Cardinal Dolan calls on Catholics to be “very active, involved in politics”

He spoke on the subject today at a diocesan convocation.  Details:

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan told Roman Catholics on Saturday that in an era when the church was fighting the government on several fronts, they needed to make their voices heard more clearly in the political sphere.

Speaking at a diocesan convocation on public policy here, Cardinal Dolan, who is the archbishop of New York and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “We are called to be very active, very informed and very involved in politics.”

The cardinal’s speech came in advance of the church’s annual lobbying day in Albany, scheduled for March 13.

Several recent government actions have clashed with church teachings, including New York’s legalization of same-sex marriage and President Obama’s mandate that religiously affiliated hospitals and universities cover birth control in their insurance plans, which was upheld on Thursday by the United States Senate.

Though the Obama administration has suggested a compromise that could let employers offer the coverage without paying for it directly, Cardinal Dolan told the crowd at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School that the government sought to make the church do something “we find unconscionable.”

“It is a freedom of religion battle,” he said. “It is not about contraception. It is not about women’s health.” He added: “We’re talking about an unwarranted, unprecedented, radical intrusion” into “a church’s ability to teach, serve and sanctify on its own.”

The cardinal mocked a secular culture that “seems to discover new rights every day.”

“I don’t recall a right to marriage,” he said, describing marriage, instead, as a “call.”

“Now we hear there’s a right to sterilization, abortion and chemical contraceptives. I suppose there might be a doctor who would say to a man who’s suffering some type of sexual dysfunction, ‘You ought to visit a prostitute to help you.’ ”

Cardinal Dolan said that the prelates, though, might not be the church’s most persuasive advocates. He told a story about bishops hiring an “attractive, articulate, intelligent” laywoman to speak against abortion and said it was “the best thing we ever did,” adding, “In the public square, I hate to tell you, the days of fat, balding Irish bishops are over.”

Instead, he emphasized the role of the laity. While priests and bishops “stick to principles,” he said, “we leave a lot of the messiness of politics up to you.”

Read it all.


  1. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Cardinal Dolan’s mocking of the rights of LGBT persons seems to be in line with the new “jail the gays” policy eminating from the Vatican. This new policy operates from a theory that there is no such right as a right to be Gay. It appears to be the effective renunciation of Cathechism 2358. This “there are no Gay rights, and human rights don’t apply to gays” can be seen through the recent new actions of other offical Catholic spokespersons.

    1) Just like the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria (3 Bishops and an Archbishop), that advocate throwing all Gay persons in prison for 14 years, for the crime of existing. Source: Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria
    2) Just like the Cathollc Church of Zambia, which TODAY, came out in favor of jailing Gay persons. Source: Father Paul Sansubino as reported in the Zambian press.
    3) Just like Cardinal Robert Sarah, who supports legislation to jail all Gay persons and extreme persecution of minorities in coordination with a group (C-FAM) that defends Iran from UN condemnation on jailing (and possibly killing) Gays. Source National Catholic Register-EWTN
    4) Just like the Bishop of Belize, who openly advocates the criminalization of Gay persons.

    Every one of the above cases uses the underlying argument that ‘gays have no rights, and human rights don’t apply to gay persons’.

    Apparently, the new policy of the Vatican throwing Gays into jailcamps for the crime of existing, the banning of freedom of speech, religion, assembly, association, peition, protest, due process, privacy, expression, and protection against cruel and inhuman punishment has made it to the USA. And that Catechism 2358 is null and void.

    Gay Persons have much to be frightened of by the Catholic attempt to jail us all and deny us freedom of speech and protest. And by a Catholic church that engages in this kind of politics in other nations demanding to take a greater role in American politics.

  2. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    The EWTN article is only the source of Cardinal Sarah’s use of the new Vatican “gays have no rights” doctrine and their tie with CFAM. C-FAM’s opposition to UN condemnation of jailing of Gays can be seen with their advocacy at the UN. Their tie to open supporters of Iran and Syria on matters of human rights can be seen through their association with Family Watch International (through the World Congress of Families)

  3. Deacon Greg Kandra says:


    Homosexuality is different from homosexual activity.

    From a report today (emphasis mine):

    The Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) said in separate interviews in Lusaka yesterday that they are happy that Government has come out in the open to show the international community that Zambia has her own culture which should be respected.

    ZEC spokesperson Father Paul Samasumo says the message from United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon was inappropriate to Zambia and several other African countries because homosexuality is illegal.

    “The Catholic Church’s constant and firm teaching on homosexual acts is unequivocal. Homosexual acts are seriously wrong and sinful. Basing itself on the Bible, the doctrine in the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares that homosexual acts are contrary to natural law.

    “Under no circumstances can homosexual acts be approved. The natural sex partner for a man is a woman and vice versa. Homosexual acts are wrong,” Fr Samasumo said.

    Dcn. G.

  4. This is about religious freedom. What has it got to do with so-called gay rights? Stick to the topic at hand and cut the drama and bloviating.

  5. I was a little disappointed with Cardinal Dolan during the New York gay marriage debate. He just wasn’t vocal enough and should have been able to persuade the Catholics in the NY legislature. But I have to say he has been great on this religious freedom issue. Perhaps he needed to build to his voice.

    @Tom – That is ridiculous. I can’t speak to the positions of people in other countries, so my comment only reflects the position in this country. We are for the dignity of all human beings, including homosexuals. We are not against gay rights. We are however against gay marriage and there is a difference.

  6. Joe Snavely says:

    I appreciate this call, and can’t wait for the Cardinal to call Catholics to be active in politics to support the Church’s teachings on the preferential option for the poor, opposition to preemptive war, the death penalty, etc. I’m sure that it will come right?

  7. We are not against gay rights. We are however against gay marriage and there is a difference.

    No there isn’t.

  8. Seems like Gerard Nadal’s advice is being taken.

  9. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Yes, there is.

    It’s one thing to not be discriminated against for work, housing, voting.

    Marriage is altogether different — socially, historically, legally and, in the eyes of the Church, sacramentally.

    Dcn. G.

