Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York greets a New York City firefighter while reviewing the 253rd annual St. Patrick's Day in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York on March 17, 2014. RNS photo by Gregory A. Shemitz

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York greets a New York City firefighter while reviewing the 253rd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on March 17, 2014. RNS photo by Gregory A. Shemitz


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

NEW YORK (RNS) After years of strong resistance, organizers of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade on Wednesday (Sept. 3) said that gays and lesbians will be allowed to march under their own banner for the first time, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan — the parade’s grand marshal next March — has welcomed the move.

The decision is another sign of how quickly changing public attitudes toward gay people have pushed changes in state laws, government policies and the practices of private entities.

Dolan’s positive response may also point to a shifting dynamic within the Catholic Church on gays and lesbians since the election of Pope Francis last year. Francis has made it clear he wants church leaders to highlight Catholicism’s outreach to the poor and vulnerable rather than always fighting culture war issues on gay marriage and the like.

The church’s teachings on gays and lesbians have not changed, as was evident this week when two teachers at a Catholic high school in St. Louis were fired when administrators learned the women were married, and a teacher at a Catholic high school in suburban Detroit who is a lesbian said she was fired when she became pregnant.

But the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which is not run by the church, allows for some wiggle room. Dolan said Wednesday that the parade committee that operates the annual event “continues to have my confidence and support.”

“Neither my predecessors as archbishop of New York nor I have ever determined who would or would not march in this parade … but have always appreciated the cooperation of parade organizers in keeping the parade close to its Catholic heritage,” he continued.

Dolan concluded by praying “that the parade would continue to be a source of unity for all of us.”

Cardinal John O'Connor speaks at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York on Nov. 11, 1986. Religion News Service file photo

Cardinal John O’Connor speaks at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on Nov. 11, 1986. Religion News Service file photo


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

In 1993, then-Cardinal John O’Connor, facing gay protesters who staged a sit-in during the parade, vowed that he “could never even be perceived as compromising Catholic teaching” by entertaining their admission as an identifiable group in the event. “Neither respectability nor political correctness is worth one comma in the Apostles’ Creed,” O’Connor declared in his homily at a Mass for St. Patrick’s Day that year.

O’Connor died in 2000, and much else has changed since then.

The parade committee chose OUT@NBCUniversal, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender resource group, to march up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on March 17 next year under their own banner. The parade organizers voted unanimously to include the NBC group, they told The Associated Press, and a parade spokesman said other gay and lesbian groups could apply in future years.

The committee said its “change of tone and expanded inclusiveness is a gesture of goodwill to the LGBT community in our continuing effort to keep the parade above politics.”

The committee’s statement said the parade was “remaining loyal to church teachings,” and committee spokesman Bill O’Reilly said Dolan was “very supportive” of the change.

Dolan said last year he supported the participation of gay people but did not take a position on whether they should be allowed to march with their own identifying sign.

There are about 320 units set for next year’s parade, each of which normally carries its own banner.

In recent years, as parade organizers steadfastly rebuffed growing calls to allow gay and lesbian Irish-Americans to march under their own banner, New York political leaders and others began avoiding the parade, which had always been an obligatory event for anyone expecting to stay in the good graces of the city’s large and influential Irish-American community.

Last March, Guinness beer — almost as much of an icon of Irishness as St. Patrick — dropped its sponsorship of the parade.

That prompted conservative activist Bill Donohue of the New York-based Catholic League, a vocal opponent of gay rights, to launch a boycott of the brewer. “They have really made a serious mistake, Guinness, in trying to stick it to Roman Catholics,” Donohue said.

On Wednesday, Donohue struck a different tone: “One would hope that all the new entries will conduct themselves in a manner that honors St. Patrick, lest another round of controversy emerges,” he said.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York began in 1762, predating the country’s founding, and it is one of the nation’s premier events to celebrate the pride and heritage of Irish-Americans. The parade is not, however, a Catholic-run event even though it is closely identified with Irish Catholicism: It is held on the Feast of St. Patrick, and it always pauses in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue so that the grand marshal can meet the archbishop, who, by tradition, is of Irish heritage.

Boston parade organizers still do not allow gays to march as a group, and organizers have faced similar pressures from sponsors and politicians to change that policy.

YS/MG END GIBSON

130 Comments

    • Your casualness heartens me, because it means that homophobes are finally becoming more inured to the display of the gay lifestyles. If we stop getting worked up about what the gays are up to, the preachers won’t have anything to talk about on Sundays! The biggest money-maker for the Christian church, besides maybe abortion, the gay issue if resolved either through ignoring it or accepting it will slowly begin to dry up the church coffers. I am not gay but I recognize that being gay is no different than me being born a male, or left-handed. They are perfectly normal people, and I would suggest our young children are more at risk from the pastors and priests than from gay celebrants or church members.

