Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cardinal Dolan's Astonishing Naivete

In a stunning display of naivete, Cardinal Dolan, who presides over a Church that in modern times has gone queer over banners at Mass, is utterly clueless about the meaning of queer banners in a public secular parade.

But that's not my point.  We know our bishops are either clueless or cowardly or complicit in all kinds of garbage.  So this is to be expected: that Cardinal Dolan does not even see that the promotion of "gay identity" is promotion of a "gay agenda".  Any idiot knows that.  This has not been an argument against "gays" marching in the St. Patrick's Day parade, as they have done covertly for years.  It's not an argument about the question of loving the sinner but hating the sin.  It's an argument about civic life in the public square and the forced celebration of sin, which is what the gay pride banners are pushing, as anybody but a bishop can easily understand.

But my point is not that.  My point is this.  What really gets on my nerves is how he opens his vacuous and rather condescending defense ...

I haven’t been in this much hot water since I made the comment, right after I arrived as your archbishop five-and-a-half years ago, that Stan Musial—my boyhood hero of my hometown St. Louis Cardinals—was a much better ballplayer than Joe DiMaggio!
Now I’m getting as much fiery mail and public criticism over my decision to accept the honor of Grand Marshal of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. According to the critics, I should have refused, due to the Parade Committee’s decision to allow a group of self-identified Gays of Irish ancestry to march in the parade with their own banner.
As with Stan Musial, I’ll stand by my decision.

As I said to a group of friends on Facebook (excuse my expletive) ...

I hate that kind of "suburban parish make light of the situation" bull crap. This is not about baseball, your grace. Don't try to get everybody chuckling when you've made this problem by ignoring a very serious issue - the sin of sodomy is serious, the turmoil in the souls of "gay" men trying to live chastely is serious, the witness you're giving by either marching or not marching in the parade is serious. Cut the banal bullshit.

But, alas.  Such is the level of ecclesiastical administration these days.



If you think about it, Cardinal Dolan is probably neither naive nor foolish.  He's just a politician, doing what politicians do, cowering and caving in to pressure.  He simply adds to that the annoying clerical dose of condescension and moral superiority.  But at least some of our bishops have risen above mere politics.  St. Paul, for instance.  "Am I trying to please men or God? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Gal. 1:10)


I follow this up with An Open Letter to Cardinal Dolan as well as a post that's bound to bother some people.  And one that goes into more detail on the theology and psychology of this issue.  And one about what it means to march under a banner in a parade. Crazy times where to defend the normal requires a dash of foolhardiness and heroic virtue.


John C. Hathaway said...

That was the worst criticism he received prior to this? Not for his statement about a few Thanksgivings ago about thanking whatever God we believe in? Not his pictures palling around with the mayor who a few days before had said pro-lifers weren't welcome in his city? Not his various photo-ops palling around with other politicians? Not for his suppression of the only TLM parish in NYC and banishing of its pastor? Not for the revelation that his archdiocese was willing to bow to pressure from labor unions to pay for contraceptives?
He genuinely expects people to believe that the worst criticism he ever received was over baseball?
Of course, most of his "flock" will believe exactly that.
And his Emminence and the laity are perfectly honest in that they equate grave moral and liturgical issues with sports.

Pedro Erik said...

Very well said, congratulations. I just add that Dolan acted worse than politicians, because usually politician do not act as Christ representative

Anonymous said...

I support this position. Participation in the St. Patrick's Day Parade should be reserved to those in a state of grace and the Church should bury its head and pretend that gays don't exist. By the way a cardinal is refered to as "His Eminence" not as "His Grace." If you're going to be holier than thou and insult a prince of the Church at least get it right. Fr. Israel

Kevin O'Brien said...

Father, I never said that participation in the St. Patrick's Day Parade should be open only to those in a state of grace. I never said that the Church should bury its head in the sand and pretend "gays" don't exist. But I agree with you. Whoever said that, he's totally wrong. Your comment just somehow missed that author's blog and ended up on this one.

Anonymous said...

Please, let us continue to pray for all our priests and bishops that they may proclaim the whole truth with clarity and charity. I am asking everyone to offer a holy hour a week for the ordained clergy from our pope on down to our parish priest. And Fr. Israel, we need to call people to conversion. While I have moved away from making openly critical remarks about our shepherds, I do not see how this post was insulting or self-righteous. We are confused by his Eminence's actions and his explanation did not help. The question is not where or not we are sinners. It is whether or not we are repentant sinners who are working on our conversion every day.

Anonymous said...

Suggestion why not start a Rosary for the Bishop there isnt one for him.

Anonymous said...

"We know our bishops are either clueless or cowardly or complicit in all kinds of garbage."
Just a few days ago I was reading some of St. Augustine's sermons. He noted in one how the faithful are always complaining that the bishops are too forgiving. They don't seem to condemn the public sinner enough. 1,600 years and nothing has changed!

Kevin O'Brien said...

echarles1, I am not complaining that Dolan is too forgiving. I am complaining that when he claims if you march under a banner in a public parade advertising your inclination to sin that you are not by that very act endorsing your sin and asking for a public endorsement of your sin - that his claiming this is reprehensible and an insult to our intelligence. That's the problem here, not "gays" and not forgiveness.

Incidentally, you can't forgive a sin until you acknowledge it.

But like all public discourse these days, the folks who choose to misunderstand me will simply label me an unforgiving gay bashing bigot. See my latest post -

Anonymous said...

The Church certainly acknowledges homosexual acts as sins. Some with same sex attraction do the same, ie. the film Desire for the Everlasting Hills. Maybe nobody marching under the banner of Gay Irish will have acknowledged it yet. But as Augustine said of Christ forgiving those who knew not what they did in crucifying him, Christ saw in the crowd those who would one day be his own. I certainly don't see you in a negative light. Just asking for patience and understanding and even willingness to see a bishop make a mistake once in a while, if this does turn out to be a mistake.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Cardinal Dolan is naive but that your article is naive in supposing he is. There's no reason at all to think that Dolan isn't aware of the context and consequences of his decision. But he is under the influence of the newest fads from Rome and Mercy-Pope Francis. In one word: Dolan is simply kissing the ass of his boss.


Anonymous said...

I even wrote a letter to the Cardinal and sent a copy to the papal nuncio in Washington DC. My concern was for families with children at the parade and how the "gay" marchers present themselves. Why does there have to be a separate banner for gays in a parade anyway? No one cares who marches and gays have always been in parades but perhaps not under a special banner. Do heterosexuals need their banner as well? Small children could potentially be exposed to those who flaunt their gayness in inappropriate dress and behavior, which in most cases does occur. This is my disagreement with the cardinal. One knows this opens up a whole gamut of individuals who think they need to flaunt their particular lifestyle. And while we are at it, lets leave St. Patrick out of it! Call it an Irish Parade.
JRB in Texas