  10. Joe Snavely,

    It was Obama who said there would be conscience exemptions. Getting in bed with socialism is a bad idea, since the state is now being used to dictate everybody’s health care options.

    European Courts are now trying to force pro-life, doctors, nurses etc to perform abortions.

  11. Mike,

    Stop overreacting, Courage run by same-sex attracted Catholics, is one of the church’s fastest growing Apostolates.

  12. Joe Snavely says:

    I am not arguing that Savvy. I support the Cardinal in this fight. I just hope that he makes just as strong a call to Catholics to be active on all of the important issues that are creating a culture of death in America, not just the ones that fit neatly into a particular party’s platform. Abortion matters, marriage matters, euthanasia matters, poverty matters, war matters, the death penalty matters…it all maters, so why not talk about it all?

  13. You forgot same-sex marriage and contraception and abortion.

  14. Because Joe the Obama White House is violating the First Amendment rights of Catholics and Catholic institutions in the area of contraception and abortifacients. That is why Cardinal Dolan is talking about it. It’s not too hard to understand really. And for the 100th time, as Cardinal Ratzinger himself said, issues like war and the death penalty are not on the same moral plane as abortion.

  15. Joe,

    I don’t disagree. The USCCB’s website, does deal with these other issues.

  16. @Tom- I do not see it as you do that the Cardinal is mocking gay people or seeking to jail them. What you fail to pick up on is that he is reminding us that in the Catholic perspective we are all called to a vocation in this life. The key word being “called”. And who does the calling- God. It is a serious matter for all of us and I would be lying if I pretended that most married men and women even think of it this way. But we must and this is what Cardinal Dolan is saying. When you discern that you will enter the married life with another man or woman, you are doing it with God. When you discern that you are being called to a consecrated life as a priest, nun, brother or deacons, God is with you. You can also be called to the single life- it is a valid and as equally important vocation as the others. But the church says that the married vocation can only be between a man and a woman. If a person has a same sex attraction, then they must remain in the single vocation. It does anot mean they are bad or evil. And just as those called to the consecrated life (other than married deacons) they must remain celebate. Sexual relations outside of the married vocation is not permitted. Now again, do Cathlics practice this well- the answer is no. Just as a non-married man and woman living together in a sexual relationship is considered “sinful” because of the acts involved so to are the acts associated with homosexuals.

  17. Joe Snavely says:

    No, no issue is on the level of abortion. Life is the first right upon which all others are dependant. However, “life” is under attack in a lot of arenas in our society, but the only ones that seem to get the Bishops to use their influence to call Catholics to “get active in politics” are those that fit neatly into one of the party’s platforms. That’s unfortunate because it does. It recognize that all of these issues are interrelated, and reduces the Bishops credibility as representatives of s Truth that transcends party politics.

  18. Thanks, Deacon, for posting this. As the Cardinal has stated, it is about no other “side issue” but rather about the central issue of religious freedom in the US. We’ve got to keep the focus on this for now.

    Must say I am annoyed by attempts by some here to sidetrack us with issues that may be important but are irrelevant to the focus of the Cardinal’s remarks. I’m always amazed that the people who accuse the Church of being obsessed with sexual issues are the same ones who keep bringing those issues up :-)

  19. stan chaz says:

    These “faith-based institutions” are businesses – NOT churches….BIG businesses. The government is trying to protect the freedom of their employees, not to limit it! Seriously: The bottom line is that absolutely NO ONE is coming into our Churches or places of worship and telling believers what to believe…..or forcing them to use contraception. BUT If the Bishops (and other denominations) want to continue running businesses outside of their places of worship…businesses that employ millions of people of varying faiths -or no “faith” at all- THEN they must play by the same rules and rights that other workers live by and enjoy (especially if their businesses use our tax dollars, and skip paying taxes, in the process). If the Jehovah’s Witnesses church hires me, can they alter my health insurance to exclude blood transfusions? Even worse- what if they operated a hospital by their “rules”? This is not a “war on religion”. Never was. However, it IS a war BY some religions… on women and men who simply want to plan their families, to control their futures, to keep their jobs, and to have health insurance that allows them to do that. if the Cardinal wishes to be a politician instead of a preacher, and wishes to use his pulpit for that purpose, rather than a place of worship, then he should give up his tax exemption.

  20. I was at the Cardinal’s talk today and he spoke eloquently for 45 minutes on how we must care for the poor, homeless, immigrants etc.
    He is an extraordinary teacher and he preached the fullness of the faith. Catholic liberals and conservatives shouldn’t just pick and choose what they like…

  21. Sorry, Stan, but they are not “businesses,” but non-profit organizations that manage to stay alive because of the sacrifices of many, including lay staffers who willingly work for somewhat less than they would if they chose to work for government-owned or for-profit competitors. They are part of the “works of mercy” that have been a signature of the Church since it was founded in the 1st century by the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

    They are NOT separate from the Church but at the very core of what we do. “Church” is not just worshipping on a Sunday in a nice place with stained-glass windows — that’s how the current regime in Washington would like to contain and constrain and limit us.

    Rather, “Church” is the lived reality — seven days a week — of Jesus’ followers trying to live out their discipleship, and that most definitely includes “works of mercy.”

    That, too, is part of the religious freedoms we wish to preserve. The government would like to conform our “works of mercy” to THEIR norms, but OUR norms are timeless and predate the founding of the Republic and they come from God. Those norms are protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. — and we must fight for them.

  22. Deacon, Tom has been using the same wording which is wrong and detailed as such on several posts. I doubt your information will have much impact. He seems to be here to bash the Catholic Church and Her teaching as his mission.

    I have never seen the Catholic Church out to put him or other gays in jail for existing. He seems to be demanding that the Catholic Church accept homosexual acts as something other than gravely disordered and that will never happen. Love the sinner, hate the gravely disordered sin.

    Using this massive distortion of Catholic teaching to bash Cardinal Dolan seems to be over the line of civility.

  23. Joe, I was a seminarian in New York in the 1980′s. I used to serve mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and on several occasions held Cardinal O’Connor’s mitre and crozier, which meant that I needed to stand with him after his Sunday mass behind the altar as he spoke with reporters.

