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  • RJ
    June 18, 2011 Reply

    As a Catholic, it is too easy for me to see marriage has changed over the years. I don’t understand Sir what idealized, unrealistic view you are trying to cling to. Centuries before our time, children were not guaranteed that their parents lived a long and prosperous life. Many mothers died after having child birth, and it was common for adults into their 30s and 40s both male and female to die of various diseases or even death at work.

    Children from all walks of life have had to rely on a single sex guardian to raise them. It may be an older brother or sister, an aunt or uncle, a grandparent, or a foster parent. They are never guaranteed they will get both sexes (regardless of relation) to raise them and any of their possible siblings.

    If Marriage was sanctimonious we would have banned divorce years ago and continued to punish people for adultery and infidelity.

    A child having a straight man and woman in their life is not necessarily the only best thing for the child. What a child has and will always need is love and guidance. That can come from a single sex guardian who raises the child whether they be 29 or 59 or two guardians.

    To argue that a having two men or two women in one child’s life will somehow hurt them is ludicrous. Numerous people have turned out to be exceptional individuals raised by same sex parents just as their contemporaries raised by heterosexuals parents.

    Since many couples across the world have no interest in having children are we to punish them to? Never. We need to ensure that the children of the world are raised by one or two individuals who can give that child love and guidance and provide them with tools to become an outstanding individual. As a Catholic who personally knows a lesbian couple raising a child I have seen full well that having two mothers give this child the same love a child with a mother and father would have. The child has friends, is doing well in school, and is playing sports.

    So here’s to father’s day not just exlusively to straight men with children, but to every male guardian regardless of sexual orientation, race, creed, and age who spent their life “fathering” and bringing up a child to become an outstanding individual.

  • Charles
    June 18, 2011 Reply

    As I reflect on the writing above and on the issue at hand, I come to the conclusion that the word, “Marriage” is an ambiguous term. First, from the standpoint of the Catholic Church, and our Judeo-Christian origins, we have the concept of Quodesh.” When the Jewish male marries his Jewish wife, he says, “I make you Quodesh” to myself.”

    “Quodesh” is the Hebrew word for “Holy.” He brings his bride into his home. He separates her from the available crowd, but more important, he brings her into his home. This is the same as Abba, bringing his bride, the church, with us, his children, into his home, and making us Quodesh to him.” That means, he makes us sacred.

    The problem is that this makes marriage, a sacrament, a sacred term. Properly speaking, this makes any marriage law, an institution of religion. Of course, the Catholic church, and for that matter, Christianity and Judaism are far from the first religions and societies to have marriage laws. When the communist heads of state came to visit, they brought their wives. Their concept of marriage could not be the same as ours, husband, wife forming to create the perfect society under God. They did not believe in God.

    In Rome, before its conversion to Christianity, they very much had a concept of marriage and a concept of the violation of that marriage bond. They had no marriage ceremony. The wife moved in and they were married. Even for us, the wedding ceremony is not when the marriage is consummated, but rather, later that night.

    In Talmud, and in I Corinthians, chapter 7, it states that the wedding is consummated at that time, not in the ceremony. Those who believe in premarital sex are mistaken. Sex creates the wedding. The ceremony makes is sacred.

    In Jewish tradition, the wedding was a social contract. The husband wrote the contract and the wife accepted it. Maybe this may help to clear the ambiguity. When we clear the ambiguity, maybe we can come up with a plan that meets the needs of both parties.

    The problem is that they gay community does not understand the ambiguity either. They want a sacred institution that justifies their lifestyle. As defined above, there is no such thing as such a sacred institution. God opposes that lifestyle. Again, if we define marriage as a sacred institution, we violate the First Amendment from the very definition of marriage.

    On the other hand, they also want to have contracts that allow them to write each other into their wills and onto their insurance policies, a simple secular contract.

    If a heterosexual friend and I start a restaurant, in a building with duplex apartments on top of the restaurant and our wives are not interested in the restaurant, we might decide, for the sake of the business, to pass the business on to our business partner when we die, not our wives. Allowing this kind of arrangement seems only proper. Not allowing it would violate the first Amendment.

    We do need to make sure that Sacred marriage and its definition be kept apart from this other, secular non-sacred definition. They are not the same.

    Then we can promote our sacred definition, as we did from the founding of our Church at Pentecost, not with legislation, but with example. We need to promote marriage by forcing our business leaders to set the example, pay a living wage, promote a physically and emotionally safe work environment, so that when spouses come home, they can promote a healthy family life, with one husband, one wife and our children.

    Then people living alternate lifestyles will envy our lifestyle and want to copy it. Then, people will want to become Catholic, with all that means. As St. Francis said, “Go forth and preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words.

  • Brian Cook
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    Your excellency, can you please take a closer look at the criticisms raised against you so that you can address them in detail? Thank you.

  • Patricia M. Little
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    Thank you for stating this core belief and for defending the culture of life.

  • John Reynolds
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    Are you kidding us with this post? I have two gay people in my family. Due to the church’s hateful, mean-spirited, hypocritical teachings, I can no longer attend services or call myself a Catholic. I was an altar boy, did readings every Sunday as a lector. The church’s despicable treatment of gay people has driven me to abandon it. You’re not being Christian with your hatred – you’re being evil.

  • Christopher Johnson
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    Archbishop:

    I saw the following comment in response to Maureen Dowd’s column in yesterday’s New York Times. It encapsulates clearly the problem I think you and the church you represent are facing. It’s written by “Tony” of California and can be found at http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/opinion/19dowd.html?sort=recommended.

    “As the archbishop mentions, we are not living in North Korea or China where government dictates family structure (one child policy etc.)

    “So then why is he trying to get the government to dictate how I live my life. If I want to marry a man, then I should have the freedom to do that. If he doesn’t want to marry a man, then he should have the freedom to do that as well. Freedom means removing absurd dictates, not creating them.

    “Instead, his twisted logic and confused references to Orwell prove once again that the church loves nothing more than a fool as a leader. Dolan’s idiotic rant ensures the continued decline of Catholicism (and hate Christianity in general) in the Western world – and the Western world will be much stronger for it.

    “They told us the Earth was the center of the universe, the Earth was flat, there was no Antarctica, there was no gravity. They imprisoned Galileo, charged Da Vinci with sodomy and committed unspeakable atrocities during the Inquisition and the witch hunts. We are just the latest in a long line of people who have suffered under their holier-than-thou connection to ‘God.'”

    Another reader writes:

    “The Catholic Church may be wondering why its pews are emptying out and the number of devoted parishioners is dropping. Perhaps its because the Catholic faith is being shepherded by blind old fossils who fail to see that the Church needs to evolve with society or risk becoming irrelevant.

    “Either way, Archbishop Dolan’s hateful pronouncements on same-sex marriage are yet another glaring example of how off-base and out of touch this Church is.”

  • Rian McCarthy
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    I was raised in the Roman Catholic “Faith” and well drilled in the Baltimore Catechism in the late 1950s the pre Ecumenical Council days of John XXIII. Latin liturgy, et al. I had my First communion in 1958, and Confirmation in 1963.

    I would like to say something about family, morality, hypocrisy as a father and a usually decent man, a moral actor.

    The most indelible experiences and lessons were driven home by the sisters and priests in a suburban New York parish, Our Lady of the Assumption, who in their earnest mission shepherded a flock of largely uneducated, simple headed, incredibly gullible, Italian, Irish and some Polish kids on the path toward their salvation and becoming dependable supplicants to the Holy Mother Church.

