The decision by the organizers of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade to allow a group of gays from NBC to march openly under their own banner, “OUT@NBCUniversal,” was nothing short of a betrayal of all that was best in the Ancient Order of Hibernians, who have resisted this for more than two decades. That New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan welcomed the move, saying the organizers have his, “confidence and support,” is a scandal of epic proportion.
Lest any read these words and interpret them as unwelcoming of LGBT persons in the Church, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a letter to the world’s bishops in 1986 instructing them on the pastoral care of homosexual persons. Read it here.
Those of us who are horrified at the specter of New York’s Archbishop leading the parade as Grand Marshal, leading a banner announcing a contingent of out and proud gays past our beloved Cathedral (named for St. Patrick), will undoubtedly be called haters. As with all evil, listen to the epithets hurled at the faithful and then you have the identity of those doing the hurling.
Catholics who love God, love His Church, love His order of creation are called haters for not supporting those whose lifestyle spits in the face of all that is holy. Is it really hateful to proclaim that children need both a mother and a father living under the same roof, and that this is part of God’s wise design?
Is it hateful to observe that mothers and fathers bring very different gifts and skill sets to the table, and that children need both?
Is it really hateful to suggest that God created a complementarity between the sexes and that humans are completed in their formation within a milieu that nurtures this dynamic complementarity?
Is it really hateful to suggest that the needs of children are the starting point of all consideration and not the needs or predilections of the adults?
If one is a supporter of the gay agenda, then the answer to all of the above is a resounding YES!
But who are the real haters? What do we say of those who say that a mother is an optional accessory in the life of a child, that motherhood itself is entirely unnecessary?
What do we say of those who say that a father is an optional accessory in the life of a child, that fatherhood itself is entirely unnecessary?
What do we say of those who rent women’s bodies as nothing more than incubators (and this includes many heterosexuals), who reduce women to the level of livestock: broodmares and bitches, all because of their own sterility?
What do we say of those who patronize an industry where women are artificially inseminated like so many cattle?
Who is at war with whom here?
What do we say of those people?
Here is what we DON’T say: We don’t cast them out of the Church. We don’t suppose that our sinfulness is more pleasing and acceptable to God than theirs. We don’t arrogantly assume that we will be heading to Paradise and that they will not.
We say to those people: Welcome brother. Welcome sister.
We accept them as individuals, but not as a militant class with an agenda that flies in the face of the Magisterium. No out and proud banners and, in fact, this is how the Ancient Order of Hibernians has dealt with this for 22 years. All are welcome to march, but not under a gay pride banner. They have their own parade for that. And what a parade it is. Filled with naked men in nothing but thongs. Until the parade route was shortened, the Gay Pride parade marched past St. Patrick’s Cathedral where men mooned the cathedral, gave it the finger, and chanted “Shame! Shame! Shame!” at it, and the faithful, by extension.
How the Cardinal can see this as an occasion of unity beggars the imagination. He has alienated his most faithful in exchange for… what?
If the openly gay group were the Courage ministry who struggle to lead chaste lives in accordance with God’s plan as articulated by the Magisterium, that’s a win-win. But that is not what happened here. He has alienated his most faithful by not standing against the AOH members of the committee and their change in direction to welcome the rebellion itself, to LEAD them along Fifth Avenue. Does he suppose that having paraded under their own banner they will abandon their lifestyle and flock to Courage, flock to confession?
This decision comes within the context of not waging an aggressive campaign against gay marriage in New York State, not speaking out against the move to admit openly gay scouts in Boy Scouting, welcoming the most anti-Catholic, anti-life president in history to the Al Smith Dinner, his enthusiastic comments about Michael Sam; not crossing swords with Governor Cuomo when he attempted to legalize abortion in New York for all 9 months, reduce penalties for botched abortions, etc.
Cardinal Dolan could take a page from Cardinal O’Connor. O’Connor didn’t budge an inch against the gates of hell that were turned loose on him by the gay community. He stood them down with the fortitude of a lion. At the same time he volunteered weekly at an AIDS hospice he created and insisted on being called, “Father John,” while dressed simply as a parish priest. He cleaned bedpans and wiped bottoms.
Humility and Fortitude in seamless union.
To be certain, the parade was losing the major corporate sponsorships that make the parade possible. Equally certain is that Cardinal Dolan could have led a boycott against those companies who dared to profane the parade in honor of his diocese’s patron saint. He could have rallied his brother bishops in this and sought the aid of wealthy Catholics to make up the shortfall until these businesses came around. He could have boldly proclaimed the instruction from the CDF linked above. He could have shown disgust and indignation at the allegation that any who are faithful to God’s wise design are haters. He could have stood for the dignity of women and condemned homosexual marriage and the use of women by gay men as broodmares. He could have stood for the dignity of lesbians and condemned artificial insemination as beneath their dignity.
But he didn’t.
There are some Catholic writers and commenters who criticize the actions of the bishops at every turn. That has seldom happened here. But there seems to be a blind spot when it comes to the gay agenda here in New York. It is dangerously seductive to think that one’s adversaries applauding us is somehow a triumph for unity.
It was never what Jesus envisioned for us when He reminded the Apostles that if they find the world hates them, to remember that it hated Him first.
It was never what Jesus envisioned for us when He said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you.”
It was never what Jesus envisioned for us when He said not to worry about what we will say when put on trial, that the Holy Spirit will give us the words.
It was never what Jesus envisioned for us when He reminded us that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Jesus did all He could to instruct us that there would be great strife and divisions, all in His name. He never, EVER said that there would be unity, though He prayed that all would be one as He and the Father are one. But that oneness does not come at the expense of the truth, otherwise the Cardinal’s pulpit becomes as hollow as the parade that the AOH committee members just defiled.
Beginning tomorrow night, September 6 at 8 PM , Coming Home will have the Novena for Priests for the intentions of Cardinal Dolan. He needs the prayers, and I need the practice. Let’s all join in.
Update: A draft copy was inadvertently published a few moments ago identifying the AOH as having made the recent decision to allow gays in the parade. This has been corrected to show that it is AOH members on the parade committee. The AOH stepped back from direct involvement a few years ago.