The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City has finally thrown in the towel and agreed to let gay Irish groups march. The announcement was made yesterday. In response, Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington posted on that archdiocese’s website a short commentary saying that it’s time for the Church to withdraw support for events like this. Excerpt:

Now the St. Patrick’s Parade is becoming of parade of disorder, chaos, and fake unity. Let’s be honest: St. Patrick’s Day nationally has become a disgraceful display of drunkenness and foolishness in the middle of Lent that more often embarrasses the memory of Patrick than honors it.

In New York City in particular, the “parade” is devolving into a farcical and hateful ridicule of the faith that St. Patrick preached.

It’s time to cancel the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Al Smith Dinner and all the other “Catholic” traditions that have been hijacked by the world. Better for Catholics to enter their churches and get down on their knees on St. Patrick’s Day to pray in reparation for the foolishness, and to pray for this confused world to return to its senses. Let’s do adoration and pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet unceasingly for this poor old world.

But don’t go to the parade; stay away from the Al Smith Dinner and all that “old school” stuff that hangs on in a darkened world. And as for St Patrick’s Day, it’s time to stop wearin’ the green and instead take up the purple of Lent and mean it. Enough of the celebration of stupidity, frivolity, and drunkenness that St Paddy’s day has become. We need penance now, not foolishness. We don’t need parades and dinner with people who scoff at our teachings, insist we compromise, use us for publicity, and make money off of us. We’re being played for (and are?) fools.

You used to be able to read the whole thing here, on the archdiocesan website, but the Archdiocese took it down. So now, go read it on Rorate Caeli. 

Msgr. Pope’s remarks were kind of grumpy, I suppose you could say, but pretty uncontroversial for a Catholic priest, yes? Ah, but you miss the back story: NY Cardinal Timothy Dolan has agreed to be the Grand Marshal for the 2015 parade. From the NYT:

In recent months, Catholic officials have tried to emphasize the church’s acceptance of gays and lesbians as individuals, while defending the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage. That rhetorical shift has been embraced by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who will serve as grand marshal for the parade next year.

“I have no trouble with the decision at all,” Cardinal Dolan said at an evening news conference announcing his appointment as grand marshal. “I think the decision is a wise one.”

Father Justin Wylie was unavailable for comment.  Neither was the Archdiocese of Washington, which confirmed to Buzzfeed that the Msgr. Pope post had been removed, but declined to elaborate.

Cardinal O’Connor is dead, and my NYC Catholic friends don’t feel so good themselves.

I wonder how long it’s going to take before the Cardinal Archbishop of Wales New York realizes that he will have earned no new friends — the people he’s trying to charm are still going to hate him and make fun of him — and alienated the old ones who would have normally been his most loyal ones?

UPDATE: Monsignor Pope explains himself.