Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Voris on SSM Legislation in NY

July 5th, 2011, Promulgated by benanderson

Yes, this is Ben posting a Voris clip. If you think that’s surprising, you might want to check out the National League Central standings and see what the Pittsburgh Pirates’ record is. The beginning of this clip is an interesting assessment of what happened to the Catholic Church in Ireland and is worth watching. If you want to get to the part about NY, I’ve queued up the video player to start a few minutes in. Let me also preface this video by saying I don’t necessarily stand by Voris’ sweeping generalization that the NYS bishops defense was pathetic. Quite honestly this battle was lost over the last few decades, not the weeks leading up to this vote. In the weeks leading up to the vote, I was quite impressed with Archbishop Dolan and with the New York State Catholic Conference. Bishop Clark’s strategy was, unsurprisingly, to be mostly quiet. Sure he gave some lip service here and there, but was totally unconvincing. His words came across as someone torn by the fact that his religion seemed at odds with his desire to show “compassion” to homosexuals. He almost seemed to concede the false argument that the only case to be made against SSM comes from religious revelation. But again, this battle wasn’t lost in the last few weeks, or months, or even years. It was lost over the last few decades as Catholics has been allowed to believe (in many cases even taught – St. Bernards, I’m looking in your direction) that modern progressivism and Catholicism are somehow compatible. I certainly concur with Voris’ assertion that the Catholic Church deserves much of the blame (or credit) for this recent legislation.



12 Responses to “Voris on SSM Legislation in NY”

  1. avatar Choir says:

    Ben – I think your assessment is 100% dead on. Forty years of wandering in the spiritual desert what do you expect.

  2. avatar Thinkling says:

    I actually will cut Voris a break here: his criticisms of the bishop’s could be rephrased as they didn’t speak out like I would have. But there are some (myself included) who don’t see that as necessarily a bad thing. My point is I think his point makes sense in that, of course he would say that.

    But I do fully agree that the table was set long before the bishops’ crow was served.

    I am disappointed in his presentation of the NYT particiption in all this. Their commentary proves nothing like he says it does. The folks there want to paint faithful orthodoxy as backward bigotry, and anything else as “see we were right all along“. So they will critisize no matter what, andthis just reduces to what I mention above: it confirms that the Bishops did not come off like Michael Voris.

    I had two curious thoughts today: Why doesn’t the NYT (say) roll out comments from +Clark like the ones mentioned in the OP to suggest there is explicit ambiguity in the Church’s position? Much like they roll out McBrien/Kung/Chisttier(sp?) for their opinions on things when, er, convenient. Second, I wonder if there was any calculation on the Bishops’ parts to temper the message so as to not galvanize the sopport for SSM more than the opposition? A Streisand effect, if you will, recalling Pope Pius XII. Just wondering.

  3. It is always good listening to Michael Voris. I think he is right on.
    In regard to his assessment in Ireland- I think his commentary is accurate. I think the sex abuse scandal has done a lot to ruin life in the Catholic Church there. What has particularly done the most damage, like elsewhere, is the cover-up and dismissal of reports of sexual abuse and sexual harassment by priests and religious. Parishioners are shocked that such deviant, perverted, predatory sin and crime is permitted by priests and religious who they put on a high pedestal and rely on for good standing in the sight of God and spiritual guidance;and worse, purposely covered up and dismissed by those in even higher positions and a higher pedestal. I hope Fr. McGuinness who was dismissed (fired) after trying to stand up for the seminarians is still active in the church elsewhere and has been given special grace by God to deal with his treatment by the church via an Irish Bishop.

    When I went to Sunday mass in Ireland in the latter 70’s (and 1980), the church was full. There were families with children as well as young, middle-aged, and older adults. There was fairly good attendance for daily mass as well (not as much as Sunday). I was amazed at the number of young priests at a parish, especially in contrast to the United States. The priests wore cassocks and parishioners received communion on the tongue at the altar rail. In 1980, we met up with Irish lads on vacation from Kildare. They were accustomed to going to daily mass in addition to Sunday mass, and going to confession regularly. They continued to go to daily mass while on vacation (in addition to Sunday) at the local parish. The Catholic Church was the center of family (and individual adults’)life way back then, as i witnessed firsthand.

  4. avatar JLo says:

    Would that Abp. Dolan and others in NY had stood with their people on street corners and preached the truth with which Catholics must examine their conscience. Instead, we got a letter here and there which probably reached a very low percentage of the faithful (and those who think their conscience is their own to inform).

    I stand with Voris in his belief that the Church in America does too little to save our culture from the speedy slide down that slippery slope. Statements here and there are not nearly enough, especially in this electronic age when they COULD be doing so much more to instruct, which is their duty; and the street-corner preaching as was done by saints in days gone by would surely get the needed attention… even such as the NYT would cover that!!

    America has become mission territory just because of inactive bishops who are uninvolved in their people’s lives, lack courage and energy, and even worse, those who demand the priests in their care keep silent and unobserved, too… does anyone remember Terry Schiavo?+JMJ

  5. avatar MichaelL says:

    @JLo – I’ll go one step further and say that it appears to me that Archbishop Dolan is posturing. It seems that he does just enough in defense of marriage to be able to turn to his flock and say, “I tried”. I want to be charitable, but I’m highly disappointed that he has not spoken out since the bill passed. He has not even responded to calls for Cuomo to be refused communion.

