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Did Cardinal Dolan step into the middle of a mess? Not really, despite his critics…

 

If four critics are correct, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan stepped into the middle of a mess when he said on last Sunday’s NBC’s “Meet the Press” that if not for the Obamacare’s treatment of undocumented immigrants, provisions that require Catholics to violate the dictates of their consciences, and abortion, Catholics would be among the loudest “cheerleaders” for Obamacare.

Concerning Obamacare, Cardinal Dolan said:

We bishops are really in kind of a tough place because we’re for universal, comprehensive. life-affirming healthcare. We, the bishops of the United States–can you believe it, in 1919 came out for more affordable, more comprehensive, more universal health care. That’s how far back we go in this matter, okay. So we’re not Johnny-come-latelys.

We’ve been asking for reform in healthcare for a long time. So we were kind of an early supporter in this. Where we started bristling and saying, “Uh-oh, first of all this isn’t comprehensive, because it’s excluding the undocumented immigrant and it’s excluding the unborn baby,” so we began to bristle at that.

And then secondly we said, “And wait a minute, we who are pretty good Catholics who are kind of among the pros when it comes to providing healthcare, do it because of our religious conviction, and because of the dictates of our conscience, and now we’re being asked to violate some of those.”

So that’s when we began to worry and draw back and say, “Mr. President, please, you’re really kind of pushing aside some of your greatest supporters here. We want to be with you, we want to be strong. And if you keep doing this, we’re not going to be able to be one of your cheerleaders.” And that, sadly, is what happened.

The Cardinal’s narrative didn’t set well with the President of the Media Research Center, L. Brent Bozell. In an interview with CNSNews.com, Bozell asked:

Who is the “we” in this conversation? Certainly not the Catholic Church.

It is simply untrue that the Catholic Church is one of Obamacare’s greatest supporters. It is simply untrue that the Catholic Church “wants to be” with Mr. Obama on this. It is simply untrue that the Catholic Church wants to be a cheerleader for a policy sold to the public through deceit, with projections that were false, and based on a formula that is guaranteed not to succeed.

I say this respectfully: Your Eminence, you speak for yourself here, not the Church.

Bozell is correct. Cardinal Dolan doesn’t speak for the Church, even when he was the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. However, Bozell went a bit far afield in his criticism because Cardinal Dolan specified three moral issues–lines in the sand, so to speak–that make it impossible for Catholics to support Obamacare.

The Cardinal’s narrative also didn’t sit well with the long-time Dolan critic, the President of the American Life League, Judie Brown. According to CNSNews.com, she said:

How dare he say that Catholics should be “cheerleaders” of Obamacare. He’s a pathetic example of a shepherd of the Catholic Church.

A bit strong, no?  “Pathetic”?

Brown didn’t back down. The hierarchy’s failure to stand against the total opposition to Catholic teaching by prominent Catholics in the Obama administration–Vice President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, specifically–and to unite their flock against the passage of Obamacare, means they now have to deal with the contraceptive mandate. She added:

[Dolan] is a media darling. They promote him as the preeminent Catholic speaker in the U.S. because they know what he’s saying suits their agenda, not what the Church teaches.

I’ve known Dolan for over 20 years, since he was the archbishop of Milwaukee, and it has not been what you would call a friendly relationship. That’s because I was one of the original authors of the campaign to get the bishops in the United States to follow Canon Law 915 and deny Communion to people who were persisting in the public promotion of a grave evil, such as abortion. Cardinal Dolan has never agreed to enforce 915.

If the courts uphold the contraceptive mandate, Brown believes the hierarchy will back off. She predicts:

It’s so very sad. The Catholic Church has the ability to shut down the Obamacare mandate. It would go away if they shut the doors of every Catholic facility, but they won’t–and Obama knows they won’t.

Unfortunately, Ms. Brown misquoted Cardinal Dolan. He did not state that Catholics should be cheerleaders but that they would have been cheerleaders for Obamacare if not for those three moral issues. Who’s to know if Catholics would have been? Cardinal Dolan is entitled to his opinion.

Not one to shy away from voicing his opinion, the founder of Church Militant TV, Michael Voris–who believes Obamacare would not have passed if Cardinal Dolan and other members of the U.S. hierarchy had actively opposed it–had this to say:

I just continue to be deeply disappointed in [Dolan]. They don’t want to rock the boat. They run the Church like it’s a corporation. Less than five U.S. bishops said, “We will defy this.” The other 300 said nothing, and a good number of them quietly supported it. They won’t make the tough choices. They’re constantly siding with a pro-abortion, liberal, socialist-minded agenda.

