Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cardinal Dolan Invites President Obama to New York Catholic Charities Dinner?

In a move that has been receiving voluminous coverage on the blogosphere, last week it was announced that President Obama received an invitation to attend and I believe to speak at the New York Catholic Charities annual fund raiser.

Many are of course up in arms with Cardinal Dolan, and I personally wondered why Cardinal Dolan wasn't a little louder during the New York redefinition of marriage last year (but I also know I don't see the whole picture).

However, in this instance, it seems pretty clear what the Cardinal is doing.  Cardinal Dolan will have the opportunity, in front of media, just before the election, to remind the President and Mitt Romney what Catholics hold dear (or should hold dear), and it also provides an opportunity for Cardinal Dolan to say something in a very public way to the President for the world to see:

"Mr. President, this Catholic Charities of New York organization that you are here to support...if you keep the HHS Mandate in place, then in 6 months it won't exist anymore."

If I were Cardinal Dolan (and what follows tells you why I'm not) I would say the above line, and then just drop the mic and walk off stage.

It should be VERY interesting to see how it all plays out, but I personally think it has a lot of positive potential to go much better for the Church then some are predicting right now on the blogosphere.


  1. I hate to be negative so I'll dismiss what I'd like to say. But please hear me out on this.

    My father-in-law is an Obama supporter. He proports to be Catholic (weekly mass, monthly confession), though he's liberal in all of his politics and sexual ethics. He's CINO for the most part. My wife (his daughter)and I are concerned for his spiritual well being.

    This act on the part of Cardinal Dolan will only serve to make it harder to reach people like my wife's father...unless he uses this opportunity to make some very much needed distinctions between this admin, and the Church.

    I pray to God that the Cardinal will do just that because my father-in-law uses the widespread liberal priesthood to support his views.

    Ecclesiastic's continued moral, doctrinal, political and social errancy makes it difficult to trust in a decision like the one the Cardinal has made.


    1. I respect everything you've raised here, and I was initially saddened as well, and I see how this will certainly cause problems, and I guess I'm just trying to look for a silver lining, although I certainly understand why most are saying there won't be a silver lining.

  2. I was fairly pleased when he was voted head of the USCCB. It at least indicated a step in the right direction, but he has been uneven and frankly strikes of confrontationphobia. Yes, I know. The HHS Mandate thing, but even here +Dolan's slinging the Constitution around loudly like some talisman and denying the connection to the evilness of contraception is another example of trying too much to make hard and unpopular truths palatable. I hope and pray you are right that this invitation becomes a public rebuke of Obama and his odious policies, but I won't be surprised if it is just a bunch of smiles with no real message other than photo-op fodder. It's like the maimed victims inviting Skura the Gentle Shark to dinner.

    1. From where I sit (very low on the totem pole) there has been a lot more appeasement than preaching. I agree - there has been a strong effort to make things palatable, but what is going on is no longer digestible, and I'd love to see someone in charge say that. Here's to hoping!

    2. I have been upset with this and I have a hard time thinking anything good will come from this situation. Let's hope the Cardinal has an ace up his sleeve with the intent of playing it and turning the tables on this godless form of government that we now have spreading thru the land. It is true that America has been the great Protestant experiment and this is its logical conclusion but at least in times past Protestantism held to the authority of Holy Writ and the ten commandments as a basis for law and an ethic to live by. As I see it liberal Protestant and Catholic theologians have lead us to this road of compromise. In Protestantism the catalyst has been the erosion of scripture and a false notion of grace. In Catholicism it has been the erosion of the catechism and the teaching authority of the church in faith and morals. The error of the protestants is that everyone seeks to be their own pope and define God on their own terms. The modern catholic error is trying to join the protestants when it comes to what the church believes and teaches. In essence the motive is the same for both groups. The Motive? Orthodoxy needs to be changed so that I can live compromise with sin in comfort. All Catholics need to understand that the church exists to make saints of sinners so that we can one day stand before our God and Maker with full confidence in his grace and mercy because we finished the race that He gave us the grace to run. In so many words Jesus Himself said no holiness no heaven. The mission of the church is not one of changing the world by preaching community and social justice. Its mission is saving lost souls out of the world. This is by the Fathers design. When we do that then the world will be changed because we have changed the hearts of mankind. It is like Master Sgt. Heckman said when I was learning to compete on the Rifle team and I was having trouble getting to the next level of scoring. He said, "Private, you take care of the shooting and the score will take care of itself." Looking back, those are pretty wise word to live by. Lets' stop this nonsense of ecumenism that will never work and do what we are commanded via the Apostles in Matthew 28. The church is to call men out of their error whatever it is and into the church. The ecclesia, the called out ones. Theology 101 on the identity of the church.


