friends."

But we are not fooled for one instant, are we fellow Catholics? Fr. Sichko and Mr. Leo Brown, can attempt to spin the truth any which way they like. But the fact of the matter is, that on April 30 2006, at the second annual "An Evening Among Friends,” our fundamental moral principles as Catholics were once more sold to highest bidder! And this incontrovertible fact is one that will be made glaringly apparent as we expose the inconsistencies and double-talk that have served as promotional tools for this most scandalous event.

And so now that we've heard the spin fellow Catholics, let us prepare ourselves for our encounter with the truth. For I assure you, it will not be pretty.

Now, let us first begin by taking note at how Mr. Brown states: "And Fr. you know, I think we need to deal with this because you have been criticized to some degree because of secular artists coming to perform for...an event of this nature," but never once addresses the nature of the criticism directly.

Now, how does one effectively "deal" with criticism that has been leveled, if the criticism in question is never specifically addressed?

But you see, Mr. Brown's failure to address the serious nature of the criticism directly, gives ample substantiation to the credibility in which that criticism is rooted.

You see, the fact of the matter is, that Mr. Leo Brown and Fr. Jim Sichko understand very well the severity of our credible criticism. Therefore, they dare not even touch it! For they know that our criticism is solid and true. And so you see, it is much simpler to try and cover up the truth by merely sweeping it under the rug. It is much simpler to veil the ears of their listening audience than to deal with the serious nature of this website's criticism head-on. It is much simpler to merely "chuckle" the truth away. Isn't it?

But unlike "Diocese Live," we at 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' like to do things the hard way!

Therefore, 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' has not and will not engage in the veiling of its audience's eyes or ears. And we refuse to neatly sweep the truth under the rug. For the Catholic faith we know fellow Catholics, is not for sale!

It is for this reason that the scandalous nature of "An Evening Among Friends" has been, and will continue to be, exposed at every turn on this website. For thus far, the event has hosted speakers whose actions lie in direct defiance of our fundamental moral principles.

And let it not be forgotten that in 2004 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated the following regarding this very matter:

"The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.

(emphasis added).

This statement on the part of our Bishops is clear. If a person’s actions are in defiance of our fundamental moral principles, that person should not be given a Catholic platform from which to speak. For in doing so, one would suggest support for that persons actions. But yet, this statement on the part of our Bishops has gone entirely unheeded by Fr. Jim Sichko, who on "Diocese Live" described "An Evening Among Friends" as, "a type of platform and program..."

And to whom has Fr. Sichko provided this Catholic "platform and program" but to Mr. Regis Philbin and Mr. Bill Cosby. Two individuals whose actions, it has been chronicled at 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES,' lie in direct defiance of our fundamental moral principles as Catholics.

And so, allow me to do for this audience, what "Diocese Live" miserably failed to do for theirs. Allow me to address that defiance directly! And in doing so, we will then be able to make an informed Catholic decision in regard to the scandalous nature of "An Evening Among Friends." And as an extra added bonus, we will expose some of the inconsistencies and double-talk along the way.

Now, Mr. Regis Philbin, as we have come to learn, has financially contributed to the presidential campaign of senator Bill Bradley, a staunch supporter of partial birth abortion. In addition, 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' has also revealed that Mr. Philbin, as former host of "WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE," used his platform in the advancement of the homosexual agenda. Also, in utter contradiction to his assertion that, "... they're not going to be trying to teach any sort of... teachings of their beliefs or whatever..." Mr. Brown seems to have conveniently forgotten that Mr. Philbin did exactly that at the first annual "Evening Among Friends" when he freely advocated the practice of astrology, a pagan practice Mr. Philbin has been engaged in "for about 36 years," according to his personal astrologer.

Now ironically enough, in a 2005 e-mail exchange between Mr. Brown and myself, Mr. Brown expressed an entirely different take than the one he served up for his 2006 listening audience.

In regard to what transpired at the event, Mr. Brown stated the following:

Date: Fri, Jul 2005 15:36:35 -0700 (PDT)

From: leo@wmjr.net

Subject: Regis and Cosby To: "honest abe"

"I was personally appalled at Mr. Philbin's direct advocacy of astrology during his talk at the event. I had hoped to hear that it was part of his witness before becoming a GOOD Catholic, but that contrast was never drawn. Thank you for the information."