The Faith has been watered down. It’s like the 11th Commandment is “Never give offense”–and the other 10 have been erased.

Voris is absolutely correct. When the hierarchy is divided and does not speak with a united and forceful voice, opponents of Church teaching are always more likely to prevail in the public square.

Then, there’s the professor of political science at Christendom College, Dr. Christopher Manion, who has been examining the relationship between the U.S. Catholic bishops and federal government. Ever since World War I, Manion believes, the Catholic Church and the federal government have been “joined at the hip.”

In the CNSNews.com interview, Manion cited a March 31, 2012 Wall Street Journal article in which Cardinal Dolan admitted that the Church’s sex abuse scandal “intensified our laryngitis over speaking about issues of chastity and sexual morality.” Manion said: “They lack fortitude. They haven’t taught morality in 50 years.”

Manion fears the hierarchy will back down concerning contraceptive mandate. He said:

I only pray they do the right thing under tremendous pressure. There is a powerful temptation not to, and reasons that can be easily rationalized.

If Manion’s observations about Cardinal Dolan and the U.S. hierarchy are correct, for the past five decades the nation’s bishops have not been obsessing over social issues. Many disagree with that opinion.

The banner headline resulting from the “Meet the Press” interview was Cardinal Dolan’s statement that Catholics had been “out-marketed” in the battle over so-called “homosexual marriage.”  But, the real headline is the opposition his statement that Catholics would have been “cheerleaders” for Obamacare–excepting three moral issues–has stirred. Unfortunately, much of that criticism is unwarranted.

 

 

To read the CNSNews.com article, click on the following link:
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/catholics-criticize-cardinal-dolan-lamenting-catholics-couldve

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link:
http://www.richard-jacobs-blog.com/omnibus.html

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The Motley Monk

The Motley Monk is Fr. Richard Jacobs, O.S.A., a Professor of Public Administration at Villanova University. His academic specialities include: organizational theory; leadership ethics; Catholic educational leadership; and, U.S. Catholic educational history. Check out Fr. Jacobs' daily blog at http://www.richard-jacobs-blog.com/omnibus.html.

35 Comments

  1. Apathy.
    The chance of a counter-attack to the HHS mandate was, in my opinion, weak.
    The response letters from our Bishops and subsequent law suits by Catholic Organizations and business was immediate, however the laity at large was never fully energized.
    Dolan plays nice…too nice with the political powers that be.
    By speaking the truth of our Catholic Teachings and holding to accountability for (c)atholic politicians that disagree w/said teachings, much of the efforts are weakened. Will the fallout of enforcing “no-communion” to (c)atholic politicians that are supporting anti-teaching legislation be catastrophic to the Holy Church? A larger split of what it means to be Catholic.
    Or
    Would these measures strengthen the Catholic Church in America?
    Weak leadership is a safe harbor for souls infected with apathy.
    Something must be done.
    What is the correct course of action?
    Playing politics with the serpent isn’t the correct course.

  2. What impresses you about our bishops and the apparat underneath them is that collectively they are terribly garrulous but seem to say little that is not either blancmange or silliness on the order of the Cardinal’s remarks. Spare remarks, please. Concise remarks, please. Priorities, please (morals, exhortations to prayer, doctrinal instruction, disciplinary explanation, and fund-raising).

  3. So the big three moral issues are: paying for abortions, not paying for care for undocumented immigrants, and making Catholics pay for treatments that violate their consciences.

    I think there are other moral issues with respect to how we are going to pay for Obamacare that are worthy of consideration by the Church.

    We will print money to pay for it, we will conscript doctors, and we will ration care and institute death panels.

  4. I was complaining about Kung and his hobby horse recently. Voris is just as bad. If someone gives him New England clam chowder instead of Manhattan, he’ll frame it in terms of the failure of the Church heirarchy to promote the faith. Brown pretty much admits that she’s driven by long-held grudges. I’m not familiar with Manion. As for Bozell, frankly I’ve been so disappointed by the decline in quality of the Media Research Center that I’m probably not the best one to judge his statement. It does seem like he’s the only one who addressed the issue that Cardinal Dolan raised, namely whether the health care bill should have been supported if it had been “baptized”.

