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Cardinal Dolan Wants To Make Gays Welcome, Won’t Bend On Marriage

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rome, February 15, 2012, with his dream Vespa

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rome, February 15, 2012, with his dream Vespa

New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan has decided to change his tune a bit about lesbians and gays. While Cardinal Dolan claims that the Church is not “anti-anybody”, he seems incapable of understanding that LGBT people will not be content with second-class citizenship anywhere in the world. Still, he did notice that the Church made lesbians and gays feel unwelcome.

Cardinal Dolan talked to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about this issue, and was asked about how he would respond to a possible lesbian or gay couple seeking to raise their family within the Church and be active within it. Cardinal Dolan responded by saying “God loves you and you were made in God’s image and likeness and we want your happiness.”

Still, he continued by saying “We gotta do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people. And I admit, we haven’t been too good at that. We try our darndest to make sure we’re not anti-anybody.”

Still, Dolan could not articulate how to make lesbians and gays feel welcome saying “I don’t know. We’re still trying. We’re trying our best to do it. We gotta listen to people. Jesus died on the cross for them as much as He did for me.”

Dolan also stated that “You got a point, sometimes we’re not as successful or as effective as we can be in translating that warm embrace into also teaching what God has told us about the way He wants us to live.”

However, he showed that he did not get it when he pointed out that the Church would not change its view that marriage is “for a man and woman…where children can come about naturally.”

Here is the video:

Dolan may be finding out that there is resistance to his position, and especially to his insistence on interfering in and with American politics. The Catholic Church remained rather quiet during the recent oral arguments into same-sex marriage at the United States Supreme Court.

It seems that Cardinal Dolan is trying to soften his image now given the fact that Pope Francis I has shown himself to be far less ardent regarding his opposition to same-sex marriage and LGBT rights. In fact, Pope Francis has not publically taken a position regarding same-sex marriage since the battle over it in Argentina.

In fact, it was recently revealed that Pope Francis attempted to push civil unions in Argentina ahead of the marriage equality vote.

Unfortunately, until the Catholic Church bends on marriage equality, it is doubtful that LGBT people will feel welcome no matter how honeyed the words are.



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9 Responses to Cardinal Dolan Wants To Make Gays Welcome, Won’t Bend On Marriage

  1. PiggaPie

    April 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you. As it is, nobody is even sure St. Brigid even existed, and if she did, the mythos of the Celtic goddess of the same name got wrapped into her story, so the idea of a Catholic saint who was a practice lesbian came about. There would be no need for the Church to suppress such a story. If the woman was a practicing lesbian, she simply would not have been made a saint in the Church, just as a woman or a man living with their boyfriend or girlfriend would never be made a saint. Nobody living in unrepentant sin would ever be made a Catholic Saint. That doesn’t mean they would definitely be in hell, but their fate would be at the mercy of God. They could never be declared a saint, because to be declared a saint, the Church is stating unequivocally that said person is in heaven and is responsible for miracles on Earth. It takes an extremely holy and devout person…certainly not someone actively engaging in fornication at the time of their death.

    Anyway, thanks for responding and I wish you all the best! It has been interesting :). Oh, and if that is actually your real name, it’s awesome.

  2. PiggaPie

    April 1, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Well, I don’t think the Catholic Church is going anywhere with over a billion followers, and I happen to be a scholar as well. I still didn’t catch any of your sources for the Church allowing gay marriage or for St. Bridgid being a lesbian.

    Anyway, as I said, every human being has inherent dignity and is deserving of love and respect, no matter who they are. Nobody should ever be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, but the laws of the Church are not discrimination or bigotry. It’s not that the Church won’t “allow” gay marriage or that they think gays are horrible people undeserving of happiness. It’s that the Church believes marriage to have been instituted by God, according to His criteria, and that gay marriage simply does not, cannot exist, just like a marriage between me and my mother cannot exist. Even if some judge or pastor pronounced us wife and wife, it would not be a valid marriage because the conditions for a valid marriage would not be met. There is no hate or bigotry here and nobody wants anyone else to be miserable or to feel unloved. We are not Westboro Baptist Church. We have love for all of our brothers and sisters just as Jesus did.

    Bless you and have a lovely day and a beautiful life :)

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      April 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Peter Berrisford Ellis- “Celtic Women”, his source was “The Life of St. Brigit”.

      Sorry, spent my life researching the Celts. And the Catholic Church is dimming in Europe and the Americas, but not just because of same-sex marriage. There’s a lot of reasons why it is waning. I have heard the “but we’re growing” speech before, unfortunately, it does not add up when I look out the window on a typical Sunday and see a half empty parking lot at the Catholic Church.

      However, we shall never agree, so have a blessed life, and may wisdom find you where ever you tread.

  3. PiggaPie

    April 1, 2013 at 10:56 am

    First of all, I know my Church history, thank you. I repeat that the Church has never changed a dogma. This is because all dogma is infallible, considered to be revealed to the Church by the Holy Spirit. Papal infallibility has ALWAYS been a truth, the dogma was merely formalized recently. Not ALL dogmas are formalized. In fact, most aren’t. For example, the teaching on Mary’s virginity was recently formalized as being dogmatic, but Mary has always been a virgin and this teaching will never change.

