Paul Kokoski
Eating with the enemy
By Paul Kokoski
August 18, 2012

Cardinal Dolan: Disinvite Barack Obama to the Alfred E. Smith Foundation Dinner!

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan's decision to invite President Obama to the annual Al Smith dinner in New York City on October 18 is scandalous. Obama has proven himself, despite personal promises to the contrary, to be a militant adversary of the Catholic Church. His anti-life policies and mandate to suppress religious freedom in America is legendary.

Dolan claims the dinner is merely "an evening of friendship, civility, patriotism... engagement and dialogue" all of which are mandated by the "radiant teachings of Vatican II." He fails to mention, however, that Obama has already clearly shown by his actions that he is not interested in authentic "dialogue" any more than Hitler was when he signed, with deceitful intent, his peace treaties. Jesus, for his part, did not enter into dialogue with such people "lacking in faith." Indeed he ignored them and went off "to teach in neighbouring towns" (Mark 6: 5-6). And He advised His disciples to do the same (Luke 9:5).

Dolan argues in his defence that "Al Smith was known as 'the Happy Warrior' because, while he fought fiercely for what he believed was right, he never sought to demonize those who opposed him." What the Cardinal fails to mention is that mass murder (via abortion) and other polices affirming the homosexual lifestyle were not on the presidential ticket in Smith's lifetime (he died in 1944). If, as Dolan states "the dinner named in [Smith's] honor is truly life-affirming" why is he inviting the most militant pro-abortion president in U.S. history to it?

Ed Mechmann, who works with the New York Archdiocese's Family Life and Respect Life Offices on public-policy issues, defended the Cardinal's decision claiming the dinner "is not a religious event in any way." This is merely spin for as Cardinal Dolan later clarified — ironically in complete contradiction to his own position: "The evening has always had a special meaning, as it is named after Gov. Alfred E. Smith the first Catholic nominated, in 1928, as a candidate for president, who was viciously maligned because of his own Catholic faith." The dinner then is fundamentally about religious freedom. It is no less a Catholic event for not only does Cardinal Dolan ( the primary figure at the dinner) and Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Sullivan sit on the board of directors of the Al Smith Foundation — founded by His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Spellman in 1946 — but the money raised by the dinner goes to support the Archdiocese's Catholic charities.

In 1996 New York Cardinal John O''Connor did not invite President Bill Clinton to the Al Smith Dinner because of his veto of the partial-birth abortion ban. Also in 2004, New York Cardinal Edward Egan refused to invite presidential candidate John Kerry, a Catholic, to the dinner because of his public disregard for Church teachings. So why is Dolan inviting Obama to the event when religious freedom itself is at stake?

Obama plans on using the Catholic gala as a "photo op" to sow bewilderment and score political points with Catholics who oppose him. Obviously, Cardinal Dolan is too busy drinking beer, engaging in self-depreciating jokes with the public and just generally enjoying the limelight and all that goes with being the head of the most prestigious Archdiocese in the U.S. to see that President Obama is just playing him for a fool. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo did the same thing last year when, after giving the Cardinal confident assurances of his good intentions, he managed to get Dolan to back off and leave town before signing his same-sex marriage bill into law through somewhat shady politics.

Many people see Dolan as a leader and major player in the fight for religious freedom in America. Obama more astutely sees the Cardinal as a stand-in for PT Barnum's quip "There's a sucker born every minute"!

While society and religion are being militantly persecuted by Obama and his soft-totalitarian government our Catholic bigwigs are shmoozing up to America's political elite in the hope of having a fun filled evening of drinking, smoking cigars and cracking jokes together. Can you imagine Jesus doing the same thing with His own executioner Pontius Pilate?

One can almost hear Jesus encouraging the Cardinal: ''If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first."(John 15:18). Let us hope that the Cardinal will heed these words of Jesus. Let us pray that he will put away his desire to be liked by all, that he will have the foresight and courage to see the mistake he is making and act swiftly to un-invite Obama to the Al Smith dinner.

With respectful and cordial best wishes, I remain

Sincerely Yours,

Paul Kokoski

© Paul Kokoski


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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