Some Advice

Ross Murray at the WaPo has some suggestions for Cardinal Dolan. As outlined here, I think it’s good advice:

  1. (S)top talking about LGBT people and spend more time listening to them.
  2. If Cardinal Dolan cannot talk about LGBT people without uttering words of condemnation, he should simply stop talking about LGBT people in general.
  3. Cardinal Dolan could turn his stated love into tangible action that would help real LGBT people in their day-to-day lives.

The first one is always good–listen to people. Of course, it got Jesus in trouble, even amazing his own disciples. Of course, all the Jovial One needed to do was invite the wrong dinner guest to get on the Right hot seat.

Mr Murray is right. There are important issues confronting LGBT people that impact life and breath: homelessness is a particular calling out. Summing up:

God’s love is felt, not simply stated. When Cardinal Dolan makes such blatant attacks on LGBT people, it makes his “I love you and God loves you” in front of the media ring hollow. Such expressions of love need to be backed up with tangible action. Do something that demonstrates that church leaders view LGBT people as more than a threat or a curse.

Cardinal Dolan can keep saying that he loves us and God does too, but until he turns away from the camera to actually listen to the stories of our lives, these words will have no meaning.

Is there a bit of a thaw in the attitude of the Archbishop of New York?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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3 Responses to Some Advice

  1. John McGrath says:

    At my brother’s affluent church attendance has shrunk. People – straight people – can’t stand the mean spirited comments about gay people. If a priest speaks without charity and a concern for the dignity of every human person, he loses all credibility, except with mean-spirited people. Since my brother clued the priest in on this fact his has become far more careful about what he says. But too late.

    • Todd says:

      A “mean spirit” is as catchy and as insidious as gossip. It’s a perk for people who already have bitterness in their minds, and it can subtly draw in others on the fence. Or just someone who has had a bad day.

      There’s a good way to urge people to virtue, which is mostly (but not all) of what Archbishop Dolan and many others are trying to do here. Leadership just needs a good reorientation to human nature, a sense of personal sin. What other people are doing–maybe not so much of that.

  2. Jason Welle says:

    NY times also featured an op-ed with advice for Catholic leadership for developing trust, including:

    -Drop the opposition to including same-sex partners in immigration reform.
    -Support anti-bullying, inc. anti-gay bullying, in Catholic schools
    -Changing tone to avoid inflammatory rhetoric with regards to the gay community
    -Disassociate from the National Organization for Marriage

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/opinion/if-cardinal-dolan-is-serious-about-welcoming-gays.html

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