BY JOHN HAYWARD, 26 Jan 2017646
His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, was a guest on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM, where he offered a preview of his speech for the upcoming March for Life in Washington, D.C.
“The pro-life march in Washington, which usually occurs on January 22 – which is the somber anniversary of Roe v. Wade in 1973 – this year, as you know Alex, it got pushed back because of all the celebrations of the inaugural,” he told SiriusXM host Alex Marlow. “So we’re doing it tomorrow, uniquely, this year.”
“This has been going on since 1974 and, classically, Alex, can get up to half-a-million people,” he noted, adding that despite its enormous size, it “never receives any coverage.”
“I was thinking of that last week, last Saturday, with the women’s march throughout the nation, which undeniably got a lot of attention,” he said. “I thought, wow, we bring in hundreds and hundreds of thousands annually, at the coldest time of the year in Washington, D.C., with people coming from all over the country, and it doesn’t get much attention.”
“This gives us a lot of hope, Alex,” Cardinal Dolan said. “Every year, we get more and more people. Every year, we get younger people, who seem to just know in their gut that something is wrong with the culture of death that has gripped our beloved country, that was built upon the inalienable right to life. Every year, you’ve got more and more people that stand up – as Jews, as Christians, as men and women of no religion, or any religion at all.”
“Most of all, though, as Americans who want to reclaim the constitutional right to the sacredness of life. and the dignity of the human person, and to reclaim the constitutional rights that everybody, the civil rights especially, of the most fragile, innocent form of life now under attack – namely the baby in the womb,” he said.
“What’s happened, Alex, over the last 40 years or so, is that this has become a two- or a three-day advocacy and celebration of life,” he said. “So for instance, as you were kind enough to hint at, this evening, I’ll have the honor of 5:30 Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is there in northeast Washington on the campus of the Catholic University of America. There, there will be thousands and thousands of people who will be there all day today, all night tonight, all day tomorrow, up until the March, in prayer and in fellowship.”
“Tonight, there will be a magnificent mass, which I have the honor of being the principal celebrant and the homilist – only, Alex, not because of any talent of mine, but because I happen to have been entrusted by my brother bishops as chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities,” he continued modestly. “This happy responsibility will fall to me. So we’ve got that tonight.”
“We’ll have numbers of gatherings and masses tomorrow morning, prior to the March. I’ll meet with a couple of thousand young people coming – get this! – all the way from Bismarck, North Dakota, from a wonderful university called the University of Mary. They’ve asked me to have mass for them, joined by hundreds of our marchers from New York, and my niece Gracie’s school coming from St. Louis. We’ll have mass. We’ll go to the March,” he beamed.
“Friday night, they have the annual Rose Dinner, which gathers pro-life leadership from around the country, and I have the honor of giving the keynote at that. So you’re getting my point, Alex: this becomes really almost 48 hours of advocacy, witness, and celebration of life. It’s become a real shot in the arm for pro-life people who – look, naturally, logically, they get kind of discouraged in this aggressive culture of death that we’ve got,” Cardinal Dolan acknowledged.
Marlow posited that the long process of “normalizing” even the most extreme pro-abortion positions appears to have reversed, and the pro-life movement is one of the few conservative social movements to experience dramatic growth.
“No doubt about it!” Dolan cheerfully agreed. “What you’ve got is the isolated chic Left seem to be in total denial that there’s a strong pro-life sentiment in the country. I think you may have seen – it just came out a day or two ago from Marist College; Marist College has a sterling reputation for very impartial professional poll-taking – they’ve done a poll on the whole pro-life terrain, to find out that 76 percent of the American people are opposed to unfettered access to abortion. 76 percent of our country believes that there needs to be genuine restrictions on the abortion license.”