      • homosexuality has always been wrong there nothing new about it..
        its always been talked about in confirmation or bible classes even when it was not legal in the united states… not because the preacher brought it up because students did after reading there bibles .. students have talked about murder and adultery and stealing these sins also and yes just like homosexuality these other sins are becoming more of the norm in our society also…And people are finding even beheadings now as no big deal as they get desensitized through all the media coverage of that also.
        As long as it does not effect them or there family’s they are getting the attitude of not caring about that also.. VER FEW PEOPLE CARE ABOUT THERE NEIGHBOR ANY MORE .. so what’s the big deal about a bunch of homosexuals in new York when most don’t even care about the beheadings of news reporters.. ..
        very few people care unless it affects them
        if bombs fell on Washington D.C.. Even that would hold peoples interest only for a while .. .. They might find it interesting for a day or two if the evading force took over the east coast after that ..yet as long as they felt the threat was not effecting them.. they soon would be bored with that to.

        i

        • Rob,
          You are so right …People don’t seem to care anymore about their neighbors, are anything that doesn’t disrupt their lives, are on the way they choose to live it.
          After all, it doesn’t concern them, why should they care.
          The only problem is little, by little, our way of life, is descending into a downward spiral, and most people are not aware of how, more & more , Satan is coming in.
          We are losing all of our values here in America .
          People wake up… Start Praying more to God, and ask him to save our teachings that we learned as children,and to get back to our religious roots & upbringing.
          To love our neighbors, to help the poor, to love & care about others again, to honor our Parents & Grandparents ….I pray more & more for my Church, and my country AMERICA…She is in great danger,
          of losing everything…
          Don’t follow Bad Bishops, or Bad Priest ,who choose to follow their own way…Only follow the ones that you know in your heart, are the ones of GOD…Many are called, but few are chosen.
          May God bless you , and may He continue to Bless our Homeland…AMERICA

      • mmmm I think it’s obvious to any one with a modicum of intelligence that being a “proud” homo is no where near being normal. They should not be in a catholic St. Pat’s parade, that’s kinda like the KKK being in a MLK parade …. no reason for it beyond raining on someone else’s parade.

        • Except the religious nature of the parade is at this point really largely vestigial. Not even considered relevant to most of the city anymore. This is not Dublin or Belfast, its New York. A city which prides itself on avoiding sectarian nonsense wherever possible.

          Aside from a miniscule number of angry clerical types, the parade has taken meaning as a celebration of ethnic identity. Since being gay does not exclude one from being Irish, it is hardly as out of place as you would suggest.

          Plus again, we are talking about New York City here. Even its Catholic population are largely supportive of abortion, gay rights and voting Democrat.

      • Most of the Catholic priests convicted of child sexual abuse were homosexual. Being male or left handed has no negative health outcomes. Homosexual sex puts one at risk of multiple STI, HIV, anal cancer, etc….

        Your comparisons are flawed……

    • Augustine Thomas

      The difference is that other sinners don’t march under banners celebrating their sin. You guys are putting your souls at risk by pretending sin is no big deal.

      God save them from Hell!

  1. I never understood the RCC’s anti-gay, position. I’ve been in religious life, and my observation was that at least 50% of RC clergy are Gay. Can anyone explain this to me?

      • I’m missing your point Frank. My question remains; why the attraction to an organization that has a strong objection to your orientation?

        I believe opheliart is on the right track “…because it has been, and is, a “safe haven”. .

        When Gay marriage becomes widely accepted, where will RC priests come from?

        • Because some people realize that their sexual preference is not their identity, it’s not who they are. So like any sins, those who are of the faith do their best to not succumb to their sin and not surrender to it.

          There are no more clergy who have ssa than there is in the general population.

        • Augustine Thomas

          You’re fantasizing. The Church is protected by the Holy Spirit, which is infinitely stronger than your “Gay Lobby”. Many other earthly powers have been set toward destroying the Church and they all died long ago while the Church continued on.

        • As a former seminarian, now a happily married man, I’ll answer your question. The priesthood has always been an attractive career choice for homosexuals for two reasons: one, a priest never has to explain to his mother why he won’t settle down, get married and have a family, and two, priests were always admired and revered by their parishioners at a time when homosexuality was frowned upon. When I was in the seminary, I detected a certain amount of snobbery and clique-ish-ness among the gay students toward the straight ones. Of course, we were put off by the foppish behavior and annoying mannerisms. The Church just turned a blind eye to it all. They needed bodies to fill the pulpits and they weren’t too choosy.

          • Your comment reminded me of a very intereting book by Michael Rose called “Goodbye, Good Men.” Apparently after Vatican II, when the Church began allowing gay men to enter the priesthood, the ranks of seminarians swelled. These men were supposed to be celibate, but putting gay men together in close proximity in the seminary did not often result in celibacy. Rose said Pope JP II ended up closing a few seminaries that had become hotbeds of homosexual activity, including one in New Orleans.

      • I agree. No one is forced to be or even remain a Catholic. But, that being said, The Roman Catholic Church does not endorse homosexual relationships no matter what Dolan says.

          • You are so right, Virginia! We do need to pray for the salvation of souls. The evil one is the “master of lies” and he has taken such a hold on this world. It amazes me that so few can see what is happening before are very eyes. What would make anyone believe that the clergy would be immune from the corruption of Satan? How does anyone still believe that the L.G.B.T.agenda is some benign movement seeking refuge from discrimination and protection under “civil rights”? They have demanded inclusion and recognition into all aspects of our culture..and now our Church. These truly are the times that test men’s souls!l Sadly, Cardinal Dolan is misleading his flock….and , as our Lord said..”woe unto the shepherd who misleads his flock, for surely it would have been better if he were never born”.. St. Michael pray for us!

        • Read the article. Where does it say that Dolan “endorse(s) homosexual relationships”? The article said he is not protesting LGBT Irish groups marching in the parade. The parade is not sponsored by the Church. From that comment, you understood that he was endorsing gay sex? I listen to Dolan on the XM Catholic channel. He has clarified his position on gay marriage, and he does not endorse it at all.

