Skip to comments.Cardinal Dolan defends decision to invite President Obama to Al Smith dinner
Posted on 08/17/2012 8:21:35 AM PDT by mlizzy
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has defended his decision to invite President Barack Obama to the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner.
Emphasizing that Americans wish for greater civility in politics, Cardinal Dolan said that
for seven decades, the Al Smith Dinner here in New York has been an acclaimed example of such civility in political life. As you may know, every four years, during the presidential election campaign, the Al Smith Dinner is the venue of history, as it is the only time outside of the presidential debates that the two presidential candidates come together, at the invitation of the Al Smith Foundation, through the archbishop of New York, for an evening of positive, upbeat, patriotic, enjoyable civil discourse. This year, both President Obama and Governor Romney have accepted our invitation. I am grateful to them.
I am receiving stacks of mail protesting the invitation to President Obama (and by the way, even some objecting to the invitation to Governor Romney), Cardinal Dolan continued. The objections are somewhat heightened this year, since the Catholic community in the United States has rightly expressed vigorous criticism of the Presidents support of the abortion license, and his approval of mandates which radically intruded upon Freedom of Religion. We bishops, including yours truly, have been unrelenting in our opposition to these issues, and will continue to be. So, my correspondents ask, how can you justify inviting the President?
Cardinal Dolan offered several reasons:
For one, an invitation to the Al Smith Dinner is not an award, or the provision of a platform to expound views at odds with the Church. It is an occasion of conversation; it is personal, not partisan.Some have told me the invitation is a scandal, Cardinal Dolan added. That charge weighs on me, as it would on any person of faith, but especially a pastor, who longs to give good example, never bad. So, I apologize if I have given such scandal. I suppose its a case of prudential judgment: would I give more scandal by inviting the two candidates, or by not inviting them?
Two, the purpose of the Al Smith Dinner is to show both our country and our Church at their best: people of faith gathered in an evening of friendship, civility, and patriotism, to help those in need, not to endorse either candidate. Those who started the dinner sixty-seven years ago believed that you can accomplish a lot more by inviting folks of different political loyalties to an uplifting evening, rather than in closing the door to them.
Three, the teaching of the Church, so radiant in the Second Vatican Council, is that the posture of the Church towards culture, society, and government is that of engagement and dialogue. In other words, its better to invite than to ignore, more effective to talk together than to yell from a distance, more productive to open a door than to shut one. Our recent popes have been examples of this principle, receiving dozens of leaders with whom on some points they have serious disagreements. Thus did our present Holy Father graciously receive our current President of the United States. And, in the current climate, we bishops have maintained that we are open to dialogue with the administration to try and resolve our differences. What message would I send if I refused to meet with the President?
Finally, an invitation to the Al Smith Dinner in no way indicates a slackening in our vigorous promotion of values we Catholic bishops believe to be at the heart of both gospel and American values, particularly the defense of human dignity, fragile life, and religious freedom. In fact, one could make the case that anyone attending the dinner, even the two candidates, would, by the vibrant solidarity of the evening, be reminded that America is at her finest when people, free to exercise their religion, assemble on behalf of poor women and their babies, born and unborn, in a spirit of civility and respect.
"I suppose its a case of prudential judgment: would I give more scandal by inviting the two candidates, or by not inviting them? --Cardinal DolanIs Dolan serious? Is he counting on the faithful of the Church to hold the Church up while he drinks and dances with Death? Does he not realize that Obama is laughing, laughing, laughing, at him? His wife too is cautiously optimistic. With the Catholic vote, she can keep telling people what to eat for four more years (while she girds in her backside heft). Enjoy your dinner, Cardinal, and don't give a thought to the faithful Catholics who are disgusted and scandalized (I mean you did apologize) over the fact you can't bring "scandal" to the Church by standing up for the slaughtered unborn.
The Apostle Paul say we shouldn’t even dine with someone who calls themselves a Christian but denies the Bible and lives a very unChristian life. “What partnership has light with darkness?”
