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Archbishop warns Obama of ‘conflict of enormous proportions’ over DOMA repeal

Thursday, September 22, 2011

In a sharply critical letter to the President, Catholic Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan said that “recent actions” taken by the Administration “escalate the threat to marriage,” and urged Obama to discriminate against gay and lesbian Americans by supporting the “Defense Of Marriage Act.”

Dolan, citing a less than objective study by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), threatened a “national conflict between Church and State of enormous proportions” if the President does not abandon his “campaign” against the “Defense of Marriage Act.”

Timothy Dolan

Dolan writes:

Mr. President, I respectfully urge you to push the reset button on your Administration’s approach to DOMA. Our federal government should not be presuming ill intent or moral blindness on the part of the overwhelming majority of its citizens, millions of whom have gone to the polls to directly support DOMAs in their states and have thereby endorsed marriage as the union of man and woman. Nor should a policy disagreement over the meaning of marriage be treated by federal officials as a federal offense — but this will happen if the Justice Department’s latest constitutional theory prevails in court. The Administration’s failure to change course on this matter will, as the attached analysis indicates, precipitate a national conflict between Church and State of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions.

Thus, on behalf of my brother Bishops, I urge yet again that your Administration end its campaign against DOMA, the institution of marriage it protects, and religious freedom.

DOMA, enacted in 1996, prevents any of the over 1,100 federal rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage from being afforded to legally married same-sex couples.

Last year, in U.S. District Court in Boston, Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled that Section 3 of DOMA violated the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In February, the Obama administration announced that the Justice Department would no longer defend the law in court, and on July 19, the White House announced the President’s endorsement of the Respect For Marriage Act — the bill that would repeal DOMA.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that the president “is proud” to support the Respect For Marriage Act, “which would take the Defense of Marriage Act off the books for once and for all.”

Previous to New York legalizing same-sex marriage, Dolan warned that “if we allow gays to marry, men will marry their sisters.”

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65 more reader comments:

  1. Bull.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:40pm
  2. Turns a blind eye to kid rape but consenting adults celebrating their love is a no-no. Eat shit Dolan.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:41pm
  3. thank god for separation of church and state so Archbishop keep your opinions out of my government

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:41pm
  4. If there *is* a “threat to marriage” — it doesn’t come from people who want to marry!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:41pm
  5. Good! Let there be conflict between church and state, which are SUPPOSED to be separated, a fact that MANY have chosen to ignore and disregard for far too long!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:41pm
  6. Aww are the Catholics afraid of losing there power in the state?? GOOD!! religon is supposed to be seperate.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:42pm
  7. What a prick.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:42pm
  8. So, basically…he’s THREATENING the President? Back off, or else? Am I understanding that correctly? Enough pandering to these bullies — tax their gold- and jewel-encrusted asses! That’s how you solve the deficit problem!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:42pm
  9. This is horrible. Maybe it’s time we do separate our charitable programs and government from the Church. This hate mongering has to be stopes it is not ok.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:43pm
  10. *Tami- Can’t legal action be taken against them for that? Please? D:

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:44pm
  11. How about instead of beinga dickhead you give support and hope to those suffering in Africa, arse

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:44pm
  12. The Archbishop can blow me. Oh, wait, I’m not pre-pubescent. Never mind.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:45pm
  13. The Catholic Church disaprove of gay marriage, but they are OK with child molestation, right?

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:45pm
  14. Interesting he’s using a “conflict between church & state” Hmmmm – isn’t there a SEPARATION of church & state in our country???

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:46pm
  15. its ok for them to hide child molester’s and pay people off so the church doesn’t look bad…….Leave people who was to get married alone weather gay or straight

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:48pm
  16. Nice dress Dolan.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:49pm
  17. Shut up, The Bishop. He is not god. I don’t believe in Bishop. I believe in my heart from Jesus give & make me who I am. All church are Hypocrites that I already know. Go away, Judges!!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:50pm
  18. The Roman Catholic Church has its very own country called “The Vatican.” And, they falsely claim that when their PAPA (that’s what Pope” literally means in Italian) speaks, he speaks for God and all “Christians.”

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:51pm
  19. Church Leaders should stay out of politics. The RCC is probably the richest politically oriented church denomination in the world.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:52pm
  20. blah blah blah… this is a social issue not a religious one.. if you want to complain about something complain about all the benefits and tax breaks given to heterosexual married couples… these issues wouldnt be as important if that werent the case… this guy is most likely in the closet too.. moving on

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:52pm
  21. “dislike” religious control!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:54pm
  22. Cry Some More.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:55pm
  23. Would someone please put a lid on this teapot tempest… Let COB put itself on a head to head with the Constitution and the law. The results I admit will not be pretty. Someone is going to be peeing on his red shoes.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:55pm
  24. It’s about time. A real conflict between church and state? I would so pay for a front row ticket to watch that match…Goooo governmnet..Booo church!!!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:56pm
  25. The original “religion” called “The Way” in the Scriptures and the politicized religion “Christianity” founded by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine in 325 AD, had no in-the-church wedding ceremonies for quite a few centuries after “The Way” was founded in 30 AD. If an opposite-gender unrelated-by-blood couple lived together like they were husband and wife, the local church which they attended considered them married.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 1:56pm
  26. in for a penny, in for a pound….idiot

