Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Cardinal Dolan: An Embarrassment and a Scandal

March 26th, 2013, Promulgated by Hopefull

In case you haven’t heard Michael Voris’ denunciation of Cardinal Dolan’s giving Holy Communion to Joe Biden at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Palm Sunday, here it is:

Pope Francis could not have been clearer that he supports Canon 915 which requires denying Communion to such as Joe Biden.  Cardinal Dolan could not have been clearer that he doesn’t give a rap what Pope Francis thinks, or what Canon Law says.  This  “Prince of the Church” needs a warning label that following him may be dangerous to our spiritual health!

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27 Responses to “Cardinal Dolan: An Embarrassment and a Scandal”

  1. Dr. K says:

    I wonder if Cardinal Dolan will compose a blog post justifying the distribution of Communion to VP Biden as he did when he invited President Obama to the Al Smith dinner?

  2. Giovanni says:

    To be fair to Dolan… Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi were both given communion at Pope Francis’ inaugural mass (however, I’m not sure if the the mister they received it from was aware of their political stance)…

    I agree that ideally people who live out ANY sin (especially mortal), without repentance, should avoid receiving Holy Communion until they are reconciled to the Church.

    Dolan, himself has stated that it is a pastoral matter to be dealt with privately… not turned into a public spectacle during the mass.

    I think my views are similar to Cardinal O’Malley’s, who said that Catholic politicians, who support legal abortion, should stop receiving communion by their own choice.

    Of course, Benedict, as well as Pope Francis, have made it clear that they should be denied communion…

    But how should it be enforced… should there be a conversation first between the Pastor and the politician?

    I’ve also wondered the following… if in receiving the Body of Christ we become more like Christ… are we hindering someone from experiencing a change of heart that brings them closer to the Church, that could lead them towards a consistent life ethic, if we deny them the Eucharist?

  3. Diane Harris says:

    Re Giovanni’s speculation: “I’ve also wondered the following… if in receiving the Body of Christ we become more like Christ… are we hindering someone from experiencing a change of heart that brings them closer to the Church, that could lead them towards a consistent life ethic, if we deny them the Eucharist?” t

    The answer is pretty clear from Church Teaching. Encouraging people in sacrilege is no favor to the soul. Denying them is much more likely to make them examine their consciences and repent of their sins.

    St. Paul writes in 1Cr 11:27 “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.”

    Catechism: 1415: “Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic Communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive Communion without having received absolution in the Sacrament of Penance.”

    Rather than making them more Christ-like, tolerating sacrilege will drive them deeper into sin. That is why the Church is so clear on this matter, and not up to us to rationalize other alternatives. Further, we are not just dealing here with private, personal sin, but with grave scandal and danger to other souls as well.

  4. Ben Anderson says:

    Pope Francis could not have been clearer that he supports Canon 915 which requires denying Communion to such as Joe Biden.

    source? (not that it necessarily matters in this case.)

  5. Giovanni says:

    Thanks Diane! All good information! It often seems the the tough love approach is indeed the best… although it can be difficult to carry out because it’s not always easy.

  6. Richard Thomas says:

    It’s terrible. We are bombarded 24/7 by the culture. TV, newspapers, radio, schools, family. We have very little support upholding Christ’s teachings.

    And now, our clergy walks hand and hand with the very culture that is enabling so many souls to go to hell. We only have ourselves and a few friends and loved ones for support.

  7. Hopefull says:


    The March 14th Vortex NEWS attributed to Cardinal Bergoglio: “We should commit ourselves to “Ecuharistic Coherence,” that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act or speak agaisnt the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.”

    “LSN reported in 2007, it was Pope Francis (then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio) who, on behalf of the bishops of Latin America presented the “Aparecida Document” regarding the situation of the Church in their countries. The document made a very clear statement regarding the consequences of supporting abortion, disallowing Holy Communion for anyone who facilitates an abortion, including politicians.” (Quoted by John Henry Westen in March 20, 2013 issue.)

    Lifesite News on March 21, 2013: Fr. Michael Orsi, Ave Maria U. said: “It is well known that Pope Francis forbade pro-choice politicians from receiving Holy Communion in his diocese, in Argentina. Perhaps the new Pope can move this project along?”

  8. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    What was Michael Voris’ reference to Evangelical Catholicism?

    Did he say that those who promote Evangelical Catholicism are Dolanites?

    Currently, I am reading George Weigel’s “EVANGELICAL CATHOLICISM Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church”. If warranted, I will do some analysis of this work by the same author of THE COURAGE TO BE CATHOLIC.

    To date there is no reason to consider George Weigel other than a very gifted Catholic writer. I wonder if Michael was intimating that Weigel supports Cardinal Dolan’s pastoral decisions?

