In a statement released Wednesday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, says neither he nor his predecessors have ever told the St. Patrick’s Day parade organizers who could or could not march.
This was in response to the controversy that broke when parade organizers announced that after more than two decades of blocking them, parade organizers would allow an LGBT group to march at next year’s parade.
Dolan said, “The St. Patrick’s Day Committee continues to have my confidence and support. Neither my predecessors as Archbishop of New York nor I have ever determined who would or would not march in this parade (or any of the other parades that march along Fifth Avenue, for that matter), but have always apprecieated the cooperation of parade organizers in keeping the parade close to its Catholic heritage.
“My predecessors and I have always left decisions on who would march to the organizers of the individual parades. As I do each year, I look forward to celebrating Mass in honor of Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, and the Patron Saint of this Archdiocese, to begin the feast, and pray that the parade would continue to be a source of unity for all of us.”
A 1993 article in the New York Times may contradict Cardinal Dolan’s assertion. “The Hibernians and Cardinal O’Connor have said there is no place for a gay contingent in the parade because it is a Catholic event and the church teaches that homosexual acts are sinful.”
Also, reviewing the parade that year, Cardinal O’Connor was quoted in the New York Times saying political correctness “was not worth one comma in the Apostles’ Creed.” The Cardinal also said he “‘could never even be perceived as compromising Catholic teaching’ by entertaining their admission as an identifiable group in the city’s 232d parade up Manhattan’s showcase avenue in honor of St. Patrick.”
A source close to the Archdiocese told Breitbart News that it’s true the Archbishop of New York could not force the Hibernians, since the Hibernians and the subsequent group are registered non-profits not controlled by the Church.
“However,” this source told Breitbart News, “the Cardinal Archbishop has huge impact on the decisions made about the march. In fact, during the court case back in 1993, the judge in the case met with then-Cardinal O’Connor to discuss the merits of the claims by the Hibernians that it was a religious procession, and she ruled subsequently in their favor.”
After years of fighting, including years of political boycotts and court cases, what tipped the balance this year was the intrusion of major corporations into the mix. Guinness pulled out as a sponsor this past March, as did Heineken. The Ford Motor Company was threatening to pull out, as were others. IrishCentral.com reported that financial pressure, along with a change of guard at the organizing committee, forced the decision to allow LGBT activists to march.
This is similar to the fight in the Boy Scouts over whether to allow openly LGBT boys in. The Scouts resisted for a few decades, including through major court cases, but finally succumbed when major corporate sponsors withdrew from supporting the organization. The Scouts caved shortly thereafter.