    One of the greatest gifts the conservative Catholic church provided in those golden American idyllic days was the holy warrior who struck me even as a boy as the outlandish showman of Roman Catholicism Archbishop Fulton Sheen. (Catholic Hour, Life is Worth Living).

    Fulton Sheen, was the telegenic Archbishop who ran St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The showcase church which is currently Tim Dolan’s seat of power. So there is a connection between my Fifties childhoodand coming of age in the Sixties, and I will lay it out, presently..

    His excellency, Sheen, was prim and proper impeccably attired, guardian of Roman Catholic probity in the Eisenhower Fifties and Tumultuous Sixties. His nemeses were Marx and his evil minion Darwin. Bishop Sheen viewed both as agents of the devil, who buried revealed and fudged up sacred truths of the Bible and Roman Canon, with the lies of historical and scientific facts.

    Sheen, was a kind of Catholic grandfather of creationism and a prophet who saw modernity and materialism, critical reasoning, scientific methods, as insidious agencies of Satanic forces and the Commies.

    His politics, largely were not altogether his own, they had largely been inherited from “Father Coughlin”, the rabid ( also Irish) conservative radio priest who ranted against the Reds and Liberals and Democratic New Dealers and Jews in the 1930s.
    Sheen blamed perverse behavior on the godless socialists of the forties and scientists of evolution.
    Coughlin before Sheen, scapegoated liberals, Reds, pinkos, Jews, the usual suspects .That good priest who was a precursor to clerics like Dolan, Benedict or John Paul II was also a fan of the Fascists and an isolationist.

    Back to Sheen..

    At the height of the Vietnam War, Bishop Sheen, when pressed to take a stand on the American Misadventure in Southeast Asia, drew upon the ancient Canonical concept of a Just War to rationalize the necessity of killing heathen Asians, to promulgate and defend the political and economic interests of the 10% of the Vietnamese Catholics, who had been trained and cultivated by the French to be their partners and agents of colonialism in Indo China.

    The concept of “Jus Bello” reaches back to Augustine of Hippo, and was elaborated later by Thomas of Aquinas. It explained away the Albigensian War, and the blood lettings of the Religious Wars in the 1500s and onwards.

    I was fascinate by Sheen as a youth, because my devout godmother thought he was a handsome prince of the holies, a charismatic, charming showboat and encouraged me to watch his television lectures. I did, and it left me with the indelible impression that Fulton Sheen was a role model for the over the top gay characters, like Paul Lind, and Nate Lane, Rip Torn, then again Sheen was a contemporary for the ultimate closeted queen Liberace.

    Any Catholic who wants a head spinning example of a closeted gay blade, swishing in front of the camera in full clerical regalia of the Holy church should watch some of Sheen’s televised shows. It is a trip into bizarre land. The real Twilight Zone. A window into the lies that were the bread of beliefs.

    Archbishop Dolan, is obviously a non practicing heterosexual, but like his venerable ( now literally venerated, blessed, whatever, holy dead guy) predecessor Fulton Sheen, he does come from the lace curtain Irish Catholic school of Canonical purity.

    Tim Dolan is a conservative Catholic leader, richly misinformed by cultural conservatism of America. And conservatism in America is predicated on anecdotal and mythological notions of history. Conservatives place more in feelings than facts. Facts after all are the fabric of biologists, evolutionists and people who use footnotes and read most of the books in their bibliographies.

    The school of social conservatism, tea bagging, and so forth, which Dolan, subscribe to, really is the expression of disgruntled white men, angry white guys, who have felt power slipping away from them since the Sixties. Conservatives hate the decade that brought, or tried to bring, women and blacks, gays and other outsiders, into to some kind of parity with the original class of privileged, white males.

    Archbishop Dolan’s mendacity in the matter of gay marriage, as well as the Bishop’s letter addressing sexual abuse of minors over the past several decades, is either a pitiful character flaw or a conscious and mean spirited cynical act.

    His give away or poker tell was his going along with Bishops’ letter propagating the false and utterly ridiculous notion, that there was a connection between “permissiveness and perversity”. The Bishops letter commenting on the sex abuse scandals contended that the terrible increase in buggery and molestation within the priesthood, was a result of the liberal permissive culture of the Sixties.

    Or in lay speak it was a case of defuse and deflect the charges by blaming the ten and twelve years old victims, and the hippies and radical counter culture of the Sixties which made the priests insane with their latent perverted appetites unrestrained by boundaries.

    The saddest part of the Bishops’ thesis about the cause and effect relationship between the permissive Sixties and priests letting go of their inhibitions to corral and corner little children into unmentionable acts was the argument was not even an original idea.

    Dolan and the other bishops merely lifted the argument from conservative cretins like Limbaugh, Beck and Buchanan, who have for years blamed the declining fortunes and powers of America on the liberals’ culture of permissiveness of the Sixties.

    And since the authors of liberal ideas and the many degrees of “socialism” are, of course, mostly Jews, there is often traits of veiled antisemitism expressed among conservative Catholics and right wing christians.

    Sexual perversity has always been with us, like the poor, the stupid, the cruel, and sadistic, and the self righteous. Perversion is as old as Sodom and Gomorrah, it has been around forever d and is no more prevalent today than it was in the past, even before the Go Go Sixties..

    The only difference today, is people are more open to discuss sexuality, good and bad, simple and strange, and not act overly indignant and outraged.
    The reason there “seems” to be a major growth in priests violating boys and some girls is simple..
    The victims are far more likely to report assaults since the liberal Sixties began telling the victims of sexual assaults, that they should not feel ashamed to complain and step forward and name their accusers.

    Finally, I have to say, there is a much greater perversity and Cardinal Sin at work here. A Sin with a giant capital S, that Tim Dolan and people like him in the church have perpetrated. It is the crime and calumny of the Catholic clergy. It is the attempt by the Church’s representatives, the supposed educated theologians, to nullify half the complaints fo statutory rape by very young victims, by arbitrarily lowering the age of consent.

    It is tantamount to disenfranchising a whole class of victims, by saying EX POST FACTO, that they were consensual, willing participants in a sexual act.

    I will also state the Bishops who signed the letter, and put forth the proposition that a ten year old boy is intelligent enough to qualify as a willing sexual partner and not a victim when a man in his twenties, thirties, forties couples with that boy are complicit in the coverup. By not condemning a foul crime, they are the ones who permitted the crime.

    Changing the age of consent, after the fact, is as bad as selling indulgences before committing the crime.

    I do not know how that incredibly salacious and mean sophistry of the Bishops apologia for wanton crimes, escaped wholesale condemnation by the Papacy and the College of Cardinals.

    It only leads me to believe that the entire church is shot trough with hypocrisy and more concerned with survival by any means possible, that doing the right thing.

    Once again, the Church of Rome would rather secure its place in this greatly imperfect world and lose its soul than admit its faults. The church that insists the only path to salvation is by way of submission, confession, penance and absolution through the offices and sacraments, is itself, guilty of the worst things imaginable.

    It has condoned by its silence the evil implicit in the Bishops’ letter lowering the age of consent to make so many heinous crimes disappear with a blunt force sophistry that would scorch even an seventeenth century Jesuit. It is a trick a historical creep like Cardinal Richelieu would think too crude and clumsy to employ.

    Calling ten year olds sexually mature to deflect blame and excuse crimes of the worst nature, and blaming liberals for allowing too much individual autonomy and freedom of choice is the height of hubris. It is as well demonstrates the theologians’ cynical contempt that the average believer, the humble Christian is too stupid to see through the semantics and absurdity.

    These bishops who authored the letter and decreed by fiat the lowering of the age of consent, are agents of the Vatican. They are servants of the Pope, not independent actors.

