Skip to comments.Andrew Cuomo and the Sins of the Fathers (the silence of the bishops)
Posted on 01/20/2014 7:56:27 PM PST by NYer
A Latvian woman was at my home this weekend and teared up when she learned of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Friday outburst that there’s “no place” in his state for pro-lifers and supporters of traditional marriage: “It reminds me of what I experienced under Communism back home, when we weren’t allowed to talk about religion in public. I came here and was so happy to be in a country where we could speak and act freely. But that’s changed now.”
Indeed, it has.
We’re still far from the old Warsaw Pact repression, but there’s something in her reaction worth pondering. We simply cannot go on allowing people of traditional religious and moral beliefs to be insulted and intimidated in public without it leading to something much worse.
Pope Francis told the young people in Brazil for 2013 World Youth Day to “raise a ruckus.”
Well, here’s something to raise a ruckus about.
My Latvian blamed the bishops: “Back home they couldn’t speak, here they still can.” That’s not entirely fair. Our bishops have been outspoken about religious freedom, especially since they’ve been staring down the barrel at the Obamacare mandates. (As I write, though, it’s over forty-eight hours since Cuomo spoke and there’s no response from Cardinal Dolan or the New York archdiocese.)
But all the same, she’s not entirely wrong either. The American hierarchy has been quite garrulous over the years about all sorts of things. And that’s part of the problem. My friend the historian James Hitchcock once noted drily that in the 1950s the bishops’ conference even commented on traffic safety: “They were in favor of it.”
The more recent problem is not that they haven’t been speaking, but that very few, even among “Catholics” (e.g., Andrew Cuomo), are listening. And our hierarchy, past and present, does bear some responsibility for that.
It’s an old story by now, how the bishops allowed dissent to grow inside the Church. It’s not particularly important to decide how much stemmed from the 1960s cultural revolution that may simply have overwhelmed them, or whether they could have done more and did not. The long and the short of it is we’re at a critical tipping point and it’s time to act.
But that involves more than just the bishops.
They lost the connection to a vast number of American Catholics in the 1960s and 1970s, rebuilt it some under John Paul II, then lost it again with the priestly abuse crisis. Sad to say, JPII himself was not on top of the abuse.
But that’s merely academic now.
Andrew Cuomo and his wife Kerry Kennedy in 2002
In the past, the bishops, like other religious leaders, counted on a veritable army of co-combatants, from grassroots organizations and officials in local and state governments to major news outlets and politicians – Catholics as well as non-Catholics – at the national level, especially when someone was being told there’s “no place” for them in America.
That’s all gone. So it’s time for US to act – all of us. We need to put aside illusions about how many of our fellow citizens see us now: if you oppose abortion you are making “war on women,” and if you affirm Genesis that “male and female He created them,” you are “anti-gay” and “spewing hatred.” And an “extremist.” Really.
I expect Andrew Cuomo will mumble some excuse that he was speaking in the heat of the moment about opposing politicians. He also knows, of course, that with his Party’s more radical members, this will be a step towards the presidency.
But cultural Catholics: Beware! In 1984, Andrew’s father Mario gave a speech at Notre Dame affirming the notion that Catholics can be “personally opposed” without supporting laws to protect of life in the womb. Liberal Catholics and liberals more generally applauded. But as happens when you sell your birthright for a mess of pottage, Mario wound up in the wilderness. He never got near the White House.
It’s probably inevitable that, in a post-Christian culture, the state will not only become non-Christian, but positively anti-Christian. But who says a post-Christian culture is inevitable? What human will has done can be undone.
This is not only an American problem: it’s happening in all the developed democracies around the world – which along with the U.N. would like to spread it further. So it’s impossible to overstate the problem that exists between Church and State today.
This Wednesday, as for the past forty-one years, tens of thousands of people will come to the Mall in Washington from all over the country to protest Roe v. Wade. That fight has not been lost and has even succeeded making pro-lifers a slight majority in America.
But protesting abortion is no longer enough. We need action – every day, every place anti-Christian and anti-religious tyranny shows itself. I don’t know if there are protesters outside Cuomo’s residence this week, but there damn well ought to be.