(emphasis added)

Do we see the inconsistency and double-talk? But here is the "million dollar question" fellow Catholics: If "An Evening Among Friends" "...was nothing to do with...someone coming in and speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church or on Catholic values, etc. etc." as Fr. Sichko asserts on "Diocese Live," than why was Mr. Brown "hoping to hear that Mr. Philbin's direct advocacy of astrology was part of his witness before becoming a GOOD Catholic?"

You see fellow Catholics, the reason Mr. Brown was hoping this embarrassing little glitch was part of Mr. Philbin's witness to his Catholic faith, is because this is precisely what Mr. Philbin was there to do and it was exactly how the event had been promoted. Fr. Sichko, in an interview on WMJR 1380, stated the following regarding Mr. Philbin's up and coming appearance:

"He's going to talk about his faith."

(Body of Christ, WMJR 1380. Interview with Fr. Jim Sichko, Spring, 2005)

Is the inconsistency and double-talk becoming a bit clearer? well hold on, let us sharpen the picture a bit more. shall we?

In the interview, Fr. Sichko went on to tell the listening audience:

"In fact, at 5:00 p.m. he is going to meet privately with the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders of the school...he is going to visit with them...he's going to talk with them about their faith."

Now I ask you fellow Catholics, if Mr. Philbin was invited to the Lexington diocese for the purpose of speaking "about his [Catholic] faith" and the Catholic Faith of others, as Fr. Sichko explained to the WMJR listening audience just weeks prior to the event, wouldn't Mr. Philbin, in essence, be speaking "on behalf of the church" that gave him that faith? And wouldn't Mr. Philbin, to some extent, expound upon the "values, etc. etc." that that faith has instilled in him? In fact, according to the Cross Roads (the diocesan newspaper), at the event Mr. Philbin was specifically asked to comment upon "how his faith affected his personal and professional life."

And yet we find Mr. Brown proposing on "Diocese Live" that, "This was never promoted in any way, shape, or form as being catechetical."

But I ask you fellow Catholics, does any of this in "any way, shape, or form" sound "catechetical” to you?

But the inconsistencies and double-talk do not stop there.

On "Diocese Live," one year after the Philbin fiasco, we find a no-longer-appalled Mr. Brown attempting to justify the scandalous nature of "An Evening Among Friends" by relaying the following shameful piece of double-talk to his listening audience:

"And really has nothing to do with the personal lives of these individuals at all...it's, it's entertainment."

(emphasis added)

Do we see how one year later Mr. Brown now appears to dismiss the "appalling" and scandalous nature of "Evening Among Friends" as nothing more than an intrusion into the "personal lives of these individuals?" But the question we must ask ourselves is this:

Was it an intrusion into the personal life of actor Stanley Tucci, when his invitation to Catholic University was blocked by Fr. David M. O'connell for Tucci’s involvement with abortion rights organizations?

Was it an intrusion into the personal lives of Cokie and Steven Roberts, when Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty of Scranton did not honor his scheduled appearance at College Misericordia's ceremony because he refused to share the same stage with two pro-abortion journalists?

Was it an intrusion into the lives of any and all pro-abortion supporters whom Bishop James McHugh, of Rockville center Long Island, has banned from speaking at graduation ceremonies, celebrated lectures, and from sitting as honorary chairmen of events at fundraisers in his diocese?

But you see, this is precisely the type of double-talk one must engage in when attempting to veil something as vile as Mr. Cosby's extensive political contributions record to pro-abortion politicians. For as it has been previously documented on this website, Mr. Cosby, in defiance of our fundamental moral principles, has contributed to the campaigns of such rabid pro-abortion politicians as the "Reverend" Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, and Eleanor Holmes Norton. Additionally, in the 2000 presidential race, Mr. Cosby campaigned for former Vice President, Al Gore.

And as added side notes, the "Reverend" Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, and Barbara Lee according to, Millennium Weekend Ministries, are all in "support of homosexual marriage." And in May of 2005, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, and Barbara Lee voted for the "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005." This act was one that would allow for an expansion of funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

And these culture-of-death-politicians will continue pushing for such wicked legislation as long as their re-elections are aided by the financial contribution of such Hollywood celebrities as Mr. Bill Cosby.