  5. Bottom line: I oppose universal health care that requires wealth redistribution from those who work to those who refuse to work. Why? Because I oppose theft. The entire edifice of what passes for social justice nowadays is based on the idea that it is moral to steal from someone who works and give to someone who doesn’t. And until this godless heresy of the false gospel of social justice is jettisoned into the refuse can of putrid rot where it belongs, we will continue to have weak-kneed, yellow-bellied, cowardly shepherds whose first thought and action is how to be nice. Critics of certain shepherds may hold grudges, and may be nasty little creatures – I don’t know – but such critics (regardless of their defects of character) are correct. The shepherds are not above scrutiny.

  6. Why, in light of the world’s experience in the last century, would the bishops ever think that it would be a good idea to have a centralized state controlling healthcare?

  7. In his excellent analysis of the Church on the eve of the French Revolution, Hilaire Belloc says, “The very fact that the Church had thus become in France an unshakable national institution chilled the vital source of Catholicism. Not only did the hierarchy stand in a perpetual suspicion of the Roman See, and toy with the conception of national independence, but they, and all the official organisation of French Catholicism, put the security of the national establishment and its intimate attachment to the general political structure of the State, far beyond the sanctity of Catholic dogma or the practice of Catholic morals…. The Church was, so to speak, not concerned to defend itself but only its method of existence. It was as though a garrison, forgetting the main defences of a place, had concentrated all its efforts upon the security of one work which contained its supplies of food.”
    Such attitudes are not confined to 18th century France.

  8. M P-S – Isn’t that overstating it? The US hierarchy has recovered from its waywardness in the last 20 years or so. I would like to see more formal excommunications in cases of defiant error, but the hierarchy has had a voice, especially in the past few years. 99% of the Catholic vote is parishioners, and we’re the ones who have failed.

  9. When was the last time Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan mentioned God’s prohibition against coveting thy neighbor’s goods? Stealing from our neighbors in order to hand out Medicaid cards like candy seems contrary to the morals the Archbishop is supposed to be teaching.

    We’ve been asking for reform in healthcare for a long time. So we were kind of an early supporter in this.
    –Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan

    I’ve long wondered if the Church’s bishops understand what they themselves mean by “reform in healthcare” and “this”. Word-fog cannot form coherent, rational thoughts but the mental fog can sure seem pretty!

    Here’s a few questions that may illustrate the near meaninglessness of the Archbishop’s pretty words. Can anyone explain why there is not one Catholic medical school anywhere in Archbishop Dolan’s archdiocese or in any of its suffragan dioceses? Can anyone tell me why, if health care is an issue so important to the bishops, Catholic schools graduate far more lawyers than physicians? Can anyone explain why the most prominent Catholic university in the US, Notre Dame, trains no physicians?

    And, for my own bishop, can he name one medical school that trains physicians at any of the many Catholic* universities and colleges in California? (That was a trick question. There are none. Bishop Blaire of Stockton, California I’m looking at you too!)

    One last thing. Archbishop Dolan at least put a date on the beginning of the US bishops’ fascination with dabbling in politics and neglect of their pastoral duties, 1919.

  10. Some have defined slavery as a system where one is forced to work so that other’s may enjoy the fruits of one’s labor. It seems, at times, that but for “force” that in modern America, the working citizens is a slave to the state as it doles out goodies to the non-workers. It is an overstatement but many people seem have this sentiment.

  11. When was the last time Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan mentioned God’s prohibition against coveting thy neighbor’s goods? Stealing from our neighbors in order to hand out Medicaid cards like candy seems contrary to the morals the Archbishop is supposed to be teaching.

    You’ve gone off the rails. Catholics are not compelled to look at the world through the prism of Ayn Rand.

  12. It seems, at times, that but for “force” that in modern America, the working citizens is a slave to the state as it doles out goodies to the non-workers. It is an overstatement but many people seem have this sentiment.

    The social encyclicals are difficult to operationalize, but one thing that can be said is that a social order organized to please Ayn Rand or Herbert Spencer is most certainly not one ordered to Catholic principles.

  13. have the american bishops publicly addressed the morality of burdening future generations with a financial debt that will be near devastating to pay off?

    surely, people who are currently reaping the economic benefits they received as preferential partners of the federal government while simultaneously placing an enormous financial burden on defenseless others should be prime targets for the teaching of RCC morality.

  14. Art Deco, besides not being brave enough to sign your name to comments in which you demonize others by name, you also wrongfully attribute their policy views to folks who don’t cite or imply them.