These protests may not be pretty, or particularly “civil.” But for too long we’ve let others define proper social etiquette, which they don’t observe themselves, to get away with outrages.
And we cannot take for granted that our popular, democratic systems as practicing some kind of neutrality among the different beliefs of their peoples. As we know from sad experience, this fiction of balance almost always topples over on top of Christians.
Thomas Jefferson once said that he didn’t care whether his neighbor believed in one god or twenty: “it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
America has moved very far since then. Many people today have had their pockets picked and legs broken – and worse – because of what their fellow citizens do and do not believe. And the worst of all is that some now assume – not without reason – that they may ride roughshod over traditional believers with impunity.
That day is over. The bishops need to step up. But so do you and I.
Raise a ruckus!
Savage is right - it’s a mental disorder.
Perhaps he was mistranslated.
(As I write, though, its over forty-eight hours since Cuomo spoke and theres no response from Cardinal Dolan or the New York archdiocese.)
= = = =
This remains the topic of conversation at our house tonight and we reside in Mississippi.
DrO is not surprised, but we are both continuing to pray.
Those bishops are more democrat politicians than RC BISHOPS!
Their idol was and continues to be "charity".
Pathological altruists who believe the root of all good is helping others.
They are so blinded by their desire to "help" they cannot even see how they defied the first commandment.
” I dont know if there are protesters outside Cuomos residence this week, but there damn well ought to be.”
24 hours a day.
The Gov is mental. The taxes on even AG land in NY state is outrageous.
‘A Latvian woman was at my home this weekend and teared up when she learned of NY Governor Andrew Cuomos Friday outburst that theres no place in his state for pro-lifers and supporters of traditional marriage: It reminds me of what I experienced under Communism back home, when we werent allowed to talk about religion in public. I came here and was so happy to be in a country where we could speak and act freely. But thats changed now.’
Sad but true. This Latvian woman is completely correct.
Now that Catholics have been declared personae non gratae by the most powerful person in the State, the scales must now finally fall from the eyes of the Big-Tent Church of Hugs and Giggles. I am sure the Church in NY will now wake up and respond in kind, right?
Methinks Dolan trembles.
I have a suspicion this is going to be a big deal for Cardinal Dolan. He is apt to do a couple of things; 1) Call in an inner circle for consultation; 2) Call Coumo directly, seeking a back peddle of the ugly remark as one way out.
Dolan has an a laity to defend from this open air verbal assault, and the faith to defend, and certainly his own intellegence to defend. The wiggle room for Dolan on this one is much narrower this time, from the typically broad girth allowed the Cardinal in the usual circumstances of Liberal trash talk, where Cardinal Dolan can better maneuver.
This may be a seminal moment, or another dodge, but time is speaking volumes in favor of critical mass.
If I hold my breath, I’ll pass out
Meanwhile the pres and the eurcapitalists, in union, just gave Iran freedom to develop weaponized nukes (not widely talked about on FR)
Meanwhile the pope is criticizing reaganomics and how we need to give instead of take, in this trickle down economics Reagan world
God is allowing much strangeness
Today, both Teresa Tomeo (of Catholic radio and TV) and Al Kresta (of Catholic radio) took sharp aim at the hate-filled blithering blather of Cuomo, during their respective syndicated Catholic radio shows. The contrast is striking.
The article by Pat Archbold that you linked to in your "Post 5" there NYer takes obvious aim near the end of the article (with that photo and those comments) at Cardinal Dolan, the most conspicuous of those New York Bishops who have seemingly lost their voices. He should be publicly defending his Church and her people when they are under such hideous public attack, especially by notorious leaders like Cuomo with undeserved authority and influence and power like that.
If he cannot find the backbone, gumption, and sense of righteous decency and justice to even raise a tiny little mouse-like squeak against the maniacal ravings of a madman like Cuomo and Cuomo's bitter attacks on those under Dolan's direct pastoral care (who are truly in the right regarding these important issues) then Dolan should immediately resign his sacred post in shame, and slink off into obscurity and "let another take his post".
