Cardinal Dolan’s failed non-partisanship

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.

7 thoughts on “Cardinal Dolan’s failed non-partisanship

  1. From the same publication, here’s another take…. It assumes that The Cardinal will make the same kind of benediction he did at the GOP convention ,and call dems tlo stand for the sanctioty of life, marriage and the family, all of which is certain to elicit boos and hostility among those who have just finished consuming red meat from Sandra Fluke, the harridans from NARAL and Planned predators, Elizabeth Warren and gay marriage advocates Biden and Obama.. No matter what kind of discipline the convention tries to impose, these people wioll not suffer their enemy kindly. They will be exposed. and to their detriment.
    Here’s Phil Lawlor’s take on what Jeff Mirus said.

  2. John: I offer two points in rebuttal. +Dolan is IMHO doing exactly the right thing.

    First, he has been invited to lead the convention in prayer… not speak to them. Prayer must NEVER be done with a political intention other than to fulfill the great commission. It transcends the left/right framework of the American political system and super-imposes the imprint of the heavenly kingdom. It should be something that recognizes that we are all sinners and are all in need repentance and forgiveness. This is the role of prayer. If he were invited to give a speech, he would be obliged to do as you suggest. Alas, this is not the case.

    Secondly, +Dolan espouses a brand of Catholicism which describes as affirmative orthodoxy. Pastorally this obliges him to search out any opportunity where he can have a conversation about Jesus and His Church with whomever he encounters. By accepting the invitation to offer a closing benediction at each of the conventions, he’ afforded the opportunity to present the invitation of Christ before a national audience twice in one week. Given that we are beginning a period of re-evangelizing North America, I believe that all of us should grab every and any opportunity to re-introduce Jesus to a people who’ve forgotten what he offers to humankind.

    Fr. Tim

  3. Hi Father,

    I did not author the post.

    But in regards to your comments, I still think the post had valid observations. The Democratic Party is EVIL because its policies are evil and so is Obama. What is Cardinal Dolan doing by giving a blessing to an Evil Party and an Evil President, thereby making both parties morally equivalent? Is that what Jesus did? I don’t think so.

    John the Baptist didn’t give Herod “blessings”. He gave him the “whatfer” and Jesus praised him for doing it.

    Like the Al Smith Dinner, the Cardinal’s participation sends a scandalous message. Do you really believe that ++Dolan’s appearance there is going to convert minds and hearts to Jesus? Really? Just long enough to wipe the smirks off of their faces, I suppose. Why do they need Jesus when they have their own Messiah right in their midst?

    His Eminence should have avoided both Conventions, in my humble opinion, and preached the Gospel of Repentance to all politicians and voters alike.

    We’re tired of the past 40+ years of marshmallows. Bring back the fire and brimstone. When Our Lady appears, she doesn’t come showering sweet nothings. She comes in tears and showing the Hell mankind is choosing for itself. Why does our hierarchy not do the same? I guess it’s not very pleasant or ecumenical.

    • Hey, paycheck: THIS IS A GREAT COMMENT! Thanks, you saved me, and others, I’m sure, a lot of time. I can only add that maybe Cardinal Dolan, along with Fr Jenkins, is a masochist and loves getting kicked in the teeth by Obama.
      We must pray that the Holy Ghost visits the American voters to guide them in getting informed about the immorality of the Democrat Party, its platform, and its adherents.

  4. Is it any wonder why people are confused by what they see and witness by example of those in Authority, and what God’s Word says?

    The Devil seeks to confuse and divide and He is having a great time doing it through God’s very own, and thus making, even more of a mockery
    of what He already hates with such vitrol.

    Why do those in Authority continue to disobey
    God and try to colou it as something else.? It is insulting and horrific to do this right in Gods’ Holy
    Face and also insulting to do it to those who are striving to be faithful.

