“Diogenes” take on the Al Smith Dinner

As you know, it is something of a tradition in election years now to invite the presidential candidates to the Al Smith Dinner, and annual event in the Archdiocese of New York to raise money for Catholic charity.

This year Sen. McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Barak Obama (D-IL) were present, seated on either side of Card. Egan.

They both spoke. 

Here is "Diogenes" take on the white-tie affair:

Off the Record

hey, lighten up!

Posted Oct. 17, 2008 10:14 AM by Diogenes

 The American bishops have generally agreed that political candidates who favor unrestricted legal abortion should not be given opportunities to speak at Church-sponsored events.

    * unless the events raise $5 million for Catholic Charities
    * unless the events are hosted by the cardinal-archbishop of the nation’s most prominent city
    * unless the events are covered by every imaginable major media outlet
    * unless the events are light-hearted, humorous affairs.

Because under those circumstances, you see, the archdiocese isn’t endorsing the pro-abortion candidate. It’s just showing that someone can support the deliberate slaughter of unborn human beings and still be a heckuva fun guy.

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71 Responses to “Diogenes” take on the Al Smith Dinner

  1. ArlingtonDIo says:

    So, Cardinal Egan hosted pro-abortion Barack Obama at a Catholic event. Presumably this is in direct opposition to the bishops\’ prohibition on giving honors or platforms to supporters of abortion.

    No wonder why Cardinal Egan has not stopped Fordham University for honoring Justice Breyer with an ethics prize next week. (See Cardinal Newman Society for background.)

    How foolish he must think he would look for a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do moment. How sad.

    Ave Maria, ora pro nobis.

  2. Chris says:

    Sadly for you guys Obama is going to win by a landslide. Not because of his views on Abortion – with which I profoundly disagree- but because he is going to drag the United States’ head out of its own fundament. You guys led the world, then you elected a clown. The world is weaker and more dangerous because of it. At least this time you are going to get it right. And Abortion will remain an issue to fight, argue and convince about.
    AND both candidates were splendid at the dinner!

  3. John P says:

    I think that it is worth while to note that the dinner
    is sponsored by the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation,
    *not* by the Archdiocese of New York.

  4. Amadan says:

    You are correct John P, but His Lordship NEVER passes up an opportunity to hob-nob with the Rich, Famous or Powerful.

    He ain’t a Midwest style bishop despite his upbringing. He’s perfect for NY

  5. Ioannes Andreades says:

    My recollection was that Sen. Kerry was not invited 4 years ago because he was a Catholic who was pro-choice. I can kind of see holding your own to a higher standard. It’s not like McCain towes the Catholic line on everything, either.

  6. BCatholic says:

    How can we ever hope to convert those we don’t befriend? It’s not like by giving him a chance to speak he spoke on abortion or was honored like he would be at a commencement.

  7. Kazimer says:

    Interesting observation by Diogenes.

    Perhaps ( and hopefully),Cardinal Egan used this opportunity to extend an invitation to both candidates to engage in further conversation regarding the Catholic Church’s position/teachings in general and the choice of life over abortion/murder in particular.

    If not, then …?

  8. Bernie says:

    Sadly, this possible (still praying that Americans will come to their senses) victory of a radical pro abortion candidate with no guarantee of any improvement over peace, environment and the economy (any 10 experts will point one way or the other and the truth is that neither party will make any great change) will come with great cost to american babies. And to us in Latin America, fighting to keep abortion illegal, it will mean an emboldened enemy ready to point to the US and EUrope as an example to be followed.

    Unbelievable that american catholics will have their voting cards drenched in innocent blood so to elect a presumed saviour of the economy, the environment, the poor. Again when we all know that little difference will exist between the two parties, the major differences being precisely the rights of the unborn, marriage laws and supreme court appointments.