If I recall, there have been periods where the candidates were not invited (1996, 2004).
In case that wasn’t entirely clear, I think this is FAR WORSE than Fr. Jenkin’s invitation of Obama to Notre Dame to receive an honorary degree. Because while Fr. Jenkins knew what Obama was going to do as President, Bishop Dolan knows what he has already done, as a baby killer and an enemy of Christianity.
If he had declined to invite either of the death-eating dirtbags, I’d be cheering out loud.
What faith if any does Barak Obama hold. One reason Dolan gave was that people of faith come together at this dinner.
Do people that support abortion,gay marriage and the removal of Christ/God from classroom/public square, have any faith in Christ?
I say no.
Talk to me Cardinal Dolan after you tell folks that voting Democrat is anti Christian, then maybe I will take you seriously
“It is an occasion of conversation; it is personal, not partisan.”
Figures... the Church hierarchy defending the indefensible while feigning ignorance of the attendee. EVERYTHING with this jug-eared POS is partisan, and its ALWAYS personal.
To suggest otherwise is only justifiable if the person making the assertion has been in a coma for the last four years. Absolutely pathetic.
I think this is FAR WORSE than Fr. Jenkins invitation of Obama to Notre Dame to receive an honorary degree...True Cicero! In a commentary to a Matt Abbott column:
Dolan's demise as defender of the faith is indeed daunting; I thought Fr. Jenkins of ND was talking when I heard these reasons/excuses for inviting Barack. The difference is that Jenkins SHOULD have consulted his bishop if he had any doubts about whether he was violating "Catholics in Political Life," whereas Dolan IS the bishop...and he still gets it wrong...
Outrageous! Notre Dame was awful also. The guy who voted to deny medical care to a baby surviving an abortion was honored and the protesting pro-lifers were arrested.
"It is reminded that in the Church, when it is a question of accusations against a cardinal, the competence belongs only to the Pope; other entities can have a consultative function, always with due respect for the persons."See also:
-- from the thread Pope Clarifies That Only He Can Criticize a Cardinal
Matthew 18:6 ESV
But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
I do not subscribe to that premise, as the definition of civility is not a uniform one between the Left and the Right.
The Left believes that "civility" means we accept their views as not only valid, but the gospel truth, and any disagreement is uncivil.
The Right has, for far too long, allowed them that distinction without calling them on it. As a result, we are continually bent over the barrel or having the ball pulled away as we rush to kick it.
(Emphasizing that Americans wish for greater civility in politics, Cardinal Dolan said that)
No we don’t. Screw civility. I want some honest politicians with a spine....
Are you a Catholic, now? When did you convert?
Fine... the Pope may consider my opinion as unpaid consulting.
Who am I to say that a Prince of the Church is wrong?
Maybe after Obama slapped his face with Abortion, contraceptives and forced insurance to pay for both, he is merely turning the other cheek.
In which case Obama gets another free slap.
If it was my face I would NOT turn it for him, but I am just a poor lay person.Not a learned theological scholar appointed to a high place in the Church.
I can promise you one thing, if I was invited to attend this I would decline and let Dolan know in no uncertain terms why.Yes! I would do the same. It seems he is reading his mail.
Someone needs to inform the monsignor that this is NOT about politics.
It is about persecution of CHRISTIANS and YOU DON'T PROVIDE A PLATFORM FOR THE DEVIL TO SPOUT HIS LIES!
I strongly suspect Dolan is a flaming liberal and a closet 0bama fan.
Well I am NOT Catholic but just a plain old (non denominational) Christian, I have my trusty New Testament to guide me.
I know that anybody that supports abortion (harming a child) ie voting Democrat,supporting gay marriage, removal of Christ from classroom/public square, basically the Democrat platform, is not on my side.
If they have not the courage to stand up and be counted, I have no use for them.
Also the Pope is NOT mentioned in my Bible.
There are many reasons he (Dolan) invited Obama.
