Politics can be so exasperating, especially when the Church gets involved in such a dopey manner. Cardinal Dolan’s presence at the National Conventions of both parties is a case in point. Dr. Jeff Mirus of Catholic Culture wrote an excellent piece on this issue.
By appearing at both Conventions, the Cardinal is desperately trying to appear non-partisan and avoid giving preference to any party. As Mirus points out, partisanship has become a bad word because it is typically associated with an unjustified and unfounded bias towards on party or another. However, when concerned Catholics raise objections with intrinsic evils in the Democrats’ platform, such as abortion and gay marriage, this isn’t partisanship at all because the objection is very much justified and founded. There’s a coherent argument behind it. To ignore this rationale in some misguided attempt to appear non-partisan is clumsy, imprudent and gives the impression of being “complacent about evil”, as Mirus puts it. It makes both platforms appear morally equivalent, which they aren’t.
Here’s the key paragraph of his essay:
The problem of addressing the decision to pray at the Democratic convention in terms of partisanship—as in rising above mere partisanship—is that this both trivializes the moral issues at stake and gives the impression of calling on God to bless the efforts of the Party (or the candidates) as they currently stand. Yet the support of President Obama and the Democratic Party for such things as abortion and gay marriage (among others) is intrinsically and very seriously immoral. Therefore, a new set of rules applies, rules which require every Catholic (and certainly the Church in her official capacity) to insist on the seriousness of this immorality, to refuse to countenance it, and to avoid giving the least impression that it is unimportant or deserving of the blessing of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Exactly. And as Mr. Mirus points out in the last paragraph of his article, unless Cardinal Dolan uses his prayer at the Democratic National Convention to call out the Democrats on the intrinsic evils in their platform, his presence will most certainly be used in a partisan way, as the Democrats will point to his participation in the Convention as a sign that the Democrat platform is consistent with Church teaching. In trying so hard to appear non-partisan, he will make himself a tool for partisanship.
That’s not to say that the Republican platform is perfect. As Mirus points out, if their platform was found to contain any intrinsic evils, then Republicans should be called out too. But I don’t think it does. Despite Romney’s personal opinions, the Republican platform does not appear to contain any exceptions for the ban on abortion, gay marriage or gay unions. So while a Catholic may not agree with some of their policies from a perspective of prudential judgment, the disagreement with the Democrats’ platform is absolute because of its intrinsic evils, to which no Catholic can ever be associated.
By treating both platforms as equivalent, Cardinal Dolan is ignoring gross intrinsic evils and making himself a useful idiot for the Culture of Death. He’s thinking in such human terms, as if he had discernment of moral theology and his duty to lead the flock.