Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s article in the Wall Street Journal doesn’t pull any punches. Dolan told Wall Street Journal readers about Archbishop John Hughes, who started Catholics schools for poor Irish Catholic immigrants, and the story of African-American Dolores Grier, a convert to Catholicism, who became the first laypreson to serve as vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York.
The two causes so vigorously promoted by Hughes and Grier—the needs of poor and middle-class children in Catholic schools, and the right to life of the baby in the womb—largely have been rejected by the party of our youth. An esteemed pro-life Democrat in Illinois, Rep. Dan Lipinski, effectively was blacklisted by his own party. Last year, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez insisted that pro-life candidates have no place in the modern Democratic Party.
It is particularly chilly for us here in the state Hughes and Grier proudly called their earthly home. In recent years, some Democrats in the New York state Assembly repeatedly blocked education tax credit legislation, which would have helped middle-class and low-income families make the choice to select Catholic or other nonpublic schools for their children. Opposing the bill reduces the ability of fine Catholic schools across the state to continue their mission of serving the poor, many of them immigrants.
More sobering, what is already the most radical abortion license in the country may soon be even more morbidly expanded. For instance, under the proposed Reproductive Health Act, doctors would not be required to care for a baby who survives an abortion. The newborn simply would be allowed to die without any legal implications. And abortions would be legal up to the moment of birth. The “big tent” of the Democratic Party now seems a pup tent….
I’m a pastor, not a politician, and I’ve certainly had spats and disappointments with politicians from both of America’s leading parties. 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.
[To read more of the article requires a subscription to the Wall Street Journal.]