UPDATE: MAS responds
Fr. Keith Fennesy, pastor of St. Margaret Mary Church of Midland Beach, Staten Island recently withdrew support for the sale of the church’s empty convent to the radical Muslim group, MAS.
It was reported that Fr. Fennesy struck a deal with MAS to sell the empty convent to that group on his own accord and the proceeds of the sale would directly benefit the Midland Beach parish. The NY Archdiocese originally supported the deal.
When it became public that the buyers of the convent was the Muslim American Society (MAS), a radical group whose executive director Mahdi Bray has displayed support for terrorists and terrorist regimes such as Hamas and Hezbollah, the controversy grew and the folks began to protest the sale.
Click here for more information regarding MAS and Keith Fennesy.
A Staten Island Advance report indicates that the city Department of Finance has the market value of the convent as $915,000. In that same report, the head of the Midland Beach Civic Association, Yasmin Ammirato, said the sale went through for $750,000.
Insult to injury is that the corner property the empty convent sits on rests on a residential street named in honor of FDNY Capt. Martin J. Egan Jr., who was killed on 9/11/01 by Muslim Jihadists.
At the height of the controversy, Fr. Fennesy resigned his post, effective July 01, as parish priest of St. Margaret Mary on Staten Island; until that effective date Keith Fennesy remains the pastor and a board trustee of St. Margaret Mary church.
The sale is not final until the parish’s trustees approve the final deal. In addition to Fr. Fennesy, the five-member board consists of Archbishop Dolan, Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan, and two lay members of the parish.
On Wednesday, Fr. Fennesy officially withdrew his support for the sale to MAS and wrote the following to Archbishop Timothy Dolan:
“I have concluded that the contemplated sale would not serve the needs of the parish. As a result, as Pastor of Saint Margaret Mary Parish, I wish to formally withdraw my support for the sale, and request that it not take place.”
New York archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said, Fr. Fennessy’s change of heart is “significant to everyone involved,” but “he does not have the ability to simply veto and say the deal is off.”
Zwilling reminded those inquiring that a contract was signed and the Church is awaiting a response from MAS.
On June 09, MAS joined the Midland Beach Civic Association general meeting to answer questions from the Staten Island Community. During that meeting the courteous facade of MAS quickly wore thin as MAS representatives vacillated and refused to answer pointblank questions regarding their well publicized support for terror organizations.
The refusal by the archdiocese to send a representative and the absence of Keith Fennesy was perceived as an insult and further evidence that the church did not want to face the community as a result of a scandal.
Sunday protest rallies are scheduled to take place in front of Saint Margaret Mary RC Church on Staten Island.
Fr. Keith Fennesy’s withdrawal of support for the sale to MAS is received with mixed emotions, but gives hope to those endeavoring to see this sale canceled.
Sources: embedded in content