  9. Ben Anderson says:

    I hope this video starts a much needed discussion amongst some in the hierarchy as well as the “professional Catholics”. I was so disheartened by the “orthodox” Catholic media’s story-telling when ssm passed here. No one was willing to stand up and tell the truth that ssm passed because the bishops (at least two of them anyway) had been pushing the gay agenda for years. I’ve been disheartened by Dolan over the years… his initiation of a round of applause for Clark during a mass at Sacred Heart… his applause of the dor’s use of lay leaders on our local tv… his message was clear that he had no problem with this renegade diocese. THAT is the major problem we face… people not standing up to evil. Compare it to what Chaput has done in Philly. Definitely not business as usual there. He got thrown into a disgusting mess and has met it face on. Our leaders need to stop being so concerned with what the Catholic left thinks of them. Keeping them in the pews by not offending them does not help their souls one iota – In fact it hurts them. What if I as a parent stopped disciplining my children? What if I just let them run around the neighborhood ripping up flowers and destroying fences, etc? Would these leaders condone my action as being merciful? I think Voris is right to start this conversation. Dolan has been put on a pedestal by the Catholic professionals to the point where everything he says is gold

    Thanks, Hopefull, for transcribing Francis’ words

  10. Giovanni says:

    I saw this meme after posting here… It’s related to the whole abortion debate and I thought it was worth sharing for a bit of humor. Sadly I think this comic/meme does a good job at describing the pro-choice political situation in our country.

  11. annonymouse says:

    I fear that Cardinal Dolan has become a bit too drunk on the adulation of the secular media, and perhaps just a bit (more than a bit?) too full of himself.

    As the shepherd of the second largest diocese in our nation, is he well modeling Our Blessed Lord who eschewed popularity in favor of speaking the truth to power, for which He paid the ultimate price?

  12. annonymouse says:

    Ben – GREAT post.

    The bishop carries a shepherd’s crook, and it’s for one purpose – the disciplining of the animals, for their salvation. From Wiki regarding the shepherd’s crook: “The innovation of a hook merely facilitates the recovery of fallen animals by ensnaring them by neck or leg.”

    The bishop’s job is the salvation of his flock, and he should be willing to lay down his life for his flock. Smiling for the major networks and turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the steady infiltration of evil is not part of the job description, I’m afraid, your Eminence.

  13. Ben Anderson says:

    Ben – GREAT post.

    as much as I’d love to accept your praise, this wasn’t my post.

  14. Bernie says:

    “Evangelical Catholicism:” I’m also currently reading Weigel’s book. If I’m reading Weigel correctly, he suggests that Evangelical Catholicism sees degrees of being Catholic (in union with the Magisterium). This is in contrast to the previous understanding of being either in or out of the Church based upon complete agreement and practice, which he understands as too legalistic and alienating. I think he’s suggesting the Evangelical Catholicism understanding as a way to educate people like Biden rather than just toss them out. This is an off the cuff comment. I didn’t go back and reread that section.

  15. annonymouse says:

    I was referring to your March 26, 10:41p post. So accept the praise!

  16. annonymouse says:

    Bernie – I am also reading Weigel. You’re correct in how you’ve restated Weigel. Weigel, it seems to me, is in line with Lumen Gentium 15 and 16 in which the Council Fathers recognized various degrees of communion with the Church rather than a clear in-or-out test.

    Later on in the book, Weigel addresses Catholic politicians in his chapter on the Church’s engagement in public policy, and although I’ve only skimmed that part, I think he would frown upon Mr. Biden presenting himself for Holy Communion.

  17. annonymouse says:

    One other thing about Weigel’s book – he holds no punches in his criticism of the episcopacy, particularly the bishops’ tendency toward fraternity while neglecting fraternal correction when needed. He writes at length about how unsuccessful, incompetent and even bad bishops are allowed to wreak havoc without fear of reprisal or removal. Weigel is prophetically calling for many profound reforms in the episcopacy as vital to the Church fulfilling its mission to “make disciples of all nations.”

  18. Richard Thomas says:

    I hopr the new pope is reding his book. For too long, these bishops have caused havoc in the church

  19. Ben Anderson says:

    I think he would frown upon Mr. Biden presenting himself for Holy Communion.

    I’m pretty sure you understand this, Mouse, and were just typing quickly, but just to be clear – this is not what’s in question. Pretty much everyone agrees that Biden should not present himself. The question is whether he should be denied if he does present himself. And this is what canon 915 says Church authority must do.

  20. annonymouse says:

    Yes, Ben, that is the issue. As I said, I haven’t read that chapter yet – I’ll post tomorrow.

  21. vincent. says:

    It looks like some are already asking Bishop Dolan about this on his blog.

  22. Hopefull says:

    A post was removed here due to inaccuracy. It was apparently a spoof which has fooled a number of people. Apologies to anyone who was misled.

  23. Ron says:

    Speaking of scandal – how about McQuaid allowing a gay couple to go to the Junior prom????

  24. Diane Harris says:

    I just posted this on Cardinal Dolan’s blog. It is “awaiting moderation.” Any side bets on whether it makes it into prime time or not?

    “Your Eminence,
    I am just truly scandalized and distressed at the reports in which you not only welcomed Joe Biden to the revered Cathedral of St. Patrick’s but also condoned his receiving Holy Communion. It strikes me not only as scandal, but as a great affront to our new Holy Father who has often reinforced that communion should not be given to such notorious public sinners. This follows on your giving Obama a pulpit at the Al Smith dinner, which follows on being totally ineffective in mobilizing Catholics to oppose and prevent gay so-called marriage in NYS. I am deeply concerned that as Cardinal of NY and as head of the USCCB that you are not giving a forceful example of righteousness or strenghening the flock, and that souls will be injured or lost as a result. I am sorry to say this, but it is what I believe. May I be proven wrong, if you take a strong stance and prevent the enactment of Cuomo’s RHA.”

  25. DonCope says:

    If the bishop’s job is the salvation of his flock I’m sorry to say that so far it is a dismal failure.

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