The Ad Hoc Moral Theology of Cardinal Dolan

As readers of TCT may know, we have been at work for some time on a book called, Sons of St. Patrick: A History of the Archbishops of New York – from Dagger John to Timmytown, and in the course of our researches have had the opportunity on several occasions to interview two cardinal archbishops of New York: Edward Egan and Timothy Dolan.

These men present quite distinct approaches to episcopal leadership – differences made abundantly clear with word on Wednesday that Cardinal Dolan has agreed to serve as grand marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In itself, that news would be unremarkable, since Cardinals Egan and John O’Connor had previously accepted the honor. But this time is different, because – at the NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration Committee press conference designating Dolan as figurehead – it was also announced that, after years of controversy concerning the exclusion of organized and designated homosexual marchers, the Committee has decided that one such “LGBT” group, Out@NBCUniversal, will be given a place in the parade. (The parade is broadcast in New York by the local NBC affiliate.)

“I have no trouble with the decision at all,” Cardinal Dolan said at the press conference. “I think the decision is a wise one.”

Our friend Austin Ruse wrote a column late on Wednesday in which he noted Cardinal Dolan’s explanation that “neither he nor his predecessors have ever told the St. Patrick’s Day parade organizers who could or could not march.” There is some truth in the archbishop’s assertion, in that the head of the Church in New York is not ipso facto the head of either the Ancient Order of Hibernians, former organizers of the parade, or of the current Parade and Celebration Committee.

However, his predecessors have often taken strong positions against past attempts to politicize the event.

In 1983, Cardinal Terence Cooke strongly objected to the choice by parade officials of Michael Flannery, a man alleged to have engaged in gunrunning on behalf of the Irish Republican Army. Cooke called the IRA’s violent actions “futile and immoral” and said the choice of Flannery as grand marshal distracted from the “religious, cultural, and family richness of the celebration.” The organizing committee refused to rescind its invitation to Mr. Flannery. So on March 17, 1983, as the grand marshal’s retinue marched by St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the great bronze doors were shut tight and the cardinal archbishop was nowhere to be seen. Cooke reappeared later, but he was not about to endorse turning New York’s greatest celebration of Irish Catholicism into a partisan event.

Ten years later, pressure mounted on parade organizers to include homosexual marchers – as homosexuals. (No one ever thought there were no gays or lesbians among those marching under other banners.) Mayor David Dinkins was adamant about the need for the parade to become “inclusionary,” and applied pressure on the police commissioner, Ray Kelly, to refuse to issue a parade permit unless the organizers allowed homosexual groups to march openly.

In a homily at St. Patrick’s, Cardinal O’Connor asked: “Do the Mayor and the Police Commissioner agree to this arbitrary transformation from the religious to the political? Will other religiously related activities become equally vulnerable to arbitrary politicization in this land which boasts of its tradition of separation of church and state?”

Pressing a point at the parade presser

And this was the key question: Is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade a Catholic religious event? The Ancient Order of Hibernians thought so and took their case to court. (Cardinal O’Connor was questioned about this by state-court judge Alice Schlesinger.) In an expedited decision, the state court ruled in favor of the Hibernians, declaring that the parade was a Catholic “religious procession,” and, therefore, its organizers were constitutionally protected from being compelled to include any group representing views in opposition to the teaching of the Church

Which brings us back to Cardinal Dolan.

During one of our interviews with the cardinal – just after this year’s NFL Draft – we asked him about comments he’d made concerning the self-“outing” of Michael Sam, the University of Missouri defensive end, who is currently a member of the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad. Dolan had never heard of Sam when he was asked on “Meet the Press” about Sam’s proclamation of homosexuality, but he offered a reply anyway:

I don’t think. . .Look, the same Bible that tells us, that teaches us, well, about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, “Bravo!”

Cardinal Dolan confessed to us the wish that he’d made clear the Catechism’s distinction between “homosexual acts and the state of homosexuality.” When we pointed out that Mr. Sam celebrated finally being chosen (late in the Draft) by passionately kissing his male companion, the cardinal winced, wondering again if he’d gone too far in his comments on “Meet the Press.”

We believe so, since the cardinal’s words were subsequently and frequently construed as a subtle endorsement of the “gay” lifestyle.

Perhaps he was simply naïve. But what did he expect? That Sam himself might at some point say: “Though I’m gay, I lead a celibate life in conformity with the Christian faith. . .”?

And Cardinal Dolan truly is naïve if he imagines his participation in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will not be seen by – dare we say? – most Catholics as yet another endorsement of the “gay” agenda.

For this he will receive faint praise from anti-Catholics. In its coverage of the decision of parade organizers to include the not-even-Irish Out@NBCUniversal, the New York Times called the Church hostile and characterized the parade organizers’ decision as a retreat. It said of Dolan that he represents “changing attitudes in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.” Perhaps that’s true. But the Magisterium hasn’t changed.

Guinness Brewery will surely end the parade boycott it recently declared. But many Catholics faithful to Church teaching will wonder why Cardinal Dolan won’t be shutting the doors at St. Patrick’s.

As Cardinal O’Connor put it in 1993: “Neither respectability nor political correctness is worth one comma in the Apostles’ Creed.” Or one jot or tittle in the Catechism.

George Marlin and Brad Miner

George J. Marlin, a frequent contributor to TCT, and Brad Miner, TCT's Senior Editor, are the authors of numerous books, individually, and, together, of Sons of St. Patrick: A History of the Archbishops of New York, from Dagger John to Timmytown, from which this column is excerpted.

  • John A. Dempsey

    Perhaps Cardinal Dolan could march as Grand Master under the banner of the N.Y.C. chapter of Courage?

  • Austin Ruse

    Very good, gents. Now duck.

  • Matt

    “I have no trouble with the decision [to promote acts against nature and Catholic doctrine at the parade] at all,” Cardinal Dolan said at an evening news conference announcing his appointment as grand marshal. “I think the decision [to promote acts against nature and Catholic doctrine at the parade] is a wise one.”

    Be prepared be treated like Fr. Rev. Justin Wylie if you do not march with the Cardinal alongside his “ad hoc theology” for the Church herself is placing a basket over the lamp just as the sun sets on Western Civilization.

  • Ronald Sevenster

    Card. Dolan’s decision isn’t wise, and his self-proclaimed wisdom of only would be ridiculous if it weren’t so dangerous. Neither are his comments on Sam’s outing naive. Dolan is neither naive nor wise. He is wicked, and his only concern is to kiss the Pope Francis’s (aka “Who am I to judge?”) ass.

  • Jason

    Thank you Judas Cardinal Dolan! This will be interpreted as a great victory for those determined to advance the homosexual agenda ( and destroy the Church). Perhaps in 2016 they can allow the deviants from NMBLA to march -with Ol’ Dolan standing there applauding.

  • DougH

    I was recently listening to a lecture on the Reformation, and when the professor got to Henry VIII he described him as wanting to be Catholic, just not beholden to the Pope: “You could argue that he was the first American Catholic.” Cardinal Dolan’s decision does nothing to counter that stereotype.

  • Jim S.

    Gentlemen, thank you for writing this article. I read Cardinal Dolan’s comments in the NYT link you cited. He made me feel sad and lost.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    An important part of moral theology is casuistry, in the technical sense, that is, the application of admitted moral principles to concrete situations.
    One recalls the well-know episode of Napoléon’s marriage to Marie-Louise, Archduchess of Austria. Cardinal della Somaglia told M. Emery Supérieur of St. Sulpice and a notable moral theologian that he could not attend without wounding his conscience. M. Emory told him that, in that case, he should on no account do so, for any consideration whatsoever. It transpired that M. Emory had been consulted by a number of the other 18 cardinals, then in Paris and he had told them he thought they could attend the ceremony with a clear conscience. In a letter to Cardinal Fesch, the Emperor’s uncle, M. Emory explained this apparent inconsistency. He personally saw no harm in attending, but one should never act against one’s own conscience, even if it were erroneous. In the event Cardinal della Somaglia kept to his view, contrary to M. Emery, and did not attend the marriage ceremony. Both men, we may suppose, shared the same principles on the indissolubility of marriage, the jurisdiction of the Holy See, remote material cooperation and the obligation not to give scandal; they differed on the application of these principles in the particular case and who is to say which of them was right?

  • Jon S.

    Thank you, Mr. Marlin and Mr. Miner.

