Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

29 responses to “Priest to legislators: I will campaign against you from church”

  1. Truthspew

    If you’d like here’s Rev. Sistare’s phone info:

    401-769-0310 x131

    Give him a call. I’m trying to find his email address. Emails at mountsaintcharles.org are last name+first initial. So he’d probably be sistareb@mountsaintcharles.org

    I left him a voicemail saying if he wants to tread in the political, I will tread in muting the Catholic church.

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    1. adventtruth

      Sistare and his church needs to get out of the business of the state and stop seeking the state’s funding for spreading its venom under the guise of the so-called Social Gospel. Roger Williams must be rolling over in his grave. If you want to represent Jesus, then do what He did: stay out of the business of the state and seek to save souls, one soul at a time through the preaching and living the Gospel. Political activism by your church is only leading us back to the Dark Ages, where of course, it is most comfortable. May America be aware of your church’s ultimate objective: a world-wide religious/political regime more sinister than the the world has ever seen. Wake up America. http://bit.ly/18ySrXc

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  2. Truthspew

    I just tried the email – it bounced. So apparently the guy is still in the 13th century.

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  3. jgardner

    Voting for equal rights = Sin
     
    Got it… Thank you for clearing that up Father.

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  4. nmtaxes

    Not that I agree with him but Bravo to him for taking a stance and trying to do something for his cause. Now if we only had business leaders who would fight for their causes.

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  5. Portsmouth Citizen

    I find it interesting that in Sistare’s myopic world view there are only three kinds of people: (1) baptized Catholics, (2) other Christians, i.e. non-Catholics who “claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ,” and (3) those who claim no religious affiliation.
    What about Jews? I think there are some in the general assembly. What about Episcopalians or other Christians whose faith tradition embraces marriage equality? I know there are several such denominations. How very simple minded of this priest.
    claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ

    baptized Catholics, I invite you to go to the Sacrament of Confession to receive God’s Mercy and Forgiveness for your grave sin of voting against God yesterday, so you’ll be able to receive Holy Communion again in the Catholic Church.
            For those of you who claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, I also invite you to repentance in your own faith tradition; and to those who claim no religious affiliation
    – See more at: http://www.rifuture.org/priest-to-legislators-i-will-campaign-against-you-from-church.html#sthash.iyGZj3E0.dpuf

    baptized Catholics, I invite you to go to the Sacrament of Confession to receive God’s Mercy and Forgiveness for your grave sin of voting against God yesterday, so you’ll be able to receive Holy Communion again in the Catholic Church.
            For those of you who claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, I also invite you to repentance in your own faith tradition; and to those who claim no religious affiliation
    – See more at: http://www.rifuture.org/priest-to-legislators-i-will-campaign-against-you-from-church.html#sthash.iyGZj3E0.dpuf

    baptized Catholics, I invite you to go to the Sacrament of Confession to receive God’s Mercy and Forgiveness for your grave sin of voting against God yesterday, so you’ll be able to receive Holy Communion again in the Catholic Church.
            For those of you who claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, I also invite you to repentance in your own faith tradition; and to those who claim no religious affiliation
    – See more at: http://www.rifuture.org/priest-to-legislators-i-will-campaign-against-you-from-church.html#sthash.iyGZj3E0.dpuf

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  6. Portsmouth Citizen

    I find it interesting that in Sistare’s myopic world view there are only three kinds of people: (1) baptized Catholics, (2) other Christians, i.e. non-Catholics who “claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ,” and (3) those who claim no religious affiliation.
    What about Jews? I think there are some in the general assembly. What about Episcopalians or other Christians whose faith tradition embraces marriage equality? I know there are several such denominations. How very simple minded of this priest.

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  7. joetoppi

    What we have here is a Catholic priest standing up for the beliefs of his church. I would be more upset if he radically opposed the beliefs of the church.
    The definition of marriage as taking place between a man & a woman was changed by man. Men can change rules, definitions and doctrines as they see fit.
    On our judgement day we can sit face to face with God, debate the definition of marriage, what is right vs. what is wrong and any actions we felt justified in taking. At the end of the discussion God will show us the difference between heaven & hell. Our actions will determine which place is right for each of us.
    DO NOT JUDGE THIS PRIEST. (If his name was Trayvon, your actions would make you a “hater”) Pray for him as he will pray for you and before you know it – the world will be a better place.

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  8. joann fonseca

    I totally agree with Joe. This priest is following the doctrine of the Catholic church

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    1. DennisD

      May he continue to follow faithfully…but trying to impose his chosen doctrine on the whole of society is the problem here.

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  9. diane

    769-0310 x31  Thank you Thruthspew!
    I will call and thank him for his dedication to his vocation.  Taking action on a cause that preserves our tradition is an admirable trait.  

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  10. alyssa

    As a former parishioner of Fr. Sistare, I would describe him as a humble and compassionate priest.  Our parish was blessed to have such a great priest, he added so much to our community.  It would be a shame if members of this parish judge him before they get to know him.

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    1. charminghandle

      It’s a shame that the Catholic church judges gay people before they get to know them.

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  11. david0296

    First of all, the priest is breaking the law. As the author pointed out, churches (in order to keep their tax-exempt status) are forbidden to engage in political campaigning. If he wishes to influence our secular laws outside the walls of his church, perhaps his church should pay taxes like every one else.
     
    Secondly, secular civil marriage is not in the purview of the church. Does this priest actually believe that he has a right to tell those that don’t go to his church who can and can’t get married at city hall, or any other church for that matter? Non-religious couples and those with different religious beliefs have a right to get married, regardless of the personal feeling of this priest. The same rule applies to same-sex couples. Since his church is not obligated to officiate marriages from any of these groups, this issue is literally none of his business. Civil marriage is not the same thing as a religious wedding ceremony. One of which carries no legal weight in our country.
     
    I also find it disingenuous when someone has to resort to slippery-slope arguments to defend their position. Mothers aren’t going to want to marry their children because the gay couple down the street got a marriage license; and I’m pretty sure no one will want to marry their pet iguana either. As for first cousin marriage, it’s actually LEGAL in the state of Rhode Island — I just looked it up. Yet somehow the state hasn’t been destroyed by the wrath of God. Go figure.

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  12. charminghandle

    The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations
    Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.  Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. 
    Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances.  For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.
    On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

    Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 18-Mar-2013

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  13. CitizenWhy

    Apparently the leagl code banning clergy for political advocacy means nothing. This is not the only case, and is not rare. There’s a story today about a Harlem clergyman in NYC introducing introducing a mayoral candidate he supports to his flock. This happens all he time. The IRS code on religion and politics is void because it is constantly violated and noting is ever done.
     
    I favor no tax exemptions for religion.

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  14. CitizenWhy

    Why is someone giving a Mt. St. Charles email address? He does not work there.

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  15. CitizenWhy

    A married Catholic gay couple would not need an annulment from the church. Gay marriages, as far as the church is concerned, never existed and therefore do not need to be dissolved. The gay couple would need a civil divorce, however. Check your sources.

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  16. adventtruth

    Sistare and his church needs to get out of the business of the state and stop seeking the state’s funding for spreading its venom under the guise of the so-called Social Gospel. Roger Williams must be rolling over in his grave. If you want to represent Jesus, then do what He did: stay out of the business of the state and seek to save souls, one soul at a time through the preaching and living the Gospel. Political activism by your church is only leading us back to the Dark Ages, where of course, it is most comfortable. May America be aware of your church’s ultimate objective: a world-wide religious/political regime more sinister than the the world has ever seen. Wake up America. http://bit.ly/18ySrXc

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  17. Sam_Handwich

    Biblical hero King Solomon had hundreds of wives and concubines. So much for your version of history, Brian
    Maybe you should spend more time getting a GED and less time sniffing around Rhode Islanders’ crotches.
     
