Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

It’s About Time… and Eternity….

June 7th, 2013, Promulgated by Hopefull

Finally…. a long overdue statement from Cardinal Dolan and the bishops of NYS.  Is it too little, too late?

Statement of the Bishops of New York State on abortion expansion bill

Published on June 4th, 2013

Following is a statement of Timothy Cardinal Dolan and the Bishops of New York State:

“We are profoundly distressed by the introduction of a bill in New York State today that would ease restrictions in state law on late-term abortion and runs the serious risk of broadly expanding abortion access at all stages of gestation. This legislation would add a broad and undefined “health” exception for late-term abortion and would repeal the portion of the penal law that governs abortion policy, opening the door for non-doctors to perform abortions and potentially decriminalizing even forced or coerced abortions. In addition, we find the conscience protection in the bill to be vague and insufficient, and we are concerned about the religious liberty of our health facilities. While the bill’s proponents say it will simply “codify” federal law, it is selective in its codification. Nowhere does it address the portions of federal laws that limit abortion, such as the ban on taxpayer funding, the ban on partial birth abortion or protections for unborn victims of violence.

As the pastors of more than 7.2 million Catholic New Yorkers, we fully oppose this measure, and urge all our faithful people to do the same, vigorously and unapologetically. We invite all women and men of good will to join in this effort and defeat this serious attempt to expand abortion availability in our state and to codify the most radical abortion proposals of any state in the nation.

We support the first nine points in the Governor’s agenda that enhance the true dignity of women.  We commit ourselves to examining those proposals and working with the legislature on any and all efforts that help guarantee real equity for all women and men.  Our position on these issues will be consistent with all the efforts of the Catholic Church throughout the world to enhance the dignity of women. The direct taking of the life of a child in the womb in no way enhances a woman’s dignity.

Instead of expanding abortion and making abortions even more prevalent, we would like to protect both the woman and the child in the womb. In New York, where one in every three pregnancies ends in abortion (and upwards of 6 in 10 in certain communities), it is clear that we as a state have lost sight of that child’s dignity. We pledge all our efforts to defeat this proposal.  We call on all pro-life New Yorkers to stand together with us and with all the leadership in Albany who share our conviction that we have no need for such a bill to become law.  We need instead to enhance and promote the life and dignity of all human beings from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.”

So, how long does it take these shepherds to go out to meet the wolf?

POPE LISTENS AS ARCHBISHOP DOLAN SPEAKS DURING MEETING WITH US BISHOPS FROM NEW YORK ON 'AD LIMINA' VISITSTo refresh, it was in November, 2011 that Pope Benedict told the NYS bishops in an ad limina visit to “speak up for truth.”   Just how long does it take to obey?  The National Catholic Register carried the original story:

“The Pope called upon them to “exercise the prophetic dimension of your episcopal ministry by speaking out, humbly yet insistently, in defense of moral truth, and offering a word of hope, capable of opening hearts and minds to the truth that sets us free.” 


23 Responses to “It’s About Time… and Eternity….”

  1. gaudium says:

    Deacon Claude Lester is again taking up the torch. He e-mailed Deacon Director Brasley a copy of Cardinal Dolan’s letter and a flyer for a bus trip to Albany to protest the proposed law. Deacon Brasley has forwarded the letter to all the deacons of the diocese.

  2. Ben Anderson says:

    And why do they have to say they support the first nine points? I don’t see how supporting injustice (yes, these “equality” bills are completely unjust) helps anything. I’ve seen repeatedly throughout my life the unfairness of such “fairness” laws and regulations.

  3. Ben Anderson says:

    It’s like our Church politicians are always over-compensating to appeal to those who hate her the most. “You think we hate women because only men can be priests, bishops, and popes? No, look – we support a women’s equality bill.” “You think we are conservative because we don’t follow the homosexual agenda? No, look we believe in big gov’t and taxing the free-market out of existence.”

    Maybe if they’d just stand up for the truth and quite trying to be politicians, people might actually respect them. Maybe if more of them would be like Bishop Paprocki…

  4. Ben Anderson says:

    “think we care too much about the bill of rights because we defend the first amendment? No, look – we’d love to do away with the second amendment.”

