Dolan told reporters that he was feeling down after the legislative loss. Please. Any pity for him is unearned, given that he and his team have had years to prepare for this struggle, and to educate lay Catholics and the wider public about what was at stake in this issue. And yet they fought with a half-heartedness that is simply stunning given the vivid, calamitous language the archbishop used to describe the threat. comparing America under gay marriage to life in authoritarian China and totalitarian North Korea. No man who really believes those things would have confronted the challenge with such bizarre maladroitness, skittering off to a bishops’ meeting in Seattle when crunch time came in Albany.

A decade ago, I reported a story for National Review about how the Netherlands went from being a bastion of bourgeois Christian virtue to a showcase for hedonistic secularism in a single generation. In one of my interviews, a Dutch academic said that when the countercultural gale began to blow in the 1960s, the country’s religious leadership swiftly surrendered because it had lost confidence in the truth of its own teaching on sexual morality, and, in turn, faith in its own ability to persuade others. (Source)

Exactly. There it is, folks.  In “red letter” for you.

The bishops don’t believe the Church’s teaching.  

It’s easy to regurgitate Church teaching.  It’s quite another to be crucified over it.  That’s why the Catholic Church honours martyrs…because they actually died for what we believed.  We don’t honour paper Catholics for reasons which are self-evident.

5 Responses to “Dolan Caved”
  1. Der Wolfanwalt says:

    So if I’m following you here, the fact that gay marriage became legal in NY means that there was a failure on the part of +Dolan? Sounds legit.

    Seriously though, what you wrote essentially makes that argument, throwing in the reference to the Netherlands in order to equate that situation with the present one. Honestly, that’s pretty uncompelling.

  2. Andy says:

    Der Wolfanwalt,
    What is your explanation for why the defense of marriage by the Catholic hierarchy in NY was so limp? Do you have a better one?

    I thing the post hits the nail on the head. The hierarchy aren’t willing to suffer for their faith….because they don’t believe — really believe — what it teaches any longer is true, especially in the area of sexual morality. Compare the efforts in NY with their counterparts in the Philippines and the Reproductive Health bill. Speaks volumes…..sheep from the goats folks..sheep from the goats.

    The Martyrs and their ultimate sacrifice is another topic you’ll rarely hear from either the pulpit or in our Catholic schools. Their example is a complete counter-witness to the perspective taken from “Professional Catholics”. They really can’t relate to them in any way.

  3. LianaD says:

    This post is bang on. The NY bishops didn’t put up enough of a fight. It gives the impression that they just wanted to “go on record” as being opposed, but didn’t do anything to mobilize the faithful by teaching them the truth and persuading them of the urgency of action. Perhaps many of these bishops don’t believe the teaching themselves.

  4. Neil says:

    I think this is unfair to the bishops who made an effort.

    +Dolan made a fine argument against gay marriage. If the people ignore what the bishops say, what more can they do?

    I guess they could preach on it over and over and over every Sunday, and scream louder and louder every week? But would that really help?

    This criticism seems to ignore the real life problem that some good bishops have inherited dioceses full of dissenting priests and a flock who doesn’t listen. That isn’t their fault.

  5. Pacheco says:

    Neil,

    It is not enough to simply state the Church’s position on something so fundamental as marriage. It is necessary to take every and all available means to ensure people know the Church is dead serious. For instance, canon law (915) is clear about Catholics who publicly reject Church teaching. But in the case of Andrew Cuomo, the New York governor, who actually laughed when referring to his Catholic faith and same-sex “marriage”, it is more than apparent that he is not going to be disciplined whatsoever. He wasn’t warned beforehand (as a shot across the bow for other like-minded “Catholic” politicians who try the same maneuvers), and he will not be disciplined afterwards, either. Howard Hubbard, the bishop of Albany, gave the man Communion knowing full well of Cuomo’s concubinage with a woman who is not his wife.

    http://maronites.wordpress.com/harming-the-church/bad-bishop/

    He just chose to ignore it for “social justice” reasons.

    Dolan too, I’m afraid, was not serious about defending marriage. One or two radio appearances doesn’t cut it, especially knowing what was on the line and, more importantly, what was coming down the pipe years ago before we even got to this point.

    But you do bring up a good point about the laity not listening. We should ask why that is. Because they too were not properly catechised. And whose fault was that? The bishops who did not teach. That’s who.

    They wanted to be rock stars and politicians. And now we are reaping the fruit of their “finding themselves” “pastoral theology”.

    Sorry, no pass for them.

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