     

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  18. John McGrath

    If you understand the Catholic doctrine/philosophy of Natural Law then you will know that the Catholic Church never intends to get out of the business of dictating policy to governments, any government. The Catholic stand on gays and gay marriage, abortion, and contraceptives, enforced as religious dogma, actually derive for the church other source of, authority, its philosophy of Natural Law.
     
    The church sees nature as dictating certain absolute laws, especially in regard to sex, and these laws, in its view, are obligatory for all human beings and all governments. The church has also declared the Pope to be the final and supreme judge of Natural Law dictates. Thus the pope, and his clergy, want to impose their Natural Law views on all people.
     
    A modern person might think that the church’s theory of Natural Law, in regard to sex, is based on an outmoded and discredited Aristotelian science. But the church is proud to stock to its medieval ways.

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  19. AA Cunningham

    “As non-profit entities, churches are legally forbidden from engaging in political campaign activity.”
    Incorrect. People who rely on ill informed reporters like Plain for objective truth are fools.

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  20. cailin rua

    The answers are always so obvious.  The heavier body falls faster than the lighter one and its speed is faster in proportion to its weight because that’s just the way it was for over a thousand years.

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  21. DennisD

    Father Sestare’s outrage might be more palatable if he didn’t perpetuate the myth about marriage being “one man/one woman” for thousands of years (unless his understanding of world history is a myopic view that only recognizes Judeo-Christian, European-American traditions and ignores a whole host of other cultures and beliefs) or if he didn’t regurgitate the (intentionally?) misguided belief that the whole of society is required to adhere to/be governed by the teachings of his chosen religious lifestyle. And that barely touches on the arrogance of superior piety inherent in his words, let alone the legal implications for his taxfree church.

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  22. bam

    IIRC, Sistare has for awhile been associated with the far-right religious wacko crowd here in Rhode Island.  For some reason or other, promotion of homo-hatred is at the top of their agenda.
    As for retaliation against the senators who voted in favor of same-sex marriage, good luck with that!  That will go nowhere.
    Also I’m wondering if Tommie Tobin has told Sistare to STFU because he’s an embarrassment. 
    A final comment:  I’m always suspicious of adult males who prattle on about “them homos”.  Something to hide maybe?
    Bernie M.
     
     

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  23. askthecoolcookie

    The point of this issue isn’t whether or not Fr. Sistare can have an opinion or evangelize on his beliefs, it IS about his use of his pulpit to blast elected officials and campaign for their defeat. And in the United States, if he wants to get up on a stage at political rally, be my guest.  But you can’t use the pulpit of church during a worship service, as a representative of that church, and campaign for a candidate.  THAT is the issue.
    The man can believe whatever he want, but he cannot use his authority over the congregation to campaign for or against a candidate.  

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  24. Walt48

    Tax the Catholic Church now! What with Bishop Tobin meeting with the Young Republican and priests like Fr. Sistare using the pulpit to proselytize a political agenda, the idea that they meet the standards for tax exemption has become about as ludicrous at it can be.   Are you listening ACLU?  Are you listening  IRS? 

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    1. jgardner

      “Are you listening  IRS?”
       
      Once the NSA opens up access to the IRS they’ll be listening for sure.

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      1. PinkHatLib

        Once they do? Thankfully all this is being done to prevent another 9/11 according to Langevin (who’s lost my vote… heck, I might even vote for a Republican if he says he’ll vote to protect the 4th Amendment).
         
        http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/07/us-dea-irs-idUSBRE9761AZ20130807
         
        As Reuters reported Monday, the Special Operations Division of the DEA funnels information from overseas NSA intercepts, domestic wiretaps, informants and a large DEA database of telephone records to authorities nationwide to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans. The DEA phone database is distinct from a NSA database disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
        Monday’s Reuters report cited internal government documents that show that law enforcement agents have been trained to conceal how such investigations truly begin – to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up the original source of the information.
        DEA officials said the practice is legal and has been in near-daily use since the 1990s.

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