  5. DisturbedMary says:

    Both Dolan and Cuomo are for the birds. So what that we agree with nine of the ten points. We are the Catholic Church. For two thousand years we have held that people have dignity, value, and worth. Women and men, young and old, born and unborn. Our boss is the Son of God not the son of Mario. We don’t need Shelley Silver, Andrew Cuomo or any miserable Albany politician preaching their gender religion to us. And Dolan? he wades right into the shallow water with Cuomo. What an embarrassment and diminish net of our great Faith.

  6. Gretchen says:

    I’m afraid it is too little, too late. This seems to be the modus operandi of the archdiocese and bishops of NY. Window dressing. I don’t say this with cynicism, but as a realist. Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. We certainly have a past record of behavior that gives us no confidence in future behavior. It is up to each of us, I think, to uphold the Faith in our individual lives. The shepherds were ‘struck’ long ago and we cannot generally rely upon them to fight for either the Faith or the faithful. God’s call now seems to be upon those without place or power. He does, after all, use the weak things of the world to confound the strong. As Scripture states, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” I do believe that persecution is in the future. May Catholics everywhere be watchful and ready for the testing times.

  7. Richard Thomas says:

    I agree with you Gretchen.

    I have absolutely no confidence in spiritual leaders who disobey Canon law, who never preach the gospel concerning birth control, abortion, homosexuality, premarital sex and pornography.

    This reminds me of the cooperation between the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Communist authorities in Russia before COmmunism was overthrown.

    WE as remnants of the true faith must keep our faith, in spite of all the impediments.

  8. Richard Thomas says:

    Has anyone noticed how brave these leaders appear to be, while at the same time are silent during the homily on all these issues they claim to be so concerned with? They purpousely avoid teaching us laity. We, armed with such knowledge, would be a formisible grass roots organization that would allow real imput to many contraversial issues.

    It seems our leaders want everything but an informed laity. Even when they speak, they are shooting themselves and Holy Mother Church in the foot.

  9. Jim says:

    Diane, Nice video from Bishop Malone. I wish that ALL of our New York State Bishops had been MUCH more vocal about this issue at a MUCH earlier time! The eleventh hour is upon us…

  10. christian says:

    “Those nine items would assure women receive equal pay, stop sexual harassment in the workplace, make it easier for women to sue for sexual discrimination, prohibit employers from denying work or promotions to workers because they have children, stop housing discrimination, bar landlords from refusing to rent to women who get public housing assistance, strengthen order-of-protection laws, strengthen human trafficking laws and stop pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.” By James T. Mulder in regard to Cuomo’s 10 point Women’s Bill of Rights

    I think most Catholics, and other Christians,as well as people of other major faiths, do not have a problem with the 9 out of 10 points of Cuomo’s proposed bill. I really do not think there is anything wrong with the bishops stating strongly that they are against the abortion component of that bill but state they have no problem with the other 9 points. The other nine points are not in opposition to Catholic doctrine and support the Social Justice agenda of the Catholic Church.
    Although most of us may not find ourselves in some of the situations of the nine points of the bill, we should be empathetic to those who do. I in no way, condone sexual relations outside of marriage, but many women find themselves in situations where they are not married and depend on themselves solely for support. The situation can be further complicated if the women who are the sole breadwinner have children to support. Why should they receive less pay for doing the same exact job as a men, in a job which both men and women are able to do adequately? (any raise in pay should be determined solely on job performance and cost of living). Some women are technically still married, but their husbands have left them, in some cases, with no forwarding address. (I know of at least 2 cases like this. The husband could not even be found to be sued for divorce and for annulment proceedings to take place, much less be found to provide child support). The women have still had to support themselves and their children.
    In the Catholic Church, a divorce has to take place before annulment proceedings can be done. A woman married in the Catholic Church cannot pursue marriage with another man if she does not have an annulment for her first marriage. In the two cases which I know of personally, the first woman had to raise and support 3 children by herself. She slept on a couch so all her children would have their own room. She worked hard, full-time plus, to make house payments on a house she owned, and to support herself and her 3 children. She never pursued a relationship with another man. Her husband who deserted her, never contacted her, and til this day, she has no idea to his whereabouts. (A college professor I had, had a similar story regarding his mother, a devout Catholic. His father who he had never known, left his mother sometime after he was born – he was the youngest, and was never heard from again. His mother had to work hard all type of hours to support all of them. She never had a relationship with another man.
    He recounted the many sacrifices she made for him and his siblings).
    Approximately 5 years ago, there was a young Catholic woman at church who had been pursuing a divorce with her husband who took off and abandoned her shortly after their marriage. Although her lawyer had spent much time trying to track him to serve him, he couldn’t be found. As a single mother, she was left with a whopping bill from the lawyer despite the fruitless effort, hence, a fruitless effort at procuring an annulment. She was working many hours trying to support her little son, (a result of their short union), and to pay off the lawyer. Her mother was helping out with watching her son while she worked, but stated that situation was ending also, and she would additionally have to pay for daycare.
    These situations are more common than you think. There are quite a few cases that I know of besides the ones already mentioned. (Two female employees I was working with had their husbands take off on them without warning, never heard from again. In both cases, the husband used the excuse of going on an errand,in one case to the corner store, and were never heard from again.These women, technically married, had to support themselves and their children). There are a lot more Lady Madonnas than you think there are.