    So will some intelligent Catholic with a streak of honesty, please explain how this Pope, this Benedict, this high prince of Catholicism, the trustee of Peter’s Key, by not condemning the Bishops’ mean, cunning, twisted, insidious letter is not complicit in this specious doctrine and outright evil?

    Or is he another moral coward, another climbing papal opportunist. Is this Benedict a Germanic Medici Pope? Just another ambitious cleric once again, like a Borgia or Sforza who would gain the shoes of the fisherman by selling his soul?

    A good man, never mind a the Prince of the Mother Church, would castigate and scold publicly the Bishops who authored such a letter. Yet, it now, is evident that the top cleric in Rome is neither good, nor honest, and not much Christian. He is not even a Catholic, for the word itself means universal and inclusive living spirit of Christ. Benedict and his conservative colleagues, and supporters are only the mean, spiteful, vindictive, and the scapegoating narrow minded priests of the church of the dead, and wooden Christ.

  • Paul N Jean
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    We are wondering if marriage laws are even required anymore. Even of the bill is defeted this time, it will continue to come up. Why even have the state regulate marriage. nationally it is stated that more than 50% of the households are unmarried or single parent. Our country’s marriage laws continued to get watered down to nothing.

    The HIPPA laws do not even allow a spouse access to medical records unless permission is given. Estate law and Living wills have negated the need for exclusive marital rights on death or sickness of a spouse. The tax breaks are easily redefined. Family court does not use Divorce law as a means to determine custody – it uses “biological parents.” And domestic splits are simply a civil contract division of property.

    there are already laws on the books against underage and incestuous relations. certainly using the marriage license as a means to screen for VD is not effective. NY does not even require the blood test.

    Why not get the laws for marriage right out of the state? Then we are free of te gay rights debate and marriage becomes purely a sacrement.

  • Floretta
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    Do you even hear yourself? Does no one give you a little honest feedback on this before you turn it loose on the world? Seriously, you might want to consider decaf.

    I also refer you to http://www.nyintegrity.org/law/lob/guidelines.html and suggest that you register post-haste as a lobbyist as you and your agents persist in an organized effort to influence votes. It goes beyond mere speech or personal opinion. Lobbying by definition: “Attempt to influence” means any activity intended to support, oppose, modify, delay, expedite or otherwise affect any of the actions specified in § 1-c(c).
    (church exemption is limited to local laws and ordinances, 1-c10F)

    Perhaps the archdiocese should start a rainy day fund for when it loses it tax-exempt status.

  • Debbie Grimm
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    You and the Catholic church should be ashamed. I was raised Catholic, but it is because of the backwards, ancient attitudes they cling to, that make we want no part of it as an adult. I would like to know, archbishop, how two gay people marrying is to
    “the peril of common good”? Do you hear yourself?

    Denying gays the same rights as other people is obviously bigotry, just as denying civil rights to blacks and women was not all that long ago.

    I fail to see what good you or your church do in today’s society. Instead of sitting there praying, why don’t you do something in the real world to ease people’s suffering. With so much going on in the world today, we should consider gay marriage a threat?
    Get real.

  • Miriam Preussner
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    Archbishop Dolan,

    As the leader of our bishops, isn’t there something you can do to resolve the Father Corpai situation? Is it really OK to let an allegation just languish — not proven guilty and not proven innocent — and let a priest no longer be allowed to be a priest?

    I pray you will investigate this.

    Thank you,
    Miriam

  • John Becker
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    Dear Archbishop Dolan,

    This message is to inform you that a donation has been made in your name by Sherri Herrman to Truth Wins Out. TWO fights anti-LGBT propaganda, religious extremism, and the “ex-gay” myth. Sherri was thinking of you this Father’s Day and chose to contribute to TWO as a gesture of disappointment for your failure to be a leader for justice and equality for all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, couples, and families. As a spiritual leader and “father,” your voice has hurt and silenced LGBT people when it should teach and uplift. We sincerely hope that her generosity will inspire you, and that Sherri’s leadership will be an example to you.

    Happy Father’s Day!

    Sincerely,
    John Becker, M. Mus.

  • Carmine Novembre
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    It’s about time the Church started being more Christlike and loving. It is so sad to me that you are so judgmental, especially when your own house isn’t even close to being order. “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

  • Michael James Joseph
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    I think there is absolutely no reason for you to be bringing up politics on your post about father’s day.

    We are not a religious state.

    You are not a member of the government.

    We will not be ruled by your religion, and with good reason.

    America is a nation that was founded on the principle of religious freedom.

    Do you marry infertile couples? How about couples who never plan on having children?

    It is your business whether or not gays can marry in your church, which by the way is not a sentiment agreed upon by even the most moral members.

    However, civil marriage, is a right. Religious marriage is not. There is a huge difference.

    What you are suggesting, denying homosexuals the right to marry, would be putting huge amounts of good, productive, caring, and LOVING, men women and children at a disadvantage in opposition to their straight counterparts. This hardly seems like a Christian ideal to me.

  • Bob Radcliff
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    Here’s the deal, Archbishop, in case you’ve forgotten:
    1. Churches stay out of politics.
    2. Churches don’t pay taxes.

    If you want to lobby, fine. Pay taxes along with the other lobbyists.

  • G. E. Schwartz
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    Your Eminence,

    Please recognize the hypocrisy at the core of our church: that as long as it has existed it was a safe harbor for homosexual priests even though it declared the acts of these men sins, and as you continue to strongly advocate to keep homosexuals, lesbians and trans-gendered Catholics from the sacrament of marriage.

    Please pray thoughtfully on this as I and others have, and perhaps then you’ll see that what you have termed an “act of hedonism” is really a solemn faitful promise of fidelity under the eyes of our creator.

  • William Mannion
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    Once again, Archbishop, you are mixing the sacrament of marriage with the civil institution of marriage. As a lifelong, devout Catholic, I find it disturbing that you lobby from the altar on a legislative issue. You do not speak for all Catholics and your suggestion of putting marriage equality is a desperate tactic as you are about to lose the legislative vote.

    You state you are pro marriage yet you consistently oppose the civil institution of marriage, along with the many attendant legal benefits, for two same sex adults who wish to publicly commit to one another in love through the civil marriage ceremony.

    Your arguments revert to the ‘sacred’ words of “father” and “mother” as well as referencing the Bible. We are not asking to alter the Catholic sacrament of marriage, we are seeking to allow any two consenting adults (opposite sex or same sex) to have access to the rights and benefits available through the civil institution of marriage.

    You state you are concerned about ‘the common good’; is that ‘the Catholic common good’ or ‘the common good of all New Yorkers’?

    I will continue to pray for you and your fellow bishops with the fervent hope that one day you listen to the members of the Body of Christ who are striving to live the Gospel message in today’s world.

    Yours as an equal in Christ’s eyes,

    William Mannion

  • Paul
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    You propose a “referendum to determine the people’s will on such a drastic departure from traditional values.”

    And if that referendum turns out to support marriage equality? Then what? Then would it be okay? If a referendum could resolve the conflict, then why not a state government constituted by democratically elected representatives?

    Or is this “proposal” just a mean-spirited, demeaning, insidious, and cowardly suggestion. What sort of leader asks people to vote on the protections, rights, and lives of others?

  • Dr. Jeffrey Crouse
    June 19, 2011 Reply

    Dear Archbishop,

    The intellectual dishonesty of the Catholic church’s stance on marriage equality continues to astonish. Where’s that “liberal media” when you need it, such as calling out the church when you state that homosexuality is not found in nature when, in fact, it is alive and well in over 500 species within the animal kingdom? But in Benedict’s church, and the church of which you are a prince, science and evidentiary proof have no status.

