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Posts Tagged ‘Archbishop Dolan’

Today Archbishop Dolan joined an interfaith, interracial group of New Yorkers and the Chiaroscuro Foundation to decry the recently released NY City Department of Vital Statistics data that show 41% of all pregnancies in New York City in 2009 ended in abortion. For blacks, that number is 60%.

I was fortunate enough to have been invited and to be present at this historic New York event, held at the Penn Club of New York. I sat ten feet away from my Archbishop as he uttered the following scalding words:

“This is the first time in my happy 21 months as a New Yorker that I am embarrassed to be one. This New York community, which prides itself on its gritty sensitivity to those in need, is tragically letting down the tiniest most fragile and vulnerable, the little baby in the womb. We’ve got to do more than shiver over these chilling statistics. I invite all to come together to make abortion rare.”

His claim of embarrassment stunned all who heard it. After less than two years, this midwesterner whom we welcomed with open arms is embarrassed to be one of us.

I know how he feels. I’m a native New Yorker, and I feel deep shame over these numbers.

We New Yorkers pride ourselves on our sophistication and cutting-edge progressiveness, on our cultural diversity and unparalleled density of colleges, universities, museums, and other cultural meccas. We love being the giants that we believe ourselves to be in so many areas.

It’s the pride that goeth before the fall.

These abortion statistics have brought us low, and revealed the dark residue of racism that lurks within. The journalists present were not their smarmy New York selves. They didn’t know how to respond. They were disquieted. Every heart in the room hearing of these data for the first time must have sounded like so many Germans after World War II, when they swore that they had no idea of the mass murder happening right under their noses.

My Archbishop is embarrassed, but I am ashamed.

I am ashamed that I didn’t get involved sooner, that I often lacked the courage to speak out, that I allowed myself to be ridiculed into embarrassed silence when I did.

I am ashamed that I bought into the lie that pro-life candidates only matter at the national level, and that I have in the past voted for several pro-choice candidates locally.

I am ashamed that I didn’t always speak up in defense of my bishops when they were ridiculed for speaking up in defense of life.

I am ashamed that I didn’t take seriously the talk of black genocide years and years ago when I first heard it, thinking it to be inflammatory rabble-rousing. But the Vital Statistics tell the story of 79% of all abortions happening to black and Hispanic babies, with Planned Parenthood running 78% of their “clinics” in inner-city neighborhoods.

Archbishop Dolan has every right to feel embarrassed, but every native New Yorker who has turned a blind eye, and that includes me, ought to feel the white-hot heat of shame at 4.3 million abortions in 40 years, 3.3 million of them among blacks and Hispanics.

What good are all of those Universities, museums, and concert halls when the streets run with the blood of innocents on a scale so vast that it beggars the imagination? If we, the most educated, the professors, will not raise our voices in alarm and disgust at these appalling numbers, then what does our scholarship avail civilization?

Is civilization only to be the province of a racial elite?

I didn’t sign on for that when I began graduate school, which brings me to the deepest shame of all.

My discipline, Molecular Biology, is leading the technological innovations advancing the Culture of Death: In Vitro Fertilization, genetic screening leading to abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and cloning. Most in my field despise the pro-life movement.

If any are inclined to upbraid Archbishop Dolan for his embarrassment at being a New Yorker, they had better rank up there with Mother Theresa of Calcutta, otherwise, they had best button their lips and take a long, hard look in the mirror.

In Genesis 4:10, after Cain slays his brother Abel we read:

“The LORD said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.’ “

What of the blood of 4.3 million in our city?

I’m surprised we can hear anything else at all.

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This photoshopped picture, swiped from a hate-filled site, is actually quite the catechetical tool in light of the recent dust-up on the Pope’s comments about condoms.

New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan said something rarely uttered in public during an interview published on November 22 in the New York Times. From the article, which can be read here:

“The Pope didn’t say, ‘Oh good, you should use a condom,’ ” Archbishop Dolan said, referring to a controversial comment the pope made in a book that is being released worldwide on Tuesday.

In the book, the pope said that a male prostitute who used a condom to prevent the spread of AIDS might be taking a first step toward moral responsibility. Some Catholic analysts claimed that the pope was floating a possible exception in the church’s ban on birth control. But Archbishop Dolan said the church could not simply change its doctrine.

“You get the impression that the Holy See or the pope is like Congress and every once in a while says, ‘Oh, let’s change this law,’ ” he said. “We can’t.”

Those last two words hang in the air, pregnant in their implication.

“We Can’t”.

In truth, bishops are bound, not free, as Paul alluded to in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4:1-6.

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

A prisoner for the Lord. ONE Lord. ONE Faith. ONE Baptism.

The moral law comes from God, not man. That is why the Pope speaks infallibly in matters of Faith and Morals, because as the Apostle Paul tells us, there is but ONE Faith. The Pope speaks infallibly when he speaks as the voice of the Apostolic Successors (the Bishops) on a topic dealing with faith and morals. Their job is to hand on the faith that was revealed to them. Consider some of the admonitions of the Apostle Paul to one of the first of the Apostolic Successors, the young Bishop Timothy:

2 Timothy 1:13-14

” 13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

1 Timothy 1:3-4

” 3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith.”

1 Timothy 4:11-16

“11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

1 Timothy 6:20-21

” 20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.”

2 Timothy 1:6-7

“6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.”

2 Timothy 4:1-5

” 1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

They are bound, not free.

“We Can’t.” are two of the most truthful, humble, and powerful words ever spoken by a Bishop. Prisoners for the Lord.

So long as they remain bound, we are authentically free.

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