New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Thursday with the title “The Democrats Abandon Catholics.” The archbishop of New York made the case that due to the Democratic party’s position on issues like abortion and education for low-income communities, “the party that once embraced Catholics now slams the door on us.”
Cardinal Dolan reflected that 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. I remember my own grandmother whispering to me, “We Catholics don’t trust those Republicans.”
He says this is "no longer the case,” and that is “a cause of sadness to many Catholics, me included.”
“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,” he said.
Dolan pointed out that pro-life Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) “effectively was blacklisted by his own party” in his recent primary. The national Democratic party refused to back Lipinski in the primary largely due to his pro-life position.
Dolan also cited Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, saying last year that “every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
Cardinal Dolan pointed out that the problem of Democrats shutting out Catholics was particularly bad in New York.
“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,” he wrote.
“More sobering,” he added, “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.”
Dolan said that the once “big tent” of the Democratic Party “now seems a pup tent.”
“I’ve certainly had spats and disappointments with politicians from both of America’s leading parties,” he acknowledged, “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."