    • Oh my, drwho13 … not taking sides here, but I have wondered the same thing, and you just had me laughing … and laughing.

      Part of the reason, I am told BY priests, is because it has been, and is, a “safe haven”. Take from that what you will.

      Peace and Love

        • Ahh, Max, you are making me blush … but to be fully honest, I am not in the Blessings BUSINESS … I leave that to the priests, bishops, cardinals, and Pop-up Fran.

          Peace Be Love :)

        • Atheist Max, I’m not troubled by people who don’t believe in the existence of God, nor am I troubled by people that believe the earth was created by God 6,000 years ago.

          Everyone believes they have the truth, or they would take a different position than the one they hold. No one knows the true nature of reality, so why lose your peace over someone’s mistaken belief?

          When a belief is put into action, for example cutting off heads in the name of God, or cutting off heads because there is no God, that’s a different matter. However, the “belief” of others as an abstract philosophical concept is not worth losing sleep over, or getting angry over.

          My point is that one ought not to cause unnecessary pain to others. It’s behavior that matters, beliefs of others in the abstract are of little concern to me.

          Peace be with you!

          • Epistemological relativist! So it doesn’t bother you that the reporter’s head was cut off? The “abstract philosophical concept” is not one of Plato’s Forms. Belief is a behavior, and one thing atheists TRY to point out is the great harm and bloodshed committed throughout history by people of faith in the name of God. Talk about causing unnecessary pain to others. How many men, women and children (even babies) were put to the torch during the Inquisition? Religion is all about death, and as long as we continue to have faith, whether we’re Muslim or Christian or Jewish Fundamentalists, the killing will continue. Just like cancer, for which we’ve had cures for decades, we KNOW how to stop wars, it’s just that we don’t want to because of either faith or greed. Oh, and by the way, I think Stephen Hawking knows.

          • @Jack Mathys,

            “So it doesn’t bother you that the reporter’s head was cut off?”

            Exactly. Well said.

            There are a large number of people like ‘drwho13′
            who forget that religious claims need to be challenged directly
            because bad beliefs lead to bad behavior.

            “He who believes absurdities will commit atrocities” – Voltaire

          • @Dr. Who,

            “one ought not to cause unnecessary pain to others.”

            If you believe in a god – then the harm is only to yourself. It is significant harm, but you are free to do that to yourself if you must.

            Unfortunately, religionists can’t seem to do that.
            They insist on destroying the wall of separation between Church and State and they spread irrational nonsense across civilization.

            Currently the Christian Right Wing is constructing a major push to wreck the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. They would like to put Evangelical Christian money into Republican politics in a blatant way to create a power center the Democratic party could never compete with.
            They may win.

            Watch the behavior of the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Greens (Hobby Lobby), Waltons, etc. These are major Oligarchs looking for power. Praising Jesus is the best way to get into power in our culture.

            In the meantime:

            Christians ARE on the march
            to shove their positions on the rest of us.

            To use government to push Christian ideas on “all Americans, even non-believers” (Truth Ministries) and to promote church doctrine across American law.

            “America stands at a defining moment,” said Lou Sheldon in 2003, founder of the Christian Traditional Values Coalition. “The only comparison is our battle for American Independence”

            So Right-wing Evangelicals
            like ‘Truth In Action Ministries’, spend millions of dollars
            a year on causes like these:

            State Legalized Murder of Doctors – South Dakota
            Mandatory Trans-vaginal probes – Virginia Legislature

            PREACHING of the Bible IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS – Steve Green’s Hobby Lobby financing fund of $8 million.
            Blocking even married people from family planning service – Texas, Kansas, Alabama, Louisiana
            Obstruction of prescriptions – Illinois, Washington

            Discrimination as religious choice -Arizona (SB-1062)

            Anti-Gay laws – Texas

            Anti-women’s rights laws – Texas, Louisina, Virginia

            Biased Counseling laws – South Dakota
            Creationism to replace Science Education: 12 States

            These groups are even working against our U.S Constitution – A document which now preserves everyone’s religious freedom – but under these changes YOUR religious freedom (as well as mine) would be gravely damaged.

            Christians are chasing more illusions than they can control.

          • Jack Mathys,

            It does bother me that the reporter’s head was cut off. It bothers me a lot! But, that has nothing to do with religious belief. The axiom that “one ought not cause unnecessary pain” is the basis for my position.

            Atheist Max,

            “…bad beliefs lead to bad behavior.” They certainly can, but they they do not have to. If a bad belief causes bad behavior, I’m in your corner. My position is that I can chose not to act on a belief, be it good or bad. Separation between Church and States is essential to my belief system.

          • Ah Jack! Tssk, Tssk, tssk… You long for those faithless regimes of peace started by the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, et al. You must have graduated summa cum laude from a state-run school-Comrade.

          • Augustine Thomas

            You sound like a follower of Satan if you don’t care whether or not people are risking their souls to Hell.

        • Not a safe haven for a heterosexual priest, sometimes they can feel rather isolated and out of place, depends on the order or parish. That was a major reason for my departure. The pope spoke of a “Gay Mafia.” Well, I saw it first hand, and I was never going to become a “made man.”

