Michael Gaynor
August 3, 2012
Will Cardinal Dolan honor America's most pro-abortion president ever?
By Michael Gaynor

Suing over Obamacare and the Obama Administration's HHS mandate was the right thing to do, but inviting President Obama to the Al Smith Dinner would be terribly wrong, mind-bogglingly confusing and unctuously weak.

Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan is the Archbishop of New York.

President Barack Obama is America's most pro-abortion president ever and hostile to religious liberty and conscience protection.

President Obama recently accepted an invitation from Cardinal Dolan to speak at this year's Al Smith dinner, LifeSite news reported.

That acceptance would be readily understandable.

The invitation would not be.

According to CatholicCulture.com (www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=15115): "The Al Smith dinner, an annual fundraiser, is traditionally a light-hearted affair, and the archdiocese has always invited both incumbent presidents and their major-party challengers during election years. However the invitation to Obama raises eyebrows because of the bishops' heated protests against White House policies regarding religious liberty.

Wrong about always.

In 2004 Edward Michael Cardinal Egan avoided the scandal of inviting the pro-abortion 2004 Democrat presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry, by not inviting.

In "Cardinal Dolan, please don't invite President Obama to the Al Smith dinner this year!" (www.renewamerica.com/columns/gaynor/120308), I wrote:

"Edward Cardinal Egan did not invite 2004 Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry, baptized Catholic, to the Al Smith Dinner. Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling explained that the presidential candidates were not invited because 'the issues in this year's campaign could provoke division and disagreement.'

"It was apparent that the decision was due to Democrat nominee (and baptized Catholic) John Kerry's gravely sinful support for abortion, not President George W. Bush's pro-life views.

"President Bush became the first Protestant to carry the so-called Catholic vote against a Catholic Democrat and won reelection.

"But Cardinal Egan invited 2008 Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama, who identifies himself as Christian but is indisputably not Catholic, to the Al Smith Dinner.

"That was a mistake that Timothy Cardinal Dolan should not repeat this year. Obama not only became the most pro-abortion president in American history, but proceeded to violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution and to gut conscience protection.

"Cardinal Dolan, now President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently a new letter to his fellow Catholic bishops that is among the strongest condemnations yet of the revised Obama mandate.

"Cardinal Dolan condemned the mandate and urged support for the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, which would overturn the revision of the original mandate that forced religious employers to pay for birth control and drugs that cause abortions.

"Cardinal Dolan asked, 'if the government can, for example, tell Catholics that they cannot be in the insurance business today without violating their religious convictions, where does it end?'

"'The regulations would provide no protections for our great institutions — such as Catholic charities, hospitals, and universities — or for the individual faithful in the marketplace. The regulations struck at the heart of our fundamental right to religious liberty, which affects our ability to serve those outside our faith community,' Cardinal Dolan wrote.

"Cardinal Dolan continued: 'On Friday, February 10, the Administration issued the final rules. By their very terms, the rules were reaffirmed 'without change.' The mandate to provide the illicit services remains. The exceedingly narrow exemption for churches remains. Despite the outcry, all the threats to religious liberty posed by the initial rules remain.'"

God know where this will end, but by inviting President Obama as the HHS mandate was about to go into effect, Cardinal Dolan signified that that President Obama remains acceptable, despite when he has done to restrict religious liberty and conscience protection.

In "How Cardinal Egan helped president-elect Obama win" (www.renewamerica.com/columns/gaynor/081111), I explained:

"Tragically, Edward Michael Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York, had much to do with the election of President-Elect Obama.

"Cardinal Egan did not formally endorse the President-Elect, but he treated him as acceptable by inviting him to the Alfred E. Smith Dinner and being photographed with him in a jovial manner.

"This year, if the President-Elect passed the fitness or acceptability test, he was destined to win.

"As a result of his position on life issues alone, he was NOT fit to win.

"Yet Cardinal Egan helped the President-Elect pass the acceptability test and the result was that the President-Elect did what the baptized Catholic 2004 Democrat presidential candidate (Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts) did not do: win the Catholic vote.

"And the President-Elect is even more extreme on life than Senator Kerry!"

Cardinal Dolan should ponder the wisdom of "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

As I wrote:

"The sending of mixed signals sowed great confusion. When pro-abortion 'Catholics' like Vice President-Elect Joseph Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi are permitted to receive Holy Communion even though they publicly flout Church teaching on life, the idea of a Catholic voting for President-Elect Obama is perceived by many as acceptable instead of sinful.

"Cardinal Egan rightly protested Fordham University honoring pro-abortion United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the majority opinion in the 2000 case striking down state laws banning partial-birth abortions and dissented in the 2007 case that reversed the 2000 decision and upheld the national ban on partial-birth abortions.

"But Cardinal Egan invited the President-Elect to the Alfred E. Smith Dinner this year!"

Inviting President Obama to the Al Smith Dinner in 2008 and honoring him at Notre Dame in 2009 made things worse, not better.

Suing over Obamacare and the Obama Administration's HHS mandate was the right thing to do, but inviting President Obama to the Al Smith Dinner would be terribly wrong, mind-bogglingly confusing and unctuously weak.

Jesus did not invite those moneychangers at the Temple to dinner.

© Michael Gaynor

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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