EXCLUSIVE: Cardinal Dolan's Original Draft of his Wall Street Journal Piece
Including the original groups he named that were cut for space
A note from Tony: after reading Cardinal Dolan's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this week, I reached out to him on Twitter with some follow-up questions. He explained that large parts of his essay had to be cut for length, including several key groups that he felt should be included in all discussions about 'inclusion' and 'the marginalized'1. I offered him space on G.O.T.H.S. to write out his full thoughts, and he graciously agreed. Thank you to Cardinal Dolan for his continued support of our important work here at G.O.T.H.S.
I am proud that my country and my church are both committed to the noble ideal of inclusion. Everyone should feel loved and respected. All people must share in all rights. We couldn’t dare to claim to be “one nation under God” if it were otherwise.
Yet society and the church are falling short of this noble ideal. By accepting one dominant cultural narrative that presumes to define those who are “excluded,” we are ignoring those who don’t tidily fit into the prevailing cultural story line. Want some examples?2
So this one probably didn't surprise anyone, right? I'm a Catholic Cardinal, I'm going to want legal restrictions on abortion. Nobody had any questions for me on that.
This one got me some followup questions. How are the police marginalized? Well, the answer is deceptively simple: even though police officers make up a major political constituency in every city in the country, even though most of them can kill whoever they want without any real consequences, even though police departments often command the outright majority of the budget and resources of any major city in the country, even though the rhetoric of recent years on “defunding” the police has led to no police departments being defunded or really even seeing any decrease in funding at all, what many Americans don’t understand is that some people have started saying mean things about the police. And this marginalizes them, perhaps harder than anyone has ever been marginalized before. Perhaps it strikes you as concerning that this is what I, a Cardinal in one of the largest archdioceses in the country, think being marginalized means. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, I just get to unilaterally determine who gets to teach in our schools and work in our parishes. And how the church spends millions of dollars to support political causes. And which donors I spent time with who influence my thinking as I run the archdiocese. Also I can vote for the next Pope and you can’t.
Another group that is truly marginalized in our country, as I described in the column that went to print, was “folks who want only inspiration, encouragement and clear teaching from their pastors and religious leaders, but who instead must listen to dissent every Sabbath.” This also drew a lot of questions from readers, among them “what?” and “do these words mean anything?”, but I feel like it speaks for itself. Religious people are brutally marginalized in American society, even with their easily attainable exemptions from labor laws, anti-discrimination laws, vaccine requirements, and other pieces of civil society, plus the example above refers to homilies and has nothing to do with civil society and can't possibly be a coherent example of what "marginalized” means, especially coming from the literal chair of the USCCB's religious freedom committee. Still, the devout are among society's most marginalized as they are forced to hear dissent every Sabbath, and despite what you may think, I definitely believe that words mean things.
Sadly, my discussion of dissent is not limited to religion alone, but also to politics. One only has to look to the minuscule number of black members of the Republican party and come to only one conclusion: black Republicans have been subjected to so much marginalization that they are now afraid to remain in or join the party of public safety, respect for life, and family values. It's obvious that black Americans enjoy more privileges than anyone else in this country - this is a thing I actually believe after serving in New York for fourteen years, and I feel so strongly about it that I'm writing a column in the Wall Street Goddam Journal about how we're too mean to police officers - but it's still a shame that the intolerant and finger-pointing liberals have driven them out of this space.
In recent years, YouTube has become an important tool for the church to evangelize, but cynics will dismiss those of us willing to enter this exciting new world as "awful" and "mired in reactionary trash" and "not doing any of the necessary due diligence to make sure the church doesn't get entangled with the hateful right-wing content that is all over the internet". Well, thank you for the venom, but our work of spreading the Gospel remains undeterred. This has perhaps been most harsh on my brother bishop Robert Barron, whose most obnoxious online critics have lobbed all of these insults at him, along with more personal ones, like how he "looks like a crude worry doll that a child somehow fashioned out of Kings Hawaiian rolls". But we bishops work hard to ensure that we evangelize hand-in-hand with online personalities who teach the orthodox and true Catholic faith, from people who want to mow down BLM protestors with their car, to people who believe that transgender individuals are some sort of hellish creatures manufactured at Eisengard, to actors who may have raped FKA Twigs. And yet, the critiques keep coming, often from the very people who push for greater diversity and inclusion in our other public spaces. Why the intolerance for Catholic YouTubers? Is Sohrab Ahmari not diverse enough for you? A man who grew up in I want to say Afghanistan?
To some degree, the blame for this one falls upon the church. We bishops spent years denouncing same-sex marriage when we should have spent more time celebrating what was great about marriage: when two people of the same race (white) come together to produce more children of their same race. Whatever the blacks do for marriage is probably great as well, but unfortunately the rabidly "woke" left is probably demanding that everyone marry interracially, eroding our own senses of national and ethnic identity in the name of some vague inclusion. More effort must be made by the Catholic church to celebrate the beauty of divinely-ordained same-race marriages. It’s why I am so inspired by Mike Braun, an actual Catholic United States Senator who is actually fine with overturning Loving v. Virginia.
Have you ever felt impostor syndrome? The feeling that you weren't actually good enough to be doing your job? I have never felt that once.
TRADITIONAL DISNEY PRINCESSES
What has happened to Disney movies? Nowadays, every princess has to either speak Spanish (Mirabel), have dark skin (Tiana), or practice BDSM (Elsa). Radical inclusion is being forced on our children, and gone are the days of traditional Disney princesses with big eyes, support for the free market, and standard 30-4-28 measurements. It's another sad bit of irony that people pushing for "representation" ignore the people who need representation most. Jasmine counts as white.
I think we can all agree that men have had a rough few years.
As I said at the top of the piece, we are all falling into the trap of accepting one dominant cultural narrative that presumes to define those who are “excluded”. Who really gets to define who is excluded? How can you even determine who is excluded? Can you look at factors like material power, representation in government, generational wealth, mortality rates, historical structures that affect housing and healthcare access, or other actual measurable things, as the Soros-run media would have you believe is okay? Or can you be like me, and just continuously pull stuff out of your ass, put it in a national newspaper, and still get to be one of the most important prelates in the American church? In a sense, doesn’t that make me the most excluded man of all?
PRESIDENTS (SUBSET OF MEN)
Presidents, often for no reason other than they are men, are subject to intense scrutiny and persecution. Not Joe Biden or Barack Obama, who were bad presidents, but George W. Bush and Donald Trump, who were good presidents and faced far more harsh criticism than any racism faced by Obama, especially considering that racism barely exists anymore. Also, Donald Trump is the greatest president in the history of the Catholic church. I know that because he said it to me on a phone call which I didn't realize at the time was being recorded. Then I kind of stopped making big public statements about politics for a while, presumably because I realized how bad that looked and knew that my best move was to stay out of the spotlight. But with this column, I'm officially back, baby!
If I may be radical for a moment: we are called to include sexual abusers as well. We are called to love them as God would, which presumably includes paying out their early retirement in exchange for some NDA signatures. We are called to forgive as God forgives, which includes declaring bankruptcy to make sure abuse victims don't see any money. We are called to share press releases calling the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests a ‘phony victims group’. We are called to make sure nobody ever finds out about any abuse, ever, lest the church look bad. Can you really say that we are called to be "inclusive" if you won't support that? "We Are Called", incidentally, is my favorite hymn by David Haas, who happens to be a friend of mine.
The editors at the Journal added this one, not sure why.
Cardinal Dolan requested that I keep in the sarcastic quotation marks.
Note from Tony - It is unclear, from the piece as written, whether Cardinal Dolan paused at this point and waited for the reader to respond.