The Archdiocese of New York has confirmed that both Obama and Republican opponent Mitt Romney will speak Oct. 18 at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a traditional stop on the campaign trail.
Led by the nation's top bishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archdiocese of New York is one of more than 40 Catholic organizations suing the Obama administration over a mandate requiring employers to make contraception part of their health care plans. Dolan has also criticized Obama over his support of same-sex marriage.
But the Al Smith Dinner is a major charity event, and for more than six decades has been inviting presidential candidates to give brief, non-political speeches -- though not always.
Critics of Obama's invitation pointed out that the New York Archdiocese did not invite presidential candidates in 1996 and 2004 -- reportedly because of support of abortion rights by President Bill Clinton and Democratic candidate John Kerry.
Some Catholics are circulating a petition asking Dolan to withdraw Obama's invitation this year.
"If Cardinal John O'Connor didn't invite pro-abort Bill Clinton in 1996, and if Cardinal Egan didn't invite pro-abort John Kerry in 2004, then on what grounds could your Eminence find to invite Obama in 2012?" asks the petition, which adds that Obama "has proven handily and has worked arduously since 2009 to act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles."
Perhaps you’ve never reflected on how your sincere desire to be “nice” may undermine or completely prevent a serious expression of your faith. If every time you feel you should give an answer or every time you think you should be involved in some kind of witness or ministry, you are effectively stopped by an internal dialogue that insists the need to be “nice” trumps all other goods or needs, perhaps it is time to seek the Lord afresh, resist that voice, break the hold of bad ideas, and step out in faith and obedience and do or say what is needed.
There are worse things in life, after all, than not being nice! Perhaps being unfaithful is one of them?
I see no rationale other than being nice that would be driving Cardinal Dolan to have Barack Hussein Obama seated next to him, chuckling, cajoling, jiving and joking their way through dinner together all while Obama is at the same time doing his level best to quash a Catholic way of being by way of the HHS Mandate.
No other rationale.
I hope the good Cardinal cancels the dinner.