    He spoke of the Church’s great involvement in all the areas you outlined. He spoke extensively on them. Yet, every Monday morning the NY Times and other papers ran with homosexuality, condoms and AIDS. Their selective reporting made O’Connor look like a one-note-Charlie. So, I offer that eyewitness account to history for your consideration. If you do not read his weekly column on his blog, I suggest you do so. I learned as a young seminarian not to rely on the NYT for perspective.

  24. Stan,

    I like pork chops and BLT sandwiches. I like sausage and pepper hero sandwiches and bacon with my eggs. So I should get a job teaching at Yeshiva University and then, literally, make a federal case over why they will neither serve me these foods, nor permit me to eat them at my place of employment. Right?

    People who work for religious institutions sign on knowing and agreeing to the limitations the institution places on certain benefits and practices for and by employees. My wife works for an Orthodox Jewish hospital and needs to abide a host of sensitivities and deference to their customs. If ever that becomes a problem, she is just as free to quit as when she signed on.

    This isn’t about women’s freedom to plan their families or to use birth control, so stick to the topic. Judging from the consumption of birth control in this nation, it is inconceivable (pardon the pun) that we are hearing of all these women who can’t afford their pills. The sick truth is that these hormones are excreted unchanged in the woman’s urine and contaminate the water, so much so that coastal fish stocks are being affected, with male fish not developing fully as male. This has been discussed in biological societies for almost ten years now. Here’s one decent scientific review paper:

    When the pollution of our waters by estrogen gets serious biologists talking, then I don’t think there’s much of an availability problem. It takes a lot of women’s urine to interfere with fisheries.

    So, you were saying…

  25. This sounded to me a little like a surrender call than a call to join the battle. Everyone realizes that the Bishops have less political power as they once did and it is largely their own fault. You put out a weasel worded voter guide and you have clergy openly supporting the party of death for generations which 54 million babies are killed and you lose credibility that you take abortion very seriously. Start using the power and influence Bishops do have and the rites already existing in the Church and canon law, and you will soon find that this leadership grows in how Catholics view their Bishops. The Bishops have a clear path by sending out a group of bishops to every Catholic who voted to kill religious liberty advising them they are in danger of losing their soul based on their past and continuing action and if nothing changes, use cannon law and excommunication if necessary to send a strong message on what it means to be Catholic today. Revise the voter guide more along the simple way of the Ten Commandments that are easy for all to understand with no wiggle room. Use the ecumenical work over the last few years and call a meeting of all faiths that actually care about religious liberty and come out with a solid front that this cannot stand and in fact the entire matter of how this country was formed as a Christian nation has been distorted and needs to be restored. Call for organizations using the name Catholic that are little more than a front for the Democratic party to drop the name Catholic and do the same with those whose sole purpose seems to be open dissent to settle Church teaching. Teach between now and the election using all the talent in the Church to send out information in every way possible to clear up the lies in the media about the Church and Her teaching. Have every Bishop insure that what is said in sermons at every parish in their diocese is united in fighting this battle. Mandate that we empower the prayer of St Michael the archangel to go to fight this evil thrust upon our nation that we may once again become one nation under God. When a distortion from a Catholic University is put in print, have the writer called on the carpet to discuss the need for a mandatum from the Bishop.

    I don’t buy; we tried guys, now up to you. If you have that little power and leadership skills, how about making some changes to get those with more chutzpah in place. I almost got the feeling reading this that Dolan has some pressure from the democrat bishops to go along and get along because their party affiliation is more important to them than the Church. I hope I am reading this wrong and see the Bishops start doing some of what the Catholics in the pews have been calling for over the last couple of decades.

  26. No, that is NOT accurate. In 2002 and 2003, the Church spoke out strongly against US going to war in Iraq, a war that was approved by US Senators John Kerry and Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. When Obama got to the Senate, he supported that war and its funding.

    In 2006 and 2007, the US bishops strongly supported comprehensive immigration reform which was pursued by the Bush Administration. After Obama got into the Presidency (and with Democrats in control of both house of the Federal legislature), however, Obama and Pelosi were “no-shows” when it came to pursuing comprehensive immigration reform. They dropped the ball.

    You’ll recall that in the 1980s the US bishops were VERY vocal in their opposition to Reagan Administration policies involving domestic spending, nuclear weapons and Central America.

    Nice try, Joe, but the facts don’t fit your “narrative.”

  27. Have to confess, Dr. Nadal, that when I read the first two sentences of your post I started to get VERY, VERY hungry :-) … but I had to stifle that urge since one of the many things I’m giving up for Lent are late-night “snacks.”

    You’ve posted here recently before about the environmental impact of birth control “products”, and I see you’ve posted here again. I’m definitively going to check out your sources on this. This needs to be examined and better understood, beginning with me !

    Many thanks!

  28. You seem to be assuming that some of these would favor the democratic party when viewed against Catholic teaching.

    Abortion, Democrats wrong side, 54 million babies killed and teaching says that to support this type of politician you need a proportiante reason. Still waiting for one the democrats have that comes close to this holocaust.

    gay marriage, Democrats wrong side

    euthanasia, Democrats wrong side

    Poverty, Democrats big government solution to everything, high taxes, big debt is obviously not the answer to poverty since we have more today than before they started. therefore I would put them on the wrong side saying lets try something new. How about a Catholic group not tied to the democratic party or socialist ideas doing an honest evalutation if the old democratic ideas have worked for the poor or have harmed the poor rather than a knee jerk reaction giving them this ground. They could suggest new and enlightened ways to actually help the poor.

    war, Democrats wrong side if pacifism is the goal since they started the civil war, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, ,Kosovo, Libya bombing, and have voted for and voted to fund Gulf war I, Afghanistan, Iraq, and on their own again with Libya support and Obama just said he was not to be taken lightly about using war with Iran. Now lets name the wars the republicans started without democratic support? ……

    death penalty, both parties have the same stand on the death penalty. name a Democrat presidential candidate who vowed to end capital punishment if elected and pushed through an amendment to make it happen (or even brought it up for a vote)

    So Joe, looks like it is close to a full Republican sweep on the issues and the need for Catholic leadership to determine if Democratic failed big government solutions are actually serving the poor or harming them.

  29. Kevin right on this.

    fight for religious liberty, Democrats wrong side. note Joe did not list that one above

    As to giving in on the war and death penalty as if the democats win, see my comment above. I think they frankly lose on accurate history on them as well. Too many have a knee jerk reaction to give this to Democrats when a real evaluation of how they have done on those issues does not support it.

    Every measure of poverty, crime, education, single moms and resulting disasters, destruction of once solid families with the poor, and almost anything else has become worse since we bought into big government programs for the poor actually are working and not putting us in a horrible position with debt that always hurts the poor worse when it implodes. It is a failed argument that the Chruch need to rethink. With the attitdue of the Democratic party toward faith fully exposed to the Bishops, would be a good time for them to examine this myth on poverty and also to look at facts about war. Also would not be a bad time to honestly evaluate if forced school busing and affirmative actions democrat programs have helped or hurt race relations.

    Not sure I have ever understood how a party so closely aligned to the abortion intrinsic evil and holocause could be expected to have a moral position on other things important to faith and morals.

  30. Mark,

    Here’s a bunch more papers from google scholar, the scientific paper research platform at Google:

  31. Deacon Greg Kandra says:


    Did you read the whole article? It concluded with this:

    Though he called his flock to action, Cardinal Dolan reaffirmed the primacy of the church’s leadership.

    In a recent blog post, he wrote that officials in the Obama administration had recommended that bishops “listen to the ‘enlightened’ voices of accommodation” within the church. At a news conference after Saturday’s speech, he said, “We kind of got our Irish up when leaders in government seemed to be assigning an authoritative voice to Catholic groups that are not the bishops.”

    He added: “If you want an authoritative voice, go to the bishops. They’re the ones that speak for the truths of the faith.”

    And in his call for the laity to take a leadership role in political action, he was echoing the words of the catechism which says:

    “It is not the role of the pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens” (CCC 2442).

    Or as John Paul wrote in his document on priests and politics:

    In this light one can better understand what was decided by the 1971 Synod of Bishops regarding the priest’s conduct in political life. He certainly retains the right to have personal political opinions and to exercise his right to vote according to his conscience. As the Synod said: “In circumstances in which there legitimately exist different political, social and economic options, priests like all citizens have a right to make their own personal choices. But since political options are by nature contingent and never in an entirely adequate and perennial way interpret the Gospel, the priest, who is the witness of things to come, must keep a certain distance from any political office or involvement” (Ench. Vat., IV, 1195). In particular, he will keep in mind that a political party can never be identified with the truth of the Gospel, and therefore, unlike the Gospel, it can never become an object of absolute loyalty. Thus the presbyter will take this relativity into account, even when citizens of the Christian faith laudably form parties explicitly inspired by the Gospel. He must strive to shed the light of Christ on other parties and social groups too.

    Dcn. G.

  32. Can you show me where his words were disproven? He brings up VERY serious allegations against the Church.

  33. While priests and bishops “stick to principles,” he said, “we leave a lot of the messiness of politics up to you.”

    Yeah, it’s kind of hard to criticize those who are attacking the church when Catholic blogs censor your posts lest you offend their favorite party.

  34. Tom in Lazybrook,

    You are seriously misinformed or you are intentionally trying to mislead with your posts.

    It is currently illegal in Nigeria to have homosexual relationships because of Sharia (Islamic) law not Catholic law.

    They risk being stoned to death.

    Malam Abdulkadir Apaokagi, an Abuja-based Islamic scholar, called for the imposition of the death penalty on homosexuals in Nigeria. The law was defended by the Nigerian Anglican Church, and personally defended by its Primate, Archbishop Peter Akinola.

    Boko Haram — the Nigerian Islamist movement that claimed responsibility for the deadly Christmas Day bombings of a Catholic church, an evangelical church, and three police stations — is now reportedly warning all Christians in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north. Catholic archbishop John Onaiyekan, of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, appealed for help. “It’s a national tragedy. We are all unsecured. It’s not only Catholic. Today it’s us. Tomorrow we don’t know who it will be,” he said. Nigeria’s Catholic bishops report that some 200 individuals, mostly Catholic worshippers, were killed in the coordinated Christmas bombings.

    Why the selective outrage against Catholics? Catholics are facing religious cleansing from the country and are being killed by the hundreds. This is an Islamic country.

    Roman Catholic bishops in Nigeria recently warned the government that the introduction of Islamic law violates the human rights of non-Muslims and is a threat to peace in the country. What have you done?

  35. The Cardinal was not mocking “gay rights” whatever they are supposed to be. He was mocking secular culture which discovers new rights every day.

  36. deacon john m. bresnahan says:

    The hardest part of taking on this rapidly morally decaying culture is that the mainstream mass media is able to manipulate news coverage by being the ones who frame the issues.
    For example, the Obamacare mandate controversy is clearly a religious liberty First Amendment issue with abortion causing drugs, sterilization, and birth control being the specific causes of the controversy because of the mandate coercive aspect of Obamacare in those areas. Thus fairness of coverage would be frequent mention of all the sides in the controversy
    But look at the coverage. Can any fairminded person call the news coverage fair when the words “First Amendment,” “religious freedom,” religious liberty” are virtually nowhere to be seen in the mainstream coverage. Not even for the purposes of providing an interesting hot debate.
    And to watch the mainstream media propagandists at work should be sickening to any fairminded person. I just saw Ms. Crowley of CNN doing what was supposed to be an interview with Newt Gingrich. However, it was far more an interrogation which used questions that no matter how you answer it comes out making you look like a fool or bad guy. And when Gingrich objected to this type question manipulation, Crowley raised her voice and started trying to drown him out.
    Meanwhile I watch interviews with President Obama and such “gotcha” questions are never asked. Just more fawning, boo-licking, back-scratching,etc., etc., etc., I keep trying to figure out if all this unfairness is the result of an oppressively liberal bias in media land or because the denizens of media land think President Obama is a new Fourth Person in the Trinity (OOPS! Quadrinity).

