Cardinal Dolan has found another way to make an ass of himself or, seen from his perspective, to gain more points with the powers that be whilst trying to appear orthodox.
The Cardinal's intervention has already caused an uproar during the weekend, so I will not repeat what many other have eloquently written. I will, though, allow myself a couple of considerations about the motives and the forma mentis of this despicable man.
Cardinal Dolan doesn't care two straws for murdered children, or Catholicism come to that. It is clear to him the habit is a way to pursue a career exactly in the same way as he might have pursued a career, say, in marketing or, rather, politics.
In order to advance his career with the best chances of success, the Cardinal needs to do the following:
1. Be perceived as “strong” by those who do not closely follow his action; basically, he needs to be a “tough guy by hearsay”.
2. Be perceived by mainstream politicians of both colours as a safe bet: one who will never give anyone serious trouble and can therefore be helped to rise high, or at least not hindered from doing so.
3. Create an image of “popular guy”: the smiling uncle Cardinal you'd want at your table at Thanksgiving, obviously hoping he doesn't eat all the turkey.
4. Be seen by his fellow Cardinal as a harmless guy they can elect without fear of surprises; one who will produce himself in that kind of popular waffling they love so much without seriously angering anyone. The Cardinals have just elected one of those, by the way; so it works.
Notice how relentlessly the Cardinal pushes his agenda, and how well it is working for him. Observant Catholics do know he is a bad 'un, but why should he care? His public perception is what counts, and his public perception is doing just fine. The last threat of a “holy war” against a, erm, “Catholic in good standing” may be a total contradiction and an extremely stupid thing to say, but this is not how it will go down in the public opinion. For the masses, the perception will be of a tough Cardinal, because they do not think to the point of wondering what all this though talk will in the end lead to, and how can you threat holy wars without having the gut to say Cuomo is an evil man on his way to hell who must be annihilated. Dolan's wars are, evidently, fought by guffawing.
You can therefore see how the outrage among the fringe group of devout and attentive Catholics does not disturb the Cardinal in the least. Pope Francis will not be Pope forever, and with the years he will grow in stature and in weight (erm, cough) among his fellow Cardinals.
Make no mistake. His strategy is working just fine.
First of all, a suggestion: may we start explicitly avoiding using terms like “pro-choice”, “family planning”, “and “gay”?
Choice doesn’t apply to the murder of babies; planning children means actually planning to have them, and “gay” doesn’t mean homosexual.
Coming to the point: the already mentioned Bishop Aquila (one who takes his job seriously, as you can read here) has given an interview to the Catholic World Report, letting drop something rather similar to a bomb concerning the way a bishop should deal with Catholic Pro-Abortion politicians. Let us read him:
How should the Church respond to Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion?
Bishop Aquila: Their particular bishops can use the process of correction that is given to us in sacred Scripture, especially in Matthew’s Gospel. Our Lord tells us to speak to the person, and then take two or three others with us if he does not change.
If he still does not change, the Church can speak to him, which is done through the bishop. [The bishop] exercises the authority of Christ. Christ then says that if that person is still obstinate and will not change, treat them as a tax collector or Gentile. Expel him.
We do this out of love for the person, seeking his conversion. He needs to understand that the salvation of his soul is in jeopardy because of the positions he is taking.
Catholics are called to defend human life, particularly that of the unborn. The Church’s teaching is clear. If we don’t challenge public officials who reject this teaching, we leave them in their sins and confuse the faithful.
One doesn’t know how to begin, so many are the points which Bishop Aquila makes very clear in just a few words:
1) At a certain point, a bishop must act and excommunicate the politician.
2) The bishop must do it out of love for the man, and desire to save his soul.
3) Catholics are called to defend human life. It’s not an option for anyone, much less (so much is clear from Aquila’s words) for a bishop.
4) The Church’s teaching is clear. No ifs, no buts, none of the excuses used in the last decades. Abortion goes against Church teaching. It must be fought against.
5) The bishop who doesn’t act: a) fails to help the sinner, and b) confuses the faithful.
You know, and I know, and everyone knows, that there are at the moment a handful of bishops who are, in this particular juncture, specially called to action by these words. I frankly can’t imagine that bishop Aquila’s words may have been spoken without having those particular situations in mind.
I do hope that in the coming weeks and, if must be, months, more and more US Bishop will raise their voice not only defending the point in principle but, like Aquila, elegantly suggesting to their colleagues the way to react to what happens in their dioceses.
Read here the latest post of archbishop Dolan of New York about the recent disgraceful legislation in the US state of New York.
The Bishop makes clear that the battle doesn’t end here, and very laudably dares to say very clearly that what is called homophobia by the fraction of the unrepentant perverts is, in fact, theophobia, “hatred of God”.
