Dear Mayor Zimmer, as a member of Our Lady of Grace Parish, I feel I must apologize for our pastor, Father Alex Santora’s public condemnation of you in his “Pastors Message” in the weekly church bulletin handed out to all those attending mass the weekend of Sunday, May 5.
I doubt I’m the only parishioner embarrassed by this, particularly given the topic, which appears to be his outrage over the city not removing the dog run from Church Square Park.
My personal experience with him suggests that Father Alex’s heart is troubled in some way. What particularly illustrated this to me was his decision years ago to single-handedly shut down an effort designed to persuade single pregnant mothers to not have abortions by offering them shelter in our abandoned convent. People can obviously have strong feelings on both sides of this issue – but even my pro-choice friends did a double take at the news of a Roman Catholic priest shutting down a fully-funded effort intended to avoid abortions. He permitted the previously-mentioned pro-life effort to spend more than $160,000 on capital improvements to parish property before pulling the plug. To me, these seem like very un-priestly behaviors, providing further evidence of a heart that is troubled in some way.
Mayor Zimmer, you know I make a point of taking no sides in Hoboken’s partisan political struggles. However, as an OLG parishioner for fifteen-plus years, I feel compelled to apologize for what I consider to be profoundly inappropriate behavior on the part of a pastor of a Roman Catholic parish.
Parishioner of Our Lady of Grace Parish