Cardinal Dolan was on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday (full transcript here). Here is the snippet for discussion:
Michael Sam, from your home state, the football player– revealed that he was gay, first in the NFL. And you saw the celebration from the President, the First Lady, and they were saying what a courageous step that was. How did you view it?
Good for him. I would have no– no sense of judgment on him. God bless ya. I don’t think– look, the same– the same bible that tells us that– that– teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and– and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, “Bravo.”
One of the most successful strategies that the homosexual lobby has employed over the years has been to keep the issue at a completely surface level and to refuse in-depth argumentation. If you attempt to make an argument against the homosexual agenda you are immediately labelled a bigot and your argument, no matter how rational, is considered invalid before you even start. One way they’ve solidified this strategy is by the use of the “coming out” ceremony (Rorate has an interesting post using Courage’s example). To embolden the “coming out” ceremony homosexual activists attack and deceive Christians by twisting Jesus’ words about “judging not” to mean something other than the way they’ve been interpreted by Christians for 2,000 years. One needs to look no further than Haydock to see this:
Ver. 1. Judge not, or condemn not others rashly, that you may not be judged or condemned. (Witham) — St. Jerome observes, Christ does not altogether forbid judging, but directs us how to judge. Where the thing does not regard us, we should not undertake to judge. Where it will bear a favourable interpretation, we should not condemn. Magistrates and superiors, whose office and duty require them to judge faults, and for their prevention to condemn and punish them, must be guided by evidence, and always lean towards the side of mercy, where there are mitigating circumstances. Barefaced vice and notorious sinners should be condemned and reprobated by all. (Haydock) — In this place, nothing more is meant than that we should always interpret our neighbor’s actions in the most favourable light. God permits us to judge of such actions as cannot be done with a right intention, as murder. As to indifferent actions, we must always judge in the most favourable sense. There are two things in which we must be particularly on our guard: 1. With what intention such an action was done. 2. Whether the person who appears wicked will not become good. (St. Jerome)
But isn’t the Cardinal simply following Pope Francis’ lead with the famous quote, “Who am I to judge?” Absolutely not. Pope Francis (whether you think his strategy a good one or not) provided this response to a much different question. The question Pope Francis was answering regarded a cleric who was known to have homosexual tendencies, but who the Pope thought to be living a chaste life. In other words, the Pope rightfully stated that no one ought to judge the man’s heart. In the case of the young man’s “coming out” that Cardinal Dolan is asked about, there is no circumstance in which this action should be applauded1. It is objectively wrong and will lead the man further away from true happiness.
lifesitenews.com reports that:
The Archdiocese of New York told LifeSiteNews.com such criticisms are misguided.
Communications Director Joseph Zwilling told LifeSiteNews that it would be “wrong for anyone to say, or even imply, that the Cardinal’s words on Meet the Press meant that he was unconcerned about Church teaching on homosexual activity (or any other immoral behavior).”
He said “Bravo” to evil. A reprimand isn’t what is needed. A clarification isn’t what is needed. A retraction is what is needed. How powerful would it be for the Cardinal to admit, “I was wrong. I said the wrong thing and I shouldn’t have”? Everyone would understand. Anyone who’s had to decline a wedding invitation or be present while any sort of immoral activity is celebrated knows how easy it is to slip up and say “congratulations” when you know you shouldn’t have. It happens. But when the stakes are this high, mistakes like this ought to be fixed.
With that, I’d like to follow Diane’s lead and share some good news to go along with the bad news.
- Penance is God’s gift to us By Bishop Salvatore R. Matano
- Check out this sermon from Archbishop Sample’s recent Pontifical Mass
- If you don’t keep up on CF’s comments, you might not have noticed that Bishop Serratelli responded to Diane
- The Liturgical Year is an amazing work available for free. It is absolutely amazing how blessed this generation is to have so many resources available at our fingertips. You can read about the history of Lent and keep up with the Church’s feasts/saints. (It’s a little trick because many of the dates have moved around, but it’s not hard to find something relevant).
UPDATE 2014-03-10 9:53 PM:
A friend noted this shortly after this posting:
The only point I would raise with you is that we know having a homosexual tendency is not a sin, but since the gay/lesbian lobby regards ‘coming out’ as equivalent to being sexually active with the same-sex, it is reasonable to expect that the usual coming out and the applause accompanying it (as from Cardinal Dolan) also is not differentiating being same-sex attracted from its accompanying sexual activity.
That’s a good point. I honestly didn’t even consider this – that’s how closely tied “coming out” is with actively practicing homosexuality. So I guess my blanket “no circumstance” isn’t entirely accurate, but Michael Sam would certainly be pulling one over on everyone if he were to later state, “what I meant to say is that I’m a chaste man with homosexual inclinations.”