    Once upon a time the church was a place of formidable intellectual rigor. Because of the Holy Spirit cannot be completely shut out of the church for very long, wisdom and love will one day return. Until then, unfortunately, you will rally to keep the doors shut TIGHT.

    Blessings,
    Dr. Jeffrey Crouse

  • Patrick
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    “One has to wonder why the proponents of this radical re-definition, who claim overwhelming popular support, would not consider, for example, a referendum to determine the people’s will on such a drastic departure from traditional values?”

    Because, Archbishop Dolan, citizens elect legislators to LEGISLATE, and that includes taking votes on important legislation that you might not agree with.

    This legislation, and similar moves around the country to promote equal marriage rights, are not about redefining “father” and “mother” as you say; indeed heterosexual couples are freely allowed to civilly marry with no plan to have children at all. The Catholic Church can continue to view “marriage” as a Sacrament and as something sacred that same sex couples can not partake in. Frankly, after decades of sexual abuse and molestations by members of the clergy, subsequent cover ups and payoffs, and endless hypocrisy, many of us who were raised Catholic don’t really care what the Church’s view is of what constitutes sacramental “marriage.” This legislation, however, is about CIVIL marriage, and it’s about time for the Catholic Church to butt out.

  • Dave
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Dear Archbishop Dolan:

    The number of critical responses (from self-professed Catholics) to your earlier blog on this subject illustrates the result of what Archbishop Chaput has described as a long period of very bad catechesis. A great number, perhaps even a majority of Catholics don’t know what they don’t know, as they’ve never been taught what the Church teaches about marriage…and a great many other things, but even more importantly, why.

    When Paul compared marriage to the relationship that exists between Christ and the Church, he wasn’t talking about civil rights, he was talking about a profound spiritual reality demonstrated for the world by sacramentally committed marriage…it’s a tragedy that this isn’t articulated often from Catholic pulpits today out of some confused understanding about tolerance and compassion.

    The USCCB program, “Unique For a Reason” should be required in every diocese and every parish in the US…but I won’t hold my breath waiting for that. The last time marriage was on the legislative agenda here in FL, our “former pastor (we left; he’s still a Vicar Forane)” refused to follow Episcopal request to publicize from the pulpit…didn’t want to be perceived as intolerant…perception of faithfulness and/or obedience took secondary importance. Please encourage your brother Bishops to be Fathers to their priests…and not Grandfather’s as Peter Kreeft puts it.

    May God Bless you at this critical time…both in the struggle for Church teaching there in NY and everywhere. We could not have had a better USCCB President!

    Dave in Tampa

  • Jeanne Renison
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Thank you, Archbishop, for such a clear explanation of the Church’s teachings on freedom of religion and same-sex “marriage.” Because of our Constitution, we have the right to proclaim this teaching in the public domain. Although the Church has never been made of perfect humans (e.g. St. Peter) she has ALWAYS loved the sinner, but hated the sin. That means that we love the homosexual, who is made in the image and likeness of God, but explain to them that same-sex marriage will do more harm to them and their children than practicing loving abstinence. As a matter of fact, the Church’s outreach programs take care of more people with AIDS than any others. So she has the right to continue to proclaim the message that children deserve to be raised in loving, two-parent households with both a male and a female parent. That is the model toward which we hope society will move out of concern for the mental and spiritual health of our children.

  • Erv
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Let these politicians who support this bill stop for a moment and think: what if religion is right and there is a God, and there is a Judgement Day, and Heaven and Hell?

    Keeping that in mind, no reasonable being might just throw out of the window God’s (creator of Universe) most sacred commandments. All indications are that He does not bargain on sentencing like a real life court official, so why try him?

  • Vincent DePasquale
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Nonsense. Asking straight people in a referendum to vote on gay marriage would be the same as asking white people in the old South to vote on slavery. Moron.

  • Mickeysteve
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    The Church has a right to defend the Truth. Truth is not a thing or a set of suggetions. Truth is a person and that person is Jesus Christ. No one can outrightly criticise the Catholic Church for not being in Public Arena in helping in her various outreach ministries. When we had the tragedy of 9/11 we never heard anyone saying Church and State must not be mixed and that 1. Churches stay out of politics.
    2. Churches don’t pay taxes. We all have specks in our eyes, however, Jesus Christ will take away those specks if as the psalmist says If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. If the truth be told we must admit that part of the sexual scandal that is affecting the Church today is due to the very behaviour of the sixties where freedom and licencious behaviour became the norms of the day where people with homosexual tendencies were allowed to enter this sacred ministry to act out their sexual behaviour. (Some men with homosexual tendencies gave their sexuality to God and was able to perform in their ministries with dignity). If the family is damaged, then the Church will also be damaged, because the Church gets her men and women from the Family. So the Church has a right to speak out. The Church is not the Bishop, the Pope etc. The Church is Jesus Christ calling us sinners in a special way in relationship with him. God Bless.

  • Kate
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    One has to wonder why the proponents of this radical re-definition, who claim overwhelming popular support, would not consider, for example, a referendum to determine the people’s will on such a drastic departure from traditional values?

    One has to wonder why civil rights (not religious ones) are still subject to any kind of government vote.

    I am disappointed that you would encourage, even in prayer, anyone to endorse policies that would restrict rights. Such behavior is patently un-American, and spiritually tainted.

  • AndyP/Doria2
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    The people that amuse me most are the ones who say we should stay out of politics. Everyone knows they mean stay out of politics when we don’t agree with THEM.

    When Catholic Priests and Nuns marched against the Viet Nam War or with Martin Luther King down South, these same people were silent.

    The homosexual agenda is to indoctrinate, first and foremast your children. They are trying to change nature. The first instincts in nature is to survive and then to reproduce.

    No not every being reproduces, but the instinct is there.

    They want to train a whole new generation that this two men getting married is natural. It’s not.

  • Joni
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Thank you for standing for truth, Archbishop Dolan. It is obvious from some of the comments here that people do not understand true morality any more. Any statement made for truth is viewed as being judgmental.

    Thank you again for your boldness in proclaiming TRUTH.

  • TonyB
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Civil rights are individual rights. They do not accrue to pairs. Treated individually, no one is discriminated against here. Any individual is free to marry any other willing individual of the opposite sex. The law apples to all individuals the same way. Finding “discrimination” requires a false understanding of civil rights, i.e. to believe they accrue to couples, which is simply incorrect. That is why a) this is not about discrimination as no one is being deprived of their individual rights, and b) what is at stake here is a radical redefinition of what marriage IS after thousands of years of common understanding. As with other radical social policy, it will be the weakest in society who pay the price. Thank you for sticking up for truth, Archbishop Dolan.

  • Kate
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    @TonyB

    Perceived historical precedence for discrimination is not sound reasoning to perpetuate it. Legally such an argument holds no water.

    We are discussing marriage within the realm of civil jurisdiction, not within the church — if the definition for a civil marriage suddenly threatens the definition of your religious ceremonies (or your religion), then I would be concerned about the strength and foundation of your religion as it stands.

  • Patrick
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Dear Archbishop Dolan:

    On an additional note, however, I applaud you for publishing comments on your site, even those that are critical of your view on this issue and of the Church’s position. Though I vehemently disagree with the Church on this issue, it is reassuring that you are willing to engage on issues such as this in a relatively transparent and open manner.

  • Joe Gulli
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Mr. Dolan,

    I understand you have beliefs but do you not recognize that you are preaching hate? Modern society will not allow for blindly following your book. You are preaching hate.

