Cardinal Timothy Dolan has been the target of withering criticism from Catholics after saying that he’ll stay on as the grand marshal of next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade even though the entire celebration is totally going to be ruined by the inclusion of one LGBT group. Dolan responded to his naysayers this week in a lengthy letter published to the website of the Archdiocese of New York. An excerpt:
I haven’t been in this much hot water since I made the comment, right after I arrived as your archbishop five-and-a-half years ago, that Stan Musial—my boyhood hero of my hometown St. Louis Cardinals—was a much better ballplayer than Joe DiMaggio! Now I’m getting as much fiery mail and public criticism over my decision to accept the honor of Grand Marshal of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. According to the critics, I should have refused, due to the Parade Committee’s decision to allow a group of self-identified Gays of Irish ancestry to march in the parade with their own banner. As with Stan Musial, I’ll stand by my decision.
However, enough of you have courteously expressed some confusion and dismay, that, as your pastor, I owe you an explanation. Let me try. For one, the decision to change the parade protocol was not mine. The archbishops of New York have never been “in charge” of the parade. Although my predecessors and I have always enjoyed friendly cooperation with the Parade Committee—and still do—and deeply appreciate the identity of the Parade as a celebration purely of Irish heritage, intimately linked to the Catholic Faith, we’ve never had a say in Parade policy or the choice of the Grand Marshal. Nor did we expect or want one! [snip]
While a handful have been less than charitable in their reactions, I must admit that many of you have rather thoughtful reasons for criticizing the committee’s decision: you observe that the former policy was fair; you worry that this is but another example of a capitulation to an “aggressive Gay agenda,” which still will not appease their demands; and you wonder if this could make people think the Church no longer has a clear teaching on the nature of human sexuality. Thank you for letting me know of such concerns. I share some of them.
However, the most important question I had to ask myself was this: does the new policy violate Catholic faith or morals? If it does, then the Committee has compromised the integrity of the Parade, and I must object and refuse to participate or support it. From my review, it does not. Catholic teaching is clear: “being Gay” is not a sin, nor contrary to God’s revealed morals. Homosexual actions are—as are any sexual relations outside of the lifelong, faithful, loving, lifegiving bond of a man and woman in marriage—a moral teaching grounded in the Bible, reflected in nature, and faithfully taught by the Church.
At least he didn’t put gay into scare quotes. Hey, he even capitalized the word. He respects us! As long as we all vow to live an entire lifetime of untouched, unloved, miserable, tortured solitude. It’s what Jesus would want. Praise! Glory!