Archbishop Dolan’s screed was disgraceful and juvenile, filled with mockery of decent Americans as racists, nativists, Know-Nothings, etc. He even mocked their supposed patterns of speech: “‘for’ner.’” He contributed NOTHING to the discussion in the way of facts OR principles. His endorsement of the fact-blind ideology of Cardinal Mahony is shocking. Right out of the box, he misrepresents the issue as “immigration,” when the issue is ILLEGAL immigration.
Fortunately, Abp. Dolan’s own blog is filled with factual, intelligent responses to his comments, from people on the ground in Arizona, and from well-informed Catholics. That is, people who cite the relevant passages of the Catechism–something Abp. Dolan failed to do in his insulting, bigoted rant.
If a bishop has something to say that illuminates a current public issue with the light of Catholic teaching, he should speak. If all he has to offer are the talking points of the left-most wing of one political party, he is abusing his office as a bishop.
Archbishop Dolan has established himself over the past few months as just such a bishop. Unless he develops an understanding of where his authority as a bishop begins and ends, he is not an asset to the Church, but a destructive, misleading voice, and deserves to be called out on his irresponsibility by both clergy and laity.
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