          • “Not a safe haven for a heterosexual priest, sometimes they can feel rather isolated and out of place, depends on the order or parish. That was a major reason for my departure. The pope spoke of a “Gay Mafia.” Well, I saw it first hand, and I was never going to become a “made man.” ”

            drwho13,

            This I have seen happen to an old friend. When I look back on this (early 80s), I shake my head. He and I had a discussion about gays in the priesthood because he was planning on entering. I do not recall why we even got on the subject, but I clearly remember our discussion. He said, “There are no gays in the priesthood,” (and he was referring to the RCC). I said, “Sure there are gays in the priesthood. There are gays in probably every vocation.” “No,” he was insistent. I asked, “How do they keep gays from the priesthood.” He replied, “They weed them out.” Now, this makes me laugh, but you must remember the year, and this young man is cradle RC, and still, like so much of what is going on in these vocations … the celibates were, and in many ways, still are … looked at as a type of person without desires, passions and emotional relevance … as if ready-made through seminary training to become of a manner not able to be penetrated—heavily guarded? Shellacked? Made of a material that cannot be sized?

            A couple of years in (Jesuit community in NY), my friend sent me a note telling of the gays in the order, and that several had made a pass at him. Later, in another order, he shared that he knew of gays in the order, but he did not share on any activity.

            More to date, I have several friends I share regularly with who are of the ordained status, and know through what they share, that gay and straight sexual activity is not uncommon among the priests, and one shared that the homosexuals (and this one is in no way anti gay) are part of a problem. I did not ask for specifics, although, maybe I should have.

            Again, take from this what you will.

            Peace and Love

    • The RCC treats gays/homosexuals the same as it treats unmarried heterosexuals. You must remain chaste. No discrimination. The Church will never change its position on this and rightfully so. There are gay priests…so what? They take an oath of celibacy and remain chaste. Glad to be able to broaden your perspective on the Catholic faith. God Bless

      • No it doesn’t.

        Unmarried heterosexuals don’t get fired from Catholic Schools for getting married. The Catholic Church isn’t actively engaging in political action to attack liberties of unmarried heterosexuals

        Whereas unmarried heterosexuals are expected to eventually raise families, gays are expected never to have such kinds of relationships.

        • Augustine Thomas

          Unchaste heterosexuals most certainly get fired. If you know of one who isn’t, report him or her to the local bishop! If the bishop ignores you, report him to the Vatican. If the Vatican ignores you, that still won’t justify the sin. That will mean that the Vatican is acting like what it is, a flawed group of humans. We can’t idolize the papacy. We must stay loyal to the Church even when the pope isn’t.

          God bless you!

          • No they don’t. They get sent to mandatory counseling on the job and given an opportunity to resume work. The Catholic Church isn’t using political clout to attack unchaste heterosexuals under color of law. Not even close.

            I question the sanity of any gay person choosing to work for an Catholic organization. It is more than obvious they will be discriminated against at the earliest opportunity. Why would someone bother with such nonsense?

      • G1J,

        Sorry to introduce you to reality. They take an oath of celibacy (or chastity), but many do not remain chaste. If they did, I likely would have completed my seminary training and become a priest. There’s a lot of fakes, phonies, and frauds in the organization. They’re there because the living is easy. You won’t find many of this type in 3rd world missions.

    • I abhor the word “religion” or “religious”. I want no part of any religion and I’m not religious. I want a “relationship” with my Lord, that simple. How? First by accepting Him as my Lord & Savior. By getting into His word, the living bible, the book of life. In that bible God clearly says that homosexuality is an abomination. Now, does God hate gays? Absolutely NOT! So as Christians, neither should we. God doesn’t hate his children but, as our heavenly Father, certainly doesn’t like what we do when we sin. The RCC is one of many religious cults, a perfect place for a gay man to hide. Just because the pope and cardinal think it’s ok for gays to have their day in a parade (I could care less about that), what concerns me are the pope and cardinal accepting homosexuality as being ok in the eyes of God. God have mercy on them.

    • Actually, yes

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/nyregion/new-york-st-patricks-day-parade-organizers-lift-ban-on-gay-groups.html?_r=0

      “William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said that gays and “pro-life Catholics” alike have been permitted to march but not to have their own unit.

      “I have been assured that the rules have been formally changed to allow both of these groups, as well as others, to march under their own banner,” he said. “That being the case, there should be no controversy.””

      • The Irish are pretty right-wing for Christ. In Ireland, they will let you die rather than give you an abortion. I’m sure they are upset over this news about the St. Patrick Parade turning into a Gay Pride parade. They are a godly people and I think they will miss me.

        I am not renouncing Jesus. Don’t know where you got that idea from. I can’t quit Jesus.

        • Women always die while the murderer is crushing the child’s brains inside the womb. That doesn’t bother you? It only bothers you when she dies while the doctors are trying to save the baby?

          • Its not a child until its born.

            Ronald was making a sick joke about the woman who died in Ireland last year because the doctors were too “pious” to perform an abortion to save her life.

      • If you’re a Christian, before stating what Jesus would do or say, please read God’s word. The Bible consistently tells us that homosexual activity is a sin, Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Romans 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another.
        1 Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality. Romans 1:26-27 teaches specifically that homosexuality is a result of denying and disobeying God. Just because the 2 biggest cult leaders (the pope & cardinal) say something’s ok, it’s not “bible”.

        • Well you are entitled to your interpretations of the Bible and your belief that it represents the only available ones for people you want to consider Christian.

          Its just that nobody is compelled to take such things seriously, as a good number of Christian sects already do. Nor do such beliefs give you license to act in malicious and anti-social ways against others.

