The white-tie Al Smith Dinner on 18 October may have one of the worst public officials whose record for life issues at a key table: The US President. Mr Obama is known as one of the worst offenders on matters of life. And his dinner partner is Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan of New York. In extending an olive branch to the Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates His Eminence is fueling a fire that may not merely do away with troublesome undergrowth but kill off the roots, too. Exactly, how is inviting Mr Obama and Mr Romney helpful to the pro-life movement?
It is true that presidential politicos have been invited and
attended the famed Al Smith dinner hosted by the archbishop of New York
since 1945. The task of the invited speakers is merely to have fun. But
the President’s stance on abortion and conscience (to name just two
matters of significance) do not square with Christian faith let alone
with Catholicism and natural law and reason. When one is an opponent of
natural law and reason, religious liberty and the poor, why is he (or
she) invited to such a public spectacle? The Cardinal surely wants to
keep the convention alive, save face and provide a modicum of private
dialogue with the President, but this is seemingly scandalous behavior
on his part. Common ground will not happen here.
This is not
about conservative versus liberal politicians. This is about a
fundamental principle that Christians stand up for, not an opportunity
to be politically correct and soft on the issue. There are many
Catholics, laity and clergy alike, who see the President and his
administration as an enemy. Perhaps following the lead of Cardinal John
J. O’Connor, a former archbishop of New York would be appropriate. It
would be line with the policy of the USSCB for a “Catholic group” not
to offer an honor which could be misconstrued as as support for a
party’s agenda. In this case the Democratic party supporting the HSS
mandate and abortion.
Saint Gianna, pray for us.