    In South America we must get ready to face an emboldened pro-abortion campaign next year. Thanks America!
    Bernie

  9. cthemfly25 says:

    When Archbishop Burke refused to attend a hospital fundraiser featuring the appearance of a staunch abortionist entertainer, Sheryl Crowe, he was pilloried in the msm. But he was right and heroic and through the insults directed at him, he taught us all something: stand up and fight. And so those among us who accept the insults at chain of life and other rallies find no levity in this; in fact, it’s travesty. You bring attention to Church teaching not by hobknobbing with Katy Couric and Obama and the other cultural misfits at what should otherwise have been a celebration of Catholic life and Catholic political life. The Church has given us Thomas More as the patron saint of politicians. He faced evil with prayer and strength. Archbishop Burke did the same. Our bishops need to be vocal and unafraid. What Cardinal Egan did was wrong, a serious miscalculation and it has an unseemly appearance of “setting aside our differences” for a moment which is misconstrued by some to give levity to the abortion issue. That might be ok with tax issues or economic or other policy issues, but not on an issue of life or death.

    Incidentally, much the same occurred in D.C. a couple years back when “catholic charities” invited their guest of honor, Chris Matthews, to be in attendance at the gala fundraising celebration—with the imprimatur of Cardinal Wuerhl. But hey, a little levity among political friendlies is ok even against the backdrop of this assault on life, family and marriage—or that’s what certain bishops seem to think. I’ll take my coffe black, my scotch straight up, and my bishops with no-nonsense.

  10. Bill says:

    Chris: Did you figure out who was the clown with the help of Oliver Stone or not? How come I just don’t believe that you are much against abortion as you say? And both candidates were not that splendid at the dinner!

  11. Bernie says:

    Sadly, this possible (still praying that Americans will come to their senses) victory of a radical pro abortion candidate with no guarantee of any improvement over peace, environment and the economy (any 10 experts will point one way or the other and the truth is that neither party will make any great change) will come with great cost to american babies. And to us in Latin America, fighting to keep abortion illegal, it will mean an emboldened enemy ready to point to the US and EUrope as an example to be followed.

    Unbelievable that american catholics will have their voting cards drenched in innocent blood so to elect a presumed saviour of the economy, the environment, the poor. Again when we all know that little difference will exist between the two parties, the major differences being precisely the rights of the unborn, marriage laws and supreme court appointments.

    In South America we must get ready to face an emboldened pro-abortion campaign next year if American catholics insist on putting ideology and suppositions before facts and their faith.
    Bernie

  12. Maureen says:

    The point of the Al Smith dinner is to make people with VERY different political views sit down together, like human beings. Part of the reason this is sponsored by a PRIVATE organization, instead of by the Church, is so that they can invite the hypocrite-Pharisees and prostitutes of politics to dinner, without giving the impression that the Church approves prostitution as a profession and hypocritical Pharisaicism as a way of life. The Cardinal’s attendance likewise does not approve such behavior; rather, he is a sort of living “Repent your nasty politician behavior, then go and sin no more”.

    The fact that the Pharisees and prostitutes have to pay admission, and give the money to Catholic Charities, is a sort of spoils from Egypt, I’d say.

  13. Bernie says:

    My apologies for a double post.

    As for the comment on McCain not towing the catholic line on other issues, neither does his opponent, since there is no official catholic manual on how to manage the economy, the environment, etc. Nothing at least that comes close to what the CHurch clearly and officially teaches on abortion and moral issues.

    Now, do educated americans really have that much faith on DFL? Do they really believe that DFL will bring paradise to earth, social justice and all the 9 yards? Really? I once asked a prof of mine at an american university, an atheist and typical academic liberal, if there were any difference between the two regarding corruption, demagoguery etc. His resounding “not an inch” was a straight and honest answer.

    This naive and silly faith on the charm of Obama and the words of the likes of Pelosy and Barnes and all the puppies of Acorn and Fennie and Freddie really makes me wonder if educated catholics voting for them really know what they are getting into.

    Bernie

  14. TAAD says:

    Chris,

    Just remember what you said today. If Obama gets in the Right to Life movement
    will be set back 30 years in this country. Archbishop Chaput said yesterday that
    Obama is the most pro-abortion person to run since abortion was ‘approved’ in 1973.
    Wow, what a great guy! He has even voted to deny live babies born by mistake during
    an abortion, any medical help. And this guy will bring peace? What kind of peace
    is that? Any man worth his salt as a man would defend a helpless baby. Any man who wouldn’t
    is a coward.

  15. Hidden One says:

    When I, a layman, am in the position to and have the duty to comment negatively on or criticize the actions of Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York, I will.

  16. Mary says:

    The Al Smith Foundation may run the dinner, but if the Catholic Charities page is correct the address they give is Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation 1011 First Avenue, Suite 1400, which if I remember from my days in the Archdiocese of NY is the Archdiocese’s offices. There was such an uproar over inviting Al Gore 8 years ago, and John Kerry 4 years ago, this year I heard nothing about Obama being invited. I understand that they want to bring people of different political backgrounds together, but really inviting the most pro-abortion candidate this country has seen to an event benefiting Catholic Charities just irks me. We can hope to convert Obama, but as it should be done with the pro-abortion “Catholics” the talks should be in private. I also highly doubt that either candidate donated to the dinner, though this is McCain’s 2nd time speaking at the dinner. Alas, much prayer is needed for this country.

  17. Boko says:

    Must be hard to stay hidden when your head is so big.

  18. TNCath says:

    Diogenes is right. Unfortunate move on Cardinal Egan’s part. Considering the issues at stake, perhaps these dinners need to become a thing of the past.

  19. Rob in Maine says:

    I saw a pic in the paper of the two candidates and a Cardinal – or at least the back of his head and zucchetto. The only thing i could think was “What’s this dinner about” and “why is one of our guys there?”

    Thanks for filling me in :/

  20. Pharisee says:

    I think criticizing Egan on these ground is ok, but blatant and public disrespect of the Cardinal is obviously immature and, well, infuriating! I think you know who you are, and quite frankly your actions and words cause scandal and an occasion of sin for those who tend to disrespect the Bishops along with being sinful in itself. Pray for our Bishops, and for Priests for love of Mary’s humility.

  21. Nicknackpaddywack says:

    I think it is fair to criticize the Cardinal for affording this kind of official platform to a pro-abortion rights candidate. However, it is hard to construe it as an endorsement in the conventional sense when his opponent is simultaneously afforded the same platform. That seems to put them on par, at worst.

  22. mcitl says:

    The Al Smith dinner was not organized around the purpose of recognizing or honoring Obama. He was not the sole focus of the evening. His presence for that reason does not necessarily spell scandal.

    Catholics must give serious consideration as to whether or not we want to be marginalized and lose the evangelical role to spread the Gospel if we refuse on every occasion to automatically exclude from our invitation lists all of those persons who disagree with Church teaching.

    Christ in His Church still associates with tax collectors and prostitutes.

  23. TAAD says:

    I believe Cardinal O’Connor did not invite candidates who were pro-abortion.
    It would have been nice to continue what this Lion of New York started.

  24. dymphna says:

    This has to be a slap in the face to the Sisters of Life and anybody who’s ever protested in front of a New York City abortion clinic. You can rationalize it all you want but the photos show the cardinal feasting with a man who is not only pro abortion but proud about it. I feel grief and shame at the sight of these photos.

  25. TNCath says:

    Nicknackpaddywack: “I think it is fair to criticize the Cardinal for affording this kind of official platform to a pro-abortion rights candidate. However, it is hard to construe it as an endorsement in the conventional sense when his opponent is simultaneously afforded the same platform. That seems to put them on par, at worst.”

    I think this goes beyond the “same platform” issue. The abortion issue is non-negotiable and to allow a candidate who supports legalized abortion at a Catholic-sponsored event, no matter what the circumstances, was inconsistent with the positions His Eminence and other bishops have been taking. I still applaud Cardinal Egan for the bold stand he has taken in regard Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic party.

  26. T.Claude says:

    Nothing new. Admiral O’Connor offered
    Michael Dukakis the job of Vicar General
    if he lost in 1988.

    “He does all the work and I get to tell
    the jokes.”

    This is all par for the course in what
    passes for Catholicism in NYC. They need
    someone like Burke.

  27. avecrux says:

    Even though I am utterly opposed to a pro-death Presidency, I can’t speak so strongly here. In the case of Archbishop Burke, we were dealing with an entertainer. Chris Matthews, a media guy. I wonder if there is something unique about the Office of the President, and the candidates for that Office, that makes something like this – a forum where both candidates got equal time – somewhat unusual. No one was being honored, given a degree or given a chance to promote their policy positions, which commencement speeches often involve. If anything, it was a pretty funny reality check which laid aside so much of the campaign ugliness. I guess I will ask a question and perhaps those of you who have stronger opinions here can help me work this out. I am very much in favor of banning abortion supporting politicians for Catholic campus events, etc., because I think it gives them credibility – especially if they try to suggest that they are “devout” Catholics. However, I would not be opposed to a Catholic campus hosting a McCain vs Obama debate. Is my position inconsistent? I do find it interesting that Kerry supposedly was not invited and that Cardinal O’Connor acted differently in his day. Does anyone have some info they can provide on that? As someone who has spent a lot of time sidewalk counseling, I’m wondering if I am missing something serious here. I do find it disturbing to see a Cardinal laughing with Barak Obama – but I found it disturbing when Pope John Paul II had to meet with President Clinton, too – just because I can’t imagine what goes on in the minds of politicians like that when they come face to face with Christ’s representatives on earth. I almost fell out of my chair when Nancy Pelosi kissed Pope Benedict’s ring on the White House lawn earlier this year – but honestly, what do we do in these situations? I’m not sure.

  28. Geoffrey says:

    I don’t get it. As Catholics, are we to shun and refuse all contact with those who support abortion? Should we shun all non-Catholics as well? Pretend they don’t exist? Live in a ghetto?

    Didn’t Christ Himself sit down to dinner with tax collectors and prostitutes in order to preach to them?

  29. Jordanes says:

    Yeah, but how often did Christ sit down to dinner with Pontius Pilate, Herod, and Caiaphas?

  30. Larry says:

    Well we went round this the other day and I have given it more thought. It probably is nothe best thing for a Catholic Archbishop to be front and center at a dinner like this; but, most of the people who attended were discribed by Sen. McCain as “New York Democrats”. Judging from all the NY polls that seems a likely accurate statement so at least we can be comforted that the 2.5 million to 4.0 million reportedly raised for various Cathoic charites will not be part of the War chest amassed by Sen. Obama to further his campaign nor will it be used to fund abortions in the Big Apple. At least we hope CC does not do that there. By the way. DON’T BE DISCOURAGED BY POLLS; GET YOUR SORRY SELVES OUT THERE AND VOTE NO MATTER HOW BLEAK IT LOOKS GOD IS ON OUR SIDE AGAINST ABORTION. AND PRAY THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF THE 40 TO 50 MILLIION BABIES WHO HAVE DIED IN ABORTION. THEY CRY OUT FROM UNDER THE ALTAR OF THE INNOCENT AND SURELY GOD WILL HEAR THEM.

  31. Brian Murphy says:

    I see both sides of the argument on this issue.

    I don’t know much about the event, but was the Cardinal given a chance to speak? If so did he mention anything about the atrocities of abortion? Did he mention anything about how abortion is the issue of fundamental importance?

    If the Cardinal was not given a chance to speak or if he was given a chance to speak but did not take the opportunity to proclaim these essential words of truth, then I think that this was a mistake.

    If however, the opposite is true then the Cardinal should be lauded.

  32. Geoffrey says:

    “Yeah, but how often did Christ sit down to dinner with Pontius Pilate, Herod, and Caiaphas?”

    Isn’t it likely that He would have if possible? No one is beyond Divine Mercy.

