In a well-written piece in The Wall Street Journal (March 23), Cardinal Timothy Dolan reminded us of his tremendous academic prowess as a scholar of U.S. Catholic Church History. Ever the teacher and the storyteller, His Eminence takes us through the lives of two people, both Catholics and New Yorkers, Archbishop John Hughes of New York, an Irish immigrant (1842-1864) and Dolores Grier, an African-American, who served as vice-chancellor of the archdiocese of New York and a tireless advocate for the sanctity of life.
The cardinal uses their stories to demonstrate that three themes dominated their thoughts, themes that, at one time, were embraced by the Catholic Church and the Democratic Party: the dignity and sanctity of human life, the importance of Catholic schools, the defense of a baby’s civil rights. He notes that, in many ways, the Democratic Party – for years the default political party of the Catholic voter – has not only abandoned the “the needs of poor and middle-class children in Catholic schools, and the right to life of the baby in the womb,” but also has rejected these values. Nowhere in this article does the cardinal endorse the Republican Party or any political party, and neither do we.
The Democratic-controlled NYS Assembly has continually blocked education tax credits, which could be used by our Catholic (and non-Catholics, too) to send their children to our parochial schools and academies. The cardinal points out the horror of the proposed Reproductive Health Act, which proposes, among other things, that a child who survives an abortion does not require a doctor to care for him or her and legally could be left to die.
We as Catholics can disagree with whether or not the State grants our parents the tuition tax credits. We view that as a matter of economic justice. There also can be no doubt that the promotion of the barbaric slaughter of children in the womb as a Party platform cannot be supported. For those who are Catholic and are active members of the Democratic Party, bring your fully-formed Catholic voice into the Party’s conversations and help bring back some of the core Democratic ideals of the early 20th century. For those who are members of the Republican Party or other political affiliations, do the same and bring your Catholic ideals to the true ideals of your Party. An injection of Catholic values can only do society good in times like these.