    Bishops have been seduced by staffers and the culture which infects them into believing that forcing people to support specific solutions to social problems is Catholic and Scripturally-based. However, conscripting people’s monetary support for political solutions they find repugnant because of their socialist elements is NOT scriptural or soncistent with authentic teaching.

    These are prudential matters left to individual consciences, for now, or at least until Obama emerges as the dictator his heart yearns to be and deprives us of those “last rights.” I do not recognize the authority of any bishop to require our support for bad ideas and certainly not wealth redistribution, which should at least be understood as immoral by the bishops, since the Church once saw it as illegal.

    Citing Ayn Rand and Spencer rescues you from having to actually contribute something from your own mind, but instead you just come off as intellectually weak and sneaky.

  15. Cardinal Dolan speaks as a modernist, secularist and humanist, and as a democrat— but not in the tradition of great Catholic moralist and shepherds. The USCCB continues to advance a left wing political agenda from our collection plates. There has been little actual reform of the inhabitants within the domestic policy group at the USCCB. The Al Smith dinner was repulsive. And, without a doubt, and as now admitted, certain shepherds, Cardinal Dolan among them, betrayed authentic Catholic teaching by tacitly supporting the AFA.

    Cardinal Dolan in the practice of the new politics and the urgency of everything “comprehensive”, probably never read the the AFA for if he had, all that we see now was there to be seen then. Recall that the propaganda for the AFA was that it would make healthcare affordable, portable and accessible. Cardinal Dolan did not support those principles but rather the specific act….much like he has supported the corrupt Immigration Reform bill.

    This nonsense corrupts the pastoral in favor of the political, and diminishes the works of salvific charity replacing those works with statist control of economic behavior. We are in deep trouble as a Church and as a country with this type of leadership. Have the Shepherds prepared us for resistance, for the coming soft martyrdom, for the cause of evangelization… or have they prepared us to be sheep of the democratic flock subjugated to the Progressive Hegelian state.

  16. Phil Whatsyourname,

    I’ve used the same handle for eight years, and no other handle. I participate in these fora to discuss issues. I do not participate to discuss me. Other people blog about their domestic life, and some about their work life, but that is not my deal. If that means I’m not ‘brave’, so be it.

    Several questions were at hand in the posts in question: whether taxation is theft, whether the bishops are derelict in not teaching that taxation is theft, whether those taxed are ‘slaves to the state’, and whether it is proper to frame the question of common provision of medical services as one of doling out ‘goodies to non-workers’. These questions are nearly irrelevant to your four paragraph rant.

    As for the rest, you need to look up the word ‘demonize’ in the dictionary.

  17. Art Deco is very well known throughout Saint Blogs for his insightful comments over many years. Let us have no more attacks on commenters in this thread. Focus on the issues raised by Motley Monk please.

  18. Cardinal Dolen is speaking for himself here, inserting his foot into his mouth, which seems to be a common occurrence nowadays among Church leaders. He’s more politician, than a spiritual leader. He’s the political Catholic media darling. I’m Catholic and I completely disagree with him. Obamacare stinks, period, and for him to drag the rest of the flock into saying we’d support it, if we could just change a couple of things, is totally off base. I wouldn’t support it if they changed the whole law. I wouldn’t be happy until it was completely repealed and disappeared into thin air…….and that is the way most people (let alone Catholics) with a level head, who aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid, feel. And good for Michael Voris. Church leaders should take a cue from him…”not be one’s to shy away from voicing their opinions”, as that is the real root of the problem here. Too many clergy are afraid of being vocal and adamant of the true laws and morality of church teaching….afraid of offending. It’s called tough love and it was what Jesus was all about. I truly believe if Jesus were around today, he’d be “housecleaning” His church.

  19. I happen to agree with Cardinal Dolan, with the caveat that I think such matters should go to the states. My wife and I took advantage of the Oregon Health Plan for the birth of our first son (of eight children) by utilizing their benefits for the least expensive option of a nurse midwife. That son has grown to a beautiful man who will be deployed to Afghanistan in 2014. A minimal benefit provided for a substantial contribution to our society. We ditched public insurance benefits after his birth. I have a niece who lives in Tennessee who is pregnant with her second child. She has no health insurance, and I kind of wish she lived in my state. I support state (not federal) run health benefits for the poor. I used to be one of those poor. That said, there are people who do take undue advantage of public benefits, and they should be shut down.