  37. Marriage is a definition, one man with one woman, just like one plus one equals two. Same sex marriage is like telling people that one plus one equals three.

  38. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    And the Catholic Church, is saying that PUBLIC POLICY that applies to everyone, not only non-Catholics should JAIL persons, simply because they are Gay and violate Church doctrine in their lives. The Church is not being neutral on the issue of “jail all the gays’….it has taken an affirmative stand to the question..’should the state jail all Gay people’.

  39. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    The criminal penalities for being Gay, advocating for Gay rights, assembling in public, forming private organizations, holding a religious ceremony etc. are fully endorsed buy the Roman Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria. Not neutral. The church endorses increased penalties.

    How many years in prison should Gay people spend in jail per the Catholic Church? The answer is at least 14.

    And Dolan is using the exact same argument in his call to political involvement in the USA that the Nigerians, the Zambians, the Belizians, and the Cardinal did in their full and direct endorsement of jailing Gay persons simply because they exist.

  40. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    There is ONE catholic church. Not one in each nation.

    If a Catholic Bishop iin Ireland or Sweden decided to endorse Gay marriage as a political movement, I’m certain the Vatican would immediately intervene to correct that Bishop.

    But if a Catholic Bishop in Nigeria endorses throwing all Gay persons into jail for 14 years for forming the ‘Gay rights club of Lagos”, the Vatican does ….. NOTHING!

  41. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    And the Catholic Church is fully endorsing throwing Gay people into jail (non-Catholic ones too) for the crime of existing. Not just for sexual acts, but for forming social and political groups, free associations, advocacy groups, and even religious groups.

  42. The narrative that conservatives just can’t get their message out there is an old one, and transparently false. The conservative movement has one of the largest and most effective communications infrastructure in existence today. Those who want to see the news framed in that way can avoid the mainstream media their entire lives, and never miss a story. Many do just that, and I would venture to say that those who do watch the MSM tend to reflexively discount whatever they say. No one is held hostage to the mainstream media in forming their views on issues these days.
    For that matter, every story I have read on the mandate issue, in or out of the MSM, has made it clear that the bishops and other opponents see this as a First Amendment issue. Their view is out there and well articulated. The public knows full well that it is an issue about freedom of religion AND access to contraception. A majority, on the order of 60%, simply concluded that they agreed more with Obama’s position than on the bishop’s absolute opposition to the mandate. That’s unfortunate for the bishops, but hardly a conspiracy.

  43. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    While we’re on the topic of religious liberty, why does the Catholic Church endorse legislation that will throw persons in prison for up to 10 years for attending or officiating at a private same sex marriage ceremony in accordance with their faith?

    You are aware that the Catholic Church has begun directly endorsing said legislation.

  44. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    So if I disagree and decide, even as a non-Catholic, to not live a lonely solatary life, ….. how many years in a Nigerian Prison should I face?

    According to the Catholic Church,….the answer is 14.

    Is the Vatican going for compulsion or conversion? I’d say it looks a lot more compulsion.

  45. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Theres a difference between saying that in as a matter of theological doctrine and, advocating that as the public policy that impacts non-Catholics. He is advocating for the retention of laws making 99.999999% of Gay men criminals (99.999999% of men, regardless of sexual orientation are not lifelong celebates).

  46. You have the statistics to back that up?

  47. Tom, after reading a bunch of your comments, I’ve come to the conclusion you’re a whacko troll. You’ve made yourself irrelevant.

  48. Barbara P says:

    I haven’t seen any discussion on how exactly the non religious employer’s religious exception to health insurance coverage for morally objectionable items is going to work. Will an employer who claims a moral objection to birth control based on religious grounds have to prove he/she is Catholic? Will baptism be enough to make this claim or will he/she have to prove regular Mass attendance and confession or will Easter/Christmas Mass attendance be enough? Will employees have the right to challenge the employer’s claim by claiming the employer is not really religious? I think the Bishops have to explain how they expect this to work since they are calling on Catholics to accept their position on this.

  49. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Fine, get ready to defend the Catholic Church’s support of the ‘jailing gays’ in Nigeria, Zambia, and Belize in the secular press of the USA, Canada, the EU, and the UK….Up to yet, this story has been under wraps.

    I’m very disappointed, and quite frankly frightened by a muscular Catholic Church that openly endorses locking up all of a minority into jailcamps.

  50. My gut call to that Barbara is that’s why obamacare is unconstitutional. It mandates things against everyone’s wishes. It is tyranical.

    As to the specific question you ask, I would think they could address that in a similar way they address tax exemption for religious institutions. There would be some sort of exemption category. But I’m no expert on the subject, so I’m just thinking out loud.

  51. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    The issue here is freedom of expression, petition, privacy, religion, speech, assembly, association, privacy, and due process.

    You have an entity (the Vatican) that whines about persecution because they demand taxpayer subsidies without taxpayer influence.

    Meanwhile, that same entity is engaging in advocacy of EXTREME persecution of others.

    This really isn’t about sexuality. Its about persecution, and staggering hypocrisy.

  52. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Okay, how about the religious freedom of churches that endorse marriage equality in Nigeria? The Roman Catholic Church endorsed a bill that would throw any congregant attending a same sex marriage ceremony in prison for up to 10 years?

    Want me to limit it to religious freedom? Sure, I can go there too.

  53. That’s part of the reason this last amendment got rejected. The language was so broad that it was clearly just a way to gut the whole concept of Obamacare. Any employer could have simple said “I’m morally opposed to the concept of employer-provided healthcare itself” and that would have been the end of it.

  54. Barbara P says:

    Or perhaps the problem is with our system of health insurance through employment. In any event I think that the Bishop’s position is not well thought out and will result in greater government intrusion in the religious lives of Americans.

  55. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    I find it interesting that you thought that the media was giving too much coverage to HIV/AIDS in the 1980′s or that the NY Times was pro-Gay. That is not the view of anyone within the Gay community (who had to fight for any coverage of the epidemic). If you’d like to read a book on the issue, Might I suggest “And the Band Played On” (not the movie, but the book). The book doesn’t pull punches and hits the Gay community too. But it contains much discussion of the reluctance of the NY Times to cover the epidemic in the period of 1981-1986.