  • PW
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Dear Archbishop Dolan –

    Your fears of government infringement on the Church are misplaced. The Church already marries who it sees fit without fear of legal compulsion. My wife and I couldn’t be married in the Church because she is divorced – yet there aren’t hordes of divorcees suing the church, demanding that it marry the divorced. There won’t be an avalanche of gay people seeking Church weddings either, particularly given the church’s hostility towards gay people.

    It also strains reason to think that the words father, mother, husband, and wife will all be redefined. Will fathers stop being fathers? Will wives and husbands stop being that? In fact, no straight person will be harmed by allowing gay people to marry. Marriages aren’t falling apart in Canada, nor in Massachusetts, or in the nine other nations where gay marriage is legal.

    Lastly, the church’s stance is hardly pro-marriage. The church is free to have its own requirements for Catholic marriage, and no government should interfere with that. But the Church’s stance is hardly pro-marriage – it’s simply pro-Catholic marriage. Denying that the Church’s stance is anti-gay is simply refusing to take responsibility for the negative impact the church’s policies have had on gay people. If the Church really believed in marriage, it would extend the benefits and blessings of that institution to all people, not just straight people, and it would acknowledge that non-Catholic marriages (including gay marriages) should be protected by law.

  • Sal C
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Thank you Archbishop Dolan. I wish every Catholic person would have the courage to stand up for the truth as you have been doing. I still find it shocking that there are Catholics out there who think that the Church’s viewpoint and the stand taken by our priests should be primarily focused on not offending anyone, rather than supporting the truth.

    Keep up the fight, you have our support!

  • Carlos
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Father, I’m a Catholic coming from a strong Catholic family.

    While reading this article, a question came to my mind and i would like to ask it: Do you think Jesus would be as upset as you are that some people in the government wants to recognize the LOVE 2 men or 2 women feel for each other?

    “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God”

  • Peter Walters
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Dear Archbishop Dolan,

    Thank you for being true to your ordination/consecration. thank you for speaking the truth “in season and out of season”. As a lifelong Catholic there are teachings of Christ through his Church which have been difficult for me to live, and i have failed and repented often..but I do not ask the church to change her consistent, liberating teaching due to my own difficulty with it. i am a Catholic member of an ecumenical community and we rejoice in your sheperd’s heart..so full of real love..yet willing to teach the truth for the good of all. We will continue to pray for you.

    Peter Walters

  • Gene Sullivan
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    The same sex marriage proponents have a very large agenda. The passage of approval of marriage in Albany is but a step. The election of liberal politicians is making their goals more achievable.

  • TonyB
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    @Kate: nothing I said was based on religion. Look up the wikipedia page on Civil Rights – the very first sentence says they are individual rights. The attempt to sell this as a civil rights issue is wrong on the law, and does a real disservice to blacks and other actual victims of discrimination.
    @PW: unfortunately the secular and religious worlds overlap. We’ve already seen the Church be forced to cease adoption services in Boston rather than betray her beliefs.

    All – What will be the impact on children whose biological parents are paid to disappear from their lives? Do we want to encourage this? Have children no claim on their biological parents?

  • Nancy D.
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    To whom it may concern: It is out of Love and respect for all persons that The Catholic Church, in union with The Truth of Love, will not condone homosexual sexual acts or any sexual act that does not respect our inherent dignity as human persons.

  • Danny
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Your Eminence,

    Thank-you for your post. Your leadership is refreshing after a time of wishy-washy non-leadership that put our church in it’s current state of crisis, but more importantly, lost countless souls, as evidenced with the pain expressed here. You are in my family’s prayers. That would be myself, my wife, and my children who we vowed to accept “lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?”

  • + Edmund Campion
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Your Excellency, I am a graduate of Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston, and Catholic schools in your Archdiocese as well as the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre from first grade through college-seminary.

    I respectfully draw your attention to a prima-facie error of fact in your commentary on this subject. Namely, the issue is not altogether, as you suggest, a “timeless definition” of marriage. Another moral dimension is involved: generations of savage, brutal, inexcusable violence perpetrated against gay and lesbian persons; if not with the explicit approval of the Church, unquestionably without its explicit disapproval either. I have witnessed it, and I have survived it. The violence is physical, but is also worse than that: intellectual, social, and spiritual as well.

    Merely insisting on the normativity of heterosexuality is not offensive; but let us not kid ourselves about the intense, horrible animus still displayed in many a Catholic heart against the “queer.”

    Such anger, such persistent multi-generational brutality, is not of God, and cannot be condoned; and the damage it causes alters the moral landscape permanently for some of us. You must— if I may say so— recognize a particular casuistry at work here. I posit that a victim of such bullying may have a permanent psychological inability to conform to the Church’s expectations, and that this is not culpable. Quid de casu?

    As a result of years of such bullying, acted out in Roman Catholic playgrounds, schools, seminaries, and parishes, I had to step away from visible communion with the Church. Ordination as an Old Catholic priest and bishop has allowed me to say “yes” to Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Savior, as the priest He called me to be; to heal from dehumanizing maltreatment; and paradoxically, to reaffirm my very traditional theology and spirituality, which were also problematic in those dark days.

    Not all of us are wild, pro-pagan, pro-abortion, hedonistic liberals! I am opposed to women’s ordination, and prefer the Extraordinary Form! Some of us are simply very orthodox, and very homosexual. I realize that this statement may well lose me friends on both sides of the issue. Perhaps that is the cross the Lord calls me to bear. It is certainly a challenging lesson in charity.

    I will walk completely alone if I must.

    I would ask you not only to pray for anyone and everyone you desire, but specifically for a brother bishop and fellow sinner. I wish with all my heart I could have simply been one of your faithful parish priests, loving and serving all with sincerity and in inviolate chastity. As I recite the office of Vespers this afternoon, I shall certainly hold you in my prayers as well. Please also pray for forgiveness for Catholic schoolyard bullies and disconnected seminary faculty.

    I have no hatred of the Church, or a desire to embarrass her or tear her down. On the contrary. The Church is the ordinary means of human salvation. But it is important to realize that some of us no longer feel free, whether psychologically or spiritually, to participate in the ordinary ways. Oremus pro invicem. +Edmund

  • B.B.
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    It is interesting to note the number of comments from other subjects on this blog. Most have less than half the responses that these are generating. I think that says it all- the vitriol that comes out is not the norm here. This is an invasion of a spiritual nature for an unholy agenda. I will pray the rosary and call my state senator to make my views heard.

  • Kevin M.
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    What a disgraceful message from Archbishop Dolan. Asking us to pray to our loving God for the continuing to treat homosexuals as 2nd class citizens? And arguing that it will change the meaning of my relationship with my children. Shame on you….as these comments overwhelmingly show you do NOT represent the people who actually make up the chuch on this issue. And you most certainly do not represent the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.

  • Nancy D.
    June 20, 2011 Reply

    Any act that does not respect our inherent dignity as human persons is a violation of our Civil Rights, as our dignity as human persons has been endowed to us from God, not Caesar. To refuse to condone homosexual sexual acts or any sexual act that demeans the inherent dignity of the human person, is to defend our unalienable Right to be treated with dignity and respect.

  • Chrtistopher Lamparello
    June 21, 2011 Reply

    The Catholic Church, or any church, will never be required to marry any couple that it doesn’t wish to marry. That fact became well-known to me when my sister, who was and is a lifelong Catholic, was turned away when she asked her church to bless her second (and final) marriage.

    Catholics, by a large majority, support same-sex marriage:
    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/majority-of-catholics-support-same-sex-marriage-same-sex-sex-not-a-sin/legislation/2011/03/22/18187

    In a world that often falls short when it comes to doing the right thing, blessing the love of two adult people should be an easy decision to make. I pray that the right thing is done here in New York.

