Catholic World News

Archbishop Dolan defends New York bishops' effort against same-sex marriage

July 11, 2011

Archbishop Timothy Dolan has rejected analysts’ claims that Catholic leaders were half-hearted in their efforts to stop the acceptance of same-sex marriage in the state of New York.

The bishops were “resolute in their conviction” that they must oppose the legislation, the archbishop said, and the New York State Catholic Conference organized a strong grassroots campaign against the legislation. The effort failed, Archbishop Dolan said, because of imposing forces arrayed for the bill. “The forces on the other side were a Goliath indeed—with tons of money, ‘glitterati’ from entertainment circles, political pawnbrokers, and the media,” he said.

Some political analysts had suggested that the Catholic bishops of New York could have been more outspoken in their campaign against same-sex marriage. Although Archbishop Dolan spoke clearly in opposition to the measure, he left town prior to the final vote. The state bishops’ conference issued a strong formal statement condemning the bill only after the legislation was approved.

Archbishop Dolan said that opposition to bishops’ involvement was badly tainted by anti-Catholic bias, so that “the real forces of ‘intolerance’ were unmasked here.” He insisted that Church leaders were not opposing anyone, but defending marriage. Now, the archbishop added, Catholics must be prepared for legislative battle on marriage issues again, “worried that the next step will be another redefinition to justify multiple partners and infidelity.”


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  • Posted by: - Jul. 12, 2011 11:11 AM ET USA

    The bishops have come to rely on the bureaucrats of the USCCB to articulate what is put forth as their collective wisdom. They forget the admonition that all politics is local. They should be preaching to their sheep, day in day out, on the moral evils of the age. Abp Dolan has lost all moral standing with the actions in his archdiocese of the church of St. Francis Xavier and its promotion of homosexual behavior. And then there is the failure to preach tiresomely against sterile copulation.

  • Posted by: williiam ronner - Jul. 11, 2011 10:06 PM ET USA

    Does anyone really think that Bishop Clark, Rochester, and Bishop Hubbard, Albany, opposed homosexual marriage?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 11, 2011 7:10 PM ET USA

    The effort by the New York bishops was indeed weak and the whine about anti-Catholicism has a familiar ring since we have been hearing that line routinely during the current abuse-and-coverup crisis.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 11, 2011 5:44 PM ET USA

    So, because NY has given way, the rest of the country must accept what happened in NY as the way of things? I know many think NY is the U.S., but the rest of the country does not! The USCCB selectively fights its battles (in NY and Boston especially, it seems) and, despite their protestations otherwise, might be wise to remember that "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality."