Thursday, September 18, 2014


 I'm glad Cardinal Dolan has gotten heat for this and that he is defending his decision to remain the Grand Marshall of the Saint Patrick's Day parade in New York.

However, I have to say that the problem hasn't been that men and women with same sex attraction and actively homosexual are marching in a parade under the banner of St. Patrick. Who cares if they are in the various groups that are marching. There is no indication of promoting a particular sexual identity or lifestyle.

The problem arises when one's sexual identity is promoted especially by political lobbies promoting a lifestyle that is contrary to the Church's moral law. I think we can safely assume that anyone who marches under a gay banner is promoting the gay lifestyle unless it is the Catholic support group for homosexuals seeking to live a chaste life, called "Courage!"

Here's Cardinal Dolan's defense. While it is good, it continues to baffle many of us that he simply didn't abdicate his election as Grand Marshall and simply watched the parade from the steps of St. Patrick's' Cathedral and blessed his replacement when he drove by:

September 17, 2014
Explaining My Decision to Serve as Grand Marshal
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. However, enough of you have courteously expressed some confusion and dismay, that, as your pastor, I owe you an explanation. Let me try.

For one, the decision to change the parade protocol was not mine. The archbishops of New York have never been “in charge” of the parade. Although my predecessors and I have always enjoyed friendly cooperation with the Parade Committee—and still do—and deeply appreciate the identity of the Parade as a celebration purely of Irish heritage, intimately linked to the Catholic Faith, we’ve never had a say in Parade policy or the choice of the Grand Marshal. Nor did we expect or want one!

So, in the current “brawl,” (they have been hardly rare in the Parade’s grand 253-year history!), I did not make the decision! You will recall that I in the past often expressed support for the former policy—that the only banners and identification to be carried was that the group was Irish—and that I found it logical and fair. To those who charged that the policy was “anti-Gay,” I often observed that no one person, Gay or not, was excluded from the parade. This was simply a reasonable policy about banners and public identification, not about the sexual inclinations of participants.

I did not oppose the former policy; nor did I push, condone, or oppose the new one. While the Parade committee was considerate in advising me of the change, they did not ask my approval, nor did they need to.

However, I admit that, for most folks, this is not the reason they are upset with me, and this brings us to point two. Many of you, while acknowledging that the decision to change policy was not mine, feel strongly that I should protest it, publicly condemn it, no longer support the Parade, and refuse the invitation to serve as Grand Marshal.

While a handful have been less than charitable in their reactions, I must admit that many of you have rather thoughtful reasons for criticizing the committee’s decision: you observe that the former policy was fair; you worry that this is but another example of a capitulation to an “aggressive Gay agenda,” which still will not appease their demands; and you wonder if this could make people think the Church no longer has a clear teaching on the nature of human sexuality.

Thank you for letting me know of such concerns. I share some of them.

However, the most important question I had to ask myself was this: does the new policy violate Catholic faith or morals? If it does, then the Committee has compromised the integrity of the Parade, and I must object and refuse to participate or support it.

From my review, it does not. Catholic teaching is clear: “being Gay” is not a sin, nor contrary to God’s revealed morals. Homosexual actions are—as are any sexual relations outside of the lifelong, faithful, loving, lifegiving bond of a man and woman in marriage—a moral teaching grounded in the Bible, reflected in nature, and faithfully taught by the Church.

So, while actions are immoral, identity is not! In fact, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, people with same-sex attraction are God’s children, deserving dignity and respect, never to be treated with discrimination or injustice.

To the point: the committee’s decision allows a group to publicize its identity, not promote actions contrary to the values of the Church that are such an essential part of Irish culture. I have been assured that the new group marching is not promoting an agenda contrary to Church teaching, but simply identifying themselves as “Gay people of Irish ancestry.”

If the Parade Committee allowed a group to publicize its advocacy of any actions contrary to Church teaching, I’d object. As Cardinal John O’Connor remarked, we do not change the Creed—and I’d add, the Ten Commandments—to satisfy political correctness.

In fact, the leaders of the Parade Committee tried to be admirably sensitive to Church teaching. They worried that the former policy was being interpreted as bias, exclusion, and discrimination against a group in our city, which, if true, would also be contrary to Church teaching. While they were quick to acknowledge that, in reality, the policy was not unfair at all, they were also realistic in worrying that the public perception was the opposite, no matter how often they tried to explain its coherence and fairness.

I found their sensitivity wise, and publicly said so.

If, in doing so, I have shown an insensitivity to you, I apologize.

I share the hope of the organizers that the March 17th parade will be loyal to its proud heritage of celebrating Irish identity, culture, and contributions—all a beautiful part of Catholicism— thus bringing this great community together in unity and festivity, and look forward to leading it as Grand Marshal.


Keyser Soze said...

Real leaders, especially Church leaders, don't pass the buck. Dolan is on a very dangerous slippery slope and his clever use of words cannot mask what every Catholic's radar instinctively picks up from his horrid decision. No matter how he tries to spin it for the faithful, the secular wing that controls opinion and policy will still mark this as a "revolutionary" moment for the Catholic Church and his name will be stuck to this decision forever.

