By Christopher White. The Tablet’s National Correspondent
The Democratic party has extinguished what was once its pro-life base, according to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York.
In an op-ed that appeared in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, Cardinal Dolan said many Catholics once allied themselves with the party for its protection of the marginalized, but he argued that is no longer the case.
Cardinal Dolan is currently the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
“The dignity and sanctity of human life, the importance of Catholic schools, the defense of a baby’s civil rights-were, and still are, widely embraced by Catholics. This often led Catholics to become loyal Democrats,” wrote Cardinal Dolan.
“I remember my own grandmother whispering to me, ‘We Catholics don’t trust those Republicans,’” he added.
Drawing on the examples of two notable New York Catholics – John Hughes, the city’s first archbishop, and Dolores Grier, an African American who became the archdiocese’s first lay woman vice chancellor – Cardinal Dolan said these individuals exemplified what it meant to be public servants who fought for civil rights, including the life of the unborn.
He also cited the recent example of Representative Dan Lipinski, a pro-life Democrat in Illinois, who barely won a primary challenge earlier this week after being effectively blacklisted by the national party.
“The ‘big tent’ of the Democratic Party now seems a pup tent,” Cardinal Dolan wrote.
According to Democrats for Life, one out of three Democrats are pro-life, however, the national party has adopted a pro-choice platform with little room for dissent.
“I’m a pastor, not a politician, and I’ve certainly had spats and disappointments with politicians from both of America’s leading parties,” said Cardinal Dolan. “But it saddens me, and weakens the democracy millions of Americans cherish, when the party that once embraced Catholics now slams the door on us.”
“To Archbishop Hughes, Dolores Grier, and Grandma Dolan, I’m sorry to have to write this. But not as sad as you are to know it is true,” he concluded.