The Cardinal’s Criteria Fall into Question
Friday, October 19, 2012 – By Judie Brown

Just yesterday, the Al Smith Dinner, which has been the focus of many efforts at American Life League in our quest to encourage Cardinal Timothy Dolan to disinvite President Barack Obama, took place with the totally pro-abortion president attending and in excellent humor—as was the cardinal.

In his defense of the invitation, the cardinal wrote in his blog, “In the end, I’m encouraged by the example of Jesus, who was blistered by his critics for dining with those some considered sinners; and by the recognition that, if I only sat down with people who agreed with me, and I with them, or with those who were saints, I’d be taking all my meals alone.”

The cardinal apparently abandoned his former rules for choosing dining companions. I say that with all due respect because his statement takes me back a few years to the annual Pro-Life Wisconsin banquet which, in 2009, was scheduled for October 3. I had been invited to be the keynote speaker. Then-Archbishop of Milwaukee, Timothy Dolan, had been invited to sit at the head table with me as well as members of the Pro-Life Wisconsin board. He was asked to offer the opening prayer and reflection. When the archbishop discovered that I was the keynote speaker, he sent a letter to Pro-Life Wisconsin president Peggy Hamill stating that he had to decline the invitation to attend the banquet because Judie Brown was involved in the public castigation of bishops!

Personally, as I look at what is occurring today regarding the Obama situation, I find this troubling to say the least.

On the one hand, he found it problematic that I led and continue to lead a campaign to beseech Catholic bishops to obey canon 915 and deny Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians. On the other hand, he finds it Christlike to dine with the most pro-abortion president in the history of this nation.

The media is having a field day with the Dolan/Obama encounter, just as we predicted it would. Even before the event one New York Times headline read: “Dolan Will Let Obama and Romney Joke it up at the Al Smith Dinner.” An Associate Press headline read: “Cardinal suing Obama invites him, Romney to dinner.”

I am not attempting to suggest that dining with me in Milwaukee should have garnered any headlines at all, but I am suggesting that Dolan has changed his dining partner comfort zone over the past three years.

When Dolan wrote, “If I only sat down with people who agreed with me, and I with them, or with those who were saints, I’d be taking all my meals alone,” perhaps he didn’t really think it through. Or could it be that he, unlike Christ, would prefer to be the darling of the media elite instead of emulating the good shepherd who, by His teaching and His very presence as the Son of God, brought people to their knees in repentance for their sins?

I cannot answer that, but I remain not only concerned but curious about the double standard. “No Dinner for Obama,” Your Eminence, would have at the very least been consistent with your 2009 mantra, “No dinner with Brown.”




Augustine says in his Rule: ‘Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger.’ But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected.”
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II, II, q. 33, a. 4, Sed Contra.

– Avyssum

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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  1. Christopher Ferrara wrote an interesting article with regard to Cardinal Dolan inviting Obama to the Al Smith Dinner, I do not know if I agree with it but, it does have some interesting points.


  2. Being the Cardinal of New York is a very difficult task. Cardinal Dolan has handled this very well. I do not see a problem with President Obama being at The Al Smith dinner, I do think the Cardinal was showing respect for The office of the Presidency, not necessarily Obama, Lets be honest many of these Charitable institutions are funded by our Government. For instance it was reported the money given to Catholic Charities is used to lobby and get more money from the government. This is a growing problem. I did see a problem that Chris Mathews was there. Obama does not profess to be a Catholic. but Mathews does. Follow the money. Many of our not so Catholic , Catholic politicians give money to The Church so our Church leaders turn the other Cheek. People need to focus on Christ not political leaders, which exist in the Church on both sides of issues. Many Catholics were Scandalized by The Prayer Meeting in Assisi Pope John Paul II had with all these different Religions, I loved Pope John Paul II, The decisions he made were for the good of the Universal Church,.I was uncomfortable with the Assisi but not Pope John Paul I

  3. Curt Stoller says:

    I was very disappointed by Cardinal Dolan’s performance. I think he is rationalizing his behavior, i.e. giving “good” reasons to hide his “real” reasons. The fact that he is rationalizing is proof that somewhere in his conscience he is disturbed by his behavior and feels it needs rationalizing.
    Only God can judge the man. But the behavior is disappointing.

    Legalized abortion is not merely a national problem or an American problem. It is an international problem and a sign of global decadence unseen since the decay of the Roman Empire and much larger in scope than that decadence. Where are the “civilized” nations who call the infanticide driven nations to task for this genocide? We have seen situations where “civilized” nations have considered military force and war in response to the genocide taking place in another nation. Where is that “moral outrage” in the genocide of abortion? Abortion is genocide on an international level but millions of babies are killed one by one. The U.N. Declaration on Genocide is eerily silent on abortion, a sign of its own decadence.

    There was a time when the world came together at least in part on the question of the Nazi Holocaust and the evil of the Nazi genocide. It seems that today the world is only coming together to legalize abortion genocide and liberalize it and expand it.

    The Roman Catholic Church is the only international voice strong enough to oppose abortion with a single voice. But where is that single voice when not just laymen and priests, but even cardinals wearing red to symbolize their devotion to Jesus to the point of martyrdom can be seen partying with genocidal leaders. Yes, Jesus dined with sinners. But I have heard no Gospel account of Jesus dining with Herod or Pontius Pilate.

  4. Thanks Judy keep up the good fight.What bothered me most about the dinner last night was Cardinal Dolan saying that Romney and Obamas love for family surpasses love of God.What happened to the teachings of Jesus?That those who love family more than him are not worthy to be his disciples.It was very disappointing.We definatley need more cardinals like Burke and Arinze who speak the truth to power and care nothing to be politically correct or water down the gospel

  5. I am nauseated as I see the photo ops featuring a Catholic archbishop laughing, smirking ‘Biden style’, at a Democrat politician who is an avowed enemy of the Catholic Church and the pre-born. This is analogous to a prelate sitting down with Hitler for a fun evening. God help us.

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