  2. @Ronald…how have they invalidated your marriage? How have the invalidated your Irishness? So you are saying there are no Irish Catholic people who are gay? Seriously?

  3. 2010 – CARDINAL DOLAN: GAYS ARE OUT
    “Gays are entitled to friendship – but no sex life, no marriage..(etc)”

    2014 – CARDINAL DOLAN: GAYS ARE IN. SEES THE ‘HOLY LIGHT’
    “New York political leaders and others began avoiding the parade…”

    Religion is transparently
    a man made, man-molded, man-shaped enterprise.
    Entirely arbitrary and completely fashioned
    on the needs NOT of human needs – but on the needs of an invisible, atmospheric AIR POCKET and the Church built to bow to it.

    How embarrassing for all of us that a grown man
    wearing fancy drapery and funny hats
    has been allowed to cause so much misery.
    The clergy is a laughing stock.

      • Well Larry, it sure looks like Atheist Max is keeping that fake Cardinal Dolan honest. I guess that proves you’re telling the truth.

        Max has produced a couple of quotations (from 2010 and 2014) that demonstrate and prove that Dolan has messed up for sure.

        Dolan has effectively turned traitor on Catholic doctrine, and Atheist Max’s documentation PROVES it.

        Now if this stupid parade is nothing more than a Guinness Beer drunk party, then it really doesn’t matter. Please don’t exclude anybody. In fact, let’s allow ISIS to march right next to Dolan. Let them have some good “interfaith dialogue” together, yes?

        But if the idea is to celebrate the life of the great Christian preacher St. Patrick, then there’s NO excuse for Dolan’s endorsement of that homosexual mess in this year’s parade. Period.

        • Have you been to New York during St. Patrick’s Day?

          It really is not much more than a Guinness fueled drunk-fest.

          The Irish population of the 5 boroughs is down to less about 5% There are no distinctly Irish neighborhoods anymore. They are not a significant population in the city anymore. Most are in the suburbs now. The parade is mostly an excuse for “bridge and tunnel” types to take a day off during the week and drink before noon.

          New York City has never been a place big on exclusion. Sectarian politics also don’t fly over well there either. The overwhelming majority of Catholics living there support abortion rights, birth control and gays. Dolan knows he has been beaten and he is being dignified about it.

    • CS,

      My time on RNS is two-fold: research and sharing. This involves not just listening to what others are writing, but also dialoguing. If I did not see an Atheist or two on here, I would be concerned. As most posters know, I am a believer of the Spirit (God)—the Christ Way, and I am not shy about sharing Holy Scripture to address points, as many of these articles involve Scripture/Parables, and how man interprets/understands these, and this is precisely why Atheists can and should have voice. Religion in politics, and in the general movement of societal thinking is everybody’s business, and I do not need to go into all the reasons why.

      As a believer more in the vein of gnosis (Gnostic Literature, but NOT Gnosticism the religion), I see ‘how’ the traditional religious see, but I HEAR in symbols and images when understanding Holy Scripture, and this makes all the difference in cause and effect, and given the view of the ‘heretic’, which I am undoubtedly in the eyes of most Christians, I understand what it feels like to be outside the box :)

      Hope this helps.

      Peace and Love

    • @CS,

      “Why is an atheist posting on religionnews.com?”

      Yeah. I get that a lot.

      1. This is an IMPORTANT RELIGIOUS NEWS site – not a ‘daily blessings’ site. Go to PatRobertson.com for your ‘salvation’ (if that is what you want to call it).

      2. I study religion the way an Oncologist studies Cancer. How it spreads and why people surrender to its foolishness.

      3. I’m looking for ways to safely combat the disease of Religion without hurting people in the process.

      4. I hate Cancer, not Cancer patients. I see people with religion as victims of a epic lie. They suffer without knowing there is an exit.

      5. Unlike Cancer, the disease is always treatable; REASON, Skepticism and proper thinking skills will free believers from the disaster.

      The Price of religion is too high on us as individuals.
      The Price of religion is too high on us as a society.

      Read the stories at RNS – We have way too much religion in the world.
      Just ask James Foley.

      • umm James Foley was a Roman Catholic he even wrote back to his ala Mater Marquette a Jesuit college thanking them for their prayers and talking about praying the rossary

        • @Walter Clarke,

          “James Foley was a Roman Catholic..”

          So was I, once.
          ‘faith’ in Allah is no different than ‘faith’ in Jesus.
          Each conviction rests on the idea that it is good to connect dots that absurdly do not connect – with a leap of pretending.

          Shame on humanity for not realizing the folly and for elevating PRETENDING to something supposedly ‘good’ – Faith is a disgusting assault on the mind.

      • Atheism is the disease. Atheists have the highest rates of depression and suicide. North Korea and China are the only two countries run by atheists and the huge majority of their people are impoverished and miserable.

        Come back to reality. The leftists in your state university have brainwashed you!

        Nonetheless, you’re a child of God, so God bless you!

        • @Augustine Thomas!

          “North Korea and China are…run by Atheists”

          Oh, STOP IT!

          1. The Dear Leader is the God of North Korea! Little birds miraculously sang IN KOREAN on the day he was born. He claims to be all-powerful and demands universal worship from his sheep! THAT IS NOT ATHEISM – IT IS RELIGION!

