Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says there is no longer a home for Catholics in the Democratic Party.
“The ‘big tent’ of the Democratic Party now seems a pup tent,” Dolan wrote.
Dolan, a former Archbishop of Milwaukee, points to two issues, school choice and abortion, that are pushing Catholics away from the Democratic Party, if not into the Republican Party that Catholics once distrusted.
Democrats have made it clear, according to Dolan, that it’s impossible to be pro-life and a Democrat. “An esteemed pro-life Democrat in Illinois, Rep. Dan Lipinski, effectively was blacklisted by his own party,” Dolan wrote. “Last year, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez insisted that pro-life candidates have no place in the modern Democratic Party.”
The situation in New York is about to get worse, according to Dolan. “More sobering, what is already the most radical abortion license in the country may soon be even more morbidly expanded,” Dolan wrote. “For instance, under the proposed Reproductive Health Act, doctors would not be required to care for a baby who survives an abortion. The newborn simply would be allowed to die without any legal implications. And abortions would be legal up to the moment of birth.”
Meanwhile, New York Democrats are equally hostile to the idea that the poor and middle class should be given assistance to attend Catholic schools.
“In recent years, some Democrats in the New York state Assembly repeatedly blocked education tax credit legislation, which would have helped middle-class and low-income families make the choice to select Catholic or other nonpublic schools for their children,” Dolan wrote. “Opposing the bill reduces the ability of fine Catholic schools across the state to continue their mission of serving the poor, many of them immigrants.”
As a result, American Catholics no longer fit in the Democratic Party of Al Smith and John F. Kennedy.
“I’m a pastor, not a politician, and I’ve certainly had spats and disappointments with politicians from both of America’s leading parties,” Dolan wrote. “But it saddens me, and weakens the democracy millions of Americans cherish, when the party that once embraced Catholics now slams the door on us.”