Pat Buchanan on the Obamacare contraception mandate and the 2012 election.

Facing a close race for a second term, Obama chose not to antagonize his left. Yet he must have known that siding with them meant leaving Archbishop Dolan with egg all over his face. Obama, calculatedly, came down on the side of those he believes to be more crucial to his re-election.

This affront should tell the Catholic hierarchy, if they did not already know, where they stand in the party of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Kathleen Sebilius. And where they sit — in the back of the bus.

Yet if the bishops will look upon this crisis of conscience, this insult, as an opportunity, they can effect its reversal and recapture a measure of the moral authority they have lately lost.

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Stand for Religious Freedom. Sign the On-Line Petition.

Please sign the petition to support Cardinal-designate Dolan and stand for religious freedom! We’ll send the petition to President Obama, members of Congress, and HHS Secretary Sebelius.

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Archbishop Dolan of New York and 21 others elevated to the rank of Cardinal

Cardinal Biretta

From Archbishop Dolan’s blog:

On this “Twelfth Day of Christmas” the traditional celebration of the Epiphany, I have received a gift from Pope Benedict XVI, as he announced just a couple of hours ago at the end of Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica that I would be among those to become a cardinal in Rome at the consistory of February 18th.

Yes, I am honored, humbled, and grateful, …but, let’s be frank: this is not about Timothy Dolan; this is an honor from the Holy Father to the Archdiocese of New York, and to all our cherished friends and neighbors who call this great community home.

It’s as if Pope Benedict is putting the red hat on top of the Empire State Building, or the Statue of Liberty, or on home plate at Yankee Stadium; or on the spires of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral or any of our other parish churches; this is the successor of Saint Peter saying to the clergy, sisters, brothers, lay faithful of this archdiocese, and to all of our friends and neighbors of New York: Thank you! Keep up the good work! You are a leader, an inspiration, to the Church and to the world.

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Cardinals – Princes of the Church

Photo: Phillipi Collection

Deceived … or just another failure and dereliction of duty?

It is a puzzling question, but in a mostly overlooked interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo in August, Archbishop Dolan gave some insight into what happened behind the scenes, suggesting that the bishops had, in fact, deliberately avoided “pulling out the stops.”

Why? Because, Dolan says, he and his fellow bishops had been assured by “political allies” that the bill didn’t have any legs, and that there was no need to expend resources fighting it.

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Editor’s note: The bishops are, by nature, political creatures. Archbishop Dolan’s lame excuses simply don’t pass muster. There was much more to this abject failure in leadership than meets the eye … but it’s likely we won’t hear anything more about it than this. Shame!

NY Archbishop Dolan: Homosexuals will have to look elsewhere for approval.

Archbishop Dolan issued a decree forbidding any priest or deacon from performing same-sex marriages. The unions cannot be done in any church building, hall or other property. The prohibition even extends to consecrated items such as chalices, vestments and liturgical books.

“The marital union between one man and one woman was universally accepted by civil law as a constitutive element of human society, which is vital to the human family and to the continuation of the human race,” Archbishop Dolan said in the decree dated Oct. 18.

“In reversal of this tradition, the New York State Legislature recently enacted a law that recognized same-sex union as marriages in the State of New York. This law is irreconcilable with the nature and the definition of marriage as established by Divine law.”

A complete version of the decree is listed under the pastoral tab at Archny.org.

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Archbishop Dolan provides a clear explanation of the nature of church doctrine.

One would think that leaders in “the Vatican” occasionally meet to decide what “rules” they should issue or reinforce today, or what changes in procedure they should introduce to guarantee that the Church is more relevant.

While this seems to be the presumption of most people who attempt to report on the Church, it is, indeed, a presumption that is invalid.

“The Vatican” is a plot of ground the size of an eighteen-hole golf course on the banks of the Tiber River in Rome.  It happens also to be the home of the successor to the man buried on this acreage under the splendid basilica which bears his name, St. Peter’s.

These 108 acres, “the Vatican” have absolutely no authority at all to alter the teaching of the Church.  Its sacred duty, rather, is to preserve and hand on the deposit of faith we have received from revelation, from the Bible, from Jesus, from His apostles.

So, to imply that the Successor of St. Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, and his closest aides regularly meet as some political entity to read the latest poll and “change Church policy,” like that of ordaining only men, is silly.

Call it whatever you went — “the Vatican,” “Rome,” “the Pope,” “the Holy See,” “the Magisterium” — whatever you call it, it does not “make up,” “change,” or “issue” new doctrines.  It inherits them, receives them, “handed on” (from the Latin word tradiitio,) by Tradition.

Yes, it may rethink how the truth entrusted to it might be better explained, or more credibly presented, or expressed in a more contemporary way.

Yes, it might become concerned when it’s clear that a good chunk of people no longer follow a particular teaching or moral precept.

But it does not then call a meeting and vote whether or not to change the teaching.

At times it – “the Vatican,” “Rome,” “the Pope,” “the Holy See,” “the Magisterium” — might even wish it could change certain teachings.  For instance, I would wager most bishops, priests, deacons, pastoral leaders, and maybe even the Holy Father himself has, at one time or another wished the Church could alter the teaching of Jesus that marriage is forever, and that one cannot break that sacred bond asunder.

But it can’t, because it didn’t make up the teaching to begin with.

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Nothing in the WWII Secret Vatican Archives will change the facts of history

Catholic scholars, no less than Jewish scholars, are frustrated over the Vatican’s decades-long delay in the opening its closed Holocaust archives, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan told a Jewish audience April 12.

Dolan, the city’s highest Catholic official, stopped short of calling for the immediate opening of the Vatican Secret Archives for the papacy of Pius XII, who some have accused of failing to help Jews during the Nazi genocide. But Dolan said that the church should not fear whatever it is the archives hold.

“Whatever is needed to complete this project, even in phases rather than only as a whole, I suggest must be explored,” Dolan told a gathering at New York’s Jewish Theological Seminary.

In his address, the archbishop called for a shift in the dialogue between Jews and Catholics away from what he called a “dialogue of grievances” to conversations about mutual challenges.

The former Archbishop of Milwaukee, Dolan, 61, was made Archbishop of New York – a city whose name he pronounces with a very un-local “New Yawrk” – by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. Dressed in a black cassock and purple skullcap, he joked easily with the crowd at JTS, Conservative Judaism’s most prominent academic institution.

Dolan called for a change in the tone and character of interreligious dialogue. “Too often in the past, I’m afraid, our grievances, however legitimate, with each other have been our sole topic of discussion,” he said.

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