    I can just see Jesus saying “I don’t want this and this from you, I want a retraction of the “Winnipeg statement,!” I want you to acknowledge your wrongdoing and all that has come after it as a result, and I want you to humble yourselves, so I do no need to do it.”
    I can see Him crying out that is is mans’ foolish pride and love of lies, power and money, that he has put before Him, that will bring about a judgement so severe it makes one tremble.

    I could not care less if I am hated by cliques or certain people in Authority. Like Gianna Jesson says , we will be hated if we stand up for Life and Truth, and the only One I really have to be con- cerned about is God. Am I pleasing my Father, Son Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, as well as my Blessed Mother and Virgin, Mary.?
    If I refuse to stand up for Him and His Truth alone, I am a coward and I do no love Him.
    People want other human consolation and other peoples affection before God’s.
    This to me is repugnant and shameful, and I cry
    about it. Sometimes I feel how Jesus is hurting, and Our Blessed Mother

    Don’t tell me She is smiling always,when She is crying rivers at the fact Her very own sons are ignoring Her warnings and not doing as She as pleaded and told them to do.

    One fine Priest once told me , not to be concerned about what others think as long as I am doing Gods Will for me, and to always pray to and just listen to The Holy Spirit.

    Again…The Church is attempting to waste… Yet even more time dancing around, having “dinners”
    and “drinks” and lets everybody just hug and ignore the fact that people are contracepting, aborting, receiving Jesus in His MOst Holy Sacrament Sacraligiously, cause nobody preaches on Truth and Catechism, over and over and over,
    and no one is denying those who blaspheme the Holy Name, and The Body and Blood of Jesus,and His Most Holy Communion, and it goes on and on and on.

    It should make people madder then Hell, if they truly Love the One -Our Lord- Who mdes us for Him and Him alone.

    This is so insulting and hurtful to Truth . it appears they do not care about betraying Jesus.

    They are not being”like Jesus”. He does not reward
    evil. He disciplines us and here is the word we all here that God does Not do, according to some in Authority…They say God does not punish.He says in His Holy Word, God punished. He punishes us, when we hurt Him by hurting His One and Only Truth and others by twist and perverting His Word. Aloving father on Earth deeks out some proper punishment when his children do not obey or refuse to listen, especially when it is over and over and over. Why do we then have the audacity to say The Father of fathers, Our Father in Heaven does not? I will tell you why, it is not fashionable.

    You will hear some say God does not punish us, we punish oursleves. Well, if you mean by way of disobedience , in that, by way of on our own choice to be willlfull instead of doing His Will, we bring about terrible consequences, yes in that way it is true, but in God’s Word He says He punishes and He also says He condemns certain things.

    We are told not to take away or add to His Word, so it is disobedient to do so, and we are trying to play God.

    One thing I can say about Our Blessed Jesus,
    He is patient in ways I cannot fathom.
    He does say your ways are not my ways, and seek not your own understadning but in all ways
    seek His, so are we?

    Lord Have Mercy,
    Forgive us, and lead us in Your Way and Truth only , and through the Immaculate Heart of Our
    Most Blessed Virgin and Mother …Mary

  5. Hi Fr. Tim,

    Thanks for dropping by.
    Now that you explain Cardinal Dolan’s approach to evangelization, I can see where he’s trying to go with this, although I still don’t agree.

    Based on watching his public actions over the years, Cardinal Dolan doesn’t appear to have much political acumen or a sense of scandal. I don’t say to mock him, but rather as an honest observation from my perspective. He certainly shows up in places and says things that one wouldn’t expect from a Cardinal. His heart may be in the right place but the message gets muddled and deformed by his lack of attention to how the context can make his actions look so misguided, not to mention the spin given by the media.

    Saying a blessing at a convention of pro-aborts doesn’t come across as evangelization but as a tacit endorsement or at best an indifference to the evil being proposed by the party.

    • steve, this is an excellent analysis, thanks. BUT…maybe the good cardinal is a masochist and actually LIKES getting mistreated by a vicious thug like Obama. I don’t like getting kicked in the teeth and avoid it, but maybe Cardinal Dolan actually ENJOYS getting kicked in the teeth.

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