Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cardinal Dolan's Recent Paean to Free-Market Capitalism Ghost-Authored by Former Reagan Administration Official Larry Kudlow

At Religion Dispatches, Patricia Miller writes

Former CNBC host Larry Kudlow is bragging on Twitter that he helped Cardinal Timothy Dolan with his recent paean to free-market capitalism in the Wall Street Journal (note to Mr. Kudlow, there is a reason they call it "ghostwriting") . . . .

(Miller had evidently included Kudlow's tweet at this point in her posting, but it's not showing up in my browser as I read the article except as a question-mark icon indicating that a photo is failing to display.)*

She goes on to say,

Kudlow is a former Reagan Administration official who is well known for his support of supply-side economics (a support that, according to Pope Francis, "expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power") and the wonders of the free market. He is a regular contributor to the WSJ, the National Review and the Cato Journal. 
Kudlow was converted to his particular brand of capitalistic Catholicism by Father John McCloskey, an Opus Dei priest who also takes credit for "guiding" Newt Gingrich, Robert Bork, Robert Novak and Sam Brownback to Catholicism and has been described as the "priest to Washington's conservative establishment." McCloskey is currently a fellow with the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, DC.

Surprised at this? If so, you weren't, perhaps, surprised to see that under Dolan's leadership as head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the bishops were led as a body to a vicious partisan attack on a healthcare plan proposed by the current president, an attack that has succeeded in getting many Republican-dominated states to refuse federal funds offered to expand their Medicaid programs and provide critically needed healthcare coverage for citizens at the bottom rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

Because Dolan and his brother bishops are pro-life, you understand.

Nor would you have been surprised when Dolan hired as his media spokeswoman one Kim Daniels, who was Sarah Palin's "personal domestic policy czar" in 2009 and who has also worked for the Thomas More Law Center, the bishops' right arm in their vicious partisan attack on the Obama administration's healthcare plan that has sought to provide healthcare coverage to more and more citizens living on the margins of society. The Thomas More Center was founded by none other than the right-wing Republican Catholic activist, pizza magnate Tom Monaghan.

On Opus Dei priest John McCloskey and the nation-dividing tactics he endorses in the hopes of seeing established a new theocratic society ruled by priests, right-wing politicians (and presumably, pizza magnates and others of that ilk), see Frank Cocozzelli at Talk to Action.

It's hard to imagine more unfitting representatives of the Catholic tradition at its best than most bishops now providing pastoral leadership to the U.S. Catholic church. Keep in mind as you read that sentence that the current set of bishops elected Dolan to lead them in their penultimate election of a president. 

But it's all going to get better under Pope Francis. Right?

*Later: the tweet is now showing up in Miller's article.

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