    I think that if we are pro-life, we should support a safety net for the poor. But not socialized medicine. There is a difference. The first is based on ensuring a minimum of health care if you can’t afford it consistent with the principle of subsidiarity. The latter is based on Satanic support for the destruction of life and the economy that supports life. Basic economic principles should be respected and taken into account. But so should principles of Christian charity.

  20. I am forced to wonder why the State (really the tax payers) should be the ones to run health care benefits (they do, actually, through Medicaid) and not the Church Herself.

  21. Alphatron Shinyskullus

    Politicians would do well to remember the words of Pope Pius XI in Casti Conubii, “Wherefore, those who have the care of the State and of the public good cannot neglect the needs of married people and their families, without bringing great harm upon the State and on the common welfare. Hence, in making the laws and in disposing of public funds they must do their utmost to relieve the needs of the poor, considering such a task as one of the most important of their administrative duties. (121)

    He warns them that “it is obvious how great a peril can arise to the public security and to the welfare and very life of civil society itself when such men are reduced to that condition of desperation that, having nothing which they fear to lose, they are emboldened to hope for chance advantage from the upheaval of the state and of established order.” (120)

  22. The embrace of the homosexual/pedophilia culture over the past decades by some Bishops/Clergy and the silence of other Bishops/Clergy was the genesis for the “de-marketing” of “chastity & sexual morality” not “laryngitis” (Card. Dolan’s word). My diagnosis would be the lack of doctrinal backbone.
    Political parties over the life of our nation have held differing and evolving agendas. Now the Democrat party under the leadership of Obama and his team stands for and is committed to a secular, socialist form of big government with rights and values determined by, and flowing to the people from, a centralized power. Its collectivist ideology is the antithesis of the principle of subsidiarity (supported strongly by Pope John Paul II and others). Prime example is the Obamanation Obamacare, otherwise known as the Unaffordable Care-less Act (UCA).
    Simply put it is too big to succeed. Obama and the Democrat party’s unrelenting attacks against the unborn, traditional marriage and religious liberty among other issues confirm its secular agenda.
    Speaking as a Catholic/Christian, former Democrat and a firm believer in our Constitutional principles, no Catholic, no Christian should belong to today’s Democrat party. For example, Bishop Tobin of Providence, RI has resigned from the Democrat party. Catholics, who are registered as Democrats, Bishops, clergy, laity should follow Bishop Tobin’s example and immediately opt out of the Democrat party.

  23. Thank you MPS for your last post on Casti Conubii. As I read through this discussion I felt many – and I am often tempted to it myself – too easily dismiss the motivations of our bishops, and then label them this or that. To say that Cardinal Dolan is more of a politician than a spiritual leader, or that he is a modernist, humanist, secularist is over the top. Regardless of what one may think of their opinions, let’s not forget that these men kneel down every day, examine their consciences and sincerely pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit. That is no guarantee that they always get things right and are not subject to pride, muddled thinking and so forth, but for the most part they are in this for the Kingdom of God. You correctly point out that Catholics are beholden to promote the public good and that is what the bishops are trying to do. I say that believing that Belloc was right on target in what he observed about the Church’s complicity with the French government. I think much of the same has happened here and that support for Obamacare was greatly misguided. (And I won’t digress but the neglect of the family within our Church and its current assault by Satan is a matter of extreme importance.) But as has been mentioned somewhere here, the American Church’s longstanding support of big government solutions, the great society, the war on poverty and democrats in general is simply the wrongheaded approach in trying to do the right thing. (OK, I know this is a simplification. Sure, power, politics, hubris… always play a part in our human condition.) My point is, we should focus on criticizing their solutions and not the objectives or the person . Whilst I believe we have a power hungry and extremely deceitful leftist movement driving most of this, they do so by pointing out some real issues that Catholics more than anyone should be concerned with and it draws us in – then they offer perverse solutions spiced with some good suggestions. “Helping the poor, providing human conditions, assisting aliens, healthcare for all…. these are our bishops motivations perhaps mixed in with “survival” of the Church as they see it. And much like the softening of our politicians as they move up, it is disappointing that it happens in the Church too. We can do a good job of criticizing the wrong solutions, but name calling and losing focus on the goal is counterproductive.

  24. Figuring out “The one who is unwiilling to work shall not eat” with those who do not have the opportunity to sustain themselves is not always so easy.