  • Christopher B.
    June 21, 2011 Reply

    The number of comments by self-proclaimed “good Catholics” berating our Bishop for his stance illustrates just how badly informed — and poorly catechized — Catholics are about Church teaching.

    Here is some homework:

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church — on marriage, on the meaning of marriage, on chastity, on sexuality:
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

    “CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS”
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html

    (Not to presume they’ll read it, but for what it’s worth).

  • Brian Cook
    June 21, 2011 Reply

    Edmund Campion brings up some very serious points, your excellency. Can you address them?

  • Brian Cook
    June 21, 2011 Reply

    Oh, and Andy P, liberal activists see themselves as promoting acceptance of human beings, not as recruiting children to be homosexual or as changing nature.

  • Nancy D.
    June 21, 2011 Reply

    “Catholics, by a large majority, support same-sex marriage.”

    This statement is not true since The Catholic Church does not support same-sex marriage and in order to be Catholic, one must be in communion with The Catholic Church. One cannot be autonomous and in communion, simultaneously.

  • Nancy D.
    June 21, 2011 Reply

    Since it is a self-evident truth that all persons have the inherent, unalienable, Right to be treated with dignity and respect, no one should condone bullying nor should anyone condone engaging in demeaning sexual acts. Condoning bullying and condoning demeaning sexual behavior is a violation of our civil right to be treated with dignity and respect.

  • Barbara B.
    June 21, 2011 Reply

    Nancy is exactly right. There are plenty of blogs where many of you will find like minds, why not go there? Some of the posts are extremely offensive and just plain untrue.

  • AndyP/Doria2
    June 21, 2011 Reply

    No Barbara, they won’t go to websites with like minds as long as their organized letter writing campaign to this one is on.

    If these letters from CINO’s (Catholics in Name Only) don’t show the Archbishop the damage that was done the last 50-60 years through the lack of true Catholic teaching in our schols and our pulpits – nothing will.

    Catholic education in this nation is in shambles. Anyone who has been following this thread and the postings from the “Catholic Buts” (I’m born and raised Catholic BUT) can see that.

    Our Lady must shed rivers of tears.

  • seefish
    June 21, 2011 Reply

    “In a world that often falls short when it comes to doing the right thing, blessing the love of two adult people should be an easy decision to make. ”
    — this statement shows the central mistake made by so many in understanding this issue.
    ‘gay rights’ is not about love. it is about ‘gay sex’. It is about anal and oral sex and mutual masturbation with members of the same sex to be more specific.

    Anal and oral sex and masturbation are sins, even when between married heterosexuals, The church is not showing a double standard in this assessment.

    Marriage laws exist so that the state has the ability to declare certain sexual relationships to be illegal. It is illegal for adult children to marry parents, brother to marry sisters , It is illegal to have more then one spouse, it is illegal to marry a Dog or a goat.

    The second reason for those laws is to support the raising of children in a healthy environment, including one where they learn healthy lessons about sexuality.

    How can a relationship , which is based on mutual masturbation and sodomy teach children healthy gender relationships?

    These relationships are not condoned by law for the same reason sex with Dog’s is not condone by law. They are by their very nature unhealthy.

    All laws have built within them , an assumption of morality. Of the existence of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and more over ‘rights’.

    You cannot have a right to do what is wrong. Homosexual sex is wrong. Adultery, wrong, masturbation wrong. These are teachings that have not changed since the time of apostles and Jesus himself would have been fully in agreement, make no mistake on that!

    It is in fact very unloving to encourage someone to commit sin , through words or law.
    Legalizing ‘gay’ marriage would therefore be a very unloving action.

    The church must always act out of love. Bravo good bishop. peace.

  • seefish
    June 21, 2011 Reply

    “The Catholic Church, or any church, will never be required to marry any couple that it doesn’t wish to marry” — This is NOT the goal of the homosexual lobby.
    They will stop at nothing other then absolute acceptance of the ‘lifestyle’ they choose.
    In Canada we have had Roman Catholic priest arrested for ‘hate speech’ simply for reading the catholicism of the catholic church’s teaching on homosexuality publicly.
    It is the intention of these groups to force the church to shut it’s public ministries and to be totally silent in the public form , if she refuses to agree that what they call a ‘lifestyle’ is not both legitimate and holy. They have no ‘tolerance’ for what they consider to be ‘intolerant’.

  • seefish
    June 21, 2011 Reply

    @ Edmund — your post is conflicted and confusing.
    What , in the good bishops post to suppose to address?
    Do you support the legalization of ‘homosexual’ marriage, which encourage masturbation,
    anal and oral sex? Do you pro-port that such actions are to be considered moral?

    I would propose to you that anyone who finds themselves tempted to homosexual actions but does not act on those temptations is no more gay or homosexual then someone who finds themselves tempted to steal is a thief, or someone who finds themselves tempted to adultery is cheating on their wife?
    Temptation is not a sin. Even sins can always be forgiven, but what cannot be forgiven is to call what is sin holy and what is holy sin ( this is blasphemy to the holy spirit). This sin cannot be forgiven because it cannot be repented of.

    That is why gay marriage can never be supported legally by catholics, because it is hateful thing towards those tempted with homosexual desires to ‘normalize’ their sins and make it much more difficult for them to ever escape them.

  • John
    June 22, 2011 Reply

    The Most Revered Archbishop of New York,

    I am a gay person raised in the Holy Roman Catholic Church with two devout, Catholic parents. As a raised-Catholic, I recognize the enormous contributions of the Church to social welfare and to the dignity of the poor and needy, the disheartened, and the sick. That is why it is so painful for me to see the Church and His Excellency continue the corruption of the Church’s moral authority which has caused permanent, irreversible damage to the Roman Catholic Church in the eyes of many Americans, particularly Catholic Americans. People are leaving the Church at what, to His Excellency, should be alarming rates, not because they have been corrupted or bedeviled by a modern society but because they have weighed the intense ethical upbringing of their Catholic childhoods against the Church today, and are forced to come to many conclusions, including, as I have, that the Roman Catholic Church in a Quixotic and illogical way denies basic human dignity to gay men and women, even as other inspired religious groups recognize enough love in their Communion for everyone.

    My father and I were able to celebrate an intimate Father’s Day, because we have managed, through a painful process of reconciliation which took years, to look beyond Church teaching into each other’s souls as men of morality and love. But the Church gives us a template which casts a part of myself which I neither asked for nor control (I know this, because through the larger call of the Church I went under repulsion therapy to attempt to rid myself of my “gay”-ness) and casts that aspect of my humanity, through the Catechism, political activism, and teaching, as not only evil but “disordered.” I found your Father’s Day message, although good-intentioned, to be nothing short of wicked to the Catholic families with gay members which cannot celebrate Father’s Day because the Church has torn them apart.
    In an age where, through divorce, heterosexuals – not homosexuals – have brought the institution of marriage to its heels – what is the sense in denying the entry of a persecuted group to a legal and spiritual framework within which they may express the very values of love, fidelity, and family which the Church seeks to support and preserve? Instead of building stable families in supportive environments, does God wish gays to become Priests, cave psychologically under the ridiculous concept of celibacy, and begin to molest children at as many Parishes as the Church ordains?

    Gay people are asking for basic human dignity, which includes a recognition of the validity of the love demonstrated by so many gay women and men in committed relationships, and the American people are going to give it to them. If I am married, in a stable home with steady income and a nurturing environment, my husband and I might decide to adopt many of the thousands of children around the world in desperate need of a home. If we do I guarantee you that I will be a more loving Father to my children than you are being today. My children will grow up with the moral and ethical system, grounded in love and respecting the dignity of all peoples, which the Catholic Church has painfully failed to reach. If God is love, why does he not love me?

