Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dolan as Demagogue in Denial

Cardinal Timothy Dolan
By now, most people are aware of Cardinal Tim Dolan's appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday. The "repeaters" are at work today. Catholic News Agency's headline is Cardinal Dolan: Church has been ‘caricatured’ as anti-gay. CNA goes on to explain:
“We've been caricatured as being anti-gay,” Cardinal Dolan told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Dec. 1, adding that “we’re pro-marriage, we’re pro-traditional marriage, we’re not anti-anybody.”
Google informs me that the definition of caricature is “make or give a comically or grotesquely exaggerated representation of (someone or something).” Oh the poor misunderstood Roman Catholic Church.


We must have misconstrued the teaching that we are “intrinsically disordered.” Former Cardinal Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has been widely misunderstood for writing “Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in [same-sex] unions would actually mean doing violence to these children.” Violence?

Dolan would have us believe that “pro traditional marriage” excludes the Church's considerable efforts to ban same-sex marriage for all people, most of whom are not Catholics. Those letters to parishioners,  threats to equality minded politicians and exhortations by the hierarchy at every conceivable opportunity are apparently just an exaggeration. And how does Dolan explain that exorcism in Illinois by a whacked out Bishop Paprocki? And all that stuff about people with "same-sex attraction" is simply misconceived. Among colleagues does Dolan even admit that gay people actually exist?

Cardinal Dolan behaves more like a politician than prelate. The very fact that he was on Meet the Press is telling. Why does the Church find it necessary to engage in this form of public relations in the first place. Rather than trying to convince us that the Church is not anti-gay, Dolan should be institutionally introspective.

Dolan went on to claim that the Church was "out-marketed" on same-sex marriage. I find that offensive to the citizens and legislators who see a value in equal protection. To suggest that the notion of such equality is marketed like toothpaste is insulting. Dolan needs to get out in the real world. He needs to meet with gay parents and their children. He needs to meet with gay kids who simply want more than lonely celibacy for their future. Most of all, Dolan needs to meet with his critics from all faiths. He also needs some powerful hearing aids.

The Church is free to teach anything that it wants. Parishioners are free to choose their level of devotion. But Cardinal Dolan; Don't piss in my ear and tell me that it's raining. More importantly, the Church has no right, whatsoever, to attempt to impose its teachings on the general public by force of law. Doing so insults our Constitution and our secular culture. That enterprise is the root cause of criticism of the church. It causes the Church and its proxies to claim that gay people, and their marriages, are a threat to children. What could possibly be more anti-gay?
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