  11. christian says:

    I have encountered “Lady Madonnas” from the time I was young to present day. The message in thee situations is that there are men who have difficulty accepting responsibility – responsibility for their actions in marrying, procreating, and providing support.

    As i have said before, I think St. Joseph has seemed to go wayside in the American Catholic Church. Statues and Murals have been removed of him in some churches and an everyday mention of him seems to have disappeared. In the United States, The Feast of St. Joseph is not a Day of Obligation. Contrary to what some people think, St. Joseph is not just a saint for the Italian, St. Joseph is a saint for everyone. More mention should be made of St. Joseph, a humble, hard-working man and a pure,chaste husband of Mary and father of Jesus, who stayed by their side, supporting all of them and helping to raise Jesus, maybe he would be seen as a role model or men. Who knows, maybe less me, particularly Catholic men, would abandon their families.

  12. christian says:

    Apparently, there were a lot of typos in my post, or letters that didn’t come through. Correction:
    I have encountered “Lady Madonnas” from the time I was young to present day. The message in these situations is that there are men who have difficulty accepting responsibility for their actions in marrying, procreating, and providing support.

    As I have said before, I think St. Joseph has seemed to go wayside in the American Catholic Church. (Statues and Murals have been removed of him in some churches and and everyday mention of him seems to have disappeared. In the United States, The Feast of St. Joseph is not a Holy Day of Obligation). Contrary to what some people think, St. Joseph is not just a saint for the Italian, but is a saint for everyone. St. Joseph is an excellent role model for husbands and fathers. More mention should be made of St. Joseph as a humble, hard-working man, as the pure, chaste husband of Mary, and as the father of Jesus. He stayed by their side in the midst of trials and he supported all of them. He also helped to raise Jesus. Who knows, maybe less men, particularly Catholic men, would abandon their families. + JMJ

    Leave a Reply

  13. Richard Thomas says:

    Birth control accentuates the male’s tendency to be a wanderer. Males have a tendency to be with many women. It is the sacrament that compels a male to make public vows to honor and be faithful to a single woman forever.

    Birth control has jeopardized that commitment by making sex relatively safe, without having to deal with the consequences.

  14. Ben Anderson says:

    I think most Catholics, and other Christians,as well as people of other major faiths, do not have a problem with the 9 out of 10 points of Cuomo’s proposed bill.

    I’d say, sure, no one disagrees with the principles presented. The problem lies in how these principles get translated into gov’t policies. My comment above was focused on the equal pay line item. The way I’ve seen it played out is that companies are given quotas and forced to hire and promote “diverse” people over more qualified “non-diverse” people. I find that to be unjust. This is why libs speak in high minded language that avoids getting into the details. They stay at high levels and make charges like, “conservatives don’t like poor people and minorities, etc.”, but they refuse to address the conservatives actual position – eg that many policies that are supposed to help the poor actually do the opposite and enable the culture of the poor. I’m not going to argue that my political view is the best here, but I think the Church needs to acknowledge that there is legitimate debate. I read the NYS bishops comments (book) on the budget a few months ago and it was basically pipe dreams. “We think no one should ever have to suffer ever and that the gov’t should pay for everything”. There was no mention of where any of the money would come from or how it might affect the economy or anything like that. It was pretty much just, “we want it all and whoever thinks it can’t happen doesn’t love people enough”. If only there was as much concern for what really matters – the salvation of souls.