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:02pm
  27. If church leaders want to get so embroiled in politics, then clearly it’s time to start taxing the church.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:03pm
  28. All Judges are not the gods. I just don’t need to go to Church because they are the hypocrites. God loves Gay & Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Straight. We all are not freak and we are the humans!! I dont give the judges attention. I love being Open My Heart. I dont want to talk those judges.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:04pm
  29. church and state should and forever will be SEPERATE thank you

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:07pm
  30. A separation? Between church and state?!?!

    just like in our constitution?

    Where do i sign up?!?!?!?!

    You. Are. Retarded.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:10pm
  31. It’s time to take away the tax exept status of these organizations!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:12pm
  32. i recommend dolan protect new legislature, named by me…DOOR, which stands for the Defense Of Obesity Rate.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:14pm
  33. Exactly. The church and the state should be separate. It’s funny that he’s actually threatening a conflict of church and state . . . WHEN CHURCH AND STATE SHOULD BE SEPARATE. Uh Duh! Bishop Dolan.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:15pm
  34. Dolan is one of those… draggy types, isn’t he? Him, in his gold dress and flashy jewelry…
    Mind you, I don’t mind anyone in drag. I dress like a guy all the time.. but I don’t lie about being a homo.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:17pm
  35. Fuck you bishop. We are a secular society and the days of the Inquisition are over.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:20pm
  36. There is no “conflict of enormous proportions” over priests boffing little boys in the RCC. Anyone else see a problem here? Half of hetero marriages end in divorce. Is there no “conflict of enormous proportions” here? As Sheldon of Big Bang Theory once asked Penny, “Have you suffered a recent blow to the head?”

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:24pm
  37. I like that in the letter he sent to the president he mentioned the states that support DOMA and Bill Clinton who signed DOMA and even made reference to he (Bob Barr) who wrote DOMA…..let’s see….North Carolina is the state that is most specifically pushing for marriage to remain opposite sexed and that is largely populated by catholics and christians (the one’s who don’t agree with us); Bill Clinton was a philandering cheater and Bob Barr was a thrice married Representative.As one NY Times Editorialist once said, “DOMA is less a monument to fidelity than to hypocrisy.” So Mr. Archbishop….please watch who you are defending….the one’s who wrote your precious DOMA, and the straight, white, catholic, philanderers, cheaters, divorcee’s, and people sitting in your church….Or us: the queers who fight simply to marry the people they love. Take that!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:29pm
  38. To anyone who would like to know more about the God who actually loves and accepts gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (like me!), questioning, androgenous, or anything fabulous….you should check out canyonwalkerconnections.com It has a lot of good stuff. Or if you have family that is really uptight and doesnt know how to respond to who you are and identify as, this might be helpful. I know a lot of people who have found it useful.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:32pm
  39. This nut case is also apart of the hate group the ring makes a difference. Thye have been getting out all oer ny speaking against gay marriage! These so called Chirstians are wolves in sheeps clothing!!! BEWARE!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:37pm
  40. Wow, so being a religious affiliate poses no conflict of interest whatsoever?

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:39pm
  41. I’d be sayin’ he could kiss my ass, but reckon he too busy kinni’ some young boy’s!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:51pm
  42. The only conflict will be between bigots like him who will fight against equal rights, and people like us, who will fight for them. It’s sad that he uses his religion to bolster his bigotry……

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:57pm
  43. amen, tax the hell out of them and bring criminal charges against the catholic church for aiding and abetting childmolesters

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 2:59pm
  44. Separation of church and state, please. I don’t care what religion someone is (or isn’t for that matter), but I’m absolutely sick of people like him trying to make the redst of us follow their rules – whether wse ascribe to them or not! Get off my back.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 3:03pm
  45. The Catholic Church is an anti-gay hate group. Did you know that every year Adolph Hitler was in power, the Vatican wished him a happy birthday?

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 3:38pm
  46. For all I care he can go to hell. Whatever you do bishop get off my back. You’re nothing but a power-hungry leech living off the money of misguided Catholics.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 3:46pm
  47. Dolan: STFU.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 4:06pm
  48. Everyone has a right to their beliefs, I respect that this Bishop doesn’t believe in same sex marriage. However I see no reason why he thinks he should be allowed to influence public law. This is not the 1500s, the church is not involved in government now. I feel sorry for him, he must be a very unhappy man, to be so outraged about something that does not in any way affect him.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 4:19pm
  49. The pigs in the Catholic cult really need to learn their place in society. They need to run their cult and stay out of politics and people’s lives. They need to be brought up on criminal charges for spreading hate, intolerance, and bigotry. The Catholic Church is one of the most immoral, greedy, hate-mongering institutions in recorded history. From its persecution of Jews and homosexuals, to the Inquisition, to its complicity in the Holocaust (including the fact that the present Pope is a former Nazi), to its complicity in pedophilia and denying the victims appropriate compensation, the Church has shown utter disregard for humanity, decency, morality, and the rule of law. I hope the sex abuse victims sue the Church into bankruptcy. And the Church attacks gays for being immoral? lol. Meanwhile, most of the pedophiles are heterosexual. Well if anyone would know anything about immorality, it’s the Catholic Church. The farther away other Churches get from the fanatical Catholic Church, the better off they’ll be. And why has Interpol not issued a warrant for the Pope’s arrest yet? And if the Church can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on hate campaigns and lawyers to fight victims, they can certainly start paying taxes. Why are the taxpayers underwriting government services for the Church? All countries around the world need to prosecute these degenerate priests and the Church hierarchy that covered the crimes up, expropriate all Church property, and tax the Church. It is patently unfair that gays and their families should be devastated by discriminatory actions, while the bigots and their families go about enjoying their lives as if nothing has happened. It’s time to start making bigots pay for the discriminatory actions they take. When they have to pay a price, they might start to rethink their actions. I would urge anyone reading this to take WHATEVER ACTIONS NECESSARY to harm the people and property involved with the Archdiocese of New York, and against any Catholic property and personnel around the world, to make them pay for the harm they are doing to the people they discriminate against.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 4:38pm
  50. Demand that The United States Department of Justice pull Archbishop Timothy Dolan tax exempt status

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 5:09pm
  51. The archbishop is highly mistaken about his ‘authority’.

    He belongs to a cult that harbors pedophiles. In my book, predators who use Bronze Age mythology as the source of their authority, have absolutely no business telling the POTUS anything about anything.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 5:28pm
  52. Imagine being so big, fat and ugly that nobody wanted to have sex wtih you. Let’s have some compassion for this slob.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 5:52pm
  53. Archbishop Timothy Dolan needs to shove his kill gays bible down his heterosupremacist tyrannical theocRAT throat and choke on it.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 6:27pm
  54. I know he sucks, but please, enough with the pedophile comments…they are starting to wear on me….that stuff really grosses me out…hearsay or truth idc….his words are bad enough without bringing his supposed actions into the matter

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 6:44pm
  55. Who cares what he thinks.. the church doesn’t run the country

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 7:01pm
  56. I say bring it! We need more social outrage on our side as well!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 7:22pm
  57. If you don’t want a gay marriage, don’t get one. Simple as that. These people are complete perverts, why are they so damn obsessed with what other people do in their homes and bedrooms? ugh.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:07pm
  58. Seems to me the Archbishop should worry more about the inappropriate interaction between priests and young children and less about DOMA….with all the economic problems, starving families, and high unemployment rate this is what he writes the President about? Get the hell out of here!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:27pm
  59. The Bishop and his peers have been playing the Pedophile Shell Game for nearly thirty years. They should be in prison for hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence.

    They are making political threats. Their tax-exempt status should be yanked right out from under them.

    The Catholic faith may have followers who are clean- but as an institution- the World has never seen dirtier than the Catholic Church.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 2:44pm
  60. @Jason Kimball: The Archbishop in question has been accused of hiding church assets in an ongoing criminal case, involving child sexual abuse and fraud. There have been numerous convictions in the past three decades- but the Church has prevented prosecutions in numerous cases, as well. The Archbishop himself has called child sex abuse in the Church “a cancer, in terms of the internal life of the Church, that’s still spreading”. Why would he have time to do ANYTHING else?

    People are talking about it because it’s important. The innate value of a child is lost on the Church as soon as abortion is out of the question.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 3:04pm
  61. Archbishops generally do not think for themselves.

    This guy is simply doing what he has been told to do, and saying what he’s been told to say.

    It pays the rent and groceries.

    The sooner DOMA is repealed, the better.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 10:37pm
  62. Ralph Maglio said “.. the church doesn’t run the country.”

    No, but we’d all be outright liars if we claimed they never wanted to. Single-minded Bible-thumping zombies like Dolan have been minding everybody else’s business for so long, it’s become second nature. These are people who would give their right arms to place this country under theocratic rule. Separation of church and state means absolutely nothing to them; it might as well just be some nonsensical writing inside a Bazooka bubble gum wrapper, as far they’re concerned.

    Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 7:34am
  63. The archbishop seems to have forgotten “let the one without sin cast the first stone.” He’s throwing boulders!!!
    The church is for people, not institutions. The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel ought to be reread, as well. His pedigree was quite mixed. Notice who the women mentioned there are. And it was the MEN who did all the begetting? The President is doing the right thing in opposing injustice. Elie Wiesel has it right: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

    Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 10:36am
  64. what they all said.

    Posted on Friday, October 28, 2011 at 12:50pm
  65. Some one needs to tell the Good Archbishop to fuck-off.
    There I just did. It is hard to attend a Catholic mass
    today without a political statement of some kind. The
    Roman Catholic Church need to decide if they are a church
    or rather a Political Action Committee masquerading as a
    church.

    Posted on Monday, November 7, 2011 at 11:57am