Cardinal Timothy Dolan says his own mother is ’embarrassed to be Catholic’



“You don’t think that did me in?” said Dolan, often one of the more cheery American churchmen.

“When my mom says — she’s in assisted living — she said: I’m not going out for lunch, I’m kind of embarrassed to be Catholic.”

“Boy, when your own mom is saying that…” Dolan said, trailing off.

“This summer has been anything but a church picnic for us. It’s been a disaster, one crisis after another. And as I try my best to listen to people, I hear them express very eloquently frustration, bewilderment, anger, confusion. You name it, they got it.

“I’m feeling the same way. I get angry as well.


I wonder if God will say he is embarrassed of her when she is at the pearly gates?


I don’t think so. I think God will be angry at the people who made her feel that way.


She didn’t say she was embarrassed by God. She is embarrassed by the men who’ve diminished and disgraced God’s Church.


How charitable…I’m so glad Christ is the judge and not you!


Where did the article say that?

Here is a quote from the article (what was put out for the public to read):

“When my mom says — she’s in assisted living — she said: I’m not going out for lunch, I’m kind of embarrassed to be Catholic.”


I didn’t realize how politically charged the Church is. The above article writes about four possible political scenarios at the end of the article: Abdication, Capitulation, Schism, or Resistance. It’s heavy looking at any of the outlines options forcases by the author, Mr. Vast, but serious ones to discern when looking past our emotions of embarrassment.


Since the context of that quote was in a statement he was making about the abuse scandals, it’s clear that’s what she said.


This is a very thought-provoking article.

I’m not sure how to react. Because of my past, my general reaction is to stick with Jesus and remain in the Catholic Church, but keep up my guard, not trust any human being (including Catholics), and avoid getting close or developing any loyalty to anyone in the Church.

It’s a defense mechanism–if I’m not trusting anyone or anything, I can’t get hurt by them. See John 2: 24-25. Even Jesus didn’t trust people!

So sad. But what else are we to do?


Complacent people don’t make change. It’s only when enough people are “embarrassed to be Catholic” will the sexual abuse issue be meaningfully addressed. I’m with Dolan’s mom, I’m a little embarrassed too.


This reminds me of what my Irish grandmother used to say about the clergy and religious: “Treat them civil but strange…” In other words, be respectful but don’t expect too much, including close friendship.


Yes, we always have to “Trust in Jesus” as he can see the unseen and make anything happen.

I guess on the bright side, it’s a purification process and it will be major uncomfortable, icky, stinky, and slimy! When God’s done (could take 400 years like with time between Joseph and Moses) but it will be better.


I actually really appreciated much of what Cardinal Dolan (and his mom) were saying in this article. It helps to hear from him that all these feelings (sadness, anger, embarrassment, distrust, etc) are not only valid but that he can relate to them, feels many of them too, and accepts his faults and the Churches faults in creating them.


Cardinal Dolan HAD NO IDEA.


I can understand his Mom - she is undoubtedly up in age but still staying tuned - the scandal is of behaviors that draw all those feelings you mentioned. Elderly people probably feel unable to strongly address the subject, coping is too hard. Elderly opinions among those at a lunch table are probably angry and shaming. I am sorry for everyone’s limited power to undo this work of Satan - we must pray more!


I think Mom could toughen up a little. I grew up at a time and in a place when the KKK was active and it was exceedingly “uncool” to be Catholic then, to the point of ridicule and sometimes to physical danger.


Ouch! Yikes!
Actually I think it’s cool that Dolan shared that.

There’s a term for people who are not directly victims, but they are sore and wounded on behalf of the victims, it’s a psychology term, and it implies collateral damage (I can’t think of it right now).

But there are a lot of innocent, non-victim persons who are on the receiving end of a lot of crap when these stories break. Ordinary, God-fearing people who are subject to the snide remarks and “I told you so’s”.
They love Jesus and remain in His Church, but it’s painful for them.


Yeah these elderly people in assisted living just need to learn to take it on the chin. Classic.


A total misinterpretation of what I said. Assisted living or not, one ought not be “embarrassed” at being Catholic. Never.


Perhaps not, but the feeling is understandable. I certainly cringe at the things our clergy did in Ireland, although the nation as a whole shares in the blame there for been supine to a degree at times. I can understand where the lady is coming from, it’s rather hard to have institutions you trust and which make up a great part of your world shown up by misdeeds constantly.

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