  15. christian says:

    I do not dispute your theory about male tendency to wander with birth control -but

    *The particular women who I am referring to were married legally, and in sacrament, to those men and were not practicing birth control. *Married life, especially Family Life, (Married life with children) and the responsibility that comes with it apparently was too much for these so called men.
    You would not expect that type of behavior from Catholic Christian men married in the Catholic Church. And whether its Catholic or another Christian denomination, (or for that matter, another Faith), these women who are dealing with the shock and grief of a married husband abandoning them, take care of the children they have conceived together (and of whom she bore), and work hard to support her children and herself.

    I, for one, hold these women in awe, who have managed to sacrifice so much in supporting their children and raising them in the faith as single mothers, (though officially married). I consider it a true testimony of motherhood.

  16. christian says:

    BTW – Does anyone know the Church’s position as to a Catholic man who abandons his wife and family, especially when making his whereabouts unknown and providing no support. Is there any declaration made regarding him?

  17. Hopefull says:

    Given the Cuomo administration’s ability to wield words that spin everything he does as good (Women’s equality? Safe act? HAH!) I have to be leery of those first 9 points. They SOUND good, but are they? And how do I find out?

    Cardinal Dolan and the Bishops say they “support” those 9 points. I therefore assume that they would be remiss in giving such approval were they not to have studied those other nine points and made an informed decision. Otherwise, to rollover on 9 points, uncontested, would smell of pandering to Cuomo. But is it?

    It is hard to tell how far the current laws go, what is genuinely needed, and what is grandstanding to embellish the opportunity to get abortion expanded. I am not going to claim to have studied the legalese to the degree to which the NYS bishops should have before giving their public endorsement to the flock. Rather, I am just going to use Cuomo’s own words in the Huffington Post on June 4th, to see if what he says makes sense for all 9 items, or if it doesn’t raise more concerns.

    Writing in the first person, Cuomo says (excerpted): “Over the years, however, New York has fallen behind in its role as a progressive leader on women’s rights. [is this about NY or about women?] The Women’s Equality Act, which I will introduce today, is designed to address gender inequality in our communities, and to restore New York as a leader in women’s rights.” (sounds like it is all about NY; I thought it was supposed to be about people!)

    Cuomo continues: “Fact: in New York, women earn 84 percent of what men earn, and over a lifetime will earn $500,000 less than men. In 2013 this is both inexcusable and absurd. The Women’s Equality Act strengthens the law to ensure that women receive the wages they are entitled to, as well as provides for increased damages if a woman is not paid equally.” [Shouldn’t everybody get what they are entitled to? same work, same pay? Aren’t these laws already in place? Just what % does this increase the fines? Is this creating more gov’t jobs to enforce?]

    Cuomo continues: “Fact: women with children are less likely to be recommended for hire and promoted. The Act prohibits employers from denying work or promotions for employees simply based on whether or not they have children, as well as clarifies the obligations that employers have in making reasonable accommodations for pregnant women.” [Aren’t these laws already in place? What is being added? If women take time off to have children — often an admirable ‘sacrifice’ — they may not have the same experience or time in grade. And some jobs have hours or rotations or travel which some people with children will not or can not do. This sounds like one size fits all and the gov’t is going to be sure it fits. Need to hire more people to enforce? New paperwork for employers? I hope women’s ordination isn’t going to sneak in here.]

    Cuomo continues: “And to make sure women are “made whole” if they are discriminated against, the Act provides attorneys’ fees to women who prevail in employment discrimination cases where the discrimination was based on sex.” [Sounds like a good way to clog the courts and reward every ambulance chaser. In most other areas a person who brings suit rarely gets attorneys fees when they win. And many of those cases are more serious. But Cuomo is an attorney, and the attorneys will love this one!]