  56. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Or even worse, an employer could simply say “I’m religiously opposed to Islam or Judaism or Roman Catholicism” and discriminate as well. There IS a proposal that would solve this problem. But….. It involves either a single-payer or a Dutch-hybrid system.

  57. Barbara P says:

    Sometimes the Cardinal says things that I don’t understand. His remark about hiring an attractive articulate intelligent laywoman is one of them. Is he saying she was taken seriously in the public square only because she was attractive as compared to the balding Bishop? Certainly he wasn’t saying that the Bishops aren’t articulate or intelligent. I don’t think he meant to insult women but it wasn’t the right way to make a point. I also think his remark at the Vatican joking about shedding his blood for the faith was insensitive to the Christians around the world risking their lives to follow Christ. Is this because he is surrounded by people who don’t provide him constructive criticism?

  58. Tom,

    Dolan has called for no such thing. Stop fear mongering.

  59. No church supports it in Nigeria.

  60. Tom,

    The bishops in the Uk and many European countries have supported civil unions, but not marriage. This is nothing close to your fear mongering. You want stop until they submit to the rainbow flag, will you.

  61. The answer is none and based upon what I have read in terms of law in Nigeria, if one does not act upon their same sex attraction, then there is no violation. But, Tom, your taking us off into a tangent about part of the Church that I am sure most of us no little about (the Nigerian Church). My point which you failed to acknowledge is that the Cardinal distinguished the so called right to a state in life vs. the Catholic perspective that we are called to a vocation.

  62. Tom, your accusations that the Church engages in “extreme persecution” is rather ironic when in fact the Church is being persecuted worldwide.

  63. …or a Hindu institution being told that they must serve meat because medical experts think that it isn’t healthy to restrict the protein provided by read meat.

    Or better yet, a VEGAN institution…they would get far more sympathy!!

  64. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Apparently the Vatican endorses throwing all Gay men into prison for the crime of existing. Their rationale is that ‘there is no thing as Gay rights, and Gay rights aren’t human rights’. This dovetails exactly with Dolan’s rationale. The current political actions of the Roman Catholic Church is absolutely relevant in the context of a call to insert Vatican doctrine into public policy.

    [Okay. Enough. Tom, if you will read the guidelines for posting, you will see that I have a low tolerance for Catholic-bashing -- or actually the bashing of any religion. Since you have arrived, that's all you have done. Again and again, you have hurled unsubstantiated allegations, misrepresented Church teaching, offered angry and broadly sweeping accusations and generally used numerous opportunities to advance your own agenda and mercilessly attack the Church for every imagined slight against homosexuals. I've been patient, tolerant and respectful -- far more patient, tolerant and respectful than you have been to the Church I love and to which I've committed my life. Sorry. You don't play by the rules, you're gone. I'm showing you the door. Dcn. G.]

  65. Brian, he is the one making the idiotic claims and when pressed gave a link to a gay activist site.

    We don’t have to chase his claim that jack beats his wife to disprove them; he needs to stop making this claim. easily seen by any Catholic who actually knows Her teaching is a lie, if he wants to be taken for more than a crackpot on a mission.

  66. JOe, if he did it might be more reason to vote against the Democratic Party.

    Poverty – Democrats big government socialist solutions have not fixed poverty despite decades of laws, regualtions, programs, and attacks on faith organizations. Time to try a new approach since this one beside not working are driving us to bankruptcy.

    War- even if we limit to preemptive, a new policy after 9/11 in an effort to avoid a nutjub islamist bring WMD to wipe out a US city, the Democratic Party vote in large numbers to support going into Iraq including most of its leadership and continued to support funding of that same war for years. If we look at war in general, I have listed before that almost every war in American history was started with Democratic presidents. So this would mean supporting a democrat on the war issue should mean avoiding that party. Since Obama has been in office, he increased troops in Afghanistan, increased drone attacks in Pakistan, got us inolved in Libya, and is taking a much tougher stance on Iran over the last month.

    Death Penalty – wash as both parties support the death penalty

    etc? not sure what that is, but if you list it, how about showing how the democrats have used their big government solution to everything has had a postive impact.

    Of course none of these issues have been listed as non negotiable or a particular method of action is intrinsically evil other than allowing the poor to die on the streets which is not the Republican Party position. They just think that there is a more humane way to treat the poor than big government godless secual methods and also that these programs have had provable massive negative impact on poor families. If democrats really cared about the poor, they would not support the teachers unions over the kids in lousy schools who need hope and options to escape and to begin to build skills that will help them escape the government new form of slavery.

  67. Tom, Another lie about Church teaching. I assume by this you are calling Deacon a liar on what he posted which is actual fact.

  68. Tom, I might suggest you read the Cathecism of the Catholic Church and stop spending all your time reading gay activist lies about the Catholic Church

  69. Barbara P, my understanding is that the so called “accommodation” made by Obama takes the coverage out of the hands of employers and now forces insurance companies to cover this. Which is why the so called accommodation actual has exacerbated the situation for Catholics and employers because it’s no longer in their control. Even self insured plans would be forced to comply. It also means that we all pay because an insurance company is not going to provide these for “free”. They will pass them along in their premiums.

  70. Actually his comment about the shedding of blood, must be read in full context. He specifically said that he and many other Cardinals would not have to physically shed blood, but that indeed some cardinals and bishops in certain areas of the world have and will continue to physically shed blood. He merely was pointing out that as a Cardinal, he must be prepared to do this although it would be unlikely. I think what he did not say, but what I will say is that it is unlikely at this point, but I cannot say it won’t happen in even the near future in this country. The HHS mandate is just the beginning of the assault on religion and in particular the Catholic Church in this country

  71. No they cannot as this would be unconstitutional. And further this is not what is in discussion.

  72. Barbara P says:

    I read that he joked about it. If I read it wrong I apologize. Martyrdom is a very serious possibility in many parts of the world and should not be joked about. Nor should it be compared to the situation in this country. No one in the US has been given a death sentence for being Christian like the Iranian pastor.

