Skip to comments.The Al Smith dinner: the cardinal and the tax collector
Posted on 08/12/2012 4:09:04 PM PDT by Salvation
August 09, 2012 9:36 AM
Jesus ate with tax collectors. And Cardinal Dolan plans to eat with President Obamawho, Chief Justice Roberts tells us, has imposed a tax on employers who refuse to subsidize contraception. But theres a difference.
When Jesus sat with tax collectors, the dinners were private. They were not photo ops for political candidates. The Lord could speak directly to the hearts of his dining companions, and convert them. Remember, St. Matthew left the tax-collecting business to follow Christ. Does anyone believe that after the Al Smith dinner, Obama will decide to rescind the contraceptive mandate?
The annual fundraiser for Catholic Charities in New York is a non-partisan event, the organizers assure us; politics will play no part in the nights events. Non-partisan it may be, but not apolitical. There are no apolitical public events on the schedule of a presidential candidate during the last few weeks of a campaign. Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will attend because they expect to gain some political advantage. They know exactly what theyre doing. Can the same be said for the host, Cardinal Dolan?
During the dinner, the Cardinal and Obama and Romney will laugh and joke together. (The cardinal will be the star of the show, because unlike the other two men, he has a detectible sense of humor.) All good fun. But is it really harmless?
On the morning after the dinner, millions of Americans will see, prominently displayed on the front pages of their hometown newspapers, pictures of President Obama and Cardinal Dolan smiling together. What message will they receive? Can these be the same men who are fighting a bitter political battle on a matter of conscience? The same two men who are the principal forces behind opposite sides of a landmark lawsuit? If theyre laughing and back-slapping together, the disagreement cant be all that serious, can it? So maybe that matter of conscience isnt so important after all? Apparently it wasnt important enough to interfere with a night of fun.
In attendance at the dinner, appropriately clad in white ties, will be corporate executives who have donated large sums to the Obama campaign. The Catholic bishops of the USCardinal Dolan prominently among themhave repeatedly told the faithful that it is gravely wrong to support political candidates who promote unrestricted legal abortion, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage. Yet Catholics continue to support Obama, disregarding the bishops warnings. When they see Cardinal Dolan arm-in-arm with a President whose administration has done so much to advance the culture of death, will they be more or less likely to take the bishops seriously?
Cardinal Dolan may be the most gregarious man I have ever met. He seems quite genuinely to take delight in the presence of everyone he meets. Thats a quality that I admire: an enormous strength of his character. However, a man who habitually thinks the best of everyone can fail to pick up on the telltale signs of enmity. Cardinal Dolan seemed genuinely surprised that after promising to accommodate the consciences of Catholics regarding the HHS mandate, Obama did nothing of the sort. Call me a cynic if you want, but I wasnt surprised.
During the past several months Cardinal Dolan has proven remarkably tough in his statements regarding the mandate and feisty in his willingness to do political battle with the White House. Yet now, in the thick of that battleand, not coincidentally, of the presidential campaignhe has offered a temporary truce. Is he making a calculated gesture, as part of some Machiavellian plan? Id like to think so. But the cynic in me fears that the cardinal has slipped back into the naïve belief that political disagreements can be put aside for an evening of joking and backslapping without any adverse consequences. And on political affairs, sad to say, the cynic in me is almost always right.
Good evening Alberta’s Child,
I agree with you which is probably why I got booted off of the Catholic Ping list.
I dare not say anything more.
Interesting, unique analysis. well said.
HE SHOULD have taken the invitation back, but alas, I live in a dream world.
You hit the nail right on the head, Rita.
And what would Dolan have up his sleeve? Oooh, maybe some mean, “gotcha” words for Obamalamadingdong? Well, woopidty-doo.
Better a bishop & cardinal worry about the message he sends to those whose souls are in his care, rather than media or political points he thinks his clever quips might generate.
Thanks. Sometimes people can’t accept a blunt, direct assessment of a scandalous event like this.
In not speaking ill of him.
All priests take vows of obedience to their individual bishops or abbots. We, by saying we are a member of a parish, in a way say that we will be obedient to our priest.
Difficult when you don’t have and orthodox priest to imidtate. When the alter Christus really isn’t a stand in for Christ.
**Don’t lose heart. I suspect Cardinal Dolan has something up his sleeve. Obama may end up wishing he’d skipped the event.**
This is what I ama thinking. It’s supposed to be a fun evening. I think Dolan can make the snide remarks and get away with it this one night. We’ll have to see.
I have decided to look at this from a more spiritual angle. I admit that, in the past, my heavily Irish and rebel flesh has rushed to judge.
Sacred Scripture gives us Wisdom:
Touch not my anointed: and do no evil to my prophets. (1 Chronicles 16:22)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
declares the LORD.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
As for me, I have decided not to criticize nor to second-guess what is happening with this. It may well be that Cardinal Dolan has, indeed, prayed about this and moved out of obedience to the Lord. Many people are praying for this man daily and he IS anointed. Therefore, I will continue to pray and remember that all is in the hands of God. Period!
Thanks for the post/ping, Salvation. It makes me want to puke...on all of them. Collective vs. individual BUMP!
I signed the petition respectfully asking the Cardinal to disinvite obama. If Cardinal O’Connor could respectfully not allow Clinton to attend, why is obama, who is a considerably more anti-Catholic president, being allowed to attend? Especially given the lawsuit. When numerous dioceses are in a lawsuit versus a sitting president, a celebratory dinner with the other party in the lawsuit as an honored guest seems highly irregular. Also, why the weasel words on the diocesan website about this? This seems to have a contradiction between words and actions, and seems to invite thoughts of scandal to the faithful.
What bothers me is that the Cardinal seems oblivious to objections. He ought not to engage in political negotiations, because in this area he is a boy among men.
The demoncrap party we have today is one of the main forces behind the evil, murderous abortion frenzy we are all currently witnessing, and B.O. is their current leader. They follow disgustingly warped philosophies which are eerily similar in many ways to that of the Nazis, and the B.O./demoncrap-backed abortionists have already brutally murdered many more human beings than the entire Nazi party did in their whole history (and they continue to add to this horrendously immoral carnage every single day).
Today's baby-killing demoncrap party led by B.O. essentially IS today's Nazi party. We should not invite this evil man to share a friendly meal with us. Instead we should tell him to "get thee behind us, Satan, and stay the hell behind us!", and do everything possible to get him voted out of office.
Not long ago, U.S. Church leaders told Harry Reid that we disagree with him on some things (like that pesky abortion issue), but that we agree with him on others, like his scofflaw "dream act" plans. I am completely convinced that that kind of naive nonsense helped get dirty Harry Reid reelected, and allows him now to continue to block every single moral law that somehow manages to make it through the House of Representatives to the Senate these days, causing untold harm to the USA and the Church. It is NOT smart to rub elbows with Nazis or demoncraps like Harry Reid or B.O., and our Church leaders in this country should learn that quickly, before it is too late.
Good analogy with Hitler, could add Mussolini too.
Roman Catholics in America have been highly disappointing in the past few decades. They were, especially, disappointing in the 2008 elections. They will continue to be disappointing...is there any witness to improvement? I pray for a miracle, for nothing is beyond Him. Hasn’t He, already, given America up to reprobate mind? If He has not, I have been fooled.
Romans 1: And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers,  Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.  Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.
Yes, guess I’m as optimistic as you. The pres needs to be treated as he treated others in his audiences.
If at the Al Smith dinner, Dolan merely gently ribs Obama without any real mention of abortion, contraception mandate, etc, I'll be the first to criticize. For now, I say we give Dolan a chance and wait until after the dinner to praise or condemn him.
All I'm saying is wait until after the dinner to criticize.