    Would Cardinal Dolan have done this if he thought Pope Francis would disapprove? Is this another example of how we are now a Church of “mercy” as Pope Francis seems to define it in his own ad hoc way?

  • Sue

    The Marxists seem to enjoy making cartoons out of our bedrock bishops (Nicholas and Patrick) and watch useful idiot Catholics parade and celebrate the caricature rather than the real saint>

  • Rob S

    Born and raised in St.Louis like me, I am embarrassed by Cardinal Dolan
    He continues to show himself as a fine politician, just not a very good priest.
    I call him Mr. Jolly Chuckles. I keep a “Dolan file.” It is full of incompetent,
    politically-correct, feel-good pablum that he has offered as LEADERSHIP.
    What a sad, sick joke.
    I do indeed, appreciate these two writers, Mr. Marlin and Miner. They have the fortitude to simply speak the truth. And as you know, people hate the truth. It is so convicting.

  • Manfred

    George and Brad: Thank you for a well researched and well written article. What you avoided saying is that the PARADE has had the reputation for decades of being little more than a drunken bacchanal, a sort of rite of spring.
    This will be the moment of truth: will we have an American church)sic) response, or will we have a Traditional Roman Catholic response? Msgr Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washoington wrote a piece which simply stated that both the Parade and the Al Smith Dinner have obviously outlived their missions and should be terminated! If my memory serves, Cdl O’Connor was told years ago that the Pulaski Day Parade organizers had decided to let a group of homosexuals march. O’Connor wrote to the organizers and said very clearly that if the group was allowed to march, that no Catholic group would be allowed to march. The group did not march.
    The Church in America (and the West) is dying. If getting endorsements from Guinness, Heineken and NBC are more important that Catholic truth, the Church will be recognized by even the dullest Catholic to be nothing but a massive fraud. Do you remember when we older Catholics were told we might have to give up our lives for the Faith?
    We are not capable of even giving up a G. damned parade.

  • Ellen

    So Egan (you imply) comes out ahead of Dolan in terms of leadership? Really? Considering his record on clergy sexual abuse in both sees he helmed, it makes me wonder about your priorities and perspective. The man is a criminal.

  • Brian English

    ““I have no trouble with the decision at all,” Cardinal Dolan said at the press conference. “I think the decision is a wise one.”

    Is Dolan a fool or a sniveling coward? Perhaps both?

    “Would Cardinal Dolan have done this if he thought Pope Francis would disapprove?”

    I think it is pretty clear by now that at the last papal conclave a majority of the cardinals decided they had had enough of trying to confront the world with the truth, and would prefer to settle into a pleasant go along, get along existence.

  • Tom Piatak

    An excellent piece.

  • grump

    This will give new meaning to the St. Patty Day’s “parade.” Rather than marching in an orderly fashion with green the predominant color, the addition of sashaying by deviates under a rainbow flag will add spice and diversity, and no doubt grab the media spotlight. “A wise decision,” to quote his Eminence, Cardinal Dolan.

    Thankfully, this annual rite, which was originally organized to celebrate Irish heritage, will mean not only will the Irish taverns be full of regaling celebrants, but also the gay bars where consumption of spirits, including countless kegs of Guinness, and interplay among same-sex couples will enhance the bacchanalian festivities.

    Sarcasm font off. Thanks to the authors, it’s good to know that there are some Catholics who stand for tradition and the teachings of the Church.

  • Dave

    Is it too much to expect our Cardinals to be Catholic? I have no idea what has gotten into the head of Cardinal Dolan. Catholic truth and witness has been abandoned for public relations considerations.

  • Dennis Larkin

    I think that this essay has it right, on balance. And yet, Christ ate and drank with sinners. I struggle with the line of demarcation in all this, and with similar outreach by Pope Francis.

  • Mary

    I commend you for this article! Indeed, Cardinal Dolan should be shutting the doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. If this parade is considered a religious event, then Cardinal Dolan is creating confusion because there will be many who will think the Catholic Church is changing its position on homosexual acts. As we know, this is not true. The Cardinal and the Catholic faithful must stand firm and not cave in to bully tactics or compromise the teachings of the Catholic faith by their paricipation in this parade. Gay activists are continually demanding inclusiveness yet in this instance they want to set themselves apart in order to be validated. This parade is about St. Patrick and not about gays marching under their own banner or any other group for that matter who seeks attention and validation of their existence! This is not the venue for that. Please take it somewhere else and honor St. Patrick as he deserves to be honored and in comformity with the teachings of the Catholic Church!

