Cdl Dolan: Dem Shill or Republican Stooge?

Cdl. Dolan, fresh from freaking out Republicans by eating with sinners at the Al Smith Dinner is now freaking out Dems by praying for sinners at the Republican Convention.  This latter fake dudgeon is particularly rich given the history of Vox Nova‘s extremely selective fake dudgeonry.

My take: Losing. Consciousness.  So. Boringgggg…. ZZZZZZZZZZZ.  This is the sort of empty culture war crap that I just can’t work up a care about.  Big deal.  Let him pray at both conventions if he wants (and he says he’d be happy to pray at both, so why not?)  I much prefer that God be welcome(ish) at these celebrations of corrupt power than that he and the Church be regarded with the negating hostility of say, the Communist party’s deliberations.

Meanwhile, the Dems are going to do the thing that political enemies of the Catholic Church always do when they mean to found a state regime at war with the Church.  They are going to do what they can to foster the creation of a Patriotic Church loyal to the regime.  So they will find some dissenting Progressive to give some politicized speech/prayer/benediction thingie, making clear that the real Catholic Church is the thing all In Touch and Aware Catholics should flee in favor of the People’s Patriotic Church of Democrats and Progressives.

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  • Blog Goliard

    Dead on, Mark. Perhaps one of the reasons we were spared an overt AmChurch schism in the ’80s is that, with Reagan and Bush 41 in the White House, the rebels wouldn’t have been anywhere near as comfortable with (and the Administration not really motivated to help with) going the Patriotic Catholic Association route.

    As for Dolan, I’ve started to apply the rule of thumb that I was first taught in relation to Bl. John Paul II: if people out on the left and right wings are both regularly outraged, then either the man has completely lost his mind…or he’s steering the correct course. Not the left or right or even center course (Jesus was not a trimmer or difference-splitter!), but the correct course.

    • Chris

      Any predictions on who shows gives the DNC invocation?

      Rembert Weakland? Tom Cruise?

      • Sebellius?

        and now my comment is long enough.

      • Jim B

        Pelosi (with Sebelius and Fluke concelebrating) as follows

        In the caldron boil and bake;
        Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
        Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
        Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
        Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
        For a charm of powerful trouble,
        Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
        Double, double toil and trouble;
        Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

    • Peggy Hagen

      My rule-of-thumb is if, first of all, the protest comes accompanied by that picture of Cardinal Dolan having a good laugh. If so, it has ceased to be legitimate protest and has become propaganda, usually (so far) Republican politics dressing up as Catholicism.

  • Sherry Weddell

    Please, please – let the Dem Benediction be addressed to “the Spirit of the Great Northwest”. . . it would bring back such memories!

  • Nick R

    The juxtaposition of those two articles is great, nice find.

  • It’s not so much that the Church in the United States is with the Republicans so much as the Republicans pretend to be with the Church every election cycle.

    • Chris

      Thiiiiiiiiis. ^^^ (is my post long enough now?)

  • Mark Gordon

    Hmmmm. I write at Vox Nova and I’m not a Democrat. I’m also not voting for Obama, just like I didn’t the first time ’round. I do, however, think it’s a mistake for Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the USCCB, to ascend the platform following Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech, and offer a benediction, which Mirriam-Webster defines as “the invocation of a blessing; especially : the short blessing with which public worship is concluded.” And I would think the same thing if he were to follow Obama at the Democratic National Convention. If that’s “fake dudgeon,” well, so be it.

    • Chris

      I think practicing Catholics here in America are just in a very bad place, which leads to a lot of emotional reactions (mine included). We’ve suffered through:

      1. Forty years of liturgical abuse.
      2. The Marxist/homosexual invasion of our seminaries.
      3. The attendant child molestation horrors.
      4. The liberal capture of the Catholic political class.
      5. Ecumenism Gone Wild.
      6. Political Correctness in the face of grave sin.
      7. Turncoat universities.
      8. Totally un-catechized Catholic School TEACHERS
      9. Media persecution.
      10. Political persecution.
      11. Shepherds shirking their duty.
      12. Laity betraying their shepherds.
      13. Charlie Brown-and-the-football political promises that vanish after election day.

      This is what upsets many of us. This is why many of us are cynical about motives and skeptical about outcomes. This is why it doesn’t matter how many times Paul Ryan says he’s a committed Catholic. Why should anyone believe anyone anymore? Why should we trust that +Dolan is trying to be a good shepherd and not a media spectacle? I feel like I can’t form an opinion one way or another. This is the result of forty years of everything listed above, and watching the train coming at us at the other end of the tunnel. Politician? You’re a liar until proven otherwise. USCCB? Show us your spinal cords. What happened to the Fortnight for Freedom? Why have we stopped talking about HHS? There’s an election in two months, and HHS is not even on the radar anymore. The GOP is going to let it slide, and the Church is going to clink glasses with the Enemy, so excuse us if some of us don’t share the “aw-he’s-just-dining-with-sinners” meme. Obama wants us gone. He wants to destroy the diakonia of the Church. It’s OFF THE CHARTS evil. And all we can say is, “well, he offered to pray at both conventions.”

