So the bishop comes out against the casino that the senecas want to build in buffalo.
Yet tons of catholic churches around here have bingo at least once a week.
Bishop opposes city casino
Kmiec calls for Catholics and Masiello to do the same
By JAY TOKASZ
News Staff Reporter
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Bishop Edward U. Kmiec says city would reap a "pittance" of any casino revenue, factoring in expenses.
As the Seneca Nation of Indians continues its search for a downtown casino site, Bishop Edward U. Kmiec of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has called on Mayor Anthony M. Masiello to oppose a gambling facility.
The bishop is also urging the area's 700,000 Catholics to express their opposition by e-mailing or writing the mayor.
In a letter to Masiello, Kmiec said the casino would attract the city's poorest residents and cause gambling addictions, bankruptcies, family violence and other crime.
"All of this has occurred in cities where casinos were built," Kmiec wrote in the letter, which was dated last Friday.
Area restaurants and other venues would suffer, and the city would make a "pittance" from the casino revenue, compared with the amount it will spend on police and other costs, Kmiec added.
"Our real claim to fame, our architectural heritage, the waterfront, museums, our important place in history, and our family-oriented community, will be sacrificed for this "quick fix,' which in the long run can only hurt us," he said.
Masiello, who is Catholic, has long been a proponent of a casino in Buffalo.
He responded to Kmiec's letter by saying he has "enormous respect and admiration" for the bishop, who was "obviously speaking from the heart and soul."
But Masiello said he disagreed with Kmiec about the "upside" of a casino in Buffalo.
"I've made a decision, and I think this is an important piece of the overall economic development of our community, and I'm going to continue to move in that direction," the mayor said.
Masiello also said he didn't view the casino as a religious or geographic issue.
"I view it as an opportunity," he said, referring to the number of jobs that a casino would create.
Kmiec's letter is his first formal statement on the casino issue since he took the helm of the Buffalo diocese last October.
His predecessor, Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, now head of the Archdiocese of Hartford, had condemned the prospect of a casino in Buffalo, labeling it a "pernicious cancer."
Other local religious leaders also have taken a stance against a casino here, including many members of the Network of Religious Communities, the area's largest interfaith organization.
Kmiec also distributed a statement to the diocese's 265 parishes for inclusion in this weekend's bulletins. The statement encourages area Catholics to write or e-mail Masiello's office.
Seneca Nation officials said in July that they would name a casino site in Buffalo by the end of the summer.
Under a state compact, the nation faces a Dec. 9 deadline to begin construction of a gaming venue in the city.
Masiello said he did not have any new information on precisely where a casino would be located.
a lot of churches, catholic and otherwise in this list
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