Catholic League bowing out of St. Patrick's parade


From the AP:

The Catholic League said Thursday that it will sit out next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York because event organizers aren’t letting an anti-abortion group march.

The group, formally known as the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has been marching for 20 years, said its president, Bill Donohue.

Good for them.

BTW, please note the AP style guide reference…rather than a “pro life” group, it is called an “anti-abortion” group. This is a classic case of Ingsoc Newspeak worthy of George Orwell. Linguistic relativity: change the words and change the perception.

Msgr Charles Pope had an interesting blog post about this type of thing a few days ago: Nominalism, not nerdy and coming at you whether you like it or not!


Agreed, good for them. This pro-life Catholic also noticed the distinct language used in an effort to change the perception, I am for life from the womb to the tomb.



I disagree. The Catholic League should not cede this field.



BTW, please note the AP style guide reference…rather than a “pro life” group, it is called an “anti-abortion” group. This is a classic case of Ingsoc Newspeak worthy of George Orwell. Linguistic relativity: change the words and change the perception.

Yeah, some of the liberal outlets doing the same thing now with those who oppose gay “marriage”, I think.

Now it’s “anti-gay this, anti-gay that”.



Turn and run away is not the answer. Rising up and being a light in the world is the answer.


Personally I prefer that holiday parades exclude all political advertising, however allowing one group to march and not another is inequitable.


Or, one could say, its progressivism.



Origin of Parades

The origin of the parade has its roots in the military and politics. Generations of rulers have projected their power through displays of strength and trepidation, going back to humanity’s first civilizations.

Mesopotamian rulers decorated their buildings with illustrations depicting their conquests. Often the pictures depicted the ruler walking on the head of his conquered enemies in front of his army. The actions, designed to lift the monarch’s prestige, cemented his legitimacy as a ruler. Later parades functioned as broad podiums that connected the ruler to his audience and allowed him to spread his authority as he made his way through the crowds.

Religious authorities and organizations used parades in much the same way as the military and politicians did before them. The parade offered a large platform for them to connect with the community and foster power. The public enjoyed the parades since they got a chance to be close to the powerful members of society who passed by.


I never really liked parades anyway. :nope:


No, I never have either. They’re boring, aren’t they. To be honest, I get tired of the obligatory going and drinking beer on St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe I will spend the next one in fasting and prayer - just see how it goes. :o


I went to one, maybe two where I saw what was going on including the immediate aftermath, people packing Irish pubs right after the parade. That’s the way it worked when I went to it. I could see one just enjoying the parade, taking the children.

Here is the NY Post with Cardinal O’Connor on the cover in 1993:


Gotta love when Catholic values aren’t welcome at a Catholic parade.


St Patrick’s Day has long since lost any real religious meaning just like Christmas and Mardi Gras.


Yeah, it’s not a catholic parade.

If it was if question the corporate sponsors, politicians firemen,cops, leprechauns, etc. And how they are a reflection of the church.

It is an excuse to party and celebrate Irish culture. Nothing more.


That’s shorting St. Patrick a bit, he is still remembered by many.

Patrick, Patricia too are fairly common names especially in the Catholic Church to dismiss a feast day in this manner, as if we would do that to St. Joseph on March 19th I think.


Yes…generally by the people who go to mass that day instead of the strip clubs and bars.


Yep, tell that to people named Patrick or Patricia.

Yeah, I guess St. Joseph’s isn’t celebrated on March 19th.

Speak for yourself about “strip clubs”, don’t project that on everyone else.


From Newsmax:

*A conservative Roman Catholic group severed its 20-year ties with the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Thursday, a week after event organizers took the unprecedented step of allowing a gay group to march under its own banner in the procession.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights said it pulled out of the March 2015 event because the parade committee denied an anti-abortion group from marching with banners while bending its rules to allow the gay group to do so, League President Bill Donohue said in a statement.

“For the past two decades I have been the parade’s most vocal defender of its rules,” Donohue said. “Repeatedly, I have said that gays have no more been banned from marching than pro-life Catholics have.”

Organizers for the parade, which began in 1762, were not immediately available on Thursday to respond to Donohue’s comments.

The organizers have said the parade, the largest in the nation, is open to all marchers. But gay and anti-abortion groups had been prohibited from displaying their own banners, pins or other signs with their affiliations.

Donohue said the Catholic League is not withdrawing because of any opposition to the gay group’s participation. He said the league felt betrayed by the parade committee.

Donohue said he was approached by committee members shortly before they announced their decision to change the rules and allow gays groups to march. At the time, he said, he asked committee members to pledge that pro-life groups would get the same privilege, and they agreed, he said.*

The Catholic League’s press release is available here.


What they did is the latter, not the former. They were compelled either to quit the parade or to march openly (and silently) alongside people whose lifestyle is gravely opposed to the teachings of the Church; that would be scandal.\

They did the right thing. I wish the Church would quit more such wicked institutions rather than keeping silent just to be allowed to be present in the (back of the) room.


It seems a reasonable decision, though I see both sides on this. I do not like to see any Catholic presence diminished, but there is nothing wrong about withdrawing to make a statement on Catholic values.


Donohue is omitting a key fact here. The committee did agree to allow an anti-abortion group to march in the parade but the part Donohue left out is that, despite ample time to do so, no such group submitted an application to the committee while the selection process was open:

Asked why parade organizers have now changed their position, Mr. O’Reilly said, “Had a group filed an application they might be marching in 2015. But no application, or even phone call, came forward. The parade is jammed packed. There has to be a cutoff point.”

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit