Welcome, Respect, and Cooperation

This afternoon, I spoke at the Police Athletic League Luncheon in Midtown Manhattan.  Here are my remarks that I released to the press today:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 12, 2012

STATEMENT OF CARDINAL-DESIGNATE TIMOTHY DOLAN

In remarks at the Police Athletic League luncheon today, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan observed:

“High on the long list of things I love about this great community would be its historic warm welcome to immigrants, refugees, and men and women of every faith – or none at all – and the embracing climate of religious and ethnic friendship.

That’s why I worry whenever any of our neighbors are harassed or attacked because of their race or creed.  Recent acts of violence against our Jewish and Islamic friends are unacceptable anywhere, particularly in a community like ours which rightly claims a long record of fostering a climate of welcome, respect, and cooperation.

We Catholics have often felt such bigotry in the past, and even some yet today, so count on us to stand with you in defending what we cherish as Americans and New Yorkers.”

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3 Responses to “Welcome, Respect, and Cooperation”

  1. Nicodemos says:

    Dear Archbishop Dolan,

    Thank you for speaking to the Police Athletic League. I am blessed to be married to a Detective in the New York Police Department. His family moved to New York from Puerto Rico in the late 1950s. He was a first responder at Ground Zero and served the City with distinction for two decades. My family immigrated to New York in 1895 from Russia, and I have the honor to serve on the faculty at a Seminary in New York. Also, I’ve given 40 hours/month for the past 16 years, providing free counseling services, at one of the agencies affiliated with Catholic Charities. I should mention, perhaps, that we are both men.

    In your speech to PAL, you commend the New York community for it’s long record of fostering a climate of welcome, respect, and cooperation. It is ironic that, at the same time you speak words of reconciliation to PAL, you sign an open letter that makes a false equivalence between religious freedom and the right to discriminate against people in same-sex marriages.

    The Roman Catholic church struggled for their place in civil society and forced many groups to alter their practices and traditions in order to accept the equality of a religion they viewed with suspicion and fear. Now, having attained your place at the table, you make the same argument once used against you: that having to adapt to the existence of something you detest will limit your liberty.

    When the signs reading “No Irish Need Apply,” were in every shop window in New York City, Roman Catholics rightly thought that limiting the freedom of businessmen to discriminate was good for society. Most Protestants disagreed, thinking the inclusion of Roman Catholics would lead to the destruction of American Christian civilization. Now you apply the same arguments your foes once used, to try to exclude another group. You claim that same-sex marriage will destroy American Judeo-Christian civilization but, of course, this time it’s not bigotry because you are right. Every bigot justifies their conduct on the basis of their perceived correctness.

    But, as you point out in your speech to PAL, we must work to defend our city against forces that harass or attack any of the many communities that comprise New York City. It’s sad that the Roman Catholic Church has become an institution that civil society must defend itself against. I must ask why you are throwing away the moral authority of the Catholic Church in New York in order to create a climate of violence against same-sex married people who, in our case, police your streets and educate your clergy.

    However, we will demonstrate to you that it is possible to create the society you commend to the Police Athletic League. I will continue to teach the Roman Catholic priests and nuns in my class with a profound respect for their fidelity to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. My freedom is not diminished by making them welcome in class, despite my personal belief that they confess a theology that is fundamentally in error. One can disagree, yet foster a climate of respect and cooperation. My husband will continue to view the enforcement of the law as a neutral act to be impartially applied to all citizens. His freedom is not diminished by treating all citizens, even those whose choices he despises, with courtesy, professionalism, and respect.

    In the letter you signed that falsely claimed religious liberty is threatened by same-sex marriage, many of your co-signers confess a theology diametrically opposed to most of the core beliefs of the Roman Catholic church. How is their rejection of your core dogmas tolerable to you when my marriage to a man is not? Could it be the same force that united the fractious Mainline Protestants of the 19th Century against the Roman Catholic Church? That force has a name: hate.

    However, as you counseled PAL, It is possible to live freely and with integrity in a pluralistic society. I hope you come to recognize this truth and live into the vision you preached to the Police Athletic League.

    Sincerely,
    Nic

  2. AndyP/Doria2 says:

    Nicodemus has no idea what she is advocating. The Bible calls same sex attraction an abomination to God. The fact that she has anything to do with the education of anyone in our parishes shows to what extent we have declined.

    This person should be unceremoniously dismissed from any teaching function in all parishes. Her “personal” beliefs are killing our faith.

    Sorry for my lack of political correctness but we are dying here in the West because of heterodox attitudes and our leaders say nothing.

    We CAN love sinners but we MUST hate the sin.

    No way this makess it to this public forum eh censors? Truth can hurt as much as anything.

    I expect another censor to deep six this post. Truth be damned,

  3. Mary says:

    The comments to the Archbishop about his PAL speech leave me wondering what the PAL is up to these days. And what does Catholic Charities have to do with it? And what is the purpose of the PAL anymore. Is the image of children playing basketball after school under the supervision of cops who are volunteering their time to give kids the loving adult attention they need– is that image as outdated as Nicodemus thinks Church teaching on marriage is?

    Are we in an age of darkness, confusion, pride, rebellion? Benedict XVI characterized it recently this way: “It seems as if a shadow has fallen over our time, preventing us from clearly seeing the light of day”.