1. Dolan knows that most of his lay parishioners and clergy sympathize with the Democrat positions (minus abortion). By taking a stand against the HHS mandate Dolan put himself in a bad way with the people he needs for financial and other support. This invitation was an attempt to mend a few fences with his own flock, and score some PR points.
2. Dolan wants to give Obama a “human face” to the HHS lawsuit. Try to chat him up a bit. Make Obama realize he isn't some fire brand Republican, but a nice social democrat who has a moral issue with one detail of Obamacare. By attacking Obama's favorite law, the Catholic Church in the US risks being forced out of its tax exemption, or worse. Giving Obama a real human to talk to may be attempt to limit that.
Dolan can count on the conservative Catholic support. Because of the dogmas of the Catholic church, he knows that they will not leave (or at least not very many will). Their support is almost a given. The support of the more cafeteria types, which make up more of the average Catholic parish (and to be honest, the average congregation of any church, denomination, or synod in the USA) is very much open to doubt. Dolan may feel the need to give them a bone so to speak in order to keep them in the Church.
Neither position is fully evil, neither is very good. But this was a political move.
DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE.
SHAME ON THE CARDINAL.
Likewise to be sure. Maybe a miracle in similar vein to the one at Lanciano would convince Dolan to withdraw the invitation(s)? Because he seems not to understand the peril of his decision.
If he had declined to invite either of the death-eating dirtbags, Id be cheering out loud.
This wondrous Event took place in the 8th century A.D. in the little Church of St. Legontian, as a divine response to a Basilian monk's doubt about Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist. --Miracle at Lancianohttp://rosaryforpeace.com
It would be great if neither candidate - nor Dolan - had an audience to speak to at the dinner. New York Catholics being what they are though, it’ll be a full house.
This should be a real turn-off to anyone considering converting to Catholicism.
Jesus supped with sinners, hoping His example might change them, and some of HIS followers were scandalized, too. I'm not saying Cardinal Dolan is Jesus, only surmising what he might be thinking with regards to the Al Smith Dinner.
In reading an article of how Cardinal Dolan hugged Helen Gurley Brown for giving $1million to a catholic high,we might get some insjght of what Cardinal Dolan had in mind when he invited Obama.The article from the (legacy making NY Times)says “Cardinal Hayes was an odd choice for the woman who spent years teachig women to enjoy sex-premarital.marital and extramarital-and embrace Catholic taboos like birth control”.
Jesus supped with sinners, hoping His example might change them, and some of HIS followers were scandalized, too.Obama gives "run-of-the-'mill'" sinner a new name. And you are kind, but once the Obamas are seen with Cardinal Dolan, the damage will already be done as voting comes just a couple weeks after the dinner. And it's pretty hard to imagine Jesus supping with Obama, without saying a few strong words here and there!
I read that article and it’s kind of ridiculous in certain areas (it seems he was “hugging” her so she didn’t fall down and crack her plastic head), so it’s difficult to know how much is fact and how much fiction. I don’t know why she gave so much to the CC.
This should be a real turn-off to anyone considering converting to Catholicism.Some people convert because they are marrying someone from the faith, and wouldn't be all that interested in what Cardinal Dolan does or doesn't do, however, there are others that yearn for the Eucharist, the True Presence of Jesus Christ. These people will truck through the muck in order to receive Him. So I don't think it will deter many from converting, but it does discourage those who fight for the Church continually through prayer and reparation, fasting and suffering, etc. We too won't leave the Church for the shenanigans of Dolan, BUT we wish he would have a change of heart. As my husband said years ago, he'd rather have knives thrown at him during daily Mass than to sit in the Protestant pew. "That's" how powerful and REAL the Eucharist is, and that's why situations like this are painful and annoying to the devout Roman Catholic.
Just so. I converted from the Anglican Church to Catholicism because I concluded that it was the One True Church of which the Bible speaks, and history confirms.
I profited greatly from my years as an Episcopalian, and received much from God’s grace during those years, but at length I concluded that it did not really have the sacraments. I will put up with a lot in order to be able to go to a valid confession when needful, and to receive the Eucharist at Mass.