  • Mr. Levy

    Thank you, Messrs. Marlin and Miner, for such a strong and thoughtful column. And what an excellent quotation at the end, from Cardinal O’Connor, which somehow I had never heard before: “Neither respectability nor political correctness is worth one comma in the Apostles’ Creed.”

  • Manfred

    In my comment above I allude to a piece on the Arch. of Washington website written by Msgr Charles Pope suggesting the Parade and the Al Smith Dinner be terminated. Unfortunately, that piece has been removed from the Arch. of Washington website. Fortunately, I printed that piece while it was up.

  • Stan J

    Please, what is the difference between a heretic and an apostate?

  • Paul V

    Yes Dennis, Our Lord ate and drank with sinners but didn’t He admonish their sinful behavior? The impression is your Cdl Dolan and Pope Francis along with many of your other leaders are not. Look we’re all sinners but no Christian should be involved with an activity that gives approval to sinful behavior. We are supposed to love the sinner and hate the sin are we not? Then they throw out the “who am I to judge” line. Of course we are not supposed to judge the sinner because unlike Our Lord we can’t see into a persons heart, but we sure are supposed to judge whether or not a behavior would be sinful for us to engage in yes? I find it most bizarre that RC can separate what their leaders say and do from their Church. To me it’s like saying I live in a wonderful country because of our constitution even though the leaders don’t obey it.

  • Brian English

    “And yet, Christ ate and drank with sinners. I struggle with the line of demarcation in all this, and with similar outreach by Pope Francis.”

    The line of demarcation is this–are sinners being called to live the lives that God intended for them by seeking to live by the teachings of the Church?

    Jesus went among sinners as a doctor seeking to heal the sick. He did not go among them to say, “Hey man, whatever floats your boat is cool with me.”

  • DS

    Cardinal Dolan’s words are awkward because he is trying maintain his relevance to an event that is increasingly less relevant to the Church, despite carrying the name of “St. Patrick.” This is about much more than the “gay” issue. The link between the parade/Irish culture and the Church has been weakening for decades and it’s a mistake to continue to view the parade primarily as a religious event.

    This has more to do with broader cultural changes and assimilation than a failure of the cardinal. Ireland itself has become both more economically advanced and increasingly secularized. I suspect that many young Irish people would consider Bono their role model rather than St. Patrick. New York City no longer has a Church of Irish immigrants and their children (they have largely assimilated and moved to the suburbs), and at some point in the future, will have an Hispanic as cardinal archbishop. As for the parade itself, Manfred points out, away from the splendor of the Cathedral’s facade on Fifth Avenue, has often turned into a celebration of things distinctly non-Christian: drunkeness, debauchery, fistfights, etc. The entire atmosphere is as secular as a Giants football game.

    (To complete the historical record: Michael Flannery was loudly applauded as he entered St. Patrick’s for Mass on March 17, 1983, and Cardinal Cooke was booed when he finally appeared outdoors. I highlight this not to criticize the late Cardinal – a good and holy man – but to dispel the notion that the Catholic faithful were somehow more unified and obedient to Church teaching in the past. Perhaps those of you who disagree with Cardinal Dolan can follow this precedent and boo him next March.)

  • Seanachie

    George and Brad…is it possible that Cardinal Dolan knows that the aberrosexual flouncers will be the first parade element immediately following any well fed elephants, donkeys, and horses?

  • Brian English

    “The link between the parade/Irish culture and the Church has been weakening for decades and it’s a mistake to continue to view the parade primarily as a religious event.”

    Well, then the Cardinal should not be the Grand Marshal and the doors of the Cathedral should be closed. St. Patrick, who was not Irish, is only important to Ireland because of his connection to the Church. Once the connection to the Church is completely broken you may as well change the name of the parade to something like the “Irish Day Parade.”

  • Jon S.

    “And yet, Christ ate and drank with sinners. I struggle with the line of demarcation in all this, and with similar outreach by Pope Francis.”

