I came down pretty hard on Cardinal Dolan for agreeing to speak at the Republican and Democratic conventions. The reason is that our Catholic Faith transcends the temporal powers and his appearance at both, or either, confuses people on that point. In like manner, I have to now defend him against critics who take issue with this quote from him at National Review:
Dolan welcomed the fact that there is a Catholic on each party’s ticket. “Do you not think it’s a cause for celebration in the Catholic community in the United States of America that the two vice-presidential candidates are Catholic? Did you ever think it would come to this?
“We’ve got two men who — and you can disagree with one of them or both of them — say they take their faith seriously, who don’t try to hide it, and who say, ‘Hey, my Catholic upbringing and my Catholic formation influences the way I think.’ Not bad. Not bad.”
Our politics is not what makes us Catholic. Two things make us Catholic: the Sacraments and our belief. As long as we believe we are Catholic and as long as we are receiving the Sacraments, we are Catholic. Joe Biden believes he is Catholic, and he is receiving the Sacraments. Some would argue that he should not receive the Sacraments in that he should be excommunicated, but there is a valid argument against his excommunication. That is that if Joe Biden’s bishop believes that excommunicating him would drive him further away from the Church, then he can’t really excommunicate him. We cannot drive people away from the Church. You might argue that Biden’s position on abortion and “gay marriage” and other issues confuses people and drives them away from the Church, and that, too, would be a valid point. But don’t think Joe Biden’s own soul does not matter. His soul does (and should) matter to all of us.
Instead of insisting that Joe Biden is “not Catholic” (he is Catholic, for the time being) and instead of insisting that he be excommunicated, which would probably drive him farther away, try praying for him.
Faith in God’s will, and concern for souls is, after all, what we should be about.
Cardinal Dolan’s (NY) letters to Pres Obama & VP Biden & other candidates asks that they focus on critical issues & not personal attacks.
— Katylee McInerney (@Magniflux2) September 3, 2012
The revelation that Biden pushed Obama to meet Dolan re birth control mandates cd be a prob w women’s groups if he wants to run in 2016.
— Larry Smith (@LarryAdamSmith) September 2, 2012
Dolan name-checked Romney and Ryan. Wonder if we’ll see him do that next week at #DNC for Obama/Biden
— Jessica Barba Brown (@JessicaFPL) August 31, 2012