Cardinal Dolan and Toppling the ‘Barriers of Horror’

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“Good for him. … So I would say, ‘Bravo!’”

That was Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s reaction when asked about NFL hopeful Michael Sam’s recent decision to come out publicly as a homosexual.

Cardinal Dolan’s words were the success of a very well studied and carefully prepared maneuver intended to generate impact on public opinion. This was yet another move by the homosexual movement in the ongoing Culture War against the family and traditional morality.

Indeed, the liberal Daily Beast published a revealing article titled “How Howard Bragman Orchestrated Michael Sam’s Coming Out,” which narrates how a public relations specialist carefully prepared this maneuver to have a great impact in the media.

Bragman’s own goal as a homosexual activist was to destroy something symbolic: “This broke stereotypes. Football is where gladiators compete in America today,” he stated to the Daily Beast. According to “PR Newser, the industry’s top trade site,” Bragman’s maneuver was a “masterpiece.”1

An article in The New York Times comments on the importance of a sportsman’s orchestrated coming out:

“As the pace of the gay rights movement has accelerated in recent years, the sports industry has changed relatively little for men, with no publicly gay athletes in the N.F.L., the N.B.A., the N.H.L. or Major League Baseball. Against this backdrop, Mr. Sam could become a symbol for the country’s gay rights movement or a flash point in a football culture war — or both”.

Was the illustrious Prelate aware just how crucial the support of a leading religious figure would be for the full success of this far-reaching psyop with public opinion?

Is “Do not judge” the supreme commandment?
Let us now see the context of Cardinal Dolan’s statement while being interviewed by NBC’s Meet the Press. When asked about the athlete’s coming out, he answered:

“Good for him. I would have no sense of judgment on him. God bless ya. I don’t think… look, the same Bible that tells us, that teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, ‘Bravo.’”

The Cardinal thus hoisted “Do not judge” as an absolute biblical principle, a kind of supreme commandment that trumps chastity or marital fidelity. But human thought can only attain its end when, in making a judgment on the truth or goodness of something, it distinguishes truth from error, good from evil and just from unjust. Therefore, it would be absurd for God to forbid man from acting according to his rational nature.

Perhaps the Cardinal intended his comment as a reference to Our Lord’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount: “Judge not, that you may not be judged” (Matt. 7:1). But the Gospel text goes on to make it clear that the Savior was not forbidding a moral judgment, but only condemning the hypocritical judgment of those who only have eyes for their neighbor’s defects and not their own:

“Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:3-5).

A moral judgment is not just licit, it becomes necessary, whenever one has the proper elements and conditions to do it. Thus, with his typical clarity, St. Augustine explains the Gospel phrase:

“Concerning those things, then, which are known to God, unknown to us, we judge our neighbors at our peril. Of these the Lord hath said, ‘Judge not, that you may not be judged.’ But concerning things which are open and public evils, we may and must judge and rebuke, but still with charity and love, hating not the man, but the sin, detesting not the vicious man but the vice, the disease more than the sick man. For unless the open adulterer, thief, habitual drunkard, traitor, or proud man were judged and punished, in them would be fulfilled what the blessed martyr Cyprian hath said, ‘He who soothes a sinner with flattering words provides fuel for his sin.’2

Claiming that he could not judge, Cardinal Dolan refrained from reproving morally the scandalous statement of someone who broadcasts his homosexual activism. Yet, at the same time the Cardinal contradicted himself, for he did make a judgment. He could have refrained from warmly praising the athlete. But that’s not what he did. —“Good for him…. Bravo!”—He judged the athlete’s action and determined that it was good. To be sure, it was a benevolent and incorrect judgment, but it was a judgment nonetheless…

Demolishing the ‘Barrier of Horror’ for sin
We certainly hope that the Cardinal Archbishop of New York was unaware of the underlying maneuver, though he ended up being a key player in it. But in order to grasp better the seriousness of this pro-homosexual maneuver, it is well to recall a reflection on communism made by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, during the “Cold War.”

In a 1973 article, the illustrious Brazilian thinker showed that the great obstacle for communism’s spread was a healthy “barrier of horror” that kept public opinion more or less immune to the egalitarian and atheistic ideology of the Red sect. However, thanks to optimistic politicians and intellectuals of the West who increasingly cozied up to communist dictators in a relaxed and friendly dialogue, little by little that wholesome horror in public opinion vanished.

Communism thus obtained a much greater psychological victory than it could have achieved with its own means.3

By analogy, the same can be said today about the erosion of the ‘barrier of horror’ regarding sinful homosexual acts. They used to indispose public opinion against the propaganda of the homosexual movement, but the horror is greatly diminished today. How did this happen? How was the horror undermined?

Over the last few years, oblivious to Divine Justice and throwing caution to the wind, some groups and individuals inside the Church assumed a position of “openness,” “sympathy,” and a misguided “compassion,” not just towards homosexual acts but also for the movement’s propaganda.

In earlier articles posted to, we quoted statements from bishops and cardinals that undermined the barrier of horror that must separate Catholics from homosexual sin and from all mortal sin.4

However, none of those Church figures had gone to the extreme of publicly and emphatically congratulating someone for his homosexual activism.

Essential points that every Christian must defend
The eminent liturgist and historian, Dom Prosper Guéranger (1805-1875), Abbot of Solesmes, writing about St. Cyril of Alexandria, a leading adversary of Nestorianism, issued a warning that is very appropriate for our days:

“When the shepherd becomes a wolf, the first duty of the flock is to defend itself. It is usual and regular, no doubt, for doctrine to descend from the bishops to the faithful, and those who are subject in the faith are not to judge their superiors. But in the treasure of revelation there are essential doctrines, which all Christians, by the very fact of their title as such, are bound to know and defend. The principle is the same whether it be a question of belief or conduct, dogma or morals. … [I]t may happen that some pastors keep silence for one reason or another in circumstances when religion itself is at stake. The true children of Holy Church at such times are those who walk by the light of their baptism, not the cowardly souls who, under the specious pretext of submission to the powers that be, delay their opposition to the enemy in the hope of receiving instructions which are neither necessary nor desirable.”5

Among these essential points—we can call them “non-negotiable values”—for which countless accepted martyrdom are the defense of virginity, chastity and of the family with marriage as its cornerstone—marriage, the union of one man and one woman indissolubly bound in wedlock.

When an essential point of the natural or Divine Law is abandoned, the whole moral edifice crumbles, for society loses confidence in human reason as the proximate rule of action, and men reject God’s authority, the basis for the moral order. With this, the inevitable result can only be the utter collapse of the moral order.

May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, assist all Americans and Catholics in these particularly difficult times.


  1. See also Alex Cohen, PR’s ‘Gay Guru’ Helps Celebrities Come Out,, accessed 3/17/14.
  2. Sermo 202 de Tempore.
  3. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, “Enquanto Brejnev e Nixon se abraçam” [“While Brezhnev and Nixon Embrace,” June 24, 1973, Folha de S. Paulo,, accessed Mar. 17, 2014.
  4. See, for example: “A Cardinal Gives Holy Communion to Mr. Lust,” June 5, 2013,; “Bishop, Cardinals Deny Natural and Divine Law on Homosexual Practice,” Apr. 17, 2012,; “The Cardinal of Montreal Favors Abortion, Condom Use, and Doctrinal Confusion on Morals,” Apr. 20, 2009,; “Should the Church Change Her Position on Homosexuality and Divorce?” May 13, 2010,
  5. Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year (St. Bonaventure Publications: Great Falls, July 2000) Fourth edition, volume 4, pp. 379-380, St. Cyril of Alexandria.

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