    Brian English has drawn the line well. The line was also drawn by St. Pius X in “Our Apostolic Mandate” (1906):

    “But Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference towards the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged, but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being. . . . Further, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them.”

  • Jo Flemings

    I like what DS has commented here and I find it insightful and relevant. I wish I could understand why His Eminence has decided to do this other than maybe for the fun? of it, because if it is intended to send a message, to me it is a confusing one.

  • pgepps

    I appreciated this column. My feelings are very much like those of the authors.

    I do think that there are two urgent concerns, here, and that we must not sacrifice either permanently: Our recognition of the dignity and worth of every person, including assertively and without ambivalence those who experience same-sex attraction or even identify as “homosexual” must not be the casualty; and neither must our recognition of the extra difficulty that objectively disordered affections and attachment to sinful behaviors cause for those whose earthly flourishing and eternal salvation is worth more than their current social pleasure.

    I hope that the Holy Father, and also Cardinal Dolan, is challenging us to never *actually* fail to express that acceptance because we may *potentially* fail to express the grave moral concern. Let us be sure we judge actual vs. actual, and not let our fears silence our truths.

    I reiterate that I think it worth pointing out publicly that this sort of decision is almost certain to cause confusion, and that it really requires careful and determined efforts to correct against that.


  • myshkin

    About Msgr Charles Pope’s blog post condemning the worthless Paddy’s Day Parade and Al Smith Dinner, it seems that the whole Archdiocese of Washington website is down at this point. How convenient for Cdl Wuerl: “Nothing to see here. Move along …”

    It is hard to shake the impression that the USCCB is by-and-large a pack of cowardly canon lawyers more concerned with looking good than being good.

    Very good post, Mr. Miner and Dr. Marlin! This one won’t be taken down by morally derelict prelates!

  • Fr. J

    I am very disappointed in Cardinal Dolan. This will only weaken our faith. Soon we will be required to have homosexuals march in our parades and we will not be able to say no. This is cooperation with moral evil. Come on Cardinal, don’t be dupe for those who would see us destroyed.

  • Manfred

    I would like to hear from Mr. Langone, one of the founders of Home Depot, who has given Cdl Dolan $millions in order to refurbish St. Patrick’s, when God, in order to demonstrate His fury with this abomination, allows the cathedral to become a mosque? Impossible you say? We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, which, the Blessed Mother told us at Fatima, was a punishment to the world for its sins. How much longer do you think God will allow this obscenity to continue?

  • Mr Lou J Apa

    Very sad situation in NY Archdiocese where The Faith is being destroyed by inept spiritual leadership……Pray for The Cardinal and for The Faithful!!!!….lja/JMJ

  • Tony

    Nobody in these matters ever considers the effect of the gaga queering upon people trying to figure out what sexual morality is, especially youngsters, and most especially boys. The message is actually quite clear: ANYTHING GOES, short of rape. Is that what you want to affirm, Your Eminence? That is what you ARE affirming. A man who experiences unfortunate attractions to other males does NOT MARCH in a parade as such unless he wants to celebrate the actions. And, Your Eminence, if you celebrate THAT, don’t even bother trying to explain to a young man and young woman why they should remain chaste before marriage. Their parents will be breathing a sigh of relief …

  • Chris in Maryland

    The refusal to take a strong moral stand is why there was a homosexual predator scandal in the US Church.

    The mind-set displayed by the Archbishop of New York in this case is another mainifestation of that refusal. That is why the homosexual predator scandal in the US Church will, in fact, never end. Boys and teens don’t really matter, as compared to comfortable political arrangements for the Church bureaucracy.

    This decision betrays faithful Catholic people who are struggling with SSA, and boys and young men struggling for chastity and masculine formation in an adultterous and depraved society, and is hostile to parents trying to raise wholesome children. Our current “Am-Church” leaders once again let us down.

    What, may I ask, does St. Patrick mean to His Emminence? I don’t think can make a Catholic answer.

    Cardinal O’Connor and Bishop Sheen, pray for us.