          2. China is a Communist country still suffering from Chaiman Mao’s RELIGIOUS DEVOTION to totalitarian rule half a century ago – with a culture in enormous flux. You clearly have no clue what ‘religion’ even means!

          The US Constitution is STILL THE ONLY GODLESS Constitution in the world. The USA is the only government which has separation from church and state because of and ATHEISTIC DOCUMENT:

          “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion”

          ATHEISM = “non-belief in any god”

          ATHEIST FAMILY = “we enforce no rules establishing a religion in this house. But you are free to have religion if you want.”

          ATHEIST COUNTRY = “we enforce no rules establishing a religion in this country. But you are free to have religion if you want.”

          These are not options in China or North Korea!!

    • @CS,

      “Why is an atheist posting on religionnews.com?”

      For the same reason a fireman shows up to deal with arson.

      JESUS – I WANT TO BURN UP THE WORLD
      “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints! I am impatient to bring..DIVISION.” (Luke 12:49-51)

  4. Tell me , I wonder, if there was a parade of heterosexuals who opening and actively wanted to display their living and sleeping together, outside of marriage, would the Church or Cardinal Dolan be so welcoming to them!?? Is “fornication” the same for heterosexuals as for homosexuals?? Is it not the duty of all Christians as scripture says to tell our brothers where there souls might be in danger due to their conduct? Is not what our Lord taught? Did not the Apostle Paul say that if we don’t help someone going into sin that we are just as guilty and will be held accountable?? Research that. Just wondering??

    • “Tell me , I wonder, if there was a parade of heterosexuals who opening and actively wanted to display their living and sleeping together, outside of marriage, would the Church or Cardinal Dolan be so welcoming to them!??”

      We call that Mardi Gras.

      Its a Catholic celebration as well. :)

        • Tell that to the residents of New Orleans.

          You can also ask the residents of Rio de Janeiro and virtually every Catholic majority country which has its own version of “Carnival”.

          Bernie, you make me laugh with your blatant mendacity/ignorance.

          I should not have to explain this to you. Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)/Carnival is the period RIGHT BEFORE LENT. Carne levare meaning farewell to the flesh (meaning both eating of meat and carnality)

          It is as Catholic as it comes.

          • Even though the people of New Orleans that are Catholic.. think this so called celebration is a Catholic celebration,it is not endorsed by the Catholic Church teaching ..especially the blatant display of carnality and immorality ! Fat Tuesday was also not endorsed by the Church.. so her members can do all kinds of immorality before Lent.. What a mockery to God! This was never and will never be a Catholic endorsement.. even though people claiming to be Catholic may participate and think it is.. they are very ill-informed, as you are Larry..sorry for you. This is all I’m going to say..case closed.

          • Your denials and hair splitting are both feeble and dishonest. You are merely trying to recover from a well placed zinger. Reality disagrees with your beliefs. Deal with it.

            Carnival/Mardi Gras is a tradition in places where Catholicism is the dominant faith. In those areas the celebration is not only endorsed by the Churches where they hold them, they are encouraged. To put it mildly, you are full of crap.

            There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that supports a word you say. We are talking about centuries of celebration here. If the Catholic Church had any problems with these celebrations which are timed with their rites, they would have put the kibosh on it a long time ago.

            Bernie you are either a moron or a liar. There is no point of continuing a discussion with you except for purposes of mockery.

          • Well placed zinger? More like a sinner’s wishful thinking!

            Repent before you go all the way to the gates of Hell celebrating your perversions!

          • In other words, entirely correct and made Bernie look foolish.

            Auggie, if heaven is full of self-righteous, ignorant obnoxious twits as described by believers, it is eternal torture. You can keep it.

            I am happy with living my life without worrying about phantom divine punishment and reward.

    • Augustine Thomas,

      You and those of like mind are the reason I’m glad we have separation of Church and State in this country. There’s a parallel between RC “enforcers” and ISIS. Five or six hundred years ago RC extremist were killing heretics. Convert or go to Hell, right Augustine? And they couldn’t be wrong because they were guided by the Holy Spirit. Nonsense Augustine, it’s pure nonsense!

  5. Ákos Tárkányi

    Cardinal Dolan has to be excommuncated at once. He is a traitor of Catholic church and faith.

    And Catholics have to organize a Catholic Saint Patrick’s Parade – without the homosexualist liars and their Cardinal Dolan.

    • Everything has been outlawed by the church …And
      EVERYTHING has been blessed by the church!

      It just depends
      which century
      you are looking at:

      Outlawed for 1000 years: “do NOT read the Bible”
      Blessed for 1000 years: “read the bible”

      BLESSED FOR 1800 YEARS: “it is right to keep and own SLAVES”
      Outlawed for 200 Years: “It is wrong to keep slaves”

      Outlawed for 1700 years: “Do NOT have a Christmas Tree”
      Blessed for 300 years: “Have a Christmas tree”

      Outlawed for 2000 years (in many sects) : “do not shave”
      Blessed for 2000 years (in many sects): “DO shave”

      Outlawed for 1000 years: “Do not mix milk and meat”
      Blessed for 1000 years: “Do mix milk and meat”

      BANNED BY THE CHURCH
      AND BLESSED BY THE CHURCH
      AT VARIOUS PERIODS IN HISTORY:

      CURSING – (Ephesians 5:4)
      Gossip – (Leviticus 19:16)
      Football on Saturdays (Exodus 20:8)
      Eating Lobster – (Leviticus 11:10)
      Eating Pork – (Leviticus 11:7)
      mixing Cotton and other fabrics – (Leviticus 19:19)
      Associating with women who
      Are having their period – (Leviticus 15:19-20)

      Masturbation – depends on the church
      Sex outside of marriage – depends on the church
      Divorce – depends
      Gay Marriage – depends on the church
      Eating Pork – depends on the church
      Must go to church on Sunday – depends on the church
      Funerals on weekends – depends on the church
      Homosexuality – depends on the church
      Must believe in The risen Jesus – depends on the church
      Don’t have to believe in the risen Jesus – depends on the church
      Jesus is god – depends on the church
      God is not Jesus – depends on the church

      I’m glad I don’t depend on an ‘authority’ beyond what my reason indicates.
      I don’t know how religious people put up with this.