(Just as a comparison, I believe that by now, both Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia and Archbishop Lori of Baltimore would have robustly blasted Cuomo publicly -- like his viscious attacks were made publicly -- if their offices were in the State of New York.)
What does a politician have to do in this country to get Canon. 915 applied?!? What must a politician do to get excommunicated?!?
The last time a politician was threatened with excommunication in the USA it was 50 years ago and was over segregation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leander_Perez#Perez_and_the_Catholic_Church
You said it.
......And I wonder why the bishops and in a special way, those in NY State do not stand up to Gov. Cuomo and have him just excommunicated?
Thank you for recognizing that. I can assure you as well, it is quite frustrating.
Truly, the only way evil spreads is when good men do nothing to fight it. I do believe Cardinal Dolan is a good man. But he is shirking his office's responsibilities here, no question, with his silence.
Keep him in your prayers; he will have much to answer for if he doesn't repent of this sin (and it is a sin, what he's doing, or not doing really).
The below quote from the comments section of the article sums up Dolan.
“I think it will probably prompt Cardinal Dolan to throw a dinner in Cuomos honor”
“Why is it so many liberal, pro-gay, pro-abortion politicians are Roman Catholic”.
The same reason so many are protestants. Calling yourself a Christian just because you were baptised no more makes you a practicing Christian than working on your car in the garage makes you a master mechanic.
Hypocracy cuts through all denominations.
YOU said it all. “God is allowing much strangeness”.
The times are eerie. The Church in the US seems sleepy. The government is falling into socialist fiat.
Knowing from whence cometh our help, I’m not sure the elections will mean all that we hope for, even if they should go our way. I think many of us believe this is no ordinary political battle, but one between good and evil.
OTOH, nations have fallen around the world throughout history, and as long as it wasn’t here, in the US, we never thought the world would end. Now that the threat looms over us at last, we Americans tend to believe it’s the close of the age, that God is surely coming. Thx, stanne.
Well, I don’t know if the world is going to end soon, I wasn’t saying that, (Jesus told us no one knows, so I never mess around with that prediction), but I’m not holding my breath that Cardinal Dolan will step away from working on amnesty and gun control to tell the baby killing catholic in name governor to quit persecuting New York, American Catholics
“Cuomo’s Friday radio comments that “extreme conservatives” “have no place in the state of New York” are generating a good deal of public reaction, some of it quite furious, in the press, but readers who rely on the New York Times for their news are missing the story, which so far as I can tell the Times has so far totally ignored, or missed, which is strange”
The right is always told to remain civil while the left raises a ruckus. Not only a ruckus, but every vile act one could conceive! I don’t say that we should join them, but to be silent is not working!
Yes, I know what you mean. We all anxiously await a statement from the Cardinal that, just once, is the correct one and not one that rambles off into another of his endless punch lines.
The time it has taken seems to me to indicate there might be hope that something serious is up, for a change.
No. Cardinal Dolan is not looking at what goes on. Seeing him at that Al Smith dinner glad handing Obama, a publically avowed baby killer; taking up Achbshp Gomez’ cause for amnesty, Gomez being an immigrant and surely under penalty not to interfere with legislation; wimping on the HHS mandate; publically pronouncing solidarity with Obama on gun regulation; saying not a word about the nuns.
He’s just not aware.
If we only had the courageous Cardinal O’Connor !
But down the road, the right may very well will have to end up doing just that.
It's now 4 days .... SILENCE. NRO has an interview with him that predates the Cuomo comment; however, the article opens with comments made by Cardinal Dolan, outside St. Patrick's Cathedral on Sunday.
We have to come to the assistance of the poor and the vulnerable, Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan said outside St. Patricks Cathedral after Mass on Sunday morning. Wherever the dignity of human life . . . is threatened, people of faith have a sacred responsibility, he said, to speak up and come to the assistance of those whose civil rights are endangered, most especially the innocent baby in the womb.