      • Ted Seeber

        I could add:
        14. Pro-birther false fellows among our Protestant bretheren.
        15. The total takeover of mainstream conservative economics by libertarian atheists (the only answer to Marx is Rand, and neither are Catholic).
        16. The neo-conservative capture of Traditional Catholics
        17. The rejection of Papal Encyclicals by the left and the right.
        18. The growth of nationalism in the wake of Vietnam (only American unborn are worthy of protection, if even them).

        There have been *so many* disappointments of the American Church leaving The Way of Life shown in the first catechism (the Didache) behind. Heck, I’d even prefer the Baltimore Catechism to the way the last three generations of Catholics have been taught to act by their politically motivated parents, teachers, and clergy.

        • Chris

          Agree, Ted. And I was definitely in the neo-conservative camp for most of the previous decade. Amazing what happens when the scales fall from the eyes. And I have to credit Mark for that.

          • For both Ted and Chris:

            Romans 5:1-5 – “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace* with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access [by faith] to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

            Don’t wallow in despair. We follow the Lord of Hope and as Mark often says, it’s not a question of whether or not the Church will endure but whether or not our country will endure it’s hatred for the Church. There is a reason we are Catholic Americans, not American Catholics.

            So, chin up, stand tall, love generously, give the +Dolan the benefit of the doubt as befits his role as shepherd and trust that God, in his Infinite Grace, will continue to work all things to the good of those that love Him.

            Peace in Christ,

            Dan F.

        • Ted: I think you live in a different country than I do, that’s not how things seem to me at all.

          • Ted Seeber

            When you’re too extreme, the middle often looks to be the other side. When you’re in the middle of the road, you get hit by trucks going both directions.

            In other words- the reason I started numbering at 14 is because I totally agree with #1-13, but saw a blind spot for the other extreme side.

            As I wrote in a different comment box earlier today, the American Economy is based on the four sins that cry out to God for Vengeance, and none of us are innocent. We all participate informally in this economic system that is based on abortion, cheating workers, orphans and widows, and using unchaste behavior to sell goods.

      • The HHS mandate is where it should be – in the courts. The Cardinal and the Archdiocese are suing the administration — as are a lot of other people. The first indications from a case of a Catholic business in Colorado is a preliminary injunction, and it seems that they will likely prevail. The Supreme court itself, in the person of Justice Ginsburg, issued what can only constitute a warning to the Administration not to go after religious liberty (in her opinion in the Obamacare ruling). The mandate is blatantly unconstitutional, and I’m sure we will ultimately prevail, whether or not Obama is still in office when it happens. Inviting Obama to dinner isn’t going to change any of that.

      • I agree with your assessment although I don’t have a problem thinking Paul Ryan is faithful Catholic or that Cardinal Dolan is trying to be a good shepherd. But yeah, you nailed it in general. There is a lot of warranted distrust. I do think the bishops as a body are tryign to turn things around but it’s like herding cats at the best of times and now they can’t seem to realize when they are scandalizing the people who have tried to stick with them. Of course a lot of those people would be happy to throw many fellow Catholics off the ship and the bishops have a duty NOT to do so, but to try to get them back out of wacko-land where they have wandered. I wouldn’t be a bishop for any money.

  • Chris, I’m predicting it will be one of the poor, pitiful sisters the mean old men in Rome have been picking on.

  • Chris, I’m predicting it will be one of the poor, pitiful sisters the mean old men in Rome have been picking on. She’ll say something about how the Church tells us to follow our conscience above all else.

    • Chris

      Sr. Helen Prejean and Sean Penn co-invoking? The pro-choice sequel: “Dead Man Gestating”?

  • Much of the American Church’s history since the 1970’s can be summed up with “Throwing out what worked well in favor of what sounded like a good idea at the time.”

  • You know, I don’t really care what y’all are saying about Cardinal Dolan. I’m really diggin’ this guy.

    If I were Pope Lincoln, I’d say I’ve finally found my fightin’ bishop! He seems to be gettin’ around and stirrin’ stuff up. He’s makin’ a whole lotta people uncomfortable. Well double-plus-good for him.

    And I’m a mite tired of combox warriors goin’ “it wouldn’t be prudent this, or it wouldn’t be prudent that.” If Cardinal Dolan steps on some political toes, well triple-plus-good for him. They probably deserved a little toe stompin’ in the first place!

    And let us all pray that the Holy Spirit protect and guide my new favorite bishop!

    • Scott W.

      Disturb Thy Neighbor is not a biblical commandment.

