Skip to content

Cardinal Dolan and the St Patrick's Day Parade - Blurring the Boundaries

By Deal W. Hudson
9/9/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The U.S Catholic Church has become, to give it a name, The Church With Blurred Boundaries. Needless to say, this is precisely the kind of Church sought by the Catholic left - who now call themselves - progressives - for over 50 years.

Cardinal Dolan has made a prudential judgment which can be legitimately and respectfully criticized by Catholics, whether lay or religious.  In other words, his decision to remain Grand Marshall of the St. Patrick's Day Parade cannot be construed as a "teaching" based upon the Church's settled issues of faith and morals, which it is his job as a bishop to uphold.  Rather, Cardinal Dolan lent his own "moral authority" to support a decision by the parade's overseers to admit a LGBT activist group - with explicit positions contrary to the Church - into an event bearing the name of a Catholic saint, the very name that is carved into the stone of his own Cathedral. That decision, in my view, was a mistake.

Whether or not Bill Donohue and the Catholic League will continue to support the St. Patrick's Day Parade is contingent on whether or not the committee allows pro-life groups to march under their own banner - not an unreasonable request! On officially settled matters involving sexuality belonging to the Church's magisterium, the boundaries are being finessed with a wink and a nod and now with a pint of Guinness and Irish good cheer.

Whether or not Bill Donohue and the Catholic League will continue to support the St. Patrick's Day Parade is contingent on whether or not the committee allows pro-life groups to march under their own banner - not an unreasonable request! On officially settled matters involving sexuality belonging to the Church's magisterium, the boundaries are being finessed with a wink and a nod and now with a pint of Guinness and Irish good cheer.

Highlights

WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - The committee in charge of New York's  St. Patrick's Day Parade have, for the first time, allowed a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender group to march under its own banner - OUT@NBCUniversal. The committee's rationale was to seek a "change of tone and expanded inclusiveness as a gesture of goodwill to the LGBT community in our continuing effort to keep the pa-rade above politics."

Many Catholics were surprised when Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York decided to remain as the parade's Grand Marshall saying, "Neither my predecessors as Archbishop of New York nor I have ever de-termined who would or would not march in this parade . but have always appreciated the cooperation of parade organizers in keeping the parade close to its Catholic heritage."

The Cardinal's decision put his most influential supporter, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, in a peculiar situation: Donohue has fought for years against the attempt of gay activists to use the parade as a platform to cru-sade against Church teaching on sexuality and marriage.

Donohue has been urging Catholics to boycott Guinness because of its withdrawal of support from the 2014 parade in protest against the parade's exclusion of LGBT groups. 

Prior to the Cardinal's decision and comments, Donohue had already made his position clear. To avoid an open clash with his friend and Cardinal, Donohue began to underscore the problems that may arise at the parade, such as the public behavior of those marching under the OUT@NBCUniversal banner.

His question is not unreasonable given the track record of LGBT groups in public gatherings.

In a SiruisXM Progress radio interview a few days ago, Donohue re-called instances of public nudity in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral. He could have men-tioned San Francisco where the city council finally had to pass an ordi-nance banning public nudity, but exempted nudity at events such as the annual gay pride event and the Folsom Street Fair.

Whether or not Donohue and the Catholic League will continue to support the St. Patrick's Day Parade is contingent on whether or not the committee allows pro-life groups to march under their own banner - not an unreasonable request!

Most of the attention, however, has been focused on Cardinal Dolan's decision to remain associated with the parade, especially given the memories of Cardinal O'Connor's vigorous and outspoken tussles with gay activists. In 1993 a federal judge upheld the decision of parade organizers, backed by Cardinal O'Connor, not to allow an Irish gay and lesbian organi-zation to participate in the parade because it violated the free speech rights of the parade's sponsor.

As could be predicted,  liberal leaders in the U.S. Church are exuberant, while conservatives are grumpy if not outright furious.

Cardinal Dolan has made a prudential judgment which can be legitimately and respectfully criticized by Catholics, whether lay or religious.  In other words, his decision to remain Grand Marshall of the St. Patrick's Day Parade cannot be construed as a "teaching" based upon the Church's settled issues of faith and morals, which it is his job as a bishop to uphold. 

Rather, Cardinal Dolan lent his own "moral authority" to support a decision by the parade's overseers to admit a LGBT activist group - with explicit positions contrary to the Church - into an event bearing the name of a Catholic saint, the very name that is carved into the stone of his own Cathedral.

That decision, in my view, was a mistake.

But Cardinal Dolan's mistake, in this prudential matter, is precisely of the same kind made over and over by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops when it allows the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to invest its money in coalitions that contain organizations explicitly committed to ends such as abortion, gay marriage, and birth control.  By giving Catholic money to such coali-tions, the bishops are lending their collective moral authority to the work of groups who seek to subvert Church teaching. 

The U.S Catholic Church has become, to give it a name, "The Church With Blurred Boundaries." Needless to say, this is precisely the kind of Church sought by the Catholic left - who now call themselves "progressives" - for over 50 years. 

These blurred boundaries are especially noticeable when it comes to the Church's supposedly settled teaching on issues of sexuality and procreation. The attitude towards those issues has become, it seems, "if we can't beat them, let's join them."

This blurring of moral boundaries has resulted in the Bishop's attempt to walk alongside, and provide funding to, groups diametrically opposed to their own teaching mandate.  On officially settled matters involving sexuality belonging to the Church's magisterium, the boundaries are being finessed with a wink and a nod and now with a pint of Guinness and Irish good cheer.

The solution, I believe, is a simple one: Friendship does not require one friend to espouse the other. There's no doubt of the Cardinal's intention to create good will and relationships with a diverse group of people. Anyone or any group who requires a person to espouse their cause as a prerequisite to friendship is not interested in a relationship but in conscription. 

Cardinal Dolan could simply announce he will be joining the parade but not as Grand Marshall.  This decision would reflect his seriousness about building relationships with diverse groups and individuals but also draw the line at appearing to endorse the anti-Catholic ideology of any group walking beside him.

Copyright - Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D

-----

Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, a Senior Editor and Movie Critic at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine. Dr. Hudson's radio show, Church and Culture, is heard on the Ave Maria Radio Network. Dr Hudson is also associated with the Common Good Movement.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


More U.S.

The FBI may investigate Planned Parenthood Watch

Image of It is hoped the FBI will investigate the criminal activities of Planned Parenthood.

An FBI request for un-redacted Planned Parenthood documents from the U.S. Senate could signal an investigation into whether the abortion ... continue reading


After Maria: Catholics helping to rebuild Puerto Rico Watch

Image of Caritas and other Christian charities are still working to rebuild Puerto Rico.

Seven weeks after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, the majority of the island is still without power, and many residents are ... continue reading


Honoring our Veterans on Their Day by Living the Same Principles Watch

Image of

They gave their lives for a country who believed that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain ... continue reading


Fr. Randy Sly on Veterans Day: Live the Values Which Inspired Their Sacrifice Watch

Image of

Today marks the observance of Veterans Day in the United States of America. I am a Vietnam Veteran and this day means a lot to me. As a ... continue reading


A thank you prayer for our Catholic veterans, steadfast defenders of freedom and faith Watch

Image of May God bless all our veterans, by whose sacrifices we remain free.

It is a historical fact that Catholic armies have saved the world many times over. Whether turning back the tides of hostile Islamic ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.