Now in light of all of this, allow me to now pose the question:

In providing a Catholic platform (as described by Fr. Sichko) to Mr. Philbin and Mr. Cosby, is there the slightest chance that Fr. Sichko has suggested support for the reprehensible actions of these individuals?

But hey, come on, this is all for a good cause is it not? After all, according to Fr. Sichko, St. Mark's $1.9 debt had to be brought down in order to "free other monies up for ministry. And you're not able to do that when you're paying off an enormous debt such as that." This is the reason why Fr. Sichko dreamt up the concept of "An Evening Among Friends" in the first place, isn't it? In fact, in an article by Mr. Jim Warren, of the Lexington Herald Leader, we are told:

"It was Sichko who hit on the idea of bringing in famous speakers as a way to help pay off some of the church's debt. The idea came to him at 2 one morning."

And on "Diocese Live" we are told by Fr. Sichko himself that:

"The whole concept of An Evening Among Friends was brought up over a year and a half ago when I was appointed as pastor [of St. Mark] and also realized that with that appointment came a $1.9 million debt of a building project that St. Mark has had."

But herein lies another major inconsistency on Fr. Jim Sichko's part.

You see, according to multiple sources in the Lexington diocese, Fr. Sichko had suggested the same concept of bringing in famous speakers to a local Catholic organization in 1999. Certain members of the organization, however, rejected the concept because the speakers he suggested were not in line with the teaching of the Catholic Church. The speakers suggested by Fr. Sichko included “Rose Mary Clooney, Katie Couric,” and here is the kicker, “Kathy Stein,” a local pro-abortion politician, sources say.

Now interestingly enough, this local organization, unlike St. Mark, did not have "an enormous debt" to pay down and was not in need of "freeing other monies up for ministry." So what exactly would have been Fr. Sichko's motivation for suggesting the concept at that juncture?

It must further be noted, that members of this local Catholic organization rejected this scandalous concept long before the USCCB ever even dreamed of issuing a statement regarding the issue. For you see, it does not take a conference of Bishops to understand and rightly decipher that the outright sell-out of our fundamental moral principles is WRONG!

And so which is it Fr. Sichko, was "The whole concept of An Evening Among Friends…brought up over a year and a half ago when [you were] appointed as pastor [of St. Mark]?” Or has it been brewing for a much longer time than that?

But Fr. Sichko's inconsistencies and double-talk go far beyond the concept of this most scandalous event. In fact, in roving and researching the issue, 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' has traced Fr. Sichko's inconsistencies and double-talk all the way back to his call to the priesthood.

You see, In yet another interview on "Diocese Live," just days before the Cosby event. Fill-in host, Joe Lerza, asked Fr. Sichko about his call to the priesthood. To which Fr. Sichko responded as follows:

"...I mean, I can remember in third grade saying that I wanted to be a Priest to my family and, and my parents supported that....I was not told: Oh, don't do that, I was encouraged, I was encouraged by my parents: Yes, look into that, that would be excellent.

But yet, in an article by Bill Robinson, of the Richmond Register, we are told that Fr. Sichko's "decision to enter the priesthood came as a surprise to [his mother]."

(emphasis added)

But if Fr. Sichko told his family as far back as the "third grade" that he wanted to be a priest, and his parents had supported and encouraged him to look into it, then why would the decision to enter the priesthood come as such a surprise to his mother - of all people??

I found this particular piece of inconsistency and double-talk quite disturbing. And so I made a phone call to Mr. Robinson and inquired as to whether Mrs. Sichko had elaborated further on this point. Mr. Robinson stated:

"Oh yes, she said he didn't tell her until he was at the New England Conservatory of music (College). His call to the priesthood came late in his life."

And so again, which is it Fr. Sichko?

But anyhow, back to the matter at hand:

Since it is undeniable that inconsistencies and double-talk have been the driving force behind this most scandalous event, and since there is no question that the event is in direct opposition to the statement issued by our Catholic Bishops in 2004, then where, we might ask, is the good Bishop Gainer?

Well fellow Catholics, at the second annual "Evening Among Friends" the good Bishop Gainer could be found in the front pew, in full support of the event's mockery of our fundamental moral principles.

