New York's Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick's Day Parade, praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. "I have no trouble with the decision at all ... I think the decision is a wise one," he said.
His action has left many Catholics, including elected officials like myself, puzzled and disheartened especially when we measure Cardinal Dolan's new policy with that of his predecessor, Cardinal O'Connor.
In 1993, when LGBT groups and government officials demanded that openly homosexual groups be included in the Parade, Cardinal O'Connor vowed in a St. Patrick's Day sermon that he "could never even be perceived as compromising Catholic teaching. Neither respectability nor political correctness is worth one comma in the Apostles Creed."
Would Cardinal Dolan, as Parade Marshal, applaud the inclusion of Irish abortion clinic owners or Planned Parenthood employees in a Parade honoring a Catholic Saint? On what logical grounds does he applaud openly LGBT group marchers and reject openly pro-abortion Irish Catholics, including some "Catholic" nuns?
Perhaps organizations which advocate to legalize prostitution and pornography should also be permitted to march? What about promoters of euthanasia for the elderly and disabled or those who champion physician assisted suicide? Where does Cardinal Dolan draw the line?
The St. Patrick's Day Parade, sponsored by the Irish Catholic Ancient Order of Hibernians under the auspices of and with the blessing of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, is not a purely secular event, despite the fact that secular politicians participate. It honors a Catholic saint who converted pagans in Ireland away from immoral behavior.
Promoters of homosexual behavior take part in many "gay pride" marches and parades, but these are not events sponsored by the Catholic Church or a Catholic organization. Therein lays the problem.
Same sex "marriage" advocates say they feel marginalized by the Church, yet the Church has been very clear that it is a hospital for sinners, and no one is sinless. Jesus saves us from being "marginalized" by our sin, so long as we seek Him and seek to do His will.
Everyone who rejects God's word, or who ignores or violates the Ten Commandments (and we all are guilty of that at times) feel "marginalized" but we don't re-write the commandments to make us feel less marginalized.
News reports indicate that NBC which televises the Parade, New York's Mayor, Guinness Brewery and others were pressuring the Parade sponsors to include openly LGBT groups. Choosing money over truth is never a good choice.
This situation is not about judging individual souls. God loves all his children, and fortunately He is the only one who judges men's hearts, but we live in a world of actions that have individual, social and legal consequences. Equality of persons is not the same as equality of behavior. What message does this decision give? Federal judges and policy makers are also influenced by the words and actions of moral leaders.
We do our brothers and sisters no service by pretending that God's teaching or the "Laws of Nature and Nature's God" are not as important today or giving the impression that millenia-old truths can change. No one can change Natural Law or the Word of God, written in the blood of Our Savior for our wellbeing and redemption.
God invites us to lead lives of love and peace and joy by following Him. Just as parents seek what is best for the children they love, try to protect them from harm, set limits and standards of good behavior, and hopefully set a good example for them, so too does the Church do the same for Her universal family.
Jesus told His disciples, "Go, teach all nations." The English words "disciple" and "discipline" come from the same Latin word, "docere" which means "to teach." Sadly, this action breeds confusion and scandal.
As society continues to disregard what America's Founders wrote about the laws of Nature and Nature's God, the moral fabric of our nation is disintegrating to the point of becoming thread bare, unable to hold together even the most basic values upon which our nation was founded. For a Church authority to embrace political correctness at such a time will have consequences which extend far beyond the parade route.
Delegate Bob Marshall
Virginia House of Delegates
Co-Author, Virginia Marriage Amendment approved in 2006 by voters