The drama goes on

I’m angrier than an ex-Mormon who was punted back to the person that he complained about. Yesterday, I mentioned my experience with getting banned from a MORmON church as retaliation for what I write about their church on this website.

I was told to talk to Daniel Bolke, the bishop (think Catholic priest) of the Albany 2nd Ward (parish) in the Albany New York Stake (diocese) in order to be allowed in the building at 420 New Scotland Avenue in Albany, where MORmONs meet at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays.

In an effort to comply with his silly edict, I reached out several times via email, only to be met with radio silence. Here is what my most recent email to Bolke said:

Beth has advised me that I am welcome neither in the meetinghouse nor at the picnic, per your edict. As the Supreme Leader, you have the right to do what you’re doing. This email is a little lengthy, but please read it so we can come to an understanding in the event of an emergent situation.

As for the picnic, I won’t be able to attend because I do have obligations at Mass on both Saturdays and Sundays, as well as Tuesdays, where, on all three days, I serve as an usher and as an altar server if so needed. There are few ushers, so I need to be there more than I need to regularly go to a church to which I do not belong. And let me be clear: Mass is more important to me than burnt hot dogs and questionable juice.

There are exigent circumstances that I can think of, such as in the event of Beth’s death, which is more than likely, an absolute certainty, if she goes back to working for Uber. If she goes back to Uber, I am making her funeral plans and those plans would involve the meetinghouse. I want protection, in writing, that would allow me to go in without you calling the cops.

It has been brought to my attention that the reason for your bans is because you have a beef with what I’ve been writing on my website. There is nothing inaccurate or offensive about what I am writing.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out what makes you think I’d go around the building talking about what you’d call “anti-Mormon” sentiment. That’s offensive and disgusting beyond words, just like if you came around here talking your Mormon stuff.

I’ve tried several times to reach out to you to come to an agreement. I recognize and respect the unquestioned authority that you have over the ward.

Heil, Bolke!

But if we can’t come to a gentleman’s agreement in writing, I will contact Pres. McLaughlin to the degree of coming to a written agreement that would allow me in the building in the case of Beth’s funeral or some other reasonable but unforeseen circumstance without fear of arrest. I don’t go up the chain as a rule, but it’s important to not be arrested for attending my wife’s funeral, which will be sooner rather than later if she goes the Uber route.

You seem to think that I want to go there every Sunday and start running through the halls handing out printouts from my website. The fact that I’d go there on a Sunday without something Beth-related is laughable. There is a reason why I left, after all. And you seemed only too happy to accommodate.

Silence. Absolute silence.

So I had no choice but to reach out to the stake president (think Catholic bishop) Bruce McLaughlin. This is my email to him:

I have tried to reach out to Bishop Bolke to resolve a small issue, and he has not responded, so I am forced to reach out to you. I want you to know that I don’t like you. I don’t like the church. I don’t like Bolke. I don’t like anyone in the ward. I had to pretend to like you all for Beth’s sake, but I hate all of you. That being said, something needs to be clarified so Bolke doesn’t call the police on me.

Because he apparently has an issue with what I’m writing on my website, and I will not apologize for that, Bolke has issued an edict, through my wife, that I am not welcome in the church building nor at the upcoming ward picnic.

Well, I’m not welcome in the building without talking to him first. I have reached out several times to him for this little talk of his, with no response, hence my contacting you.

The way things are, I can’t go in the building for my wife’s future funeral. There is no other reason that I would walk into that building that I detest. I left the church because I was only going to keep Beth’s yap shut. I had enough and I left, free to focus on Catholicism.

And her funeral is coming sooner rather than later if she decides to go back driving for Uber. Drivers get attacked every day. If she takes up Ubering again, I will begin making funeral arrangements, and that involves the meetinghouse. I don’t think he’d bar me from attending my own wife’s funeral, but the way he has left things, I have to abide by his Nazi-like edict at the risk of the police being called.

He has banned me from the picnic, which is his right. It’s kind of a moot point as the picnic will take place on a Saturday, and I have Saturday Mass, wherein I serve as an usher and, sometimes, an altar server. I am not going to shirk my responsibilities for some burnt hot dogs and questionable juices. Anything Catholic is more important than anything else.

I should also point out that Bolke showed up to my house at 10:00 p.m. when I was removed to get me to sign an email that I wrote requesting that removal. It was not urgent and could have waited. I want to put you on notice that I WILL be showing up to his house at 2:00 am., ringing his doorbell constantly. When will that day come? I won’t know until I do it. Then we’ll see how he likes it.

My purpose in writing you is only to come to an understanding as to when I can be in the building without the threat of the police showing up.

I have no desire to go there with the purpose of speaking ill of the church, nor do I have the desire to distribute literature or whatever Bolke thinks is going to happen. I am a Catholic. I am NOT a missionary.  It’s not my job to bring people to the Church, so if I were to attend, I’d be silent and, per the HOI, my conduct would be “orderly.”

The only reasons I can think of to be there in the first place is Beth’s death, or when she wants my support, like when she gives a talk or gets a calling. I can think of no other reason to be there, but there should be provisions if Bolke’s going to ban me from the building, and that’s the point. I also attend Sunday Mass, which would preclude me from being there in the first place. In fact, Mass is so important to me that if Beth were to die of an Uber-related attack, I would schedule Beth’s funeral around Masses.

Anyway, I’m leaving this in your hands as we need to come up with a written agreement, notarized and filed with the County Clerk and with COB that outlines when I can and when I cannot be there. I do not want to give Bolke any reason to call the cops.

Ball’s in your court.

McLaughlin responded with a curt, “I forwarded your email to Bishop Bolke for further action.” That was not the desired outcome.

Forwarding it to Bolke will only result in more radio silence and nothing will get accomplished. The reason for my efforts is because, in the event of the death of my wife, I am currently forbidden to go into the building.

Make no mistake: I do not want to be there. I am not seeking permission to go in there for the hell of it. I have no interest in being around for the ward potluck.

It’s been a couple of months since I walked out of the building for, for most intents and purposes, the last time.  I haven’t missed it, nor have I felt the desire to return, even though people are apparently asking about me and are finding out that I left to become Catholic, even though I’ve actually been a Catholic since Easter Vigil of 2022.

Turns out that the reason they know is that my wife can’t shut her yap. I can’t be held responsible for that. It’s none of anyone’s business that I’ve become Catholic.  I’m not ashamed by any means, but it’s none of their business.

If I entered the building on a Sunday and went around telling everyone that MORmONism is wrong and Catholicism is right (and it is), then of course I should be banned from the building.

But this is not that.

I don’t want to give Bolke any ammunition.  He seems to be a retaliatory, vindictive slimeball.  In other words, he’s perfect for the office of MORmON bishop.

I just need to be given permission in the event of death or some other event to support my wife. Believe me, the last thing I want to do is be there, especially when Mass beckons on Sundays.  Besides…Mass?  One hour, sometimes less.  MORmON church?  Two hours, sometimes more.  Just saying.