Support the Café

Search our Site

The hypocrisy of Archbishop Dolan

The hypocrisy of Archbishop Dolan

Maureen Dowd checks in on the old hyperventilator and doesn’t care for what she sees:

Dolan insists that marriage between a man and a woman is “hard-wired” by God and nature. But the church refuses to acknowledge that homosexuality may be hard-wired by God and nature as well, and is not a lifestyle choice.

Dolan and other church leaders are worried about the exodus of young Catholics who no longer relate to the intolerances of church teaching. He dryly told The Times last year that when he sees long lines of young people on Fifth Avenue waiting to get into a house of worship, it’s at Abercrombie & Fitch, not St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The church refuses to acknowledge the hypocrisy at its heart: that it became a haven for gay priests even though it declares homosexual sex a sin, and even though it lobbies to stop gays from marrying.

Eduardo Peñalver of Commonweal is troubled by Dolan’s recent writings, but for different reasons:

Indeed, Dolan himself can hardly make up his mind on the subject of marriage’s meaning. In this two posts on the subject, he tells us that traditional definition of marriage is “timeless” and “as old as human reason and ordered good.” And, yet, in his two posts, separated only by four days, Dolan himself actually gives us THREE different definitions of marriage. In his first post, he says that marriage is “one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children.” His second definition, in the same post, is similar but not identical: “a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children.” In his Father’s Day post, he says that marriage is a “loving, faithful union between one man and one woman leading to a family.”

Of course, marriage has not been “lifelong” or “permanent” by law for a long time, and yet no blog posts urging NY legislators to prohibit divorce as a grave threat to the common good. Perhaps someone pointed this out after the first post, which might explain why he dropped any reference to duration in the most recent post.

As for procreation, “hoping for children” and “to pro-create children” are far from identical. Both might be read to rule out marriages among the non-fertile, though the “hoping for children” formulation is less exclusive on that front. But this leads to the question — which is it to be? Does the marriage of two 80-year-olds threaten the timeless definition of marriage or undermine the common good? If not, why not? In his most recent definition, the reference to procreation is replaced by “leading to a family.” Of course, this is somewhat circular, since legal recognition of same-sex couples as “families” would allow their unions to also “lead[] to a family.” That’s the whole point.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jim Naughton

Bill, can you show me where the language that you quote appears on the site? I thought I had removed all of that language quite a while ago. Just paste in the url, and I will fix it.

“The first sentence on our About page reads: Welcome to the Episcopal Café, an independent Web site featuring news, commentary, art, meditations and video. ”

As for your notion that members of one Christian denomination cannot speak critically of the leaders of another Christian denomination, I have to say I think it is extremely peculiar. And I am wondering whether you police the many Catholic sites that regularly take potshot at the leaders of our church with the same vigilance that you attempt to suppress comment here at the Cafe.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Bill, What do you make of The National Catholic Reporter, which regularly goes after authoritarian bishops? Ought the editors silence themselves in the name of unity?

What do you mean by “your cause?” Are you saying that equality before the law is unimportant? Archbishop Dolan deserves ridicule for many reasons. He said that New York State would become like North Korea and China if the Senate passes marriage equality. What do you make of his homophobic and slightly racist rant?

Gary Paul Gilbert

LA Episcopal priest

“Episcopal Café is sponsored by the Diocese of Washington, in partnership with The Episcopal Church in the Visual Arts.” –Hey, its your information on your site; I assume its accurate.

Reading an article criticizing a Catholic bishop and calling him names in the NCR (National Catholic Reporter) is one thing, reading it on a site “sponsored by the Diocese of Washington” is quite another.

Good night.

Fr. Bill Ledbetter,

Los Angeles

Jim Naughton

Bill, Episcopal Cafe has not been associated with the Diocese of Washington for 18 months. You know this, yet you keep repeating a falsehood as fact.

This post does not attack the Catholic Church. It takes issue with particular statements of one Catholic leader. Many Catholics have taken similar issue.

Cooperation between churches is important, and is to be encouraged. Silence in the face of fearmongering is reprehensible and is to be confronted.

LA Episcopal priest

JC Fisher,

You are mistaken.

Again, the issue: why is a blog sponsored by an Episcopal diocese making repeated attacks on the Roman Catholic Church?

Would it please folks if the archdiocesan paper in Washington started attacking the Episcopal Church and particular Episcopal bishops by name? I don’t think it would please anyone except those who thrive on confrontation.

Remember that there is much more to the Church than your cause, no matter how important your cause may be. Christian unity and cooperation between the various churches are also important.

Your brother in Christ

Fr. Bill Ledbetter

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café