  • James Stagg

    For those who cannot accress it, here is Msgr. Pope’s powerful and orthodox blog:
    Time to End the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Al Smith Dinner?
    By: Msgr. Charles Pope
    The time for happy-clappy, lighthearted engagement of our culture may be nearing an end. Sometimes it takes a while to understand that what used to work no longer works. Let me get more specific.
    Decades ago the “Al Smith Dinner” was a time for Republicans and Democrats to bury the hatchet (even if only temporarily) and come together to raise money for the poor and to emphasize what unites us rather than what divides us. But in the old days the death of 50 million infants was not what divided us. We were divided about lesser things such as how much of the budget should go to defense and how much to social spending. Reasonable men might differ over that.
    But now we are being asked to raise toasts and to enjoy a night of frivolity with those who think it is acceptable to abort children by the millions each year, with those who think anal sex is to be celebrated as an expression of love and that LGBTQIA… (I=intersexual, A= Asexual) is actually a form of sanity to which we should tip our hat, and with those who stand four-square against us over religious liberty.
    Now the St. Patrick’s Parade is becoming of parade of disorder, chaos, and fake unity. Let’s be honest: St. Patrick’s Day nationally has become a disgraceful display of drunkenness and foolishness in the middle of Lent that more often embarrasses the memory of Patrick than honors it.
    In New York City in particular, the “parade” is devolving into a farcical and hateful ridicule of the faith that St. Patrick preached.
    It’s time to cancel the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Al Smith Dinner and all the other “Catholic” traditions that have been hijacked by the world. Better for Catholics to enter their churches and get down on their knees on St. Patrick’s Day to pray in reparation for the foolishness, and to pray for this confused world to return to its senses. Let’s do adoration and pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet unceasingly for this poor old world.
    But don’t go to the parade; stay away from the Al Smith Dinner and all that “old school” stuff that hangs on in a darkened world. And as for St Patrick’s Day, it’s time to stop wearin’ the green and instead take up the purple of Lent and mean it. Enough of the celebration of stupidity, frivolity, and drunkenness that St Paddy’s day has become. We need penance now, not foolishness. We don’t need parades and dinner with people who scoff at our teachings, insist we compromise, use us for publicity, and make money off of us. We’re being played for (and are?) fools.
    End the St Patrick’s parade. End the Al Smith Dinner and all other such compromised events. Enough now, back to Church! Wear the purple of Lent and if there is going to be a procession, let it be Eucharistic and penitential for the sins of this age.
    For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!
    How say you?

  • Mack Hall

    Well and bravely said.

    Why do good priests deteriorate when consecrated as bishops?

  • Gerald V. Todd

    Solomon’s order to cut the baby in half was fulfilled with the brouhaha over Fulton Sheen’s remains. Catholic Channel is largely a parade of clown acts.

    Maybe the good Cardinal will hand out copies of 1 Corinthians 10 at the parade…

    I had great hopes.

  • Christophe

    Is there a more pathetic and contemptible prelate in the American Church today?

  • Beth

    Thanks,James,for posting Msgr Pope’s article–I missed it when posted on newadvent the other day. Won’t make that mistake again….well, if he is allowed to continue his blog.

    Thanks TCT–for all you do!

  • bill russell

    Cardinal “Cheese Head” Dolan (as he is known among his own clergy embarrassed by his relentless buffoonery) has surpassed himself and committed the single worst affront to the Faith of any archbishop in the history of New York. His whole administration is laced with scandals bound to leak out. No wonder New York has one of the worst rates of young men entering the priesthood in the nation. Perhaps Cardinal Law can recommend a basilica in Rome for him if he has the decency to quit his job for which he has shown total incompetence. As many of the good Irish in Ireland itself say, “Dolan gives the Bog Irish a bad name.”

  • Chris in Maryland

    Unfortunately, in the contest between popularity and integrity, popularity all-too-often wins.

    We have yet to see if His Emminence marches a Grand Marshall, besmirching our holy St. Patrick.

    Modern amchurch is a new project for popular katholicism, recalling the “Logo” versus “Logos” essay earlier this summer by Mr. Warren. Or as one placard in Baltimore’s old cathedral notes about a previous American Cardinal, the then POTUS Teddy Roosevelt gave this unfortunate praise: “Cardinal Gibbons is the most useful man in America.”

  • LAM

    During an EWTN special on the crisis in the Church many years ago, a Bishop from the midwest stated that one of the causes of the crisis was the serious problem of Bishops “winking” at homosexuality. Rectors of seminaries were also guilty of this failure in responsible leadership/spiritual fatherhood. This long history of denial of the seriousness of homosexual conflicts may have contributed to Cardinal Dolan’s harmful decision.

