New York Same-Sex “Marriage”: Did Catholic Bishops “Shrink from the Fight?”

After intense lobbying and propaganda by the homosexual movement, and thanks to the earnest efforts of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and some last-minute turncoat Republicans, same-sex “marriage” was approved and signed into law in the Empire State.

The Omission of Catholic Bishops

Nevertheless, neither the efforts by Governor Cuomo—who takes pride in being a Catholic in good standing with the bishops 1 —nor the other factors mentioned above would have sufficed to approve a law that tramples upon natural law and Revelation. It was necessary to neutralize the main power that could prevent such approval—the Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It was necessary to ensure that the hierarchy would not mobilize the faithful to stand up in defense of the Faith and morals. And the truth is that the Catholic Church was largely absent during this fight.

This absence is recognized by none other than the ultra secular New York Times, which clearly campaigned for the law’s approval.

On June 25, 2011, under the title, Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces,” Michael Barbaro published in the Times a long and detailed analysis on how the approval of same sex “marriage” was made possible.

He explains the role played by millionaire contributors to the Republican Party who supported the law, the intense behind-the-scenes maneuvering in political and other circles, and states, “The Catholic Church, arguably the only institution with the authority and reach to derail same-sex marriage, seemed to shrink from the fight.” 2 

He notes that Archbishop Dolan refrained from going to Albany during the polemic and traveled to Seattle on the very week when the issue was coming to a vote. And when the archbishop did make a statement against same sex “marriage,” almost in extremis, “it was over the phone to an Albany-area radio show.”

This omission was all the more serious since, as the religious chronicler of USA Today writes, the “key vote” that enabled the law’s approval was that of a Catholic senator, Mark Grisanti (Rep.-Erie and Niagara counties).3

Whoever Conquers Public Opinion, Takes the Prize

Unfortunately, the Catholic bishops seemed to have lost sight of the principle that political struggles are not won in backstage maneuvering but by winning over public opinion; and that a few statements, albeit well articulated, are not enough to achieve this. The public wants leadership and is moved above all by example, concrete actions and symbolic gestures.

On their own initiative, some organizations of lay Catholics, including the American TFP, took to the streets to influence public opinion directly. Many Protestant and Jewish leaders promoted rallies in Albany and New York City, particularly Senator Ruben Diaz (Dem.-Bronx), a great defender of true marriage.

Yet, the bishops failed to rally Catholics and encourage them to struggle vigorously against the looming threat, which denies the very principle of morality that “good must be done, and evil must be avoided.” Nor is there any record of their summoning priests to speak out earnestly and repeatedly from the Sunday pulpits; of engaging the media with a barrage of interviews, op-eds, articles and speeches; of marshalling men and women religious and the laity itself for an intense campaign of prayer, sacrifice, fasting and public witness to prevent the collective sin of legalized same-sex “marriage” in the Empire State, a great offense and challenge to God.

Remember Sodom and Gomorrah

The nature of marriage as the fertile and stable union between a man and a woman derives from natural law, from human nature itself. It is the cornerstone of the family, itself the basic building block of society. In addition to having been elevated by Our Lord to the level of a sacrament, the conjugal union of one man and one woman reflects the fundamental moral principles of the Decalogue.

The commandments, “do not sin against chastity” and “do not commit adultery” stem from the First Commandment, “love God above all things.” If disobeying God’s Law does not matter, and if it is indifferent to marry according to the laws of nature and Christian Revelation or to enter into a same-sex “marriage” which is its complete opposite, then God either does not exist or He does not take things seriously, which is the same thing (a non-serious God is a contradiction in terms.)

If in addition to following natural law we also prize, as we should, the gift par excellence of the Faith, then we cannot see the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah as a fairy tale. While God obviously does not send punishments like that of Sodom and Gomorrah all the time, there is no doubt that He wanted to turn the punishment of those cities, immersed as they were in the sin against nature, into an example for the whole history of mankind. He wanted to show the seriousness of that sin and His revulsion for it.

Obedient and Respectful Laity, Yet Enjoying
the Freedom of Children of God

With the above considerations, we do not intend to issue a judgment on the attitude of the Archbishop of New York or the other bishops of the Empire State but rather to manifest our anguish as faithful and obedient Catholics (who nonetheless enjoy the freedom of the children of God 4 ) and register our protest and inconformity with New York’s legalization of same-sex “marriage.”

We pray for our Shepherds and hope that, with God’s grace, they will follow Saint Paul’s advice to Titus: “Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.” 5

“To Thee Have I Lifted up my Eyes, Who Dwellest in Heaven”

Like the Prophet David, in our anguish we turn our eyes to God, beseeching His help and protection,“To thee have I lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in heaven.” 6

And as followers of the spiritual school of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, we turn particularly to Mary Most Holy, Comforter of the Afflicted, and reiterate our certainty in the victory foreseen at Fatima: “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”

Footnotes

  1. “One of Andrew Cuomo’s first acts after his inauguration as New York’s governor…he went to Mass and received communion. …he attended the Jan. 2 Mass with his live-in girlfriend, Sandra Lee…who is also Catholic and divorced…at Albany’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception—presided over by the local bishop, Howard Hubbard.” (David Gibson, “Andrew Cuomo Takes Communion and Revives the ‘Good Catholic’ Debate,” Politics Daily, Jan. 7, 2011, http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/01/07/andrew-cuomo-takes-communion-and-revives-the-good-catholic-deb/print/; “…a photograph of Mr. Cuomo shaking hands with Archbishop Dolan hangs in the governor’s private office.” (Michael Barbaro, “Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces” The New York Times, June 25, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/nyregion/the-road-to-gay-marriage-in-new-york.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print).
  2. Barbaro, “Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage.” (Our emphasis.)
  3. Cathy Lynn Grossman, “Key vote for N.Y. gay marriage ‘not just Catholic’,” USA Today, June 26, 2011, http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2011/06/gay-marriage-passes-ny-religion-/1.
  4. Cf. Rom. 8:21; Gal. 2:4.
  5. 2 Timothy 4:2.
  6. Psalms 122/123.

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