I am glad to hear that the Bishop doesn’t want to let the matter rest and promises that the battle will go on. This confirms me in my opinion that this issue is going to stay with us and might well become one of the main themes of the 2012 electoral campaign. I am also pleased to hear that the Church is not going to be intimidated by any calls to force her to admit the “moral validity” of homo so-called “marriages” or face criminal charges. I think that Archbishop Dolan and others in the Church in the US recognise that if they don’t accept the battle now, the battle is going to reach them anyway, but not on their terms and in a position of rear guard, as the liberal Nazis try to suffocate every expression of opinion that doesn’t correspond with their own as “hate speech”, or the like. I particularly liked the archbishop’s beautiful words that “no unfortunate legislative attempt can alter reality and morality”.
Kudos to the archbishop, then.
Still, I allow myself two considerations:
1) In order to be effective, words must be followed by facts. The excommunication of the people who, as Dolan himself says, “scandalously claim to be Catholic” is in my eyes indispensable not only to try to save their souls, but more to the point to make the Catholic population aware of the gravity and scandal of such positions.
2) In this respect, Archbishop Dolan’s record is not entirely free from blame, as in his very own diocese scandalous homo masses continue to be celebrated, and behind words of convenience homosexual lifestyle continues to be promoted by the (of course) Jesuits of the church of St. Francis Xavier, where participation to so-called “gay pride” marches continues to be promoted and advertised, and rather blasphemous symbols like a rainbow crucifix can be seen (no, ladies: Jesus was not a homo; nor did he approve of homosexual practices. Cfr Mt. 10:15; nor can the Cross ever be misused in such a disgusting way).
Catholic doctrine requires that when war is waged, the intention must be to win it. Nothing less than all out confrontation is required if we want the Catholic electorate to wake up to the danger for the Christian future of the country, for its freedom of expression and, let us not forget, for their own souls.
Archbishop Dolan has been, I think, rather good at launching the car in the first gear. It is now time to put a heavy foot on the clutch pedal and get into second and third.
Starting from his own diocese.
Extremely interesting blog post from the “American Papist”, Thomas Peters. In his blog post, Peters point out to a clearly visible, but often not sufficiently considered reality: that the overwhelmingly liberal mass media greatly increase the feeling of inevitability of homo marriage by stubbornly ignoring their many defeats, and giving enormous space and “historic significance” to their very rare victories.
Stop for a moment and reflect what the liberal media (that is: the vast majority of the mass tv channels in the US and Europe, and the majority of mass newspapers) would have said if in the US there had been thirty popular consultation about the so-called homo marriages and the perverts had won all of them. And now please think that the reality is that they have lost them, all of them. It’s 31-0 for Christian values, and counting!
If this kind of results had been achieved by the other side, the call for the end of the debate would be deafening, and every opposer treated as an undemocratic nazi.
Or let us examine the legislative part of the battle, the arena where the homos try to transform their clear minority in the country in a majority by attracting representatives of the people ready to please them in exchange for favours. Well it turns out that this year they have already lost in Maryland and Rhode Island, and only won in New York; it’ 2-1 on the legislative front then, but there are at least other six states – let us count them: Minnesota, Indiana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa and Pennsylvania preparing themselves to reinforce marriage as the only…. marriage, or to reverse past decisions favourable to the homos.
Not persuaded yet? Look at a liberal state like California, where the homos have lost several times through either popular vote or law initiatives, and are now trying to overturn the people’s decision through an homosexual judge living together with his lover (or mistress, I suppose; or both; no idea what disgusting “arrangements” these people make).
Or perhaps you think that wherever homosexual so-called “marriage” legislation is passed, the situation is irreversible? Think again! Iowa and New Hampshire are two points in case, California is another example of sort (with the victorious Proposition 8 being the people’s answer to pink judicial activism). Wherever you look, people don’t sit and say “oh well, it had to happen I suppose”, but they react.
This, mind, even before the massive Catholic machine has been mobilised. If the US bishops started to say it as it is in a way that can’t be ignored, things would change in a matter not of decades, but probably of years, and the great risk for puppets a’ la Andrew Cuomo to be wiped out would soon let them decide that it is better for them to shut up like as many children when the headmaster enters the classroom.
Thankfully, in the United States more and more people are starting to understand what your humble correspondent has been saying from pre-blog times: homosexuality is the front line of the Christian war. Re-establish a Christian attitude to this, and abortion and euthanasia will be won on the momentum created by this recovery of Christian values.
Sad as it is to say so, too many people are still numbed to the atrocity of abortion, as – as they say in Italy – “the laws of one generation are the morality of the following one”. Not so for homo “marriages”. This is a battle that every Christian can fully grasp now and the re-discovery of his Christian values in one matter will unavoidably lead to a more mature reflection on all others.
Therefore, be in good spirit and wait for 2012, when pro homo representative and senators will hopefully get a pounding (these things can be pretty brutal, look here and tell me if you’d want to be in one of the pictures) and the people will wake up to the reality that they have the right to demand a Christian country and a legislation fruit of the will of the people rather than of judicial activism, or corridor politics. When the pendulum starts to clearly swing back in the US, it will only be a question of time before the same happens in Europe. At least in Southern Europe, where the ability of the Church leaders to mobilise the masses and shape future generations would still be very high, if they did as much as to wake up.