Archbishop Dolan Shoots himself in Foot on Gay Marriage

Archbishop Dolan throws reason out the window

Archbishop Dolan Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops apparently thinks that his dogmatic propaganda should rule the day when it comes to Gay Marriage/Civil Unions. Couching his reasoning in bizarre historical thinking the Archbishop considers that historical habit should be the standard, not development, and we should not be concerned with collective progress when it comes to the signs of the times.

Listening is not the Archbishop strong suite but lecturing and pointing the judgmental finger is.

He issued a decree for the New York Archdiocese forbidding any priest or deacon from performing same-sex marriages. The unions cannot be done in any church building, hall or other property. The prohibition even extends to consecrated items such as chalices, vestments and liturgical books.

“The marital union between one man and one woman was universally accepted by civil law as a constitutive element of human society, which is vital to the human family and to the continuation of the human race,” Archbishop Dolan said in the decree dated Oct. 18.

“In reversal of this tradition, the New York State Legislature recently enacted a law that recognized same-sex union as marriages in the State of New York. This law is irreconcilable with the nature and the definition of marriage as established by Divine law.”

A complete version of the decree is listed under the pastoral tab at

Insufficiently respecting the human dignity of Gay and Lesbian people in the Church is accomplished by example.

The most recent example of a homophobic attack by the Pilot the Catholic Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston comes to mind. Blaming the devil for homosexuality, and inferring that the mother plays a role in its development, only shows how un reasonable the Bishops have become in their thinking. Daniel Avila, policy adviser for marriage and family to the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage Committee was the author homophobic commentary. The article was pulled by the Archdiocese, and Daniel resigned his position.


Why are the Catholic Bishops trying to interfere with the civil rights of GLBT People as they have attempted to do in New York, California, and Illinois? How many Catholics in the pew are aware that their donations are being used to wage these political and legal battles?

At the end of the day Archbishop Dolan’s statement has no bearing on what city hall will do in this matter. From a religious perspective we Catholics believe that Marriage is a sacrament and the Church has a right to marry and or not marry who they choose. However, from legal contractual perspective the Church’s authority stops at the Church door; city and state governments define the rule of civil marriage not the Church.

The Rainbow Sash Movement finds it curious that the Archbishop sees a need to make such a pronouncement at this time. One wonders if there are political motivations behind such a statement, or is he just “circling the wagons” in response to chronic lay opposition on this matter, or is he just trying to muddy the homophobic waters.

The good Archbishop apparently does not buy into the Gospel of Luke which makes clear; we all walk with people we profoundly disagree with.

It does not hurt to love.

Patrick Brown
Rainbow Sash Movement


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