Vicar Dolan

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Canon Lawyer Ed Peters explains just what a company man the useless Cardinal Dolan is:


Earlier today Cdl. Dolan of New York tweeted: “With the clear and cogent clarification of the successor of St. Peter, there now exists no loophole to morally justify capital punishment.”

The supposedly clear and cogent clarification that Dolan has in mind must be Pope Francis’ 2018 modification of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to assert that the death penalty is “inadmissible”. But, while it is likely that Francis meant what Dolan said, the pope did not quite claim what the cardinal clearly did. Francis (or his handlers) left just enough wiggle room (by using “inadmissible”, an ambiguous term in magisterial-moral discourse) to avoid flatly declaring the DP “immoral” and setting off thereby a magisterial firestorm such as has not been seen for some centuries.

Dolan, in contrast, tweeting in terms well-known to tradition, plainly stated that the DP is immoral, thus going beyond what Francis was willing to say. That’s a problem. Indeed, it’s two problems.

1. Numerous serious studies argue (convincingly, in my view) that the liceity of the DP in certain cases is taught by the Church’s infallible magisterium (specifically, as “secondary object” thereof); at the very least, such studies make a prima facie case for the liceity of the death penalty under the infallible magisterium. Therefore, Church leaders contradicting that position must, simply must, deal with the possibility that infallibility is in play here, and, at a minimum, they should refrain from unnuanced declarations that might, in the end, be shown as “opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church” per Canon 750 § 2. See also Canon 1371 n. 1.

But the stakes might be higher still.

2. Many of the sources invoked for the liceity of the DP as a secondary object of infallibility (Scripture, Patristics, etc.) are those commonly associated with infallible assertions of primary objects of infallibility, that is, with matters of revelation. Now, while contradicting infallible assertions regarding secondary objects is, as stated above, to make one opposed to the doctrine of the Church, contradicting primary objects of the Church’s infallible magisterium is a specific element of heresy per Canons 750 § 1 and 751. See also Canon 1364. Obviously, this characterization risks even greater harm to the Church.

Go here to read the rest.  Dolan is the ultimate ecclesiastical careerist.  When it helped his career he was orthodox and conservative.  Under Francis he is heterodox and liberal, due to the same careerist motivation.  If a Pope came out in favor of cannibalism doubtless Dolan would be announcing his newfound fondness for “the long pork”.    He believes in what the Vicar of Bray believed in:



In good King Charles’s golden days,
When loyalty no harm meant,
A zealous High-Churchman I was,
And so I got preferment;
Unto my flock I daily preached
Kings were by God appointed,
And damned was he that durst resist
Or touch the Lord’s anointed.
And this is law, I will maintain,
Until my dying day, Sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
I’ll be the Vicar of Bray, Sir.

When royal James obtained the crown,
And Popery came in fashion,
The penal laws I hooted down,
And read the declaration:
The Church of Rome I found would fit
Full well my constitution,
And had become a Jesuit,
But for the Revolution.
And this is law, I will maintain,
Until my dying day, Sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
I’ll be the Vicar of Bray, Sir.

When William was our king declared
To ease the nation’s grievance,
With this new wind about I steered,
And swore to him allegiance;
Old principles I did revoke,
Set conscience at a distance;
Passive obedience was a joke,
A jest was non-resistance.
And this is law, I will maintain,
Until my dying day, Sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
I’ll be the Vicar of Bray, Sir.

When gracious Anne became our queen,
The Church of England’s glory,
Another face of things was seen–
And I became a Tory:
Occasional Conformists base,
I scorned their moderation,
And swore the church in danger was
By such prevarication.
And this is law, I will maintain,
Until my dying day, Sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
I’ll be the Vicar of Bray, Sir.

When George in pudding-time came o’er,
And moderate men looked big, Sir,
I turned a cat-in-pan once more–
And so became a Whig, Sir:
And this preferment I procured
From our new faith’s defender,
And almost every day abjured
The Pope and the Pretender.
And this is law, I will maintain,
Until my dying day, Sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
I’ll be the Vicar of Bray, Sir.

The illustrious house of Hanover,
And Protestant succession,
To these I do allegiance swear–
While they can keep possession:
For in my faith and loyalty
I never more will falter,
And George my lawful King shall be–
Until the times do alter.
And this is law, I will maintain,
Until my dying day, Sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
I’ll be the Vicar of Bray, Sir.

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  1. The monastery at Cluny was founded in 919 AD, around the time the Theophylact family installed one retainer after another in the Papacy. I’m wagering there is some place somewhere in the Church which will perform a similar function in our time.

  2. I care not what Cardinal Dolan or Pope Francis say. And I don’t give a hoot how Pope Francis perverts the Catechism. God Almighty has NEVER repealed Genesis 9:6 and NO MAN can change that no matter how high up the clerical ladder he may sit:

    LINGUA LATINA: Quicumque effuderit humanum sanguinem, per hominem fundetur sanguis illius; ad imaginem quippe Dei factus est homo.

    LINGUA ANGLICA: Whosoever sheds human blood, through man shall his blood be shed; obviously man has been made in God’s imagine.

    Furthermore, the Holy Spirit inspired St. Paul to make clear in Romans 13:3-4 that God has given the Civitas (State) – the Principes (princes) – the Potentas (power, authority) of the Gladius (sword):

    LINGUA LATINA: Nam principes non sunt timori bono operi sed malo. Vis autem non timere potestatem? Bonum fac, et habebis laudem ex illa; Dei enim ministra est tibi in bonum. Si autem malum feceris, time; non enim sine causa gladium portat; Dei enim ministra est, vindex in iram ei, qui malum agit.

    LINGUA ANGLICA: For princes are not a fear to good work but to evil. Do you however wish not to fear power? Do good and you will have praise from it; for it is a minister to you in good. If however you do evil, fear; for it carries the sword not without cause; it is God’s minister, a defender into anger for him who drives evil.

  3. I don’t think the Company Man narrative of Dolan is an accurate one. Remember, this is the same Dolan who was one of the 13 Cardinals that signed that letter that allegedly sent the pope into such a rage he fainted where those present thought he had died. The pope had also allegedly threatened to yank their red hats. Dolan knows that it would take a lot more than this tweet to get back in Francis’ good graces.

    No, this is who Dolan has always been, a leftist blowhard. He proved that almost three years prior to Bergoglio planting his backside on the Chair of Peter when he equated a morally just Arizona immigration law to the actions of the KKK and the Know Nothings.

    Pope Francis is certainly pushing the Church further to the left, but he is not as much the cause of that push as he is the product of it.

    Anyone who has been at least semi conscious over the last 30+ years would know that, especially with the McCarrick scandal.

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