    Let us hope and pray that Holy Spirit can enlighten Cardinal Dolan, our Bishops and priests so that the “winking” can come to an end and that the sheep can be protected by their shepherds.

  • LAM

    In his best-written novel, Father Elijah, the author Michael O’Brien warns the Catholic Church about the subtlety of shifting norms. If Church leaders begin to approve of that which cannot be approved, then the laity can be led astray for decades—many decades—affecting the beliefs of children not yet born. As an example in that novel, the leading world politician, who is the anti-christ, invites the reigning Pope to visit him. The pope refuses because it would be seen as acquiescing to the anti-christ’s agenda, which on the most superficial level was human equality, the ending of poverty, and the well-being of all. On the deepest level, however, the anti-christ’s actual agenda is the destruction of Mother Church. He is looking for a photo-op with the Pope to advance the message: the Pope is with me, he stands with me, he understands me.

    Cardinal Dolan is fulfilling Mr. O’Brien’s dire warning. How? He is inviting an entire group, which stands strongly against the sexual teachings of Mother Church, into the Church’s territory, the St. Patrick’s Day parade. This parade is part of Catholic identity in New York and worldwide and has possessed this identity since the 18th century.

    Cardinal Dolan is not inviting them in on the Church’s terms; he is inviting them in on their terms, to say, as they have been saying for decades now, that marriage “equality” must—must—include man-man and woman-woman pairings if true human equality will ever be achieved.

    That is a shifting norm and a breaking of God’s natural law. Will the laity now shift their own internal norms and start to think: “Well, if the good Cardinal can accept this group on their own terms, in his own parade-house, maybe there is nothing wrong with same-sex unions.” After all, the gay lobby has been intensively preaching same-sex “marriage” as human “equality” and the well-being of all.

    Cardinal Dolan can talk all he wants about the difference between the person and his actions, and yet he is at the heart now of a dangerous shift in norms not only in society but also in Mother Church herself if he continues to talk as he does and if he continues as the grand marshal of the parade.

    We all know the rebuttal: But, it is the parade committee who approves or disapproves groups, not the grand marshall. Yet, it is the grand marshall who will have the photo-ops, who will allow those who stand against Church teaching to say, “The Cardinal is with us, he stands with us, he understands us.” It is a very short step to this conclusion: He accepts us, therefore he accepts us as “married” partners. He accepts deliberately depriving a child of a father or a mother. The Church finally is with us.

    It would take someone with no moral sight not to see that the next step in the sexual revolutionary’s agenda is to shut down Mother Church with the self-righteous claim that she is violating human equality if she dares not go all the way and accept the same-sex-attracted person, then his behaviors, then his call for marital union, and then his cry for justice: Shut the Church’s doors if this anachronistic, backward institution does not bow to our wishes.

    Cardinal Dolan must understand. Cardinal Dolan must—must—correct his Father Elijah-like danger. He must resign as the grand marshall of the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The persecution of the Church is closer than many think. He is opening a door that will be hard to shut……and it is Mother Church and her children who will suffer, made possible in part because of a “yes” to the grand marshall position and a wink to those who wish to destroy the very essence of what the Church is.

  • ciao

    I don’t buy it that the Cardinal is “naive” about sin. How could he have become a Cardinal without knowing what sin is. He has quickly responded to mainstream news interviews stating that he “never” has preached a sermon against homosexuality. As though that would have been a cardinal sin to do so.

    The shakiness of what he believes in is further attested to by the political company he keeps and his silence on important matters that came before him such opposing the HHS mandate.

    I have no trust the the NCCB or the political Cardinal Dolan.

  • DisturbedMary

    Cardinal Dolan seems to have found his calling supporting homosexuals. Was he appalled by the mess left by Rembert Weakland? Did he weep at the Irish seminary homosexual scandal when called into advise. Did he celebrate the work of retiring Bishop Howard Hubbard even as his homosexual advocacy decimated Catholicism in the Albany diocese. Cardinal Dolan is the wrong man for New York. He would be much more effective as a troubleshooter for homosexual priests and scandals.