    And Cuomo continues: “Fact: not all women [why is this about “women” and not about “people?” Why is it gender and not age, health and race-based as well?] in New York can file sexual harassment claims against their employers. Women file the vast majority of sexual harassment complaints, yet those women who work for employers with fewer than 4 employees cannot file complaints because those businesses, which account for 60 percent of employers in New York [but a MUCH smaller percent of harassment?], are exempt from the harassment law. [They are certainly not exempt from the civil law!] The Act adopts a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment, and bans sexual harassment in all workplaces. [Nobody should be harassed but why only for women? Will this backfire, with companies being better off just hiring men?]

    And Cuomo continues: “Fact: female-headed households in New York account for the vast majority of those on public assistance. However, under current law, a landlord can turn away a tenant if he does not approve of the applicant’s source of income. The Women’s Equality Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on lawful source of income, aiding women who receive public assistance in finding safe and decent housing for their families.” [This one is loaded with potential concern. Trouble is that for many landlords it is unattractive to deal with NYS under section 8, which makes major, minor and unreasonable demands on landlords – such as no security deposit, and inspects to a miniscule degree on insulation factors, paint, and notice periods, impeding valid removal of a troublesome or non-paying tenant. Is this law now going to require that landlords rent without, for example, a security deposit? Or be prevented from eviction? That would be pretty intrusive into landlord’s rights? Will ‘landladies’ be exempt? I think a landlord does need to protect himself/herself against the government’s unreasonable micro intrusions, which inevitably means more public housing staff to enforce, when other tenants, without the government’s hurdles, are amenable to renting from the same landlord. But we don’t know what this will mean, do we? Maybe Cardinal Dolan can tell us?]

    And Cuomo continues: “Fact: discrimination against victims of domestic violence is almost always discrimination against women. Of all victims of domestic violence, 85 percent are women, [so 15% are men? That is not insignificant! Seems like it should apply to both genders] and about 1 in 4 women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. [But the SAFE Act will impede them from arming themselves?] A major problem for victims of domestic violence is that under current state law, they have no protection from discrimination in housing. [What about the laws we already have?] The Women’s Equality Act fixes that. In addition, the Act strengthens the laws surrounding the issuance of orders of protection….” [Landlords have a legitimate interest in protecting their properties and their tenants from violence and damage and shouldn’t be required to take tenants who put their properties and other tenants at risk. But we can’t tell from the information given if landlord decisions are going to be overridden by NYS.]

    And Cuomo continues: “Fact: protections for women and girls who fall victim to human trafficking can and should be strengthened. [Boys are victims of human trafficking too; what about them?] The Act builds on the State’s already comprehensive laws [yes –‘already comprehensive laws’ — why do we need this one?] by increasing penalties for human trafficking to deter perpetrators, making prosecution and enforcement more effective, and providing an affirmative defense in prostitution prosecutions that a defendant’s participation was a result of having been a sex trafficking victim. [There goes all prosecution of prostitution…. a ready made alibi?] These amendments will solidify New York’s status as a leader [I read this as already being a leader!] among the states in protecting vulnerable individuals subject to exploitation”. The words ‘builds on’ and ‘increasing’ and ‘solidify’ don’t say much about “how much more is being proposed here? Nice words, but do they mean anything? What is the level of penalties shown (aka proven) to deter perpetrators and how does that compare to what is currently on the books? Is this change even meaningful? Does it double penalties or increase by 10%, e.g.]

    And Cuomo of course concludes with his expansion of abortion….. Nothing to be proud of here; so wrong that it needs no further comment. It’s not needed, not wanted, but is holding other elements of the bill hostage. If expansion of abortion had any political merit it should be able to stand on its own. The bishops ought to be pushing for a thumbs up/down on just the abortion piece. Why haven’t they? Could Cuomo know the rest is mostly fluff and can’t move forward on its own? Or does the majority oppose expanding abortion, so it won’t pass unless people think there is some need for the other 9? And why do the bishops not challenge on this basis? Where is their analysis of each of these points before publicly embracing a fallen-away Catholic politician’s proposals? Why are they supporting 9/10ths of the legislation, in effect making it easier to pass?

    I’ve tried to get more information on whether or not these points, beyond their political spin are even meaningful. I’m not saying there isn’t some adequate analysis available out there; just that I can’t find it — from Cuomo or the bishops of NYS who support the front 9 fluffballs. But won’t “Women’s Equality Act” sound nice in a 2016 Presidential Run?

