Dolan criticized for inviting Obama to Al Smith Dinner

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RNS photo courtesy of the United States Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

RNS photo courtesy of the United States Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

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NEW YORK (RNS) The Al Smith Dinner has always provided a few hours of comic relief from the angry volleys of the campaign battlefield. But New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan's invitation to President Obama is angering pro-lifers and giving the archbishop some pre-dinner agita. By David Gibson.

  • gilhow

    What’s to criticize? It’s a tradition, all contenders invited, and Dolan’s only pretending to be non-partisan. We know very well that he and all other U.S. bishops must tow Pope Benedict’s line formally or they’ll be out of a job as fast as Benedict fired William Morris from his management of the Toowoomba, Australia, diocese.

    You see, as the Catholic Church, like all the evangelicals on the religious right who have joined ranks with the increasingly extreme Republican Party, continues to tear down the wall of separation between our secular government and their church dictates, Dolan must also continue to pretend he is non-partisan. That, of course, is a jolting contradiction with the facts.

    Dolan is just as much a Republican, a very conservative Republican, as his predecessor Francis Spellman when Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman unconstitutionally colluded with him to fight Spellman’s and the Vatican’s ogre of Communism. They may well have had a common enemy, but it is always wrong when this secular nation violates our constitutional separation from churches and joins any church in its theological fight. Even Obama has ignored that separation by promoting the Bush/Cheney faith-based initiative. And Romney is going to “etch-a-sketch” that error into his administration in an even bigger way.

  • James Gurn

    sooo, our leader, Cardinal Dolan, must continue to pretend he is non-partisan. Give me
    a break! Whatever happened to the CHURCH MILITANT?? Did Christ negotiate with
    the pharisaic moneychangers…no he whipped them out of his Fathers temple…
    Someone gently remind that the scripture per: and the lamb set with the LION ..time..
    is far from here & Cardinals, Catholics, must be as “cunning as a snake” not COMICAL!

  • frequentwind

    I certainly am not defending Cardinal Spellman, but what did the government do with him that was violative of the First Amendment?

  • Sandy Harris

    Where is the outrage at the Ryan budget? The diminishment of the middle class, the carefree attitude towards the poor…nothing seems to matter as much as birth control and abortion. No one wants abortion but when concern stops at birth, I just can’t get that. I am deeply saddened that the hierarchy is so boldly crossing the line between church and state. Barack Obama is our President. Please don’t embarrass the many Catholics who appreciate this President’s open and honest communication about women’s health. Has the Cardinal forgotten the fact that Mitt Romney was pro abortion? The Republican party will never care about the people you say you care about the most.

  • max hellstern sr

    Sandy Harris 1st at an abortion life ends ? no more need for eney thing. 2nd. I as a Romen catholic could never shake hands with Obama ,the man is against everything I hold dear.