  • Tom Baum
    June 22, 2011 Reply

    You commented to, “Catholics, by a large majority, support same-sex marriage.”

    By saying, “This statement is not true since The Catholic Church does not support same-sex marriage and in order to be Catholic, one must be in communion with The Catholic Church. One cannot be autonomous and in communion, simultaneously.”

    This may be off topic but would you consider Jesus not to be a Jew since He wasn’t in lock step with the Jewish religious leaders of His day?

    Aren’t we suppose to follow God?

    Didn’t Jesus say that He would “send the Holy Spirit to guide…”, He didn’t say theologians or Bishops or Priests but the Holy Spirit and He did not say that He was just going to send the Holy Spirit to the “higher-ups”, did He?

    None of us can tell anyone else how they should follow God, that should be between them and God, your way can be good for you but that doesn’t mean that it is good for others, as the present Pope has said, “It is the duty of a Catholic to follow their conscience”, even if he hadn’t said this, it was Jesus Who extended the invitation to “Come follow Me”, not the Church, not the bible, not Peter or any successors but to follow Jesus.

  • William Mannion
    June 22, 2011 Reply

    The statement that the homosexual agenda is to recruit the youth is a canard which has no evidence to support it. Unfortunately, there is more than adequate evidence of priests molesting youths yet the leadership of the Catholic Church continues to drag its feet on disclosing what was known and what action was taken.

    As a lifelong Catholic, I remain convinced that marriage equality should be legal. Archbishop Dolan’s statements are those of one individual and are not infallible. If Catholics did not speak up and question the leadership of the Church, many wrongs would be continued. I am not suggesting the leadership is always wrong, or even wrong the majority of the time; however, after significant study and prayerful reflection, it is clear to me that the Church leadership is wrong on the issue of marriage equality.

    It is notable that the pro-equality individuals are just asking for the right to the civil institution of marriage; a number of the anti-equality individuals are posting hateful statements which are untrue. Love the neighbor?

  • Steve S
    June 22, 2011 Reply

    I am ashamed to be a Catholic more than ever, I went to catholic school all my life from pre-school to high school and Catholicism is about inclusion and not exclusion, we were taught to love and be compassionate – I do not see it in this issue, where is it? Where is love? Where is equality to all and not some? Who are we to dictate whom to love and spend the rest of our lives together.

  • Christopher Lamparello
    June 22, 2011 Reply

    Nancy, most, if not all of the people of any given religious faith, Catholics included, do not agree with everything that their church teaches. I have always been proud of the Catholic laity’s dedication to social justice; that should extend to same-sex couples, as well. The church is free to express its ideals, but I can assure you that they are only ideals. We all fall short of those ideals, including the very leaders of the church.

    If you were to eliminate every Catholic who does not agree with, or does not practice, everything that the church teaches, the churches would be empty. When someone enters into a Catholic church, they should be welcomed as human beings, not as saints, because none of us are.

    Gays and lesbians have always been a part of the Catholic church, and an active, vibrant part at that. The time has come for marriage equality.

  • Steven
    June 22, 2011 Reply

    Dear Governor Cuomo,
    Let me first express that I respect your office, and I also respect you as a brother. I do not know your thoughts, and I do not know why you do what you do. I also do not know the stress and responsibility that comes with being a man responsible for a State and many citizens. I do, however, know loss. I have suffered a great loss in this life. I know sin as well. I realize God is truly all I have in this world and all I need. I also realize I do not live as I should, and I need God every day to guide me along the right path. A relationship with God is what I desire most. I imagine you now have an inclination as you read this; you are forming a picture of me. I cannot stop you or your staffer from doing so. I am a Christian. By God’s grace I have been saved. Jesus Christ died on a cross to save me, and you. You can discount what I say, taking the approach that you, as a politician, make your decisions based on the law. The First Amendment and other principles of law and governance direct you to lead a diverse populace based on purely secular grounds. Though this is untrue, since you as a leader are free to act according to your conscience so long as you obey the Rule of Law? So how does it violate the Rule of Law to oppose “Gay Marriage”?
    I really would like to know ultimately what you stand for? Honestly, I googled your name and looked at Wikipedia. I am being honest, I know that is not a great research technique, but it is what I did. It said you are Catholic. Is this true? If so, what does it mean to you to be Catholic? Does it impact how you govern New York? Is men marrying men and women marrying women in accordance with your understanding of Scripture? Is it a positive example for this country? Should children be raised by a mother and a father? Should children grow up in a society where leaders sanction men marrying men and women marrying women? Are you unwilling to make a political decision based on your convictions, or are your convictions opposite Scripture? Is there no relevance to the difference of our sexes? Why must I go into a men’s restroom instead of a women’s restroom? Why is my anatomy what it is and her’s what it is? Is there no point in this? You, I imagine, view marriage as a right for all. But is it a denial of equality to uphold marriage between men and women only? Is there no relevance in the sexes anymore to you? Do you deny the differences? Do you deny what you see? Do you deny how you were created to join with a women? Do you read Scripture? Do you even care? Do you approve when a man burns with lust for another man? Do you approve when a women burns in lust for another women? Do you approve when both act on their lusts for one another? And if you disapprove, why do you seek to sanction such conduct with marriage? Is marriage sacred to you? Do you know what Jesus said about marriage? I understand the Supreme Court has ruled consensual sexual activity among adults protected (TX v. Johnson), but why do you seek to go further. What do you gain? I could change everything I write easily by typing different keys. I could be loved by so many if I just say: “Marriage is a right for all. If two adults love each other, they have a right to be married and have their marriage recognized by the law, incurring all the benefits of such recognition. You cannot force your personal opinions on others. You can have them but you cannot discriminate.” It would be so easy. I would be progressive. I would not be thought of as an ignorant man that seeks to discriminate. But it is in fact harder for me, because I am no longer lukewarm.
    God is love. I want you and every person to do what God desires. I cannot deny what God has placed in my heart by his word. I judge no man or woman. I do not. I have engaged in enough sin to last a lifetime, and I know I cannot stop sinning. The sin of homosexuality is no worse than my sins, not at all. I have a log in my eye. I do not deny it. I am not seeking to condemn you, I seek only to call you to God. By God’s grace I have been saved. By God’s grace I am becoming more Christlike each day. Do you seek after him? He wants you to! No matter how great of a governor you are, no matter how much worldly knowledge you have, no matter how much you accomplish, no matter, no matter, it will not last forever. We all have a very brief period of time on earth. If we live to be 100, what have we gained if we have turned from God? It is so hard to live as such. I admit, I must do better. I pray for you Sir. Pray for me also. We will pray for each other and God will hear us.
    Since marriage is a union between a man and woman, it is not discrimination to prevent men from marrying men and women from marrying women. You Sir may change the meaning of the word in this State, but you cannot change God’s word. God was is and always will be. If you choose not even to attempt to live by God’s word – as demonstrated by your thoughtful, calculated actions in seeking to legalize “gay marriage,” than be a hypocrite no more.
    GOD Bless America and New York.
    Respectfully,
    Steve

  • Tom Baum
    June 23, 2011 Reply

    Barbara B wrote, “Nancy is exactly right. There are plenty of blogs where many of you will find like minds, why not go there? Some of the posts are extremely offensive and just plain untrue.”

    I thought that blogs were for exchanging ideas and speaking what one believes/knows, not for a bunch of “yes-men”, as it were.

