Friday, August 24, 2012

Dolan to Tampa: National Catholic Reporter Weighs In

NCR has just published an editorial statement on Dolan's choice to provide a final blessing to the doings of the upcoming GOP convention--and the nominations of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  An excerpt:

For all of Dolan's goodwill and best intentions -- and we take him at his word that he perceives this as simply a priest at prayer -- the rest of the world knows he is being used. That's simply part of playing in the political spotlight, and to pretend otherwise is naive. There are reasons aplenty why the Republican Party did not seek out a Mormon official to pray or a rabbi or a gay Unitarian minister or a female bishop of the Episcopal church. 
There's more than a prayer at stake.

And the conclusion:

Dolan is playing an old game, but an increasingly dangerous one, as well. Conventions have nothing to do with religion, which normally takes the stage to fill a minor obligation, and everything to do with politics. In accepting the invitation to this year's Republican convention, where religion has been elevated to a major supporting role, Dolan is dragging the church and its invaluable swing voters into the midst of the fray, simultaneously allowing religion to be used as a tool of division. His protests that his appearance is nonpartisan and that he is merely a priest at prayer have already been swamped by the partisan cheering. 
And Dolan has to know it. 

And, of course, not one bit of this is a surprise.  Despite the absurd claims of some of NCR's own writers that His Eminence is just a gosh-darned "good guy at heart" or that he's "religion" incarnate walking into the room, anyone with eyes wide open can see and has been able to see for some time now that Dolan is an outright political partisan.  And a tool of the 1%, as they attempt to take the gospel sting so inconvenient to their interests out of Catholic social teaching.

In serving the 1% and making himself a willing tool in the culture-war issues they use to distract us from their ongoing agenda of robbing the poor and middle classes to keep themselves on top, Dolan has willingly and with seeming nonchalance driven a very deep wedge into the heart of the American Catholic church.  He has betrayed his responsibility to provide pastoral leadership to the church of whose bishops' conference he is president.

And though he'll no doubt want to maunder on at the GOP convention about how sacred the lives of fertilized ova (and of no one else in the world) are, he will, as he blesses the convention's choices and platform, utter not a single word about the lives of young gay or gender-questioning young people that have been lost in recent years due to bullying in American schools.  Bullying for which he, his brother bishops, and the political party they are now overtly blessing bear a great deal of responsibility . . . . 

The graphic is a detail from Rogier van der Weyden's "Descent of Christ from the Cross," ca. 1435.

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