Boston, MA, December 2, 2013.
During Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s Thanksgiving weekend appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, the Archbishop of New York claimed that the Catholic Church has been “caricatured” as being anti-gay, and that it has been “out-marketed” on same-sex marriage by “forces like Hollywood and politicians”. He also compared the same-sex marriage debate to Roe v. Wade, noting that the issue continues to be divisive 40 years after the Supreme Court ruling.
Leaders of DignityUSA, the organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally Catholics, called Cardinal Dolan’s remarks “outrageous and irresponsible.” Marianne Duddy-Burke, the organization’s Executive Director, said, “Cardinal Dolan is threatening to keep up this fight for decades, as the bishops have done with abortion. That’s a long time to keep attacking lesbian and gay couples deeply committed to love, fidelity and family.”
Duddy-Burke continued, “The bishops have been out-marketed by the forces of love, not by Hollywood or politicians. The most powerful forces opposed to the bishops on this front are the multitudes from their own pews. Mothers and fathers of LGBT children, co-workers, neighbors and children of same-sex couples, some courageous priests and other Church workers, conservatives and liberals, rich and poor. Politicians, yes, but also plumbers and teachers and firefighters and grandparents. These forces of love are what the bishops have to contend with if they keep up their fight.”
She agreed with the Cardinal that the Catholic Church has been wrongly caricatured as anti-gay. “The reality is that most of the Church clearly supports LGBT people. That’s been shown over and over in homes, in polls and in elections. Our bishops do not speak for the Church when they pump millions of dollars into anti-marriage equality initiatives, or try to prevent non-discrimination initiatives from becoming law, or organize public exorcisms of marriage equality proponents.”
“Enough,” said Duddy-Burke. “It’s time for our bishops to heed the call of Pope Francis and focus more on the needs of the poor and on the critical pastoral care of God’s people. It’s time for them to heal the Church, not divide it.”