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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Archbishop calls gay marriage ‘Orwellian’

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has described legalizing same-sex marriage as “Orwellian social engineering” and warned of a real-life “1984″, at a time when the state’s Catholic governor, Andrew Cuomo, has made it a top priority.
The archbishop, in a blog, said the Church “affirms the dignity of those with same-sex attractions, and warns against any form of prejudice, hatred or unjust discrimination against them” — but will not “radically” redefine marriage.

“We are not anti anybody; we are pro-marriage,” Dolan wrote Friday.  “The definition of marriage is a given:  It is a lifelong union of love and fidelity leading, please God, to children, between one man and one woman.”
“History, Natural Law, the Bible (if you’re so inclined), the religions of the world, human experience and just plain gumption tell us this is so.  The definition of marriage is hardwired into our human reason.”
The Archbishop of New York is considered the most high-profile official Catholic spokesman in America.  Dolan was also recently elected to head the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and featured on a segment of CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
Same-sex marriage is now legal to the north of New York, in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and to the south in Washington, D.C.  The Sunday “New York Times” regularly carries wedding pictures and announcements of same-sex couples in its Style section.
The Obama administration has announced it will no longer defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which is the subject of eight separate legal challenges in the federal courts.
But Dolan is sticking to his guns, noting that those who have “thoughtfully expressed grave disapproval of the current rush to redefine marriage” have been “branded as bigots and bullies who hate gays.”
“To uphold that traditional definition, to strengthen it, and to defend it is not a posture of bigotry or bullying,” Dolan wrote.  “Nor is it a denial of the ‘right’ of anybody.  As the philosophers remind us, in a civilized, moral society, we have the right to do what we ought, not to do whatever we want. Not every desire is a right.
“To tamper with that definition, or to engage in some Orwellian social engineering about the nature and purpose of marriage, is perilous to all of us.  If the definition of marriage is continually being altered, could it not in the future be morphed again to include multiple spouses or even family members.”
And the archbishop winds up by saying:
“If big, intrusive government can re-define the most basic, accepted, revealed truth that marriage simply means one man (plus) one woman (plus)  hopefully children, in a loving family, then I’m afraid Orwell’s works will no longer be on the fiction shelf.”
Dolan has been a contentious prelate since arriving in New York from Milwaukee two years ago.
He has taken the Times to task, writing in his blog:  “The common, casual way the New York Times offends Catholic sensitivity (is) something they would never think of doing — rightly so — to the Jewish, Black, Islamic or Gay communities.  They wouldn’t get away with that with any other community.”
The archbishop also took after NYT columnist Maureen Dowd, who denounced what she called a Vatican “inquisition” against American nuns.
Dolan described the column as an “intemperate and scurrilous . . . diatribe.” Dowd was most recently heard from questioning the beautification of the late Pope John Paul II.

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