    If you remember, Jesus had some “discussions” with the religious leaders of His day, did He not?

    As someone else on this site pointed out they have let some differing opinions on the subject be let thru and I think that that is good, of course, it appears that the remarks I attempted to put up earlier were not allowed.

  • Toby Grace
    June 23, 2011 Reply

    Having read through this thread today, when the issue of marriage equality is forefront in Albany, I note the comments of those in support of equality are largely fact-based and logical, while those opposed rely on tenuous “belief” amorphous tradition and once-popular stereotypes. The Archbishop writes he can find no “right” for same-sex marriage in the constitution. Neither is there mentioned a “right” to opposite sex marriage so that point is nugatory. A number of posters call upon the name of Jesus and his teachings. In fact Jesus made no mention of homosexuality. One would think that if it as such a terrible thing, he’d have at least mentioned it once. Nancy D. refers to gay sex as demeaning. Demeaning to whom? No one is suggesting she engage in such behavior so she is not being demeaned. Those whose inclination is in that direction are being satisfied, not demeaned. Conversely, to be denied their (our) true nature would be intensely demeaning. The comment above about recruiting your children is too absurd and blatantly ignorant to bother refuting. Now let me get to the main point of my argument – I am neither a Catholic nor a Christian so WHY ON EARTH should I be governed by your theology as a matter of law? Run your own lives according to your beliefs by all means but do not expect those beliefs to be the law of the land. The religion I practice welcomes same-sex couples and blesses their unions. Where is my religious liberty if Catholic norms are to be imposed by law? In closing, I wonder if the Archbishop actually reads these comments. I hope so. Perhaps he will understand that a vague expression of “love” is a very poor substitute for equality in civil rights.

  • Alison
    June 24, 2011 Reply

    Thank you for such a courageous post Archbishop Dolan!

  • Steven
    June 24, 2011 Reply

    @ Toby Grace says:
    June 23, 2011 at 11:32 am
    Dear Toby, You should read the Gospel of Matthew, particularly Chapter 19. You should also read Romans, particularly Chapter 1. I fully admit, I need to do much better reading God’s word, so I do not claim to be an expert that is able to quickly provide all references to discount your assertion, but these Chapters came to my mind when I read what you wrote.
    In regard to your legal point, I would like to make the following points. They are very simple because I do not want to get embroiled in a long-winded constitutional law argument, though I think the free exercise clause supports my argument and the establishment clause does not destroy it.
    A Christian voter has the right to vote. A Christian can vote into office a Christian politician. The Christian politician has a right to vote based or her or his convictions. A Christian voter has the right to ask and try to persuade the Christian politician to vote a certain way. A law is not unconstitutional because it is based on someone’s faith; in fact, that is part of the political/legislative process. If you think a law is wrong or should be held unconstitutional because it is based on someone’s faith, consider your own statement. “The religion I practice welcomes same-sex couples and blesses their unions.” Have you just broken your own rule, or are you willing to disavow the relationship between “your religion” and “gay marriage”?
    More importantly, you referred to: “[A] vague expression of ‘love’ is a very poor substitute for equality in civil rights.” God’s love is not vague or a poor substitute for anything. It is all and everything we need. God gave his own Son while we were still sinners as a sacrifice to save us. Jesus was the Lamb of God. We have all sinned against God. His response to our wickedness was to give his own Son to save us. Do you give what you love most to the man that has wronged you? Can you? God is holy. He knows all. He is everywhere. He is all powerful. Can you fathom standing before him in judgment? He gave you life. He gave you everything good in this world. He gave to you without requirement to do so. He chose YOU to be born. He could have created anyone or anything, but he chose to create YOU. He gave his own Son to save you, and you turn against him. And yet he waits patiently to welcome you back. The grace of God is great beyond our human capacity to fathom. I pray you cry out to God. He will hear you. And yes, he loves you very much!
    @John says:
    June 22, 2011 at 11:17 am
    Dear John,
    God loves you! What you experience I will not belittle with some weak attempt to say I understand. I do not carry your burden or live a single day in your life? Though, you are not alone. We can help each other still in prayer. My burden feels heavy too, though different, and others who talk to me, I do not want to listen to them because I know their burden is not the same as mine. We must turn away from our human nature. God loves us but he hates sin.
    Paul was a man of God and still he had a thorn in his flesh.
    2 Corinthians 7:10
    Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
    The thorn was not removed from Paul’s flesh while on Earth, for it was serving a purpose. If God wanted it removed it would be removed instantly but there was something more to it, which Paul accepted and maybe even more to it than he realized. But the joy of heaven, if we keep the faith, if we run toward Jesus, how great the reward will be when God removes all our thorns. Unfortunately, I have more than just one, so I can’t wait!
    I do not for one second think I am better than anyone who posted anything. That I deal with more, know more or suffer more. To the contrary, I am scared to think that I am the worst of our lot, very upsetting to God often (but his grace is sufficient and overcomes), and the most stiffed-necked despite countless blessings. But what I do know, and all I need to know is this: I need God; Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savoir; and the Holy Spirit helps me in every way to sing out to God in everything I do even though I have a voice worse than the most terrible American Idol wannabe. If that makes me a fool amongst intellectuals and today’s progressive, successful person, I hope tomorrow I will be stupider than I was today.
    God Bless You All.

  • Will
    June 25, 2011 Reply

    To those who, like me, have left the church (because, you know, adulthood) we should stop making a case–for those still in but with whom we disagree–regarding what the church “should” be or “should” become. Much better to wash one’s hands of its many self-serving social positions and move on. If there is a God, he is a much more complex being (one hopes) than the bizarre, prudish entity the Church has harvested from the holy books. If there isn’t, well, this is all a bit moot, isn’t it? In any case, if we live life granting dignity to others and divest ourselves of unwarranted fear, my guess is we’ll all arrive at the edge of the beyond with clear consciences.

    Happy belated Father’s day, fathers (and glad tidings, implied mothers).

  • GG
    June 25, 2011 Reply

    “Gay people are asking for basic human dignity, which includes a recognition of the validity of the love demonstrated by so many gay women and men in committed relationships” (by John)

    Apologies for my poor english.

    Recognition BY WHOM? I am married and, in principle, I need NO recognition by the state. I could not care less about this. There are just two reasons for asking the state to recognize marriage, namely:

    1) economic benefits for children
    2) rights in case of divorce.

    As for point 1), in my country being married is in fact a problem: people who do not marry have HIGHER incomes from the state for their children. In fact, many couples do not marry or pretend to divorce exactly for this reason. As for item 2), a private but formal agreement has more or less the same effects.

    Therefore, in my view, it is time for catholics to ask the state NOT to recognize their marriage, which is a sacrament and needs no other recognition. We do not need any piece of paper. Let gay people, or anybody else wanting them, have the papers: they are useless. In fact, in countries in which gay “marriage” is acknowledged, the number of gay couples interested in it is astonishingly small. We are then talking about a symbol: well, let them use the symbol, and let us behave in a completely different way, as christian ever did.

    This would be in my view a strong signal in front of these sad, but just symbolic, facts.

  • Patrick Sullivan
    June 25, 2011 Reply

    Most Reverend Archbishop Dolan:
    It is time that we face reality; the Catholic church does not rule America. We can set the rules for our church but we can not dictate morals for citizens who are not members of our church.
    Our elected legislators in Albany did not rule that Catholics must bless homosexual marriages. Nor did they say that we must open our cathedrals for their ceremonies.
    Albany is not America’s Vatican and you are not our Pope.
    Please let us focus on the problems within our church and let God deal with those outside of the Church.
    Patrick

 

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