An Open Letter to Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Cardinal Dolan has announced that he will be offering the closing prayer at this year’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. I decided to write him a letter.

Dear Cardinal Dolan:

You posted this tweet on your Facebook page:

St Augustine said there will be peace in the Christian heart only as long as our faith is watchful. When our faith sleeps, we are in danger.

I have an answer for you, Cardinal. Your faith is not watchful. Your faith is not sleeping. Your faith is in mortal danger when you parade it in front of those who would rob the poor, starve hungry children, neglect the sick and worship the rich.

In Matthew 25:40, Cardinal, Jesus said, “What you do to the least of these, you do also to Me.”

I hope you remember that when you’re standing in front of that convention hall full of Republicans who would have us give their hatred of gay people, immigrants and minorities the power of law. They demand that we all go armed against each other. They have also made it their goal to disenfranchise the elderly, the poor, the sick and the hungry by demanding deep spending cuts in the social safety net – a net that millions of Americans depend on to keep them under a roof and off the streets. Millions of Americans rely on food stamps to provide meals for their hungry children. Millions of Americans rely on Medicare, Medicaid, free clinics and organizations like Planned Parenthood to provide them and their children with basic medical and preventive care. The Republicans want to take all that away and give the money to the wealthiest people in the country, people who are already so obscenely wealthy that they are free to use their huge wealth to buy mansions, vacation homes, Caribbean islands, private jets, yachts and dancing horses. They demand these devastating cuts in the social safety net while also demanding that we spend more of our nation’s resources on war and the weapons of war and destruction.

And you are willing to stand in front of those people, Cardinal, and ask God to bless them for what they do to the least among us. You should be ashamed.

You invoke the name of Jesus? I know that Jesus will not be with you in that hall, Cardinal.

Jesus will be gracing the tables of poor single mothers and the hard-working mothers and fathers who are desperately trying to feed their hungry children and keep a decent roof over their heads while making minimum wage or less; He will be at the bedsides of the sick who cannot afford to pay for their medications or receive even the most basic medical care; He will be with the hungry children in their squalid tenement homes and classrooms as they try to learn their lessons as their empty stomachs growl with hunger.

Remember that, Cardinal, when you read what Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, and know this:  just one of your beautiful red silk robes, gold pectoral crosses and finger rings could probably feed several hungry families for a month.

I cannot sign this letter to you “Respectfully yours,” because, Cardinal, I do not respect you. You and your fellow “princes of the Church” are only paying the barest of lip service to the real words of Jesus Christ and your principle of simple living and/or poverty – while you live in luxury and wear silk. You stand in front of a group of fearful and angry people who tell us that the unemployed are simply lazy moochers and rail against “welfare queens” and offer up a blessing upon them “in the name of Jesus Christ.” Jesus Christ would spurn you, Cardinal, and I believe He would drive you and yours out of the temple.

I hope you will contemplate my words to you, but I doubt that you will. Life is far too good for you, isn’t it, Cardinal? You’re a Prince of the Church, a downright holy man and you no doubt believe yourself to be superior in all ways to the poor and sick of this nation…

Since I cannot sign this letter “Respectfully yours,” I will simply sign it,

Leftside Annie



  1. Annie, I think an update is in order, as Dolan is also to close the Democratic Party convention. Sister Simone Campbell, of the Nuns on the Bus tour, is scheduled to speak, as well.

    • Well, as far as I know, the Democrats aren’t trying to steal the food out of the mouths of hungry children and cut medical care for uninsured Americans and seniors. My words stand.

  2. I never meant you should retract anything. I thought you could add a little subtle prod about the second appearance. Dolan sued the Obama Administration to get out of the contraception provisions in ACA. Seems the Catholics want a ‘special exclusiion’ but claim that gays don’t deserve a ‘special exclusion’ when it’s equal protection and rights that is the issue.

    • Actually, I didn’t know he was going to be at the DNC. Frankly, I wish the Dems had told him to shove off. I’ll mention it to my editor. :o)

      • Brooklyn Dame says

        I’m completely fine with what was written. Given Dolan’s stance on a host of issues, including his intrusion into what should be discussed solely between a woman and her OB/GYN, I too wish the Dems had told him to take a hike. If the church wants to get involved in politics they need to cough up tax revenues.