Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bishop DiMarzio on EWTN

For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled; he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it.
 – Titus 1:7-9

Bishop DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn, NY was interviewed on EWTN's "World Over Live" news program on Thursday, July 7. Host Raymond Arroyo focused the interview on the recent passage of the "homosexual marriage" bill which was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo who is a Catholic. Below is the video of the interview which lasts about 20 minutes.

Here are some comments I left over at the Cleansing Fire website regarding this interview.

Comment 1:
I was kind of baffled by Archbishop Dolan's statement [Some Afterthoughts] when I first read it. I just watched the interview of Bishop DiMarzio on Raymond Arroyo's "World Over Live" news program on EWTN. Now I think I understand what is going on.

I think Dolan realized that he couldn't remain silent while DiMarzio was speaking out. So he rushed out a statement to indicate that he is still engaged in "dialogue" on the issue of "homosexual marriage". That explains why his statement is so rambling, pointless and basically incoherent.

Don't you think that EWTN's Arroyo would have extended an invitation to Archbishop Dolan before inviting Bishop DiMarzio? The implication is that Dolan refused to go on EWTN to discuss the topic of "homosexual marriage". It may seem like I am conjecturing, but it's just plain logic.

And don't you think that if Archbishop Dolan would initiate a request to go on EWTN, that the network would oblige him? Ergo Dolan has not reached out to EWTN.

Arroyo continually pressed Bishop DiMarzio to respond to the statement by Canon lawyer Ed Peters that Gov. Cuomo should be denied communion. The Bishop did not totally reject the idea, but suggested that the situation was "complicated".

I haven't always been a fan of Arroyo. But I admire the work he has done to raise the issue of the scandal caused by Gov. Cuomo's rejection of Church teachings.

The bishops of New York are hoping that this storm will just blow over. We shouldn't allow that to happen.

No amount of "catechesis" can undo the message that Catholics get when they see Governor Cuomo openly defy the Church without retribution. He must suffer the consequences of his actions. Our God is a god of mercy and justice. The Church does not demonstrate true mercy when it forsakes justice.
Here was the response from Gretchen:
I listened to Raymond Arroyo’s interview also and was dismayed by Bishop DiMarzio’s comments regarding a proper response to the public scandal of our NY politicians in general, and Gov. Cuomo in particular. He went on for a bit about how one could never judge what is going on in a person’s conscience. It seemed as if he was saying that the bishops and priests should not refuse anyone communion, ever, based on the idea that if a person’s conscience is impelling them to support SSM then one should not judge them. If that is what he was implying, I assume the same could be said for abortion, and all other public and private sins.

I will say that Bishop DiMarzio seems genuinely upset that SSM passed in NY. He also seemed very uncomfortable during the interview, as if he was being constrained from speaking his heart on the matter.

He also spoke about not having the hearts and minds of the laity, particularly those who do not attend Mass or are ‘nominally Catholic.’ He said that the Church needs to do a better job of teaching the faithful what is right and wrong, but that withholding communion would not necessarily accomplish that goal.

I have heard statistics that state up to 50% of priests may be homosexual. I wonder if this, along with admittedly poor catechesis, is presenting a Gordian Knot to the bishops.

Comment 2 in response to the repy from Gretchen:

Gretchen. I echo your sentiments. I am cutting Bishop DiMarzio considerable slack, because I think he is "constrained", as you say.

I have the impression that the Bishop is instinctively a fighter, but that he has his hands tied. He's the only one of the New York bishops that has taken any action, and that should tell you something. I interpret his action as saying he is pushing the issue as far as he can and that he can't go any further at this time. He says he "got the attention" of others and that was his goal. His diocese of Brooklyn is home to over 1.5 million Catholics so I think that gives him more freedom to speak out than other bishops.

I wrote an article on Bishop DiMarzio immediately after he released his statement condemning the vote on "homosexual marriage". I embedded video of an interview that DiMarzio did where he speaks more openly about his feelings regarding this. I think its worth watching:
Bishop DiMarzio speaks out against homosexual "marriage"

Comment 3 was posted after I re-watched the interview I mentioned at the end of comment 2. I reposted the video below and have cued it up to the interview with Michael Long of the New York Conservative Party.

Comment 3:
Gretchen. If you have a chance to watch that video, let it continue playing after the Bishop DiMarzio segment. At around the 11 minute mark there is an interview with Michael Long who is Catholic and the Chairman of the Conservative Party of New York State.

Q: What do you think happened in the last week or two?

LONG: I may get in trouble for saying this, but if there were more voices like Bishop DiMarzio… I think we could have turned this thing around and stopped this vote. He was a very steadfast, clear voice in opposition to this.

Translation: Archbishop Dolan was not a “steadfast, clear voice in opposition” to “homosexual marriage”.

Bishop DiMarzio indicated in the EWTN interview that the answer was not denying politicians communion, but denying politicians a victory at the polls. That dovetails very well with what Long is advocating.

One last thought. It may be that the Catholic Church is being threatened with the charge of violating the Constitutional separation between Church and State if they refuse Communion to Gov. Cuomo. Maybe that’s what the Bishop was referring to when he said it was “complicated”.

I don't expect to see Archbishop Dolan on EWTN anytime soon. He seems to be waiting for the "homosexual marriage" storm to blow over.

Over at the National Organization for Marriage there is a decidedly different approach. They are organizing a rally to "Let the People Vote!" on the issue of "homosexual marriage" for Sunday, July 24.

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