  18. annonymouse says:

    Has it occurred to anyone to ask WHY the Bishops take a stand on every single public policy issue? Why bother saying a word about “9 out of the 10?” when one issue is paramount. To take a public position on every single issue dilutes whatever (limited) leverage the bishops and the Church have. And there can be no doubt – not every issue is equal to every other issue. Life issues are non-negotiable, but you would never know it.

    The unspoken truth is that the bishops, sadly, have very little sway over even their flocks, much less over the public in general. I doubt you can name one public policy issue where Catholics differ significantly in their opinion and voting than the public at large (of course that might not be the case in dioceses where the bishop is strong and teaches well). But this seems all the more reason to be very judicious in what matters they weigh in on, so as to not dilute the limited influence they have.

    Finally, even if the bishops will never say it, I will – Andrew Cuomo is proving himself a very evil man whose every move and decision should be judged with suspicion.

  19. christian says:

    Ben-I agree with you about the current quoto status regarding diversity – I have seen it at work and it usually results in some people who are not equally qualified for a position or particular job and they have been pushed ahead of people who have been more qualified. I have seen this in regard to education also. Many years ago it was the opposite in a high school I attended and graduated – everyone knew about it and the teachers were aware; some teachers (particulary female) spoke out about it in protest – female students with higher results, (even he highest score), on the Regents Scholarship Exam were passed over in favor of male students with lower (some extremely lower) scores in giving out Regents scholarships. (Scholarships were given out by the school and inquiring students and their benefactor teachers/advisors were told it wasn’t based solely on score. There were few students out of hundreds who were of a minority. Basically, students who had parents who were who’s who in that town made out extremely well,especially if they were male, even if the male student scored low ). The thought was that it was more important for males to be educated because they would be supporting a family, and education was wasted on females because they would be settling down and having children. Scholarships and job positions should be granted solely on an individual’s aptitude, ability, and merit.
    With that said, at many jobs through the years, particularly years ago, if a man and women were employed at the same job doing the same duties,a man was hired at a higher rate of pay than a woman because employers would say “men expect a higher rate of pay.” Some employers would additionally use the excuse that a man had to support a family. What about the women who have to support a family?
    I know most of you reading this blog cannot imagine hardship befalling you where the woman is the sole support of a family. A next door neighbor who was a trucker was injured and couldn’t work so his wife was the sole support of their family (including children). One woman at church was the sole support for her brood of children and herself when her husband (who apparently had problems) had a run-in with police at his home when he tried to shoot his family. He was sent away for a very long time. There are women who are widowed (women who might as well be widowed after being abandoned by their husbands), who have to support their children and themselves. If they have honestly come by the same job as a man in the same position, she should not be receiving lower pay just because she is a woman.
    With all that being said – I detest the fact that Cuomo thought he would slip the abortion clause in there, as an all or nothing deal, knowing full well the support he would get on the other issues, so it would probably pass through. There are other party people who agree and highly support his tactics. I AM AGAINST THAT TACTIC.

  20. Ben Anderson says:

    Hopefull, wow – great analysis!

    Christian, thank you for sharing that. Certainly the situations you describe are unjust. My question, then, would be – how are the current laws lacking to help out such a woman? And how exactly does Cuomo’s bill fix with what is allegedly lacking? (consider me a Cuomo skeptic – I don’t believe it until it is clearly demonstrated to me)

  21. flowerchild says:

    If Hopefull is correct and many components of the proposed legislation are already part of NYS law, why then aren’t they being enforced? And if / when this new legislation passes, what guarantee is there that these new laws would be enforced any more stringently than the old ones?
    I agree with whoever wrote that passage of this legislation will look really good in a 2016 run for the Presidency!

  22. Richard Thomas says:

    I agree with Ben, Christi and Mouse. Bishops have become the hacks and luckiest of theDemocratic party on social issues , causing many Catholics to turn a deft ear. Unfortunately, bishops have spoken far too much on these issues and have spoken and taught very little on spiritual issues. Where is aSt Ambrose or at Alphonsous Ligouri when we need them.

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