• Gary Downey
    December 9, 2013 Reply

    With all due respect Cardinal Dolan. A little balance is necessary in your reaction to the death of Nelson Mandela. Mr Mandela fought one injustice but helped institute an even greater injustice, the execution of the innocent. He fought for and instituted abortion on demand. i would fall short of calling Mr Mandela a symbol of dignity.

  • Rev. Fr. Alan B. Maria Wharton
    January 4, 2014 Reply

    I understand Your Eminence’s desire to say something positive about a well-known figure when he passes away, especially if he has done some good. But as Gary Downey said in his comment, balance is necessary. Uncritical praise tends to canonize a figure who has opposed the Church’s teaching on various important issues.

    It is not the first time that you have expressed ambiguous friendliness toward a figure who deserves the Church’s stern reprobation on certain important issues (for example, the 2012 Al Smith Charity Dinner, honoring guest Pres. Obama, virulent opponent to Catholic teaching on non-negotiable moral issues, and awarding Anna Maria Chavez, who has strong ties to numerous pro-abort politicians, with the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal for “outstanding contributions to the growth and development of young women (!)” in Girl Scouts).

    Remembering what the USCCB said in its 2004 policy on Catholics in Political Life: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

    Your Eminence, when you state – unequivocally – that “Nelson Mandela was a hero to the world,” without pointing out that he was an opponent to the right to life of the unborn, you come dangerously close to honoring him in a way that could be taken as supporting his whole outlook. I believe you could have included a sort of disclaimer to safeguard the Church’s positions which Mr. Mandela opposed, while still expressing condolences. As a prelate of the Church entrusted with safeguarding the doctrine of the faith, Your Eminence could have better formulated the statement.


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