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.