  33. I don’t think we can know exactly what motives drove the Cardinal to attend and what he may or may not have said.

    What bothers me is that I often get the feeling that bishops and cardinals don’t consider how their actions are going to be perceived on an immediate level. Seeing the picture of the Cardinal between the two candidates gave me an immediate feeling of scandal and embarrassment for the Church. While that may have not been the Cardinal’s intentions, I think Diogenes has a point, especially knowing that this shin-dig is going to be in the media spotlight. I fear many people would see this and think that the Cardinal is fine with Obama’s stances.

    I pray that the Cardinal was able to evangelize to both candidates, but sadly the pictures seem to reinforce the “rich bishop” stereotype that enemies of the Church love to point to.

    May the Church stand up for the Truth, even if it “hurts” (financially).

  34. Brian says:

    Chris wrote: “Sadly for you guys Obama is going to win by a landslide. Not because of his views on Abortion”

    Chris, if Obama held his same views but was opposed to abortion, the party you call your own would not have nominated him and would not be supporting him. Would you have remained a Nazi in Germany in order to convert Hitler? You are deluding yourself and contributing to the deaths of millions.

    Meditate on Bernie’s powerful comment above: “Unbelievable that American Catholics will have their voting cards drenched in innocent blood so to elect a presumed saviour of the economy, the environment, the poor.”

  35. Jackson Little says:

    Here in Beantown, with the Mormons making in-roads, the picture is much the same.
    Unlike their brothers in the area around Sabine Farm, the prelates here are rather like those in the post-Christian dioceses of Europe.
    Red hats, because they always had them. Rome is slow to change (exception Houston). Our Ordinaries gave up being teachers or shepherds but continue to oversee beautiful properties while they try to protect them from attorneys seeking damages for dubious crimes from decades ago. NY and Boston have more in common with Paris and Brussels than they do with St. Louis, Rockford and now Cincinnati.
    Western European bishops preside over weddings for the most public of sinners and no one is shocked. It’s Al Smith night every nite.

  36. Andrew says:

    I must confess to being surprised to see Sen Obama being honoured in this way when Sen Kerry wasn’t last time around. In response to John P, even though the dinner was sponsored by the Foundation and not the Archdiocese, every photo that I saw of the event had Cardinal Egan sat between the two Senators, looking as if he was rather enjoying the evening. I wonder what Archbishops Chaput and Burke would have to say?

    I also have doubts about the appropriateness of holding such a dinner during an election campaign in any case… It all smacks of double standards, I’m afraid.

  37. Patrick says:

    A few points:

    1. I agree with not honoring pro choice Catholics at Catholic functions, and this is not that.

    2. At the dinner, toward the end of his speech, McCain made a prominent message of congratulations to the NY Diocese in their work to promote life, especially concerning the unborn, and affirmed his solidarity. Oddly, out of politeness perhaps, Mr. Obama applauded this along with most others in the room. This got press and video. McCains “proDeath” positions basically echo GWB in that he only sees fit to use for research embryos already marked for destruction, IOW, none created for that express purpose, unlike Mr. Obama and others.

    3. McCain was clearly the funnier guy (Obama was pretty good, as well, just not nearly as funny) just really very intelligent humor, much of it self deprecating, and this was sorely needed as he has not been seen by many as the “likable” guy, and really insightful and intelligent guy that he truly is. This was the universal comment from all the press sources I read. IOW a real boost to his chances. His zingers were also really potent in making his case, especially for the real lack of balance in the media. Great stuff, and maybe just the extra to get past this promoter of “little murders” as one of our great archbishops has so alluded.

  38. Mary is correct. The address for the foundation is the same as that of the
    offices of the Archdiocese of NY.

  39. lcb says:

    Jesus did not go and worship false gods to convert pagans.

    This is scandal.

    Voting for Obama is akin to voting for Hitler, except Obama is even more clear about his genocidial policies.

  40. lcb says:

    The incredible lack of spine among bishops in regard to abortion and pro-genocide politicians like Obama is leaving me increasingly convinced that they do not believe babies in the womb are actually alive.

    If, during his homily