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Weapons And Loose Canons

February 2, 2019 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

When the New York legislature passed one of the most extreme and vicious abortion laws in the world, the crowd in the chamber stood up and cheered. After Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill, he ordered the spire of Manhattan’s “Freedom Tower” to be lit up in pink.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, New York archbishop, was livid. He made the rounds with media appearances, condemning the governor and calling the law “ghoulish, grisly, gruesome.” Not surprisingly, he was met more than once with a question: Should Cuomo be excommunicated?
In different settings he had several observations: “Excommunication should not be used as a weapon. Too often, I fear, those who call for someone’s excommunication do so out of anger or frustration” (CNN); he gets “wheelbarrows of letters” every day asking for Cuomo to be excommunicated — but he “didn’t want to make the governor a martyr” (Fox); Cuomo “insults and caricatures the church” by claiming that he sides with Pope Francis against U.S. bishops on clerical abuse and cover-ups (NY Post).
In an op-ed entitled “Why are Cuomo, Democrats Alienating Catholics,” the cardinal digs into the past to slam Cuomo as an anti-Catholic bigot. “As an American historian,” he writes, “I am very aware of our state’s past record of scorn and sneers at Catholics. It used to be called ‘know-nothings.’ Now it’s touted as ‘progressivism.’ Genuine progressives work to pass a DREAM act, a voters’ rights act, a prison reform act, and we pastors of the church pitch in to support them.” he candidly admits.
So in 2019, Dolan accuses Gov. Andrew Cuomo of being a Know-Nothing, even though he’s Catholic. Oh, by the way, he’s Catholic because he hasn’t been excommunicated. But Dolan vigorously attacks him for his total embrace of abortion until the moment before birth. Or perhaps at the moment of birth. Curiously, the cardinal admits that the USCCB generally agrees with Cuomo and the Democrats on other features of their political agenda.

The Cardinal Plays
His Trump Card

Cardinal Dolan addressed one such agenda item in 2015, when he wrote an op-ed blasting GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. Here the “American historian” debuts what he calls his “Trump Card,” comparing Trump’s “nativism” to that of the Know-Nothings of 150 years ago, to the Ku Klux Klan of a hundred years ago, and to more recent anti-Catholic bigots.
“These nativists believed the immigrant to be dangerous, and that America was better off without them,” he wrote. “All these poor degenerates did, according to the nativists, was to dilute the clean, virtuous, upright citizenry of God-fearing true Americans.” The cardinal then implies that Trump is infected by that virulent strain
Curious. Somehow, Cardinal Dolan has portrayed Gov. Cuomo and President Trump as partners in bigotry and members of the Ku Klux Klan.
After this disgraceful outburst appeared, Fr. Mark Pilon, the revered and now late seminary professor and theologian, demanded that Cardinal Dolan apologize for this slander. (The Wanderer can find no record of any such apology from Cardinal Dolan, so we asked his spokesman; we have received no reply.)
Fr. Pilon elaborated:
“Since the Cardinal has brought the subject up, however, there are in fact candidates who have some of the marks of the old Nativist anti-Catholics. They remind you of John Jay, Supreme Court Chief Justice and a forerunner of Nativism, who wanted Catholics in New York to lose their religious liberty unless ‘they renounce and believe to be false and wicked, the dangerous and damnable doctrine, that the pope, or any other earthly authority, have power to absolve men from sins, described in, and prohibited by the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ; and particularly, that no pope, priest or foreign authority on earth, hath power to absolve them from the obligation of this oath’.”
Of course, such candidates — the cardinal’s fellow “progressives,” by the way — today condemn members of the Knights of Columbus as “alt-right” and, following John Jay, insist that they are unfit for public office.
However, they all belong to that same party whose political agenda — apart from abortion, of course — is by and large endorsed by Cardinal Dolan and the USCCB. Moreover, they drive the financial engine that supplies the bishops and their NGO’s with billions of dollars of taxpayer funding.
Meanwhile, KKK-member Donald Trump has become the most pro-life president since Ronald, Reagan, expanding America’s pro-life policies even further than Reagan did.
No wonder our bishops are confused.

On Making The Tough Call

A few other prelates have weighed in on the controversy. Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence observes: “There are Cuomo-like pseudo-Catholic politicians in just about every state. The Church lost her ability/will to discipline them a long time ago. [It’s] very hard to recapture that discipline now.”
Bishop Richard Stika disagreed, tweeting, “Someone asked me today if I would issue an excommunication of a Catholic Governor under my jurisdiction if the Governor did the same as in New York. I think I might do it for any Catholic legislator under my jurisdiction who voted for the bill as well as the Governor. Enough is enough.
“Excommunication is to be not a punishment,” he continued, “but to bring the person back into the Church. It’s like medicine for them. But this vote is so hideous and vile that it warrants the act. But thankfully I am not in that position. Very sad.”
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler in Texas wrote, “I’m with Bishop Stika. I’m not in a position to take action regarding legislation in New York but I implore bishops who are to speak out forcefully. In any sane society this is called INFANTICIDE!!!!!”
Well. Should we expect mass excommunications of pro-abortion politicians?
Consider: Bishops are afraid, says their former chief lobbyist, of each other and of Rome. Yes, a couple have quietly barred pro-aborts from Communion. However, when the first bishop actually excommunicates a pro-abort politician, what will happen?
Unlike Republicans, Democrats always stick together. When the ax falls on one, they will all start investigating, and then defunding, the USCCB. Democrats think only in terms of power. When it’s wielded against them, they’ll say, “Bishops — if you exercise your power, we’ll exercise ours!”
At that point, the body of our beloved bishops may well turn on their brave colleague who did his duty by excommunicating the pro-abort pol:
“You lost us all our money!!” So the bishop who exercises the just power of excommunication becomes a pariah.
Yes, excommunication is an act of charity, to the pol supporting objective evil (“repent!”) and to the faithful (“truth is truth!”). But there abides among our bishops a fear of each other, fear of Rome, fear of the politicians who fund them, fear of their crimes, fear of the “gay lobby,” fear of the prosecutors, fear of the laity. . . .
They are afraid of everybody. And nobody is afraid of them.
Cardinal Dolan says, “Excommunication should not be used as a weapon.” But when the first bishop does his consecrated duty, his brothers may well use his action as a weapon against him, because that excommunication will spark a full-bore attack not only on the bishops, but on the laity and the Church herself.
These guys play for keeps, and, bearing in mind Lenin’s dictum, they believe that anything they do to further the revolution is ethical.
And Holy Mother Church is, and always will be, their biggest obstacle.

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