  25. The publicily expressed criticisms of the hierarchy are part of freedom of expression and may even become intemperate at times. The problem with the cardinal’s comments is that the anti-Christian cabal and media thrive on this and present a ‘house-divided’ narrative. This often means that no ‘pros’ or ‘cons’ need to be raised since the impression left is that “Catholic opinion is divided’ and thus ‘We can support any position or trendy morality as we see fit’. Those in opposition are not so vague; their unambiguous point of view and orthodoxy is such that any pope would be envious and even weep for joy if the same existed among those he shepherds

  26. I certainly have no problem criticizing the hierarchy’s actions, statements and did so when in their employ. However, the conversation (and the chance to win over) usually ends abruptly with name calling. I actually agree with most of the criticism cited in this conversation. We have been infiltrated with much evil and weeding it out, as even mentioned in scripture, is not easy without doing harm. But yes, it must be done. What Joe said about the homosexual/pedophilia culture was made possible and a natural progression from the contraceptive culture. And thanks to the silence in our pulpits and episcopates, we’ve lost most Catholics on both issues.

  27. I disagree with Dolan’s comments that Catholic’s would have been cheerleaders for the [un]Afforable Health Care Act. It attempts to force individuals to purchase insurance whether they want to or not. It does not provide for greater availability of genuine health care. I believe it violates the principle of subsidiary. Healthcare should be addressed at a more local level rather than a national healthcare law. Healthcare should be addressed with charity rather than insurance. If someone cannot afford necessary medical treatments, then the local community needs to say we’ll pay a portion or the entire cost. If the community cannot afford to assist all the members of the local community that need such assistance, then the community asks for assistance from its superior body. Healthcare needs to be addressed first by the family, then the parish, then the dioceses, then regional groups, then national groups, and then international Church. When it comes to healthcare, I believe certain individuals or businesses are reaping unjust profit by providing services, medicines, and medical equipment for healthcare treatments and diagnosis.

  28. Dr. Christopher Manion’s belief that since World War I the Catholic Church and the federal government have been “joined at the hip” is accurate. The Church will do what is fiscally advantageous. A recent example is the Catholic Schools in my adopting the Common Core Curriculum. Why? Because there is government funding to be had with that adoption. The concerns of the parents of students have been summarily dismissed by my parish’s leaders. Money talks, especially in the Catholic Church!

  29. mdgrad.

    If you and Dr. Manion are correct it could explain the salt that has lost its flavor….I do not condone attacking priests…prayers are being said that is all it seems we can do.

  30. Dolan has been a big disappointment. He strives to be a “hail fellow well met” who is always ready with a quip and a hearty laugh. The best thing about the “affordable care act” is the misleading title. After that, it’s downhill all the way for this gargantuan bill which, in the words ot that eminent Catholic moralist Nancy Pelosi, had to be passed to learn what was in it. That Dolan does not see this is difficult to comprehend. I began to sour on him when he invited Obama, who has been rightly called in this blog the “most anti-Catholic president,” to the Al Smith dinner which featured nice “optics” for the president standing with a smiling Dolan.. He and the Bishops could have stopped the act’s passage but got gulled by the last minute deal on the contraception/ abortifacient mandate by the assurance that an executive order would override it, giving Catholic Democrats cover to vote for it despite the many problems with the bill as noted by a previous commenter. He was weak in opposing Cuomo on the same-sex marriage not “out-marketed.” He has never taken a stand on Communion for Cuomo and other “Catholic” politicians who openly flout Church doctrine. His stance on illegal immigration is opposed by many devout Catholics who rightly consider it a prudential issue not the province of the Bishops and their former Democratic staffers (who actually are the ones who prepare the documents). The Bishops too often weigh in on issues like global warming for which they lack expertise rather than issues over which they have purview and fail to tackle e.g. the drop in Catholics attending Mass, the fall in vocations,the loss of Catholic identity at “Catholic” universities and high schools etc. Like the proverbial shoemaker, they should stick to their last.

  31. I have been a defender of Dolan in the past Pete, but I think your critique is dead on accurate. I was in hopes that there was strategy behind some of his actions, but I have come to the conclusion that there is not and he is a very weak man for the important office he holds in the Church in this country. Your last two sentences are a great summary of what is wrong with most of the Bishops in this country.

  32. “Bottom line: I oppose universal health care that requires wealth redistribution from those who work to those who refuse to work. Why? Because I oppose theft”

    putting aside that during certain economic times it’s difficult to find work even for some qualified people, there’s also people in jobs who don’t receive coverage and can’t purchase it because of conditions they have. So yeah…just a little reductive there

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