The reason for this is because His Eminence has accepted the position of Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City. And continues to say he will do so notwithstanding the decision by the organizers of the parade - the NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization - to allow an LGBT group to march under its own banner. Cardinal Dolan has written a blog post to explain his decision:
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.
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.
So, while actions are immoral, identity is not! In fact, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, people with same-sex attraction are God’s children, deserving dignity and respect, never to be treated with discrimination or injustice.
To the point: the committee’s decision allows a group to publicize its identity, not promote actions contrary to the values of the Church that are such an essential part of Irish culture. I have been assured that the new group marching is not promoting an agenda contrary to Church teaching, but simply identifying themselves as “Gay people of Irish ancestry.”
If the Parade Committee allowed a group to publicize its advocacy of any actions contrary to Church teaching, I’d object. As Cardinal John O’Connor remarked, we do not change the Creed—and I’d add, the Ten Commandments—to satisfy political correctness.According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. the person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.
2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.
Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible." This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.
2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"In the group of marchers will be the following: adulterers, pedophiles, substance abusers; gossips, homosexuals, vegans, Socialists, atheists, Blacks, children, unmarried mothers, bad cops, good cops, high school students, cutters, people with depression, people with eating disorders, thieves, women who have had an abortion, men who have taken their women to have an abortion, and whatnot.
By this same logic, marching as Grand Marshal will signal tacit approval of these people and create "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible."
Let me offer this:
Do I think the LGBT people seeking to march are trying to push some agenda? Of course they are. At their most benign, they want people to think that they are "just like everybody else."
However, if they have some hidden and nefarious agenda, that is, to see if they can usurp the parade or worse, have it end all together and eliminate the role of Catholicism in the holiday . . . are we to run scared and give in?
|Copyright 2014 - Stephanie Richer Photography|
While it remains to be seen, for all we know, we will see gay people wearing a plethora of kitschy St. Paddy's Day souvenirs, from large green hats to plastic shillelaghs to "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" buttons to green feather boas.
In short . . . what everyone else will be wearing on the street that day.
But I do not think the Cardinal as Grand Marshal signals an approval of the lifestyle some people may live - no more than Jesus when He sat down to dine with tax collectors and prostitutes. It is a civic parade, not a religious one. If his role as Grand Marshal is enough for you to "make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible," may I suggest your faith is on very, very shaky ground.
That there are enemies of the Catholic Church who would like to see us removed entirely from the public square is true. And that is all the more reason for us to remain in it, resolutely, and show the world that we are here.
And . . . to show charity.
Something some of my fellow Catholics seem to be lacking.