Matt C. Abbott
Quo vadis, Cardinal Dolan?
By Matt C. Abbott
September 4, 2014

Very disappointing and perplexing.

That's my reaction to what's been coming out of the Archdiocese of New York – and Cardinal Timothy Dolan – in recent weeks.

First, the "very disappointing."

In addition to the embarrassing saga involving Holy Innocents Church and Father Justin Wylie, we now have this:
    A homosexual activist group will march in New York's St. Patrick's Day parade next year, with the tacit approval of Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

    Organizers of the parade announced on September 3 that Out@NBCUniversal – described as a 'lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual support group' – will march under its own banner. In the past, the parade organizers refused to allow gay-rights groups to carry signs....

    Cardinal Dolan has been named as grand marshal for the 2015 parade. (Source)
Excuse me for being blunt, but by all appearances, the cardinal has (yet again?) capitulated to the "almighty" lavender lobby. Sure, the parade's organizers may have capitulated first, but if the cardinal had some guts, he could – and should – have told the organizers, "Don't change the rules simply to pacify homosexual activists. And if you do change the rules, I'll publicly withdraw my support for the parade."

Alas, Cardinal Dolan didn't do that, and now we have more scandal.

The cardinal issued the following statement in response to the parade's amended rules:
    The Saint Patrick's Day Parade Committee 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 (or any of the other parades that march along Fifth Avenue, for that matter), but have always appreciated the cooperation of parade organizers in keeping the parade close to its Catholic heritage. My predecessors and I have always left decisions on who would march to the organizers of the individual parades. As I do each year, I look forward to celebrating Mass in honor of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and the patron saint of this archdiocese, to begin the feast, and pray that the parade would continue to be a source of unity for all of us.
A source of unity?

Pat Archbold rightly points out at the website of the National Catholic Register:
    Cardinal Dolan's statement is disingenuous. The issue at hand has never been who can march in the parade. I am quite certain that gay people have always marched in the parade. What is at issue is people marching under a banner identifying themselves and promoting sin as normative. The acceptance of the parade committee and the cardinal is nothing less than the public acceptance of the normative nature of gay identity. That Cardinal Dolan's statement clearly attempts to dissemble on this critical point is shameful, if unsurprising.
Now to the "perplexing."

From the Diocese of Peoria:
    It is with immense sadness that the Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, bishop of Peoria and president of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation, announced today that the cause for Sheen's beatification and canonization has, for the foreseeable future, been suspended. The process to verify a possible miracle attributed to Sheen had been going extremely well and only awaited a vote of the cardinals and the approval of the Holy Father. There was every indication that a possible date for beatification in Peoria would have been scheduled for as early as the coming year. The Holy See expected that the remains of Venerable Sheen would be moved to Peoria where official inspection would be made and first class relics be taken. Subsequently, the Archdiocese of New York denied Bishop Jenky's request to move the body to Peoria. After further discussion with Rome, it was decided that the Sheen cause would now have to be relegated to the congregation's historic archive.

    Countless supporters, especially from the local church in Central Illinois, have given their time, treasure and talent for this good work, with the clear understanding that the body of Venerable Sheen would return to the diocese. Bishop Jenky was personally assured on several occasions by the Archdiocese of New York that the transfer of the body would take place at the appropriate time. New York's change of mind took place as the work on behalf of the cause had reached a significant stage.

    Bishop Jenky is what is technically called the 'actor' of the Sheen cause. The Diocese of Peoria and the Sheen Foundation have prayed and labored for this good work for the last twelve years. The bishop is heartbroken, not only for his flock in Peoria, but also for the many supporters of the Sheen cause from throughout the world who have so generously supported Peoria's efforts. It should be noted, however, that saints are always made by God, not by man. Efforts for many causes have sometimes taken decades or even centuries. Bishop Jenky urges that those who support the Sheen cause continue their prayers that God's will be made manifest.

    No further comment will be released at this time.
Certainly Cardinal Dolan had a hand in this perplexing decision to deny Bishop Jenky's request to move Archbishop Sheen's body to Peoria. The question is: Why? It's quite obvious that Bishop Jenky is very displeased with the Archdiocese of New York's "change of mind." I don't blame him one bit.

Stay tuned...

Update as of Sept. 4: Click here to read the Archdiocese of New York's statement on the Archbishop Sheen cause.

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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