“Now, I have to admit to be fair here, there’s some sobering news in that study, too,” he continued. “It does say that a majority of Americans do want to keep abortion legal. But boy, that is really tempered by their beliefs that government should not pay for it, that it should only be done in rare circumstances, and that it needs to be restricted so the life of the unborn baby is always given favor and protection. That’s extraordinarily good news. It seems to be snickered at by those in academia, those in journalism, those in Hollywood, and even those in the political arena.”
“This is an issue, Alex, that will not go away,” he declared. “Every year, of course, our opponents who are well-oiled, and very popular, and who have access to a lot of prestigious support, every year, they say this is over, and the pro-lifers are the extremists. It’s becoming more and more clear, Alex, that the real extremists are the pro-abortionists. They are the ones that will not allow any dialogue at all. They are the ones who will not allow absolutely any consideration of any restriction on the abortion license, even something as hideous and nauseating as partial-birth abortion. Absolutely not. We do not talk about it. We will not consider it. This is the kind of dug-in, close-minded extremist party, namely the pro-abortionists.”
“I was just listening to your show before I came on. You were talking about extraordinarily doable and thoughtful alternatives to abortion. They don’t want to have any dialogue about that stuff,” he declared.
“And now, as you just said, at least we used to be united in somewhat of an abhorrence for abortion. Even the most rabid pro-abortionists used to say, ‘Hey, we dread abortion. We wish it didn’t have to happen. We dread it. We’ll do anything we can to stop it, but darn it, it needs to remain legal as a last resort.’ Now? Are you kidding? They’re celebrating it: ‘Abortion is a virtue. Sometimes, abortion is a necessity. It should be paid for. Everybody should be entitled to it.’ We have gone completely to the other extreme, and I think that recognition is really a booster shot to the pro-life movement in the country,” Dolan said.
Marlow noted that Dolan has criticized President Trump’s border and immigration policies, while praising his restoration of the Mexico City Policy, which effectively reduces federal funding for abortion programs overseas. He asked for the Cardinal’s assessment of President Trump’s first week overall.
Dolan replied that he is hopeful President Trump will announce even more pro-life initiatives while the March for Life is in progress, including the termination of “previous executive orders that only gave aid and comfort to the abortionists.”
“We do, as you said, have reason to celebrate, and that one of the first things the new President did is to restore what President Ronald Reagan had done back in 1984 in saying that, look, just as we in the United States are blessed with the Hyde Amendment, which restricts any of the people’s money and taxes to go to pay for abortion, so we’re going to restrict the people of the United States, their money that they give in taxes, for being used for abortion in our international aid,” he said.
“Hallelujah for that. Thanks be to God. That’s an extraordinarily sane, thoughtful, prudent gesture that has become a ping pong ball, depending on which administration it is. That President Trump would restore President Reagan’s initiative restricting international aid to abortion from the United States, that can only be applauded,” he said. “We look for more such gestures.”
Dolan recalled how the Obama administration used federal money to muscle groups like Catholic Relief Services into providing abortion services and abortifacients, or else forfeit grants that would help them perform services for women which they indisputably excelled at.
“This is an ideology, and this is an intrusion, and this is a handcuffing of international aid organizations that is just counterproductive and downright unjust,” he declared. “Thanks be to God now, that straitjacket has been removed from the extraordinarily effective religious relief organizations in international aid.”
“This is looking good, Alex, and we look for even better things to come. We want to keep our eye on the appointment of the Supreme Court justice. We want to keep our eye on the reform of the Affordable Care Act, to make sure that the hideous parts of it that many people, like the Bishops of the United States, have pointed to, that need to be cleansed,” he said.
“In the Psalms, we pray, ‘Put not your trust in princes,’” Cardinal Dolan noted with a laugh. “That’s what the inspired authors tell, I guess with the voice of God. Today we’d probably say, ‘Put not your trust in politicians’ because we’re going to be disappointed by any political leader.”
“We applauded a lot of things that Barack Obama did, as bishops. We found fault with a lot of other things that he did,” he pointed out. “Odds are the same is going to be true with the new President. I just gave you a reason why we’re applauding him now.”