On Archbishop Dolan

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

David Gibson, a journalist covering religion for Politics Daily and author of The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World, discusses Archbishop Timothy Dolan's leadership of the Catholic Church in New York and as the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Catholics: What do you make of Archbishop Dolan’s leadership? Is he leading the American Catholic Church in a direction you want it to go? Comment here!


David Gibson

Comments [14]

Ed from Larchmont

Archbishop Dolan is wonderful. He is teaching the truth of the Catholic faith, which is his responsibility, with no compromises. The crimes of sexual abuse are a scandal, a crime, but these crimes belong to the individuals, not to the Church. On the other hand, the society was and is practicing divorce at high rates, homosexuality, IVF where embryos are discarded, abortion on a large scale. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Also, Looking out at this, how could the bishops not hope that a priest might recover (when that's what the psychologists told them)?

Apr. 24 2011 08:39 AM

My wife who is a psychiatrist in Brooklyn mentioned once that she was seeing child abusers in families. There were also issues with rabbis - but most of that is handled quietly within the community.
Child abuse is perpetrated by religious and non religious people ( think Boy Scouts).The issue with religious people is that they carry a moral and religious teaching responsibility within an institutional framework. They have the trust of parents. Alas, no longer.
It would be very good to extend an invitation to ArchBishop Dolan. Don't throw softballs. He's a lawyer.

@ hjs11211 < Sorry but "voodoo" or vodun is not our liturgy during Sundays and my church is full. Apparently, you've quit the wrong religion.

Apr. 06 2011 08:04 PM

Yes, he is definitely leading Catholics in the direction I would like to see. He is leading the way on migration, and health care, he is speaking for the poor and underprivileged who often don't have a voice in our society that is so heavily focused on the acquisition of wealth, instead of promoting the general welfare for all. I disagree with the caller who said Catholics don't think of their leaders on a daily basis, I do. I read the Archbishop's Blog, and The USCCB's website daily, and most of my catholic friends, while they may not read them daily, do read them.

The social conservative positions are not what make the church seem cold and shrill. Holding onto our core beliefs does not make us cold and shrill. I am glad that the church does not swing with public opinion. It is not the public opinion I'm there for, but for the teachings of my God. The Shrillness he was speaking of, I think, is the vision of a religious life has to be chaste with no pleasure, and that its all about following rules. When in reality, as a Practicing Catholic I can attest that living a Catholic lifestyle is very rewarding, fun, and pleasing. When a law says its illegal to kill, we don't blink, but pull out the ten commandments, and suddenly its chaffing.

The reason the Archbishop brings up the comparable rates of child abuse, is because there is not a comparable rate of news coverage and blame. if a teacher is accused of wrong doing, the whole school district is not accused, and its not likely to be news for long. But if a Catholic priest is accused, its the whole churches fault, and its in every major headline. I'm all for calling out abusers, I think every child molester, be them a priest, teacher, parent, aunt or uncle, should be called out, and should have to deal with the repercussions. But that is not Juicy media fodder, so we don't hear it.

Was there an attempt to get Archbishop Dolan on the show? I would love to have a segment where he can expand more on these questions you posed to a journalist, instead of the church.

Apr. 06 2011 03:41 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn

Hi, Brian, I have a very personal reason for wanting to see changes in the Church. Years ago I fell in love with a priest. I had not believed in Celibacy before I met this man and knew after I fell in love, how painful Celibacy could be. Whoever does not Celibacy to be optional has never known what it is to love a human being with all they’got. I also think the archbishop must know of cases like mine. It is sad to me that he does not put himself in the shoes of women who have loved a priest. Eugenia Renskoff

Apr. 06 2011 02:04 PM
a g from n j

holy moly,john form the office said something that i can agree with...

Apr. 06 2011 11:56 AM
John A.

I much appreciated the attention given to Dolan by 60 Minutes and Brian. This is a man ready to lead and gifted in those ways.

Apr. 06 2011 11:20 AM

Brian's segment here seemed unusually biased, anti-Catholic. It was supposed to be about what we think about Archbishop Dolan's leadership, but it had only one caller, from the Newark diocese--not Dolan's! and the Politico reporter just listed one negative comment about the Catholic Church after another--very little about Dolan specifically too. Bad form if nothing else.

Apr. 06 2011 11:11 AM

I agree with hjs11211. As what I'd like to call an "enlightened Catholic," I don't look to Dolan, Ratzinger, or other church leaders for guidance on theological matters. I'm pro-choice, pro-child, anti-death penalty, pro-gay marriage, pro-immigration, pro-socialism. I'm probably not, in some respects, the poster child for American Catholicism that Dolan would like advertised and in other respects I'm well in line with my fellow Catholics.

At the same time, I'm a bit grumpy about this segment. I've never heard a similar piece on, say, Jewish or Muslim clergy. Yes, church leaders say appalling things sometimes. But I'm no more going to take responsibility for them than I would ask my Muslim friends to justify the actions of outrageous clerics.

Apr. 06 2011 10:55 AM
john from office

The answer to the crisis in the church is to let priest get married. You attract the weird, if a man cannot get married

Apr. 06 2011 10:55 AM
jj from CT

Child abuse is horrible. He is right that is happens all over the globe, not just in the Church. However, the Pope and Dolan, etc. better punish and get rid of all the child abusers.

I love the culture of life.

They should back off the anti-gay stuff. If nothing else - approve civli unions. Frankly, the Church does not need to "validate" any marriage as a sacrament.

Apr. 06 2011 10:53 AM

Whatever the comparable rates of child abuse, the Catholic Church certainly leads in the cover-up of child sex abuse and protection of pedophiles by the entire hierarchy. They learn nothing--look at the recent news from Philadelphia.

Apr. 06 2011 10:52 AM

as a former catholic the rest of u should know that no one pays any attention to church leaders. most catholics pick and choose what they believe and put the rest to the side.
ps the churches are empty most sundays because all that voodoo just doesn't do it for anyone with half a brain any more.

Apr. 06 2011 10:17 AM
a g from n j

on 60 minutes, he "jokingly" refered to judge scalia, as being to the right of even himself.

let's see....scalia,ratzinger,dolan

the father,the so.........well, never mind.

make up your own nightmare........

Apr. 06 2011 10:14 AM
Connie from Westchester

He said that more teachers are guilty of abusing children than priests. Is that supposed to make priests less deserving of blame for such actions?

Leadership? I don't think so.

Apr. 06 2011 09:50 AM

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