      • None of this stuff depends on the church. Heretics and apostates embrace sin. The orthodox reject it. It’s been the same since Christ founded the Church 2,000 years ago, despite that bitter heretics and apostates like you have been trying to claim otherwise the entire time.
        I hope you free yourself from enslavement to your sins.

        God bless you!

        • @Augustine Thomas,

          “Heretics and apostates embrace sin.”

          Nonsense.
          “Sin” is a word for an imaginary crime against an imaginary dictator.
          Hence blasphemy is a ‘sin’. But no victim appears to exist.

          “Crime” is a word for an unlawful act based on real harm. Victims of ‘crime’ are everywhere and they clearly exist.

          So to “Execute them in front of me” – JESUS
          (Luke 19:27, lesson from the Parable of the Minas)
          is to incite violence and to commit crimes.

          Morality is doing what is right no matter what you are told.
          Religion is doing what you are told no matter what is right.

          Shame on you.

  6. I am happy about this direction of both the Pope and Dolan. I am sad to hear of teachers being fired. Those that are firing know the goings on of Parish priests who are actively gay or having affairs. What about heterosexual teachers who are having affairs or are living together? Seems so unfair.

    • People do get fired for living adulterous lifestyles. It just doesn’t make national news.
      Who taught you guys that if a priest sins that makes it ok for you to sin?
      The priest is risking his soul to Hell when he sins every bit as much as the rest of us are when we sin.

      God bless you!

  7. GAYS AND LESBIANS WERE NEVER EXCLUDED IN THE ST. PATRICK’S PARADE. THERE ARE MANY IN THE POLICE, FIRE, SANITATION, ETC GROUPS THAT MARCH EACH YEAR. THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO CARRY A BANNER – IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO MAKE A DISPLAY OF THEMSELVES AS A GROUP. THE MEDIA WILL HAVE A FIELD DAY WITH THIS AND THAT WILL TAKE AWAY FROM THE HONORING OF ST. PATRICK. CARDINAL DOLAN WILL LIVE TO REGRET THIS

  8. In Boston they have a bunch of saints days parades down in the North End, complete with priests and altar servers and incense and flowers and big huge statues carried on platforms, all kinds of them, for Santa Maria Di Anzano, Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint Padre Pio, the Madonna delle Grazie, Saint Rocco, St. Agrippina di Mineo, Saint Anthony, Saint Lucy – tons of saints days – Saint Patrick is the only one that gets all the press, gets all the parades, gets all the stupidity, gets all the politicians, and all the drunks. Good thing he’s good at getting rid of snakes…

    • San Genaro also gets a bit of attention in NYC. The feast next week draws tourists to the 4 blocks of what remains of Little Italy.

      St. Patrick’s Day is the only out and out Sectarian Christian parade in New York City. Other than its value as a tourism draw for suburbanites, its fast losing its relevance.

      • st Patty seems to be a problem for the colleges … at least here in New England. The news articles state that the large college parties, the ones that look like tail gate festivals, have interrupted traffic, frightened the elderly, destroyed some property and cost the taxpayers a lot of money … not to mention the bad rep for the academic institutions (and the possible misuse of mom and dad’s paychecks), along with the police being accused of “rough” behavior. I wonder what the young women of Afghanistan must think, if they are even permitted to read the news in the US.

        Speaking of honoring saints in the RCC … have you read on the death saint worshipped in Latin America ( I forget the title of their saint—was a him is now a her dressed in a wedding gown) … and the nailing of self to a cross in the Philippines?

        *I have the articles (with images) if interested.

        Peace

        • ” I forget the title of their saint—was a him is now a her dressed in a wedding gown) … and the nailing of self to a cross in the Philippines? ”

          “Crucifixion is a really negative way to kill yourself man, I’ve tried it before loads of times, there’s no way you can hammer in the last nail.”
          -Neil, The Young Ones

          The moment I read your post, that quote popped in my head. :)

          • Hmm, Larry, that is a fine twist :)

            I have never known a day where I did not believe in God. It just was—it just is, without indoctrination of anything like the RCC or others. I am told that I am of purpose this way. And I see Jesus as Prophet on Truth, and a salient giver in the stream of Life. He brought to Light the Art and Science of Truth—made it real—made it beyond surreal—spirreal. The Spirit filtered through Human hands, as He was both of Spirit and of Human flesh. Just as Evil is very real to the eye of an Atheist, so is Good to the eye of one in Truth. Man is often confused in God’s goodness. The Language of the Spirit is not like the language of mankind. People do not realize this fact. One might call it alien, and this is even used in the Gospels of those stamped as heretical (Philip, Thomas, Andrew, John, Paul, James and Mary … and these were Gnostics). Man did not understand these texts, and murdered those brought to these places (planes) of Understanding. Many were butchered. These would be my brethren, for like the Apostles called by the Prophet, they existed and suffered and died at the hands of Evil. Did they know all there was to know of God? Certainly not, just as those searching today do not know, but like the exploration of anything—it is experiential, limitless, and of a dynamic and provocative Voice. As Lord speaks of the sparrow in Scripture, I see the sparrow as if it holds promise, for why else would this, and other symbols of nature be shared in God’s Word? Man missed these transient symbols in his quest for understanding, and now he pushes for agendas—his own, and forgets that the sparrow dies in droves.

