Cardinal Dolan: Faithful Catholics are ‘new minority’ who often feel ‘excluded,’ even in the Church
October 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan put a new spin on the increasing calls for “inclusivity” in the Church, saying that Catholics who are actively striving to live their faith are the “new minority,” and imploring the Church not to shut them out.
“Can I suggest as well that there is now a new minority in the world and even in the Church?” Cardinal Dolan asked. “I am thinking of those who, relying on God’s grace and mercy, strive for virtue and fidelity.”
As debate continues over the synod process and Church teaching on marriage and sexuality, the cardinal gave an apparent response to the push by some Synod fathers to normalize various unnatural or irregular unions and lifestyles in conflict with Church principles, making his comments in his October 12 column, "Inclusion of the New Minority."
Drawing from a key term often used by homosexual advocates, Cardinal Dolan said in his column that the Synod has had a consistent theme of “inclusion,” listing groups he’s heard discussed there, including those suffering with same-sex attraction and those who are divorced.
However in making the point that the Church welcomes all - particularly those who feel excluded - the cardinal itemized a list that differs markedly from the usual list:
Couples who — given the fact that, at least in North America, only half of our people even enter the sacrament of matrimony – approach the Church for the sacrament; Couples who, inspired by the Church’s teaching that marriage is forever, have persevered through trials; couples who welcome God’s gifts of many babies; a young man and woman who have chosen not to live together until marriage; a gay man or woman who wants to be chaste; a couple who has decided that the wife would sacrifice a promising professional career to stay at home and raise their children
“These wonderful people today often feel themselves a minority, certainly in culture, but even, at times in the Church!” he exclaimed. “I believe there are many more of them than we think, but, given today’s pressure, they often feel excluded.”
The New York prelate went on to question where Catholics who strive to live in faithful accord with the Church are supposed to find reassurance.
“Where do they receive support and encouragement? From TV?” he asked. “From magazines or newspapers? From movies? From Broadway? From their peers?”
“Forget it!” Cardinal Dolan said, calling on the Church to include those striving for fidelity to Her.
“They are looking to the Church, and to us, for support and encouragement, a warm sense of inclusion,” he stated. “We cannot let them down!”
Cardinal Dolan, who upset many Catholics earlier this year by appearing as grand marshal of the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade after the parade reversed a ban on allowing homosexual advocacy groups to march, was named among a group of cardinals that petitioned Pope Francis at the outset of this year’s Synod over concerns the Synod was moving away from reinforcing the dignity of marriage and family and was being conducted with a lack of transparency.