  • Chris in Maryland

    Amplifying what Disturbed Mary wrote:

    Most Catholics don’t know that in Ireland, priestly formation was, for about a generation, in the hands of a man who now lectures on the world circuit for the School of Ramtha the Ancient. Ramtha is, apparently, a being from another universe who is channeled through a woman who lives in Arizona. I should add that this former priest, now defrocked, was being “fast-tracked” as a start in the Catholic Church – a definite Bishop – probably a Cardinal – until he had to step down because of his sexual abuse of at least one minor…again…a male.

    So there should be no surprise why the Church in Ireland utterly collapsed. It was, and probably in large part still is, being run by total charlatans.

  • Chris in Maryland

    In case anyone misunderstands my last post, and thinks I’m being sarcastic, just google the name “Michael Ledwith.” And then google “fumigate Irish seminaries” and take a read.

    On a note of solidarity – good Pope Benedict required several of the Irish Bishops to resign from their position of authority. This, along with his defrocking of 400 unworthy priests, certainly made him lots of enemies in the “go-along” Church bureaucracy in the US and Europe.

  • eddie too

    I believe we need more information before condemning cardinal dolan.

    the little I have found on this outNBC group is that it was formed to attract people with same-sex disorders to work at nbc. I did not see anything (and there is much I could have missed) that indicated the group advocated for same-sex marriage or deviant sexual acts.

    those are distinctions with a difference.

    while I cannot understand why people might publicize their inner most sinful desires, doing so in and of itself is not a sin. advocating that such sinful desires be legitimized and celebrated is a sinful act.

    having said we should not leap to conclusions about cardinal dolan’s decision to be grand marshall, I do urge him to consider whether participating may create an issue about scandal because remarks here indicate that some faithful catholics are scandalized by the decision.

    at least, the cardinal needs to address this issue of possible scandal publicly and forthrightly.

  • Julie Shuyler

    “And yet Christ ate and drank with sinners.” Honestly, let’s put this in context. I am going to bet the farm that every time He did so some, if not many, of those he socialized with walked out with Him and changed their ways, leaving their sins behind. I don’t foresee that happening with Cardinal Dolan and the members of the LGBT group marching with him. More than likely, the Cardinal, by this choice, will only change the minds of lukewarm Catholics to believe that the Church is changing Her moral teaching on the intrinsic evil of active homosexual lifestyles. Lord, have mercy!

  • Anthony S.

    Perhaps we need to write to the Vatican and have them investigate the USSCB just like the Nuns.

  • Chris in Maryland

    Today, the Primate of Ireland was allowed to retire at 75, even though he failed to take action against a notorious homo-sexual predator in Ireland, and instead, swore 2 of his 100 victims to secrecy. The he had the gall to assume the role of victim, and declare himself “a wounded healer.”

    It is sickening to see what we are up against inside our own Church. But – I must remember, its always been there, since Judas at the Last Supper.

  • Eileen

    OK then, let’s invite others to join the parade: Abortionists, Citizens Who Want to Euthanize the Handicapped, People Who Like to …. With Animals, Pedophiles, ISIS and so forth.

  • echarles1

    St. Augustine in preaching on Luke 23:24 emphasized that the mob cheering Christ’s crucifixion really was evil, really was cruel. Otherwise, Christ’s words asking the Father to forgive them would be empty. Augustine says he asked that these unrepentant, truly evil people be forgiven because Christ looked at them and saw some who would be his own. Archbishop Dolan can look out at the drunken, at the sexually unrepentant and see some who would be Christ’s own.

  • Michael Crickett

    Having gays in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the work of Cardinal Dolan, on the advice of Msgr. Greg Mustaciuolo, Chancellor of the Archdiocese.

  • Cindy

    George Marlin and Brad Miner, you have done an excellent job in respectfully proposing the facts in this article. God bless you and thank you for your service to the people.

  • Raymond Belair

    Cardinal Dolan attempted to justify his actions by , incredibly, claiming that what he was doing was not a “a mortal sin”. As if that should be the highest aspiration ofan ordinary. But has he forgotten about the concept of material cooperation with evil? Or of the giving of scandal by implying that same sex attraction is just fine (rather than “objectively disordered” as per the Catechism # 2358)? Does he really think that Out@NBCUniversal is populated by members of COURAGE( those who deal with same sex atrraction by practicing chastity)?
    Pray for him!