Another teaching moment, abdicated and blown.

Anonymous said...

" I have been assured that the new group marching is not promoting an agenda contrary to Church teaching, but simply identifying themselves as “Gay people of Irish ancestry.”

Really. Didn't Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature of New York assure you they would not try to make "gay marriage" the law. And that was Dolan's excuse for staying completely silent during the whole debate. Dolan appeared on national television and said he had no problem with a person living an active homosexual life. In fact he said "BRAVO". Dolan is a cause of scandal and needs to be removed. He could care less about the scandal he is causing. This lack of taking seriously the scandal he is causing is shown by comparing it to a preference for a baseball player. Okay Father keep rationalizing scandal. Those marching in the parade are not people who are gay and trying to live a good Christian life. They are a group committed to active sodomy. Notice Dolan never mentions that pro life Catholics have been denied permission to march.

JusadBellum said...

Here's the problem. He only acknowledges as worthy of action the "perceptions" of ONE SIDE in this cultural debate.

After acknowledging that the prior policy was fair and reasonable and in tune with Church teaching.... he then decides that the hurt feelings and misperceptions of the pro-gay population is MORE important than the sensitivities of faithful Catholics who are beleaguered by aggressive "pro-sex outside of chaste monogamous heterosexual marriage" secular forces.

So what does the great pastor of souls opt to do? Acquiesce to the demands of the 1.6% of the population who are gay and the perhaps 30% who are "friends of gays" out of fear or confusion and thus scandalize the feelings of the rest of us.

He speaks of 'perceptions'. One must always take them into account. But whose perceptions are not in the drivers' seat and whose are delegated to the trunk?

Here's the deal; as the cardinal astutely points out, it's likely that people with same sex attraction have always marched as part of other contingents. So why the need to march as a separate, unique group unless it's precisely to honor the actions that are very much the means by which they identify with one another?

Gay Irish aren't into platonic relationships and fraternal support. They are into all that the secular non-Irish gay groups are into and that is to further the cause of the sexual revolution's destructive process.

If we accept the Church's teaching on sexuality, then we accept that people are foremost sons or daughters of God, whose identity is related to their love of God and neighbor. We don't gain our true identity through sin.

THEY ARE NOT marching as members of COURAGE. THEY ARE NOT coming from the Cardinal's best spin "we happen to be struggling with same sex attraction but we're striving to live a chaste lifestyle as fellow Catholics". No. That flag and their common public announcements are to declare their 'sexuality' both morally good and biologically harmless. It is neither.

We do them and the general public no service in suggesting that all's well and we're not tacitly endorsing their world view when by the perception of both pro-sexual revolutionaries and pro-Catholic ethics that's the message coming out.

By either being silent or worse, giving for all the perception of capitulation to the spirit of the age, the Cardinal does not help those struggling with SSA nor those struggling against the sexual revolution.

660,000 men have died of AIDS since 1990. 30,000 died just this past year (more than the 17,000 killed by firearms that has the nation in a panic over guns). They weren't killed by homophobia or mean-spirited Catholics but by getting what they wanted, by the "lifestyle" they claim "scientifically proven harmless". So not resisting their irrational drives is no small matter. People have blood on their hands and consciences by NOT standing against the sexual revolution.

rcg said...

I think the comparison to his baseball statement is a malapropism at best or an insulting trivialization at worst. But that is what people learn in public positions. Isn't it funny that people who fight so vigorously to blot the word "Christmas" out of our vernacular and parades are determined to keep "St Patrick" in the front of this one? And certainly as a tool to manipulate Church Doctrine as if were policy. If Timothy Cardinal Dolan wants to test his theory he should ask for five minutes to deliver a sermon about St Patrick and the conversion of heathens from their ways. He might get a very different reaction.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Exactly RCG! I was going to suggest that the parade's name be changed to the "Irish Day Parade!" Saint Patrick look alikes would be invited to march but it would be to honor the Saint but to honor the Irish heritage!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said... would be NOT to honor the saint but to honor the Irish heritage.

Gene said...

What Dolan is doing is inexcusable…it is, at least, abominable judgement and, at worst, a deliberate capitulation to the homosexual agenda. I wonder if Francis will join him on the "Who Am I To Judge" float...

Pater Ignotus said...

Keyser - No, not "every Catholic's radar instinctively picks up" with this issue. For some - a very small percentage I'd wager - this Parade issue is Armageddon. Not because it IS Armageddon, but because they want it to be Armageddon.

Of course, if this Armageddon isn't to your taste, you could pick Cardinal Burke's demotion (tentative), "Who am I to judge," washing the feet of a Muslim woman, not wearing the silk and ermine mozetta at his balcony appearance, transferring Cardinal Canizares to Valencia, sleeping in the Domus Marthae, riding in a KIA Soul, etc etc etc. as your Armageddon du jour.