      • There are a whole lot of folks who seem to remember Jesus as Mr. Nice Guy. I think other folks insert it into the beatitudes, “Be NICE!” There are times when nice is nice, but when dealing with barbarians and pharisees, perhaps the extra rules are unnecessary.

        As long as Cardinal Dolan is putting Christ and His Gospel as first priority, I’m not going to be sniffing around Cardinal Dolan for political gaffes. I appreciate his lack of political sensibilities. I’m tired of the princes of the Church story line, and I am applauding a new shepherd of the Church genre.

    • Thanks, Bob. As it happens, +Dolan is my bishop here in New York, and I think he is awesome. He is a very humble man, hands-on bishop and a fantastic preacher. He’s simply not a politically-ambitious showboater, as many have said. He is doing what he is doing as a man of God who wants to reach out to all sides in the debate. He is truly beyond politics, which is why political ideologues of all stripes are snapping at him.

      Those who screamed over him inviting Obama to the Al Smith dinner are strangely silent about him inviting Romney when Romney also holds positions incompatible with Church teaching, and will get an equal-time photo-op with the cardinal. They are full of religious righteousness, but their silence about Romney shows where their real problem lies.

      And now the left is excoriating him for speaking at the RNC – because, get this, “he’s usurping the place of the local bishop; he’s a show-boater!” Riiiiight. As if that is what they’re really concerned about. The Democrats losing votes is what they’re worried about.

      Cardinal Dolan has had to play this with great care – for instance, it’s been reported that he knew he was going to be speaking at the convention for some weeks now, so he had to have known about it before he invited the candidates to the Al Smith dinner, which may have played a part in his decision to invite them, including Obama, to make doubly sure he wasn’t seen as partisan. But the benediction at the RNC will surely send a message to the Administration, “if you don’t want to work with us, there are other places we can go.” It seems like an eminently fair message to me.

      • I’m happy to read this, Lori. It’s nice to see that my instincts about the man are confirmed.

      • EBS

        Amen. Lori and Bob, you both call it correct, and I can’t agree more.
        I think Cardinal Dolan is above politics in the choices of where he speaks and who he invites. You know, it is such a simplistic and naive thing to expect politics to uphold and strengthen morals or the faith. Both sides will do anything for power, and for anyone to think that the Republicans are the epitome of what it is to be pro-life, or the Democrats to be the epitome of social justice are deluded on both ends. What do both sides expect or want?
        If you haven’t already figured it out, Politics is about power, and for all those that have jumped the gun to criticize Cardinal Dolan for “showboating” or out for a good time, obviously doesn’t look past their nose. They are probably looking for criticism of the Cardinal no matter WHAT he does. He is damned if he communicates and is open to the politicians, and he is damned is he puts up a stoic wall to them…. cant make us Catholics happy all of the time, it seems.
        But if you ask me, I am very happy with his approach. The open communicator is what all of us Christians should try to be.
        Ever wandered why God wanted the Holy Family to live amongst the pagan Egyptians and associated with them, in Jesus youth? The converted don’t need converting.

      • Lori: I think he is pretty awesome myself, but from my position in Ohio I think you are wrong about people upset about the Al Smith dinner. President Obama is not only the biggest supporter of abortion ever to be President, but is als a man whose administration is trying to destroy the Catholic Church as all but a private entity and, after that, he’ll do the same with religion in general. And he is invited to DINNER. That’s what has people upset. Whatever positions Romney has that are counter to the Church — and all presidents and presidential hopefuls have some — are NOTHING compared to what Obama, actually in office, is actually doing. And he is using Catholic politicians to do it! I am willing to believe +Dolan has a plan or an inspiration or SOMETHING, but I can’t say that I am happy about it. It’s a disgrace. But then, diplomacy is rarely clean.

        • Ted Seeber

          Some Midnight Oil Lyrics come to mind:

          “Contracts torn at the edges, old signatures stained with tears
          Seasons of war and peace, these should not be forgotten yaers
          Still it aches like tetanus, it reeks of politics
          How many dreams remain? this is a feeling too strong to contain”

  • Rich Fader

    President Obama doesn’t want anybody praying to anybody but him.

  • Rosemarie


    Latest news: Cardinal Dolan’s spokesman now says the Cardinal will pray at the DNC convention as well.

    • EBS

      Yay! Oh goodie goodie. Cardinal Dolan will speak at both conventions. Is everyone satisfied now?! My instinct says uumm…probably not.
      I read the comments at Marks latest article and now many are saying Dolan likes to “hob-nob” with the rich and powerful. I’m afraid the rich and powerful are Gods children too. My taste buds detect a slight wealth envy, mixed in with a pinch of cynicism and a little “end of the world, the sky is falling down”, to taste- rather than a genuine concern for the issues.
      Personally, I would really be interested to see how +Dolans critics would handle being Cardinal for a day themselves- probably with pursed lips and wagging fingers. Wonderful! That would get real results from this obnoxious Obama administration.