Most of us in the Catholic blogosphere and elsewhere in the Catholic world have been wondering what Cardinal Dolan was thinking when he invited President Barack Obama, an arch enemy of the Catholic Church, to the Al Smith Dinner, which is to take place this Thursday, October 18. There have been petitions circulated over the Internet and countless articles and posts against this action of Cardinal Dolan. He has continued to defend his position, saying we must reach out to those who oppose us. But sitting down and breaking bread with someone who, in effect, is trying to shut you down? C'mon, Your Eminence, that is just going too far. And of course, Bill Donohue, the Catholic bulldog, has defended the Cardinal.
Now in an article from The New York Post we are told that Cardinal Dolan, a couple days before the dinner, is having second thoughts. He has finally realized that Obama is going to be using this as a political weapon to beat Catholics over the head even more, and despite his opposition to all things Catholic and pro life, Obama will use this to tell Catholics they should vote for him. After all, here he is laughing and partying with the head of the US Catholic Bishops. How bad can he be?
Cardinal Dolan still has time to un-invite Obama, and if he did, he would win our complete admiration and respect. In fact, this might make more of a statement than if he had never invited Obama at all. Short of that, His Eminence should not make this a night of fun and frivolity. He should use this night to castigate this president who uses his office to promote evil.
Cardinal Dolan should also bring up the "Catholic" vice president who just told us last Thursday that while he personally supports the pro life teachings of the Catholic Church, he cannot impose those beliefs on others. Thankfully, at least one bishop, Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, has told Biden that he should forget about receiving Communion in that diocese. It would definitely be Snoopy Dance time if Cardinal Dolan did the same thing. BTW, I'm still waiting to hear that Carolyn Kennedy, who publicly stated her opposition to Catholic Church teaching in regard to abortion, is no longer welcome to receive communion.
Here is the article from the New York Post.
By MICHAEL GARTLAND
Last Updated: 4:10 AM, October 14, 2012
Posted: 1:44 AM, October 14, 2012
President Obama and policy arch-nemesis Timothy Cardinal Dolan will share a meal and a podium this Thursday at the Waldorf — and some of the 1,000 dinner guests are hoping His Eminence will deliver a silverware-rattling sermon on ObamaCare.
“They’re going in hopes that the cardinal’s going to slam him,” said state Sen. Marty Golden, a Brooklyn Republican attending the annual Al Smith Dinner. “It’s insulting that [Obama is] coming. What he’s doing to the Catholic Church — forcing them to do things against their beliefs — it’s reprehensible.”
Outrage over the federal mandate that even faith-based institutions provide employees with insurance coverage for birth control has been simmering for months. The upcoming dinner has only inflamed the agita of conservative Catholics worried that Obama’s appearance will be misinterpreted as a church endorsement.
“The cardinal himself wonders whether he made the right decision” in inviting Obama, said a source close to Dolan. “He knows the president wants this for one reason, and that’s the photo.”
Though nearly all presidential candidates since 1945 have attended the annual fund-raiser, Catholic leaders in the past have snubbed those with policy views antithetical to church teaching. In 1996, John Cardinal O’Connor didn’t invite President Bill Clinton, who had vetoed a partial-birth-abortion ban, nor his challenger Sen. Bob Dole; and in 2004, Edward Cardinal Egan passed over John Kerry, a Catholic who’s pro-choice, as well as incumbent President George W. Bush.
“Our whole objection is inviting Obama to this dinner about 18 days before the election,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of the American Life League.
Mitt Romney will also speak at the black-tie charity dinner, named for the late New York Democratic governor who in 1928 became the first Catholic nominated for president by a major party.
“It’s better to invite than to ignore, more effective to talk together than to yell from a distance,” blogged Dolan, who in August sued the Obama administration over the contraception policy.
At least two top state conservatives have opted out of the $2,500-a-plate affair for a lower-profile event.
“This president has shown such a disrespect for the Catholic Church,” said Jerry Kassar, chairman of the Brooklyn Conservative Party. “It is not appropriate to give him a forum at a politically significant event just before the election.” [God bless Mr. Kassar.]
Mike Long, chairman of the Conservative Party of New York State, who usually attends the dinner with Kassar, says he’ll instead go the Human Life Foundation dinner honoring former US Sen. James Buckley.
But some conservative Catholics support Dolan’s decision and see it as saavy.
“If Catholics want to change the culture, they need to engage it,” said Catholic League President Bill Donohue.
* * *
Mr. Donohue, do you honestly believe that giving Obama a photo op showing him laughing and joking with the head of the US Catholic Bishops is "engaging" the culture?
Excuse me while I take some blood pressure medicine.