So, no, Dolan doesn’t really have to worry too much about real Catholics leaving the Church because of his foolish and iniquitous decision. But he does, as already suggested, have to worry about hanging a millstone around his own neck by failing to do his proper job as a bishop.
So, no, Dolan doesnt really have to worry too much about real Catholics leaving the Church because of his foolish and iniquitous decision. But he does, as already suggested, have to worry about hanging a millstone around his own neck by failing to do his proper job as a bishop.Yes, agreed! Maybe I should send him a framed copy of this mosaic on the ceiling of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., as a reminder that when his time comes, Jesus will not necessarily be seen serenely smiling with children and little lambs.
I believe that if Cardinal Dolan, and the Bishops, continue their fight against the Obama administration's HHS Mandate, THAT will continue to turn more Catholics against Obama. Most folks won't even know about the Al Smith dinner, because most just don't pay attention to the minutiae of the Presidential campaigns and what the candidates do from day to day.
Do you truly think that Cardinal Dolan sitting down to dinner at a table with the Obamas would turn any TRUE Catholic's vote toward Obama?It's the lax Catholics (or ignorant ones) that are Obama voters, and the ones that Cardinal Dolan needs to straighten out by standing up firm for the unborn child and the Church's teachings. He IS the bishop. And my guess is that Obama will have a snapshot or two available (posed with Dolan and smiling), so this event will be seen after the fact. There were oodles of images with Fr. Jenkins during that whole debacle. And just like with Notre Dame, there are several petitions online in this regard totalling thousands of signatures already.. TRUE Catholics are tired of weak bishops, for the remaining flock, without instruction, continues on lukewarm, and that's not a good place to be.
I’ll bet Peter, the Rock, is mentioned in your bible.
I think you’re right.
While not Catholic, I’ve yet got a soft spot for it in my heart from when my mom wanted to sing in a Catholic choir and she had to take instruction. I used to go with her, and I remember the text “Father Smith Instructs Jackson” very well.
God’s Grace to You and Yours....
Yep, but nothing mentioned about him being infallible or anything along those lines.
OK not to beat a dead horse, but I woke up this morning thinking about Peter and the conversation of this thread.
I am NOT a Catholic Basher, Christian Catholics are part of the Body Of Christ as are all Christian members of all denominations, note I said Christian members of each denomination, not all are Christian.
This thread was also not confined to a Catholic discussion, went beyond that, also I was pinged to it, just for full disclosure.
So I only made the Pope comment after someone posted a reply to me and several others that nobody was allowed to criticize Cardinals etc, and the person/poster even included links to the so called rules on who could criticize, that being only the Pope.
That was when I said, the Pope is not mentioned in my Bible, wasn`t like I was going out of my way to point out my opinion of errors in Catholic teaching.
However then you said to my response about Pope not being mentioned in my Bible....Does your Bible not mention Peter the Rock....for sure it does!!!!
On this rock I build my Church...AWESOME!! Peter does not belong to just the Catholic Church, he would NOT have traveled around as John Paul 2 did(and assuming others) using this exact phrase....”I want to address young Catholics Catholics: etc
He would have said I want to address Young Christians, or Christians, he would NOT have used the term Catholic, but Christian.
Also Peter was NOT a politician, but a lover of Christ. The Vatican is filled with politicians.
So yes Jesus said on this Rock I build my Church,He indeed meant Peter, but he certainly did not have in mind what has come out of the political Vatican.
Peter would have had nothing to do with todays Vatican, he was interested in one thing bringing people to Jesus, would not have addressed people as Catholic but Christian. To say Catholic only is to exclude believing Christians of other faiths.
So NO the Pope is not mentioned in my Bible
I see you’re continuing to try to derail the thread, so I’ll leave you be. I have nothing more to say to you.
Have a good day.
Only offered my opinion,btw Religion will not save a single soul, only a personal relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ.
I worry that you are to wrapped up in “religion”/Catholicism
Also it is pretty scary when people say that nobody is allowed to criticize the Pope... that is getting cultish
You have a good day also :)