    One scenario I can think of to explain his actions is that he fears that if he speaks out more forcefully that he will face open revolt within the Church. Personally, I don’t find that to be a valid reason to not vigorously defend fundamental Church teachings. Or perhaps he is being pressured politically with the cutting off of donations or some legislation that would affect the Church. Again, not a good reason.

    I wrote an article on this topic a few days ago if anyone’s interested:
    Archbishop Dolan’s omission
    I have to admit that the tone is bitter, even though I tried to be charitable. (I like some of Michael Voris’ reports, but too often he crosses the line in his criticisms of fellow Catholics in terms of lack of charity.)

    The one thing that we as Catholics have — that other Christian denominations don’t have — that holds us together is the Pope. In the past I was very liberal and had the standard set of complaints about the Pope. Once I began to follow the Pope’s teachings closely, my criticisms slowly dissolved and I found myself moving in a direction that is in close communion with Our Holy Father. This in itself is nothing short of a miracle. We are blessed to be witnesses of a saintly Pope.

  6. avatar Sassy says:

    Michael, in all due respect, I think you’re pointing a finger at the wrong person. It’s up to Bishop Hubbard of Albany to speak out on Governor Cuomo’s actions. Mr. Cuomo resides in Albany, and his Bishop Hubbard is the head of that diocese.

  7. avatar MichaelL says:

    Sassy, I respectfully beg to differ. I think the “Pope of America” (according to 60 minutes and others) should at least have something to say on the subject. He is the “Arch”Bishop of the “Arch”Diocese of New York. And he is also the elected head of the US Bishops. And he does have the “bully pulpit” that goes with his position. And he is expected to become a Cardinal in the near future. And New York is the home of major news organizations including TV networks and of course the New York Times. And he did publicly apologize to homosexuals after the bill passed.

    After writing the above, I consulted a map of the Archdiocese of New York. True, it does not include Albany. But what I suspected and was able to confirm is that the Archbishop in addition to having his own diocese is responsible for all the dioceses in his “ecclesiastical province”. In this case I believe the “province” is the State of New York, and I assume that the Archbishop of New York is the “metropolitan bishop”. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.)

    (See Wikipedia article on Roman Catholic Metropolitan Bishop.)

    “The metropolitan [bishop’s] powers over dioceses other than his own” include “supervising observance of faith and ecclesiastical discipline and notifying the Supreme Pontiff of any abuses.” (See Canon Laws 431 and 435)

    Also, “It is the responsibility of the metropolitan [bishop], with the consent of the majority of the suffragan bishops to call a provincial council, decide where to convene it, and determine the agenda.” I don’t know the exact definition of “provincial council” but it sounds like a mechanism that could be used to establish norms within the “province”. (See Canon Law 442)

    The fact that Archbishop Dolan behaves in an impotent manner does not so much indicate that he has no power in this situation, but rather that he is unwilling to use the power at his disposal to correct a situation that is well out of hand. This inaction does not relieve him of responsibility. I can understand that he might not want to appear heavy-handed, but he could at least demonstrate some leadership through his statements and actions.

    Since the passage of the “homosexual marriage” bill I’ve been checking every day but I haven’t seen a single statement come from the Archbishop on the subject. The only statement he made was basically saying that he wasn’t going to talk about it. Has anyone else seen anything?

    Sassy, I apologize if my tone seems overly harsh. I just cannot accept that something as unthinkable as “homosexual marriage” can become the law in the United States, and that in the meantime the Catholic Church makes only a minimal effort to fight this. My sincere thanks to the folks at Cleansing Fire for standing up on this issue and other issues affecting the Church.

  8. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    IMO, Archbishop Dolan should take on the question of denying communion. He is the head of the NYS bishops. He is also the head of the USCCB. With Ed Peters detailed argument out there Archbishop Dolan should either enforce the law or explain why Peters is wrong.

  9. avatar Hopefull says:

    New York State has 8 dioceses or archdioceses. The New York ArchDiocese under Archbishop Dolan includes Westchester County. Cuomo’s home is near Mt. Kisco which is in Westchester. Thus, he was under Dolan before being elected, is when he returns home, and most scuttlebutt says he returns home frequently (especially on weekends.) When he was Attorney General he didn’t live in Albany either; he lived in Mt. Kisco. So, given the Archdiocese of New York’s status as the metropolitan see of the ecclesiastical province of NYS, and given Bp. Hubbard’s notorious inability to enforce church teaching among renegade Catholic politicians in Albany, and his almost lame duck status, I think Abp. Dolan is justified in taking the lead on this matter. I concur with Ben’s conclusions and with his reasons, and for these extra reasons as well.

  10. avatar Sassy says:

    Does anyone have a link to the Ed Peters article? Sorry, I didn’t do my research fully on this before I commented. Thank you for informing me.

  11. avatar MichaelL says:

    Sassy. I think you brought up a good point. It forced me to have to actually learn about how the diocese system works. I would imagine that many Catholics would not really understand the system. But it seems like the way the archbishops operate these days is to allow maximum autonomy to the various dioceses.

    Ed Peters blog is at:

  12. avatar Sassy says:

    Michael, I totally agree with your feeling dejected on the SSM vote in NY. I guess the best way to describe my feelings about Archbishop Dolan is why does he have to take on everything while the majority of NY bishops remain silent?

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