Doesn't it get tiring being so close to the End of the World all the time? And doesn't it get instructive when the world, in fact, does not end?

Gene said...

What would worry you, Ignotus? Jesus actually returning? Irrefutable proof that He actually rose from the dead? Being forced to attend a TLM? Discovering that there is nothing bad or wrong about being white? Wait, wait, I know…A Republican President and a Republican super majority in congress…yep, that's it!!!

George said...

The good Archbishop is parsing this. He is separating and segregating what a person or group proclaims to be (in this case "Gay") from what they do which makes them so ( a compulsion to engage in homosexual sex). Yes, just like alcoholism and drug addiction it is a compulsion, which is stronger in some than in others that is true. If it were not a compulsion, but something genetic, would God forbid it as being a serious offense against His Justice? When a group is public in it's proclamation can it realistically be understood as being anything other than the promotion of that lifestyle which would include the practice of the sex act? There is no stronger association between a person or group and a behavior than between homosexuals and the act that demotes who they are.If it were a group Catholic group of homosexuals conforming to Church teaching by promoting celibacy and chastity I would see no problem. Beyond that what is to prevent same-sex couples from marching with this group which would compound the potential (and likely) scandal ?
St Patrick spent a part of his life converting pagans from their sinful ways. God' s laws have not changed since the good saint walked the earth. To the depth of my being I do not believe he would have anything to do with this parade and would condemn the decision to let this group participate.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - Jesus is actually returning.

Proof that Jesus actually rose from the dead is superfluous when one has been given the gift of faith.

No one forces anyone to attend a "Traditional" Latin mass. Note: All masses are Traditional.

There's nothing bad or wrong about being Caucasian...or African-American...or Asian... or Native American...or etc.

A Republican President and a Republican super-majority in Congress we've survived before and will again, if needed.

Gene said...


Anonymous said...

Hey, when did Cardinal Dolan join the Episcopal Church! I must have missed the news release.

He would fit right it the Episcopal Church with parsing sin, closing parishes (especially good orthodox ones), inhibiting priest etc.

Sorry, the Good Cardinal and his spin doctors can try their best, but he has given in to the homosexual agenda. SSA is not gay or homosexual. This group will march under a homosexual banner proclaiming with pride their sin and rejection of clear teachings from God, Christ, Scripture, Church, Tradition and Reason.

And he holds the Venerable Fulton Sheen's body hostage and has stalled his cause for sainthood.

I have not been a fan of Dolan's since I saw the footage of him affirming the open and proud homosexuals during the Celebration of Mass at I believe ST Pat's or which ever one is known as the gay parish. If you don't believe, google is your friend.

Remember, Episcopal and Anglican Bishops have been talking like Dolan talks now for decades. Heed the warning signs, your Anglican brothers did not and look at the mess we have become.

The Anglican Priest

rcg said...

The big advantage to being so close to the end of the world is that it has cleared my schedule.

Pater Ignotus said...

Rcg - hehehe...!

Anonymous said...

Hey Pater I,

You need to get your facts correct. You wrote "not wearing the silk and ermine mozetta at his balcony appearance". There is no such thing as a silk mozzetta trimmed in ermine, only the velvet or Easter damask mozzetta is trimmed in ermine, which in reality is rabbit. Just trying to help because I'm a giver. But the world just might be ending when a pope tries to promote sacrilege of the Eucharist as a merciful act.

Pater Ignotus said...

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

Pater Ignotus said...

Hey, Anonymous, Pope Benedict XVI also restored the use of all three forms of the papal mozzetta. While only the red satin summer mozzetta was used by John Paul II, Benedict XVI has also made use of the winter papal mozzetta and the paschal mozzetta, both of which were last worn by Pope Paul VI The winter papal mozzetta is of red velvet trimmed with white ermine, and the paschal mozzetta, worn only during the Eastertide, is of white damask silk trimmed with white ermine.

Gene said...

CNN Reports: "World to end tomorrow. Women and minorities hit the hardest.

Православный физик said...

PI, beautiful prayer, puts perspective on things

Unfortunately for Cardinal Dolan, the homosexuals marching under the banner is everything but proclaiming chastity.

Of course this is the same Cardinal that was fooled on Obamacare, Same Sex Marriage being passed in his state, so why not a parade too for the hat trick?

Eventually, I'll do something on my own blog, as I don't wish to put an essay out on this topic.

George said...

I don't want to give the impression in my previous comment that homosexuality, alcoholism and drug abuse are all equivalent. Alcoholism is of course characterized as a disease. I agree with Church teaching that homosexuality is a disorder. In all three a behavior modification is necessary, although for different individuals the degree of difficulty in resolving the problem differs. We as members of the Church should have a compassionate and understanding response to individuals who struggle with these. None of these behaviors or lifestyles however can ever be condoned or accepted . We can and should pray for these individuals.

Joe Pollitor:
It is a beautiful prayer and is attributed to St Teresa of Avila