Now before we proceed, it must be said that Bishop Gainer has thus far served the Lexington diocese in an exceptional manner. The good Bishop has effectively done away with the heretical "New Faces of Ministry" program, which sought to destroy Roman Catholicism as we know it in the Lexington diocese, the good Bishop has also done everything in his power to promote vocations to the priesthood, he has handled the sexual abuse crisis in the Lexington diocese with impressive leadership (in spite of what we may have read in the Herald Leader), and he is completely pro-life.

And this is precisely why it boggles the well-formed Catholic mind that a Bishop, the caliber of Gainer, would allow such an attack on our fundamental moral principles to go unchecked when Bishop upon Bishop throughout this country has done the exact opposite! How could this pro-life Bishop allow a Catholic platform to someone with a political contributions record the likes of Mr. Cosby's? After all this is the bishop who according to, Hillary White, of Pro-Life With Christ, "has attended the Washington Pro-Life March every year since he was installed as Bishop and joins pro-lifer's in his diocese praying at abortion sites."

Gainer's reason for attending the march according to Hillary White is quite simple:

"I go out of a personal conviction, but also out of the idea that my example can help teach and lead."

And so I ask the good Bishop Gainer to consider what his example in allowing Mr. Regis Philbin and Mr. Bill Cosby a Catholic platform has taught Lexington Catholics? Has it taught them that as Catholics they are free to advance the homosexual agenda? Has it taught them that it is quite alright to engage in such pagan practices as astrology? Has it taught them that as Catholics they are free to financially contribute to politicians who support abortion on demand, homosexual marriage, and embryonic stem cell research? Has it taught them that our fundamental moral principles take a back seat to the rich and the famous?

And in what possible direction could the good Bishop Gainer be leading the Lexington diocese when at the second annual "Evening Among Friends" he could be found sharing the stage with someone who has a pending civil suit for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman? Did you know that fellow Catholics?

well read on because this is information you will never hear from Lexington's mainstream media, the diocesan newspaper, or "Diocese Live" - whom 'AGAINST ALL HERESIES' did share the following information with before the Cosby appearance.

Now just two weeks prior to Mr. Cosby's appearance at St. Mark Catholic Church, Canada.com reported:

"Cosby 68, is being sued in Philadelphia by Pickering resident Andrea Constand, 32, for allegedly sexually assaulting her at his mansion in Cheltenham Township in January of 2004."

According to Canada.com, the woman alleges "that Cosby gave her medication and then fondled her breasts and put his hand on her genitals one evening while the two were in his home."

And according to a January 2006 article by, Sarah Hall of, E! online, "Since the initial accuser filed her complaint, 12 other women have offered to testify against the television personality, alleging that they, too, were groped or assaulted by Cosby."

Now, if a Catholic Priest were alleged to have groped or to have sexually assaulted 13 different women in the Lexington diocese, that Priest, under the good Bishop Gainer, would have been removed and stripped of all of his faculties and would not have been allowed anywhere near a Catholic platform. Mr. Bill Cosby, on the other hand, has had the red carpet rolled out for him, he has been welcomed with open arms, and without question has been given a Catholic platform!

And while the outcome of this case is a matter whose resolution is to be determined in the Philadelphia court system, should the Lexington diocese, which has had its share of sexual abuse scandal, have given Mr. Cosby a Catholic platform from which to speak, oh, I’m sorry, “entertain” until such a resolution had been rendered by the court?

Just what “example” indeed has the good Bishop Gainer set for those who have been the victims of sexual abuse in the Lexington diocese, when in light of this, he has been quoted in the pages of the Richmond Register as "jokingly" stating the following:

"This is one church event where we passed the collection plate ahead of time."

It would appear to someone looking in, that the Almighty Dollar has corrupted the Lexington diocese, from TOP to bottom!

And our fundamental moral principles? We might ask.

Why, don't you know? They have been sold to the highest bidder!!

God bless Fellow Catholics.

Oh, and Shame on you "Diocese Live" for withholding so much crucial information from your listeners.

Pray, pray, pray for Mr. Leo Brown, the good Bishop Gainer and all those who are being swept away by this spirit of deception. And pray especially for Fr. Jim Sichko!

SOURCES:

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