IOW, "we" catholics must defend the sanctity of life but don't count on him to lead the charge. Dolan's approach with politicians, media and others in the public forum, is one of back slapping, happy go lucky, giddy, smiling catholic, believing he can curry favor with honey and smiles. He is non-confrontational. No backbone graphic for him.
Compare and contrast:
I recall as a kid in 1952-53 I used to walk to church with my grandmother, then we picked up the NY Times before she visited my grandfather’s grave in Plattsburgh, NY. Back then the NY Times was not just a pile of elephant dung like today. Upstate NY was very conservative back then. I recall “I like IKE” buttons.
It is hard for me to judge Cardinal Dolan on why he has not spoken out about Cuomo’s idiotic remarks, but I certainly hope he says something.....soon. If not, he does a great disservice to God and good people everywhere.
I think it is a given that professing the Christian faith and exhibiting a changed life through the fruit of the Spirit are not always simultaneous. No one is arguing hypocrisy is a Catholic-only character trait. But to challenge you a wee bit more on this point, why don't you identify all the Evangelical "Protestants" in the world of politics who are liberal, pro-gay and pro-abortion? Do any particular names just pop immediately to the surface like the ones that identify as Roman Catholics do? You know, like any of the Kennedys, the Cuomos, the Kerrys, the Pelousies, Biden, and so forth?
I bring up Evangelical Protestants simply to demonstrate that that sets Christians apart from those who claim membership in many of the mainline Protestant denominations - and which many HAVE departed from the faith and you'll get no argument from me on that.
But the subject of this thread was the "sins of the fathers" - meaning the bishops in America - who have stood by while liberal politicians, who identify as Catholic, thumb their noses at all the social issues their church has deemed right and do so blatantly, while for all practical purposes, moving in the exact OPPOSITE direction furthering the decline of morality in this country. Why not direct your ire at them instead of working so hard to incriminate everyone else as "just as bad"???
>> NY Governor Andrew Cuomos Friday outburst that theres no place in his state for pro-lifers and supporters of traditional marriage
State residents scared, in despair...
Unfortunately, many wonderful NYers will take this dirtbag seriously.
Okay then, Mr Evangelical Protestant, how many Conservative Catholics can you identify as being liberal, pro-gay, and pro-abort?
I agree these people are a disgrace and shouldn’t be referred to as Catholics, but let’s not forget about all the protestants that are the majority in both parties that give us pro-abortion and homosexual “rights” ever time they vote.
The National Rights to Life Committee was started by Catholics and now includes many pro-life protestants. It has been responsible for electing the majority of the pro-life politicians in Congress.
Overall, 48% of the members of the new Congress are Democrats, and 52% are Republicans.
Looking at the partisan breakdown of the various religious groups, Lutherans are almost evenly divided between the parties (52% Democrats and 48% Republicans). The other sizable Protestant groups (Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians) as well as Protestants as a whole have more Republicans than Democrats. The same is true for Mormons; 12 of the 15 Mormon members of the new Congress are Republicans. Catholics are slightly tilted toward the Democrats (57%-43%). Jewish members are mostly Democratic (97%); in fact, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in Congress. The other non-Christian groups (Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Unitarians) are comprised exclusively of Democrats. All the members of Congress who did not specify a religion are also Democrats.
Looking at the religious breakdown of the political parties, 69% of congressional Republicans are Protestant, while fewer than half of Democrats (42%) belong to Protestant denominational families. (This includes newly elected independent Angus King of Maine, who has said he will caucus with Senate Democrats.) On the other hand, Catholics make up a greater share of Democratic members (37%) than they do of GOP members (25%). And while Jews make up 13% of all congressional Democrats (including one independent who generally caucuses with the Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont), they account for less than 1% of congressional Republicans. http://www.pewforum.org/2012/11/16/faith-on-the-hill-the-religious-composition-of-the-113th-congress/
More Protestants than Catholics in the Congress. The majority
of the democrats that are Catholic coming from the liberal Northeast. In my book every one of them are hypocrites of the first degree by belonging to the party of death. There is no such thing a as pro-life democrat. If you are in the party of death and homosexuals then you agree with it. Pretty cut and dry to me. Thanks for the numbers.