St. Patrick's Day Parade

Gray Lady celebrates LGBT St. Patrick's Day victory (with two crucial words missing)

Gray Lady celebrates LGBT St. Patrick's Day victory (with two crucial words missing)

It's time for a news update -- care of The New York Times -- on National Irish Pride, Political Clout and Green Beer Day (previously known as St. Patrick's Day).

If you have followed the political wars over New York City's iconic St. Patrick's Day Parade, you know that they have boiled down to one basic question: Does this event have anything to do with the Roman Catholic Church and, well, one of the greatest missionaries in the history of Christianity, a saint beloved in both the Catholic West and, increasingly, in the Orthodox East.

Now, there isn't much question about how the organizers of this parade would answer that question. Yes, most of New York City goes nuts, for reasons that have little to do with a feast day for a holy man. I get that. I once accidentally spent the evening of St. Patrick's Day in a hotel directly above an Irish bar, which was not a wise choice.

However, if you go to the official website for the New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade, you can still read this:

The New York City St. Patrick’s Parade is the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world. The first parade was held on March 17, 1762 -- fourteen years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The parade is held annually on March 17th* at precisely 11:00 AM in honor of St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland and of the Archdiocese of New York. The parade route goes up Fifth Avenue beginning at East 44th Street and ending at East 79th Street. Approximately 150,000 people march in the parade which draws about 2 million spectators.

That's pretty clear.

However, if you read the new Times update mentioned earlier you will certainly notice that it is missing two rather interesting and important words, for a story on this topic.

Please respect our Commenting Policy

The New York Times (surprise) offers saint-free coverage of St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston

The New York Times (surprise) offers saint-free coverage of St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston

If you have, through the years, followed the legal and cultural wars about gay rights and the New York City and Boston St. Patrick's Day parades, you know that these battles have often included discussions of a very interesting question.

That would be this question: Do these St. Patrick's Day events have anything to do with one of the greatest missionary saints in Christian history, the bishop now called St. Patrick? The saint associated with these words:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

As is often the case, fair-minded journalists should note that this is an emotional story about a debate that has, at the very least, two sides.

Please respect our Commenting Policy

What is this? If you're down on Dolan, then you're down on Francis, says RNS

What is this? If you're down on Dolan, then you're down on Francis, says RNS

The headline of Religion News Service's piece on backlash against the official admission of gay group OUT@NBCUniversal into the New York City St. Patrick's Day parade reads: "Are Catholic conservatives turning on Cardinal Timothy Dolan?"

If that alone were the theme of the article by RNS correspondent David Gibson, it would be old news indeed. Catholics who uphold the Church's teachings on life issues and sexual morality have criticized Dolan for years over his welcoming stance toward public figures who contradict such teachings. Witness the reaction to Dolan's permitting abortion-rights supporter Vice President Joe Biden to receive Holy Communion at St. Patrick's Cathedral, saying "bravo" to out-and-proud football player Michael Sam, and inviting President Obama to the annual Al Smith dinner.

But there is one difference between the above-cited instances of Dolan's irritating conservatives and the latest case: This time, Catholic League Bill Donohue is taking a public stand against that of the cardinal. The RNS story doesn't mention that this is a first for Donohue, but its opening paragraphs play up his concerns:

NEW YORK (RNS)  Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s positive reaction to this week’s decision by organizers of New York’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade to allow gay groups to march under their own banners initially drew charitable responses in many Catholic Church circles.
But it didn’t take long for conservative church critics to turn.

Please respect our Commenting Policy