    Papal infallibility only extends to formal teachings to the entire Church on faith and morals. No Pope in 2000 years has ever taught an error on faith or morals to the entire Church. Not once. Even the most vile and immoral Popes in our history have never taught a doctrinal error to the body of the faithful.

    The prohibition of cousinly incest is not dogmatic, it is a discipline. Disciplines can change with our understanding of things. As our understanding of genetics grows, our understanding of the ramifications of incest becomes clearer. Now direct parent-child incest has always been forbidden, and is dogmatic as it receives lengthy treatment in the Bible (see the story of Lot where his daughters get him wasted and then have sex with him).

    The teaching on married clergy is also a discipline. It is not dogmatic and can change. The teaching on FEMALE clergy is dogmatic and will never change. The teaching on homosexuality is dogmatic and will never change. Hoping that it will is foolish. There is no point.

    As for some of your more outlandish claims about the Church permitting same-sex marriage, those are simply blatantly false. This has NEVER been permitted in the history of the Church and I would like to see sources for this misinformation.

    I don’t know about the Celts or other tribes and cultures, but according to the Church, as derived from the Bible, the first marriage was between a man and a woman, created by God, for the purpose of companionship AND procreation. Jesus reiterates this point in Matthew 19: 4-12 when He defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and being indissoluble. You cannot read the Bible and not get this. Anyone who claims to be a Christian has to accept this teaching. It can’t be glossed over or “re-imagined”.

    Your idea that a woman cannot marry her mother because of a power-balance issue is also unfounded. There is a power balance issue in 90% of marriages. This is not enough to invalidate a true marriage. Throughout ALL of history, the power balance between men and women has been extremely skewed, and yet they were able to marry. Can an employee not legally marry his/her boss? Talk about power issues. If you restrict marriages to situations where there is a perfect balance of psychological/emotional/monetary/physical/social power, then you abolish marriage altogether. One person having more or less power over the other does not invalidate a marriage. A lack of consent by one or both parties certainly does however.

    As far as your argument that incest could result in genetic abnormalities-WHAT? So people who might have genetically inferior children (say, both parents are carriers of a genetic disease and have a good chance of passing that along) cannot marry??? You know that you are promoting eugenics right? Hitler was also a proponent. No, I’m sorry, but that’s not the reason it is immoral and illegal to marry your mother or father. You can’t forbid people to marry because they might pass along diseases.
    The fact is, there is a Natural Law which doesn’t allow parents to marry children. THAT is why it is not possible. That same Natural Law doesn’t allow for same-sex marriage. It can never be a true marriage, no matter how the meaning is twisted.

    Basically, there are things that violate the purpose of a true marriage. These include same-sex unions, the inability of one or both parties to consummate the marriage. It’s not that the Church is being discriminatory or bigoted. It’s that they refuse to call an apple an orange. In the Church, a man without a penis or who cannot function sexually at all can also not be married, because a huge part of marriage is being able to have sex with your spouse. If you can’t do that, you can’t get married. If you don’t have sexually complementary body parts, likewise, you cannot marry. It’s not malicious. It’s a belief in the true meaning of marriage, and the true meaning of marriage is FAR greater than simply falling in love and wanting to be together forever.

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      April 1, 2013 at 11:47 am

      I happen to be a scholar. I am very deeply aware of stuff that the Catholic Church is wont to ignore or bury.

      The thing is, if it is dogma and unchangeable, at that point, it is a matter of Freedom of and from Religion. That means that you can believe whatever you want, but me and my allies will not step foot in your Church forever more and it will slowly die. Keep your beliefs out of my secular life and our secular laws, and you can believe whatever you want.

      Have a nice day.

  4. PiggaPie

    April 1, 2013 at 8:39 am

    It is presumptuous to say something like “until the Catholic Church be DS on marriage equality”. The Catholic Church will never “bend” on this issue because the Catholic definition of marriage is biblically based (both in the Old Testament and Jesus defines marriage as being between a man and a woman in the New Testament) and is considered to be a matter of divine revelation. This is a matter of dogma, and a dogma in the Catholic Church can never change. In over 2000 yards, NOT ONE dogma has ever changed in the Catholic Church. If the Church changed this dogma, it would invalidate 2000 years of tradition and authority. Not going to happen.

    This is not an issue of rights or of equality. Gays should absolutely have the same rights and priveledge a that are afforded to everyone else. 100%. The Catholic Church believes in the dignity of each and every human being and does not dispute that. This is an issue of the REDEFINITION of marriage. Many gay people aren’t interested in “equality”, what they are interested in is being told that their relationships are exactly the same as the marriage between a man and a woman, two biologically different and sexually complementary individuals. They are asking the Church and the government to call and orange an apple. They are not the same thing. Marriage has a specific definition. What makes a marriage a marriage is not simply 2 people who are in love wanting to be together forever. That is a part of what constitutes marriage, but not all of it by any means. If that were the case, then ANY 2 people who are in love should be able to get married.

    I am a woman. If my mother and I fell in love and wanted to get married, is that ok? Should the state and the Church recognize this as a marriage? Why not? We are in love. We want to be together forever. We aren’t hurting anybody. We can’t marry each other because it is simply not possible. Because marriage isn’t just about love. It’s about sex. Specifically, sex between a man and a woman. Did you know that the Catholic Church will not marry 2 people unless they are able to consummate their relationship? If it is impossible for a man and a woman to be together sexually (if the man is paralyzed, or doesn’t have a penis for example) they cannot be married in the Church. This is not discriminatory or some kind of phobia against paralyzed people or an attempt to make these people unequal in some way. The fact is that marriage has a very specific definition and requirements and two people of the same sex, two people who cannot consummate their relationship, or two people who are very closely related (like a father and a daughter, or a mother and a daughter) simply CANNOT and DO NOT fulfill those requirements. It’s about the fundamental definition of marriage, not discrimination.

    Every person on this planet deserves equal rights and to be treated with dignity and respect as human beings. But marriage is not a right, it is a state, and one with a very specific and narrow definition.

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      April 1, 2013 at 9:12 am

      My ancestry is Scots, Gaulish, Galician and Ottawa. Guess what, those cultures- the Celts and the Ottawa- practiced same-sex marriage without issue or hesitation. When Christianity came in and forced them to accept Greco-Roman style marriages, that was a redefinition of marriage to their cultures.

      Marriage is not and has never been universally between a man and a woman. In the early days of the Christian Faith, marriage between people of the same sex were common. Why? Because it was common in the areas not conquered by the Romans and was even brought into the Roman Empire by the early Catholics and Christians. It was not until AD 500 when the effort to consolidate Christianity under the Catholic banner took hold that marriage was hinged on 1) procreation, and 2) man and woman.

      In fact, the idea of one-man-one-woman marriage is not found within the Old Testament. You see, the ancient Hebrews did not practice monogamy- they were a polygamous society. They had one-man-many-women marriages, and they were not alone. Polygamous marriages are still common place among a number of modern day cultures. It was not until the Romans conquered Israel that the Hebrew people were forced to accept monogamous opposite-sex marriages. The Romans got that from the Greeks, incidentally, where marriage was between one man and one woman- and they were the oddity in Europe.

      You see, according to Greek Records, the Celts practiced same-sex marriages. This was noted in that they noticed several single-sex families (including children, btw). What is more, those single sex families included a number that were multipartner. This interpretation of Celtic family life was reinforced by the Senchus Mor, the laws of the Celts. Marriage had no gender under Celtic law. The Celts only noted gender when dealing with what duties a man or a woman had to do in order to equalize the power within the household, but it was not until the Roman Catholic Church arrived that the Celts of Ireland were forced to stop having same-sex marriage. In fact, one of the most famous saints of Ireland not only was a lesbian, but was married within the Church and held high Church office.

      St. Brigid of Kildare hated the idea of marrying a man so much that she plucked out her own right eye so as to make herself less attractive to men. She joined the religious order at Kildare where she met many men and women, but fell in love with a woman named Darlughdacha. According to the original biography of her life (which was scrubbed by the Roman Catholic priests when they arrived with the British), the two married and lived together until St. Brigit’s death where upon Darlughdacha took over as Abbot of Kildare, a position held by her wife for the bulk of her life.

      The Ottawa practiced same-sex marriage, incidentally, but not same-gender marriage. Like many Native American tribes, the Ottawa had third and fourth gender individuals who were given special status within their culture. Those people whom we, today, would think of as transgender or transsexual, often married members of the same sex (since sex reassignment surgery was not available) and even raised the orphans of their tribe as their children.

      And before you claim that the dogma of the Church can never change think on this- Papal Infallibility is only about 140 years old. The Catholic Church has changed its dogma many, many times. The problem is, you do not know your own faith’s history. Before you speak again, I would recommend learning your faith’s history and the history of various cultures across the globe because, honestly, this ignorance of history is just too much to bear at times.

      Oh, and the ‘incest’ example does not work for several reasons. First of all, there is the power dynamic. It has been noted several times that parent-child incest, even when entered into as adults, can never be exactly consensual given the nature of the power dynamic between parent and child. This renders your example absurd. Secondly, in, say, a brother-sister incestuous relationship fails on not only the power dynamic set up, but on the genetics set up. You see, a child of a brother-sister incestuous couple is likely to suffer from numerous genetic defects.

      Finally, the Catholic Church has changed its dogma regarding incest quite a lot in the last hundred years or so. You see, the Church use to allow waivers to allow very close cousins to marry (first degree- these people shared grandparents). These consanguineous marriages ultimately resulted in some pretty severe abominations like Carlos II of Spain. His genetics were probably even more homogenized than the average sibling-incest child and “[Queen] Joanna [The Mad] was two of Charles’ 16 great-great-great-grandmothers, six of his 32 great-great-great-great-grandmothers, and six of his 64 great-great-great-great-great-grandmothers.”

      My ancestors are French Canadians. I actually have in my ancestry uncle-niece incestuous marriages that were allowed by the Church.

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