    3. Fr. Please change one word in my post as I have taken your advice about being harsh. Near the end of the post I used the word nonsense again before I read your reply. I said let's stop this nonsense of ecuminism that will never work... Please change that to read "Let's stop this ecumenism that will never work" I think it would make a hard truth more acceptable. Sometimes you gotta use just the right spices in a bitter stew.

      Please delete after your read.

      AKA Don Hammond
      Fort Worth, TX

  3. I am a very heartbroken Catholic after hearing this news. All the prayer and fasting and attending rallies and the trust and confidence we put in the Bishops and how wonderful it was that they were finally standing up for Truth. This will do much damage, confuse the faithful and the media will have a field day.

  4. I went to the Archdiocese of New York's website looking for the Cardinals email address. I couldn't find it. If anyone knows it please post it. I encourage everyone to write the Cardinal a respectful email on this issue. (By the way The Archdiocese of chicago has Cardinal Georges email address front and center)

    If I could write Cardinal Dolin it would go something like this. (But i would check my spelling and grammer better than now.)

    Your Eminence,

    I know you have worked very hard on correcting this HHS mandate, talking with the President face to face several times. I realize you have the heart of a Pastor, a servant whose natural tendency is Love and forgiveness. But there are times where the battle between good and evil calls for tough love as illustrated from Genessis through Revelation. I've heard you yourself say on a national morning talk show this President seems to say one thing and do another.
    I can't help but believe your invitation is a benefit to the President in his re-election effort and disheartening to the many business people who has lost plenty of customers when they join you in speaking out in the public square.
    Recalling an article I read about exorcism, I understand the exorcist only asks a few questions of the demons during the rite, limiting the conversation with them. That is the model you should consider as the President is a master at turning a light hearted evening to his advantage.
    Also recalling John 8:12-59. Jesus is outside the temple engaged in serious conversation with the pharisees. (Above I insinuate the President has some similar qualities to a demon- let me temper that, by saying he is similar to the Pharisees in this scripture, well meaning in their own mind but they are gravely mistaken) In this scripture the Pharisees insinuate that Jesus is an illegitamate child, and Jesus responds that their father is a murderer, the worst liar of all liars the devil.
    We the lay faithful will not give up. I honestly don't understand your intent but just like Peter at the end of John chapter 6 where else can I go.
    Please follow Christs example, pull no punches and rescind this invitation.
    Mark Thiemann

  5. Prudential judgements should be exactly that, prudent. This term cannot be used to justify any action that is not intrinsically evil. The point is that many Catholics do not think it was prudent, but scandalous. Just as going alone to dinner with another man's spouse, by itself is not intrinsically evil, it is not prudent, but scandalous. Having an official meeting with her at work on the other hand is appropriate. Cardinal Dolan did not choose the right forum for dialog and it is downright scandalous.
    Fraternizing with the enemy at a dinner party is scandalous especially when you were the one who personally invited him. I believe the problem is that many Catholics don't think President Obama is a enemy of the Church as evidenced by their voting in 2008. So what was the Fortnight of Freedom all about anyway? I believe many Catholics don't try to practice their faith 100% and when the Bishops do things like this it somehow justifies their own personal lack of the virtue of prudence. Come on, Jesus dining with sinners cannot be compared to Jesus leaving the Disciples to attend a gala with King Herod.