            The crucifying of Christ was not as the Religious have been taught. Jesus is used as a symbol for greed. Now, one might ask this question of the Religious: If God is such a loving God, why would He allow his Son to be murdered? Why would Spirit allow something violent?
            There is a twist … not so different from what Neil Young shares, and it sings a song much different from the holy roller-seminole-saccharin. It goes like this:

            I sing the song
            because I love the man
            I know that some
            of you don’t understand
            Milk-blood
            to keep from running out.

            Peace and Love

  9. Thomas Stratford

    “The decision is another sign of how quickly changing public attitudes toward gay people have pushed changes in state laws, government policies and the practices of private entities.”…And scriptures….as there are still people that think the Catholic church is actually Christian.

  10. Email Dolan like I did and tell him he’s a vile heretic. That’s why he’s shutting down the most faithful parish in his diocese for being “too traditional” and “too orthodox” while he celebrates the homosexual perversion.

    Pray for him! God save Dolan’s soul from Hell!

    • Augustine Thomas: The name you have chosen depicts the antiquity of your thinking. It shows a desperate need to grow beyond mythology.

      You display such sad distortions of goodness, spirituality, and Christianity. Sadly, it is typical of the evils of all religious history that still fester in current events.

      When you sanctify tradition and orthodoxy over the genuine goodness that is presumed to be the purpose of religion, you worship false gods.

      When you display such sad and awful ignorance about sexuality, it means, as with religious belief, that you are in desperate need of learning outside your box of religious “perversion” that is altogether lacking in spirit.

      • “Augustine Thomas: The name you have chosen depicts the antiquity of your thinking. It shows a desperate need to grow beyond mythology.”

        gilhcan,
        If I am not mistaken, it was in CITY of GOD where Augustine of Hippo wrote about the peacock. He explains that he did a test to see if the meat of the peacock would decay. After having the meat cooked, he set it aside to see if it would rot. After a period of time, he concluded that it did not decay. I found it odd that he would use cooked meat instead of raw meat, as there would be a significant difference in how the meat breaks down. This shows how the mind of one caught up in the art of striving for something “mysterious” can lose sight of Sense and Reason. He was full of zeal in his writing, but did not stop, until much, much later, to step back and listen to his own words.

        Man will use what suits his agendas, and those like him, without stepping out of that box—stepping out to see that the box is really his own tomb. Some might call this a cell, and this would be an appropriate word when in communing for safe purposes, but the tomb is never safe when the lid clamps down … as the RCC did to so many. They took what suited their interests, and even altered material to create a “church” they felt would sell, and it did, for some …

        I see you are like one crying out in the wilderness. The time is near for that divide, as the fancy lid is crumbling. Many will mourn, but Life is of the Essence to Energy within the Paradox on Love. It is THIS that will not be denied, no matter how many claimed titles of superiority they try to sell. It is a wearisome task, but I applaud your willingness to voice the hypocrisy, out of concern for the well being of many.

        Peace and Love

  11. Ok, who’s responsible? Certainly not Cardinal Dolan. It’s the new, softer, less rejecting, more science-based, more accepting attitude sent from St. Martha’s House in the Vatican. That house happens to be where Pope Francis lives, as opposed to the Apostolic Palace o the retreat in the Vatican Gardens where Benedict is hovering over the shoulder of Francis.

    No need is seen for formally expressing change on the part of the Vatican in this attitude, any more than in noise made about other things doctrinal and practical. But it would be more open, hence more honest, for instance, if Francis would call off Cardinal Mueller’s dogs in the Confraternity for the Doctrine of the Faith from continuing the outrageous, irreligious, gestapo attack on U.S. nuns.

    Grow up! These women are intelligent, informed, and very sufficiently spiritual enough to handle their own affairs. They do not need any men who have never lived community life, never practiced corporal works of mercy, never mingled in the mud with ordinary people telling them how to live their faith.

    Since Mueller is a clone of Benedict’s, as was Mueller’s predecessor, Benedict’s friend Cardinal Levada of California, it is far past the time for big change at the CDF just as in other dicasteries of the Vatican curia.

    Francis doesn’t have much time. Men with myopic spiritual vision will continue to run this dying church. Desperate times call for desperate measures. If the People of God are to have any chance of survival, Francis must take action now. It is wise and proper and good that Francis has assembled a “cabinet” representative of the wider world, but if the church is to survive, that management must be extended to the people in the pews.

    The people in the pews are the ones who were sexually molested by sick, false clergy. The people in the pews are the parents of those young people who were molested and are now struggling as adults with the results. The people in the pews pay all the bills, not the bishops who hid all the sex crimes and court-ordered fines for the crimes of the clergy–the celibate, supposedly chaste clergy. The church exists for the people in the pews, not only as a stage for the clerics in the sanctuaries.

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