WND News Analysis
By Anita Crane
New York’s influential Cardinal Timothy Dolan is facing criticism for socializing with Barack Obama at a time when the Catholic Church is being persecuted by – and bringing lawsuits against – the president’s administration.
Amid some 50 Catholic lawsuits and 50 other religious lawsuits against Obama and his signature health-care legislation, this past week Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed Obama and his challenger, former Gov. Mitt Romney, to the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. It’s a longtime charitable event where presidential candidates humorously campaign while speaking in honor of the first Catholic presidential candidate.
This year, many Catholics criticized Cardinal Dolan for inviting Obama because they claim it sends a mixed message, especially while the Archdiocese of New York is simultaneously suing the Obama administration. Critics believe that voters who don’t research Obama’s aggressive abortion record coupled with his attacks on the Catholic Church and other pro-life institutions will interpret Dolan’s hospitality as approval for Obama.
Their fears were partly realized at the dinner when Dolan praised both Obama and Romney as men of honor and faith: “I’m privileged to be in the company of two honorable men, both called to the noble vocation of public service, whose love for God and country is surpassed only by their love for their own wives and children, and who, as happy as I hope they are to be here with us tonight, would rather be home with Michelle, Ann, and their families.”
Dolan also celebrated the “two Catholic” vice presidential candidates as if the Democratic incumbent Vice President Joe Biden and his Republican opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan, are both faithful to God, church and country, but as WND reported, only Ryan qualifies.
Prior to the dinner, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life said, “I’m all in favor of protocol and understand the difference between respecting the president’s policies versus respecting his office. But there comes a time when the polite putting aside of differences for a while amounts to scandal. There comes a time when enough is enough and we can no longer afford to give people a reason to doubt our position as a church.”
Priests for Life is suing the Obama administration too.
At the dinner, Romney complemented his respect for Catholics with zingers at Obama.
For example, he said, “Your kind hospitality tonight gives me a chance to convey my deep and long-held respect for the Catholic Church. I have special admiration for the apostle St. Peter, to whom it is said, ‘Upon this rock I will build my church.’ The story’s all the more inspiring when you consider that he had so many skeptics and scoffers at the time who were heard to say, ‘If you’ve got a church, you didn’t build that.’”
Obama made fun of his own underwhelming performance in the first presidential debate, targeting one of several publicly anti-Catholic Catholics at the dinner for his punch line: “I particularly want to apologize to [TV host] Chris Matthews. Four years ago, I gave him a thrill up his leg. This time around, I gave him a stroke.”
Too little too late?
Absolutely not. Read the rest of the article with insights from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Father John Trigilio, Cardinal Raymond Burke and yours truly @ http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/did-catholics-forget-about-obamas-record/