  73. Tom, can you provide with the facts for respected ( not a gay friendly) newspaper or other reliable source to substantiate your claims about what you report to be the Nigerian Church’s position on homosexual relationships. Until or if you can provide these resources then you should refrain from making such scurrilous and unsubstantiated attacks.

  74. Barbara P says:

    Why should it be in an employers control? But that doesn’t answer how an employer will support the religious exemption especially since it can’t apply only to organized religions. Anyone would be able to claim a moral objection to anything. What rights will employees have to challenge the employer’s claim for an exemption? Is this where we really want go? To a place where the government is making decisions on whether a person’s religious belief is sincerely held? Also I read that it would be cheaper to provide birth control than to cover pregnancies. I have no idea whether that is accurate.

  75. Barbara P, I agree with you and I heard the Cardinal with my own ears when he gave his sermon during an interfaith prayer service after he returned from Rome. His sense of humor is tremendous but be assured he was very serious when talking about the potential martyrdom of some of his new fellow Cardinals. Btw, he shared with us his prayers that day and asked us all to pray for him against the temptation to pride and power. This is where he did joke about how nice it was to hear himself being called “Emminence” and how that can go to your head. But then he saw the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel and it immediately brought him to the reality that when he meets God at the time of his judgment, he won’t be greeted with “your Emminence”, but rather will be asked did you feed me, clothe me, visit me. I think this speaks volumes about our Cardinal archbishop of NY

  76. This is the point now. It is no longer in the hands of employers or employees. The government mandate is that all insurance companies in the US MUST provide birth control products and services. So even if an employer does not want to provide these services, they have no choice. Under the accommodation that the government made, I see no room for an employer outing out based upon religious grounds. This is why it is so frustrating. The original mandate actually had more opportunity for an employer to not provide for these services because it was in their control. The accommodation removed that control. In the long run, I predict most if not all employers will no longer provide health insurance benefits to employees. They will create a ocher type system and employees will be on their own to purchase the health plans they feel meet their needs.

  77. Barbara P says:

    I am talking about the joke he made during his statements (homily) before the Pope at the Vatican. I think he joked about the Pope asking him to shed his blood. Anyway my point was that he says things sometimes that seem to be insensitive and I think he may not be getting enough constructive feedback from his staff.

  78. deacon john m. bresnahan says:

    Maybe the problem is that this is still (for a while anyway) a free country composed of free people. And in such a country the Obamacare dictatorial mandates are a total abomination acceptable only to those who are willing to sell it away for a condom or a pill.
    One suggestion. Change our church into the Catholic union and join the AFL-CIO and maybe the Church will be treated with kid gloves and exemptions Obama has given to his labor union cronies, buddies,–and BIG donors.

  79. Barbara, I appreciate your concern. Yes, martyrdom is a VERY serious matter. When I read the comment by the Cardinal (or read about it), it struck me as a kind of “gallows humor.”

    It didn’t seem to me that the Cardinal was trivializing this in any way, but looking for a way to point to the solemnity of their roles (including “taking one” for Christ) without being unctous.

  80. Barbara P- I am not attempting to beat a dead horse here, but I think it is very important to attribute someone’s words in full context especially if you are saying they need to be mormne sensitive. Below is the section of Cardinal Dolans talk before the Holy Father. I see no insensitivity toward martyrs. I see a humble man joking about himself not wanting to face martyrdom but certainly not making light of it as you read the rest of his comments.

    Tomorrow, twenty-two of us will hear what most of you have heard before: “To the praise of God, and the honor of the Apostolic See receive the red biretta, the sign of the cardinal’s dignity; and know that you must be willing to conduct yourselves with fortitude even to the shedding of your blood: for the growth of the Christian faith, the peace and tranquillity of the People of God, and the freedom and spread of the Holy Roman Church.”

    Holy Father, can you omit “to the shedding of your blood” when you present me with the

    Of course not! We are but “scarlet audio-visual aids” for all of our brothers and sisters also called to be ready to suffer and die for Jesus. It was Pope Paul VI who noted wisely that people today learn more from “witness than from words,” and the supreme witness is martyrdom. Sadly, today we have martyrs in abundance.

    Thank you, Holy Father, for so often reminding us of those today suffering persecution for their faith throughout the world.

    Thank you, Cardinal Koch, for calling the Church to an annual “day of solidarity” with those persecuted for the sake of the gospel, and for inviting our ecumenical and inter-religious partners to an “ecumenism of martyrdom.”

    While we cry for today’s martyrs; while we love them, pray with and for them; while we vigorously advocate on their behalf; we are also very proud of them, brag about them, and trumpet their supreme witness to the world. They spark the missio ad gentes and New Evangelization.

  81. deacon john m. bresnahan says:

    Later I saw Dick Gregory of NBC also “interview” Gingrich. What a farce. When Gingrich mentioned about the First Amendment Gregory tried to shut him up like Crowley earlier did. Finally Gingrich refused to be steamrollered and stuck up for the Catholic Church and–as one example– Ohio Christian, a Protestant University (if I have the name right) which, with many other small Protestant entities, wil be legally assaulted and coerced to adopt the government’s religion.
    It was also very clear to any fairminded person that Gregory was determined to frame the issue minus any mention of the First Amendment.

  82. It doesn’t seem like a joke so much as it seems to be a lighthearted and appropriately self deprecating way of rephrasing Jesus’s prayer that the cup be taken from Him.

  83. Kenneth, maybe you can explain this. No one else has even tried.

    The Blunt amendment with little democrat support reads:

    “Nothing in this title (or any amendment made by this title) shall be construed to require an individual or institutional health care provider, or authorize a health plan to require a provider, to provide, participate in, or refer for a specific item or service contrary to the provider’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

    The 1994 Hillarycare language which won massive Democratic acceptance was:

    “Nothing in this title shall be construed to prevent any employer from contributing to the purchase of a standard benefits package which excludes coverage of abortion or other services, if the employer objects to such services on the basis of a religious belief or moral conviction”

    Come on, take the challenge and try to defend this hypocrisy?

  84. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Someone I respect has a different take on that interview: check it out here.

  85. I’m not part of the Obama or Clinton administrations, so nobody’s paying me to “defend” anything. I can take a stab at trying to explain it. The simplest, and least satisfying answer is that 1993 and 2012 are different worlds in politics and every other regard. I don’t pretend to understand all of the dynamics that were in play in the Democratic Party then vs now.
    In general, I would say that there’s far fewer “Blue Dog” Democrats than there used to be. As the GOP has gone much more extreme right, there’s no room left for the socially conservative or semi-conservative Democrats who may have supported such an exemption years ago. The Clinton years also marked a turning point in the terms of public policy debates and partisanship. The fight against Hillarycare was a very no-quarter long knives kind of affair, and lesson Democrats probably drew from that is that accommodation is a losing strategy. Politically, Obama has nothing to gain and everything to lose by caving on the mandate issue.
    Those fighting him on this are, with a relative handful of exceptions, are the religious right. They are people who have a visceral hatred for Obama and everything he stands for and have felt that way from day one. Nothing he does to back down on mandates or any other issue is going to win them over, and will likely just deepen their contempt for him. Even if Obama had a 180-degree change of heart and capitulated to the bishops on this and every other social and religious issue, these folks would attribute some cynical motive to it or seek to vote him out just for retribution. Obama’s position is, if nothing else, rational. Among his own base and a majority of the independents he needs for re-election, employer-insured contraception is a winner.

  86. Barbara P says:

    Mark how do you explain that the Affordakble Health Care Act is similar to what Sen Dole and the Republicans proposed back then

  87. Barbara P says:

    Thank you for the context

  88. kenneth, a fair and open answer. Since the republicans voted in support of this mandate with Hillarycare and also voted for the same language years later to be added to the ObamaCare, they have shown consistency on religious liberty.

    The democrats drove a stake in the ground during the entire year long debate which in many ways drove away any support which they might have recieved on the bill from not only the republicans, but also from the bishops who were trying hard to support the bill. It was also denied to the few remaining democrats who still thought that being a democrat was allowed if you recognized religious liberty and were pro life.

    Thus I think it shows that while the Republican party has stayed the same on this critical issue, the democratic party has now gone into full and complete partnership with planned parenthood making it even more of a joke that one can be Catholic or pro life and also a democrat. There is no room for dissent from planned parenthood in the party.

    That is why the few who voted to support this from the party only did so when it was certain to fail. If their vote for death is needed on anything, they will have to fall in line and I predict will.

    This shows again that forcing Roe on the entire country was a huge disaster. If abortion or setting up a state secular religion or gay marriage or any other change is going to work, it has to go through the amending the constitution process or be left to the states. Getting the judges out of legislating from the bench is having a horrible end result on this country.

  89. Barbara, this is an outright distortion of fact. They proposed a bill that fixed issues with the existing healthcare system but the democrats wanted nothing less than massive growth of government and take over of healthcare. Show me anywhere other than a democratic talking points site that says Dole healthcare proposal was like Obamacare. Of course you use the word similar which in democrat speak could mean both used the word healthcare.

    But barbara, how about answering what this almost exact language was now totally rejected when the orginal vote on the amendment to be put in hillarycare had massive support with the democrats back then? both had almost 100% republican support both times. I think you know the answer. The democratic party and panned parenthood abortion mills are now hand in hand in their united missions and religion will not be allowed to stop them from the slaughter of children.

  90. Barbara, The vast majority of business would not do anything to take away the support of birth control or sterlization or abortions for that matter. It is not in their economic interest to have a pregnant employee.

    This is a religous liberty issue around religious organziations being told to violate their conscience because the democratic party is owned by planned parenthood.

    When I have listed several times that Obama is listed on the planned parenthood abortion mill site as their PARTNER and discussed their ALLIES in Congress, it was a clear warning on what would follow and that is an attack on relgious freedom to shut down the Catholic Church from speaking and from providing alternative healthcare seperate from abortions. At every abortion mill there are Catholics and other churchs pointing out the slaughter on babies going on in those houses of pure evil. If you ran that type of business, you would expect your PARTNER AND ALLIES in the government to go after them with full fury. They want to see the government complete its takeover of freedom and make once and for all the government mandated of secualar humanist godless state religion. That is why few of those who are Catholic in name only are not that upset either with this issue for they left the teaching of the Catholic faith long ago. They want a secular catholic faith that allows them to look like catholics, but to live life under the secular religion without god.

  91. I was at the convocation. I heard Cardinal Dolan speak. Never did he even mention the word, Gay. I am offended as a catholic by all those who say my church hates gays. We do not hate Gays. We love everyone, we believe everyone (all society) has moral laws under God, that should be followed!

  92. Sigmund Derman says:

    It amazes me how Dolan can expect anyone to believe that forcing Catholic views on everyone is somehow religious freedom. When a church, Catholic or otherwise, enters the secular realm to run a hospital, a school, or any activity not specifically related to conducting worship, it needs to follow the same laws as any other private entity. It has no right to choose which laws it gets to follow.

    Let me ask a question of those of you who support Catholic institutions withholding insurance coverage for family planning services and birth control pills. Suppose my Jehovah’s Witness healthcare center does not want to pay for insurance that would cover your blood transfusion because such transfusion are against our faith. Or suppose my Muslim hospital objects to you using your day off to take part in an activity that violates Sharia Law. Do we have the right to withhold your legal benefits to make you follow our religion?

    Of course, you can say that a person who objects to following some church’s religious decrees should work elsewhere. But a better answer would be the following: let the church get out of the secular space if it does not want to follow the secular laws. Hospitals and schools, even though they are often set up as non-profits organization, are all run to make a de facto profit. They are far from being charity. Many public and private groups would vie to purchase the Catholic schools and hospitals. The Catholic church should not be allowed to own or run them if they will not abide by our country’s laws. And since Dolan is so proud of his political activism, the New York Cahtolic Church over which he presides should lose its tax exemption forthwith.

    I resent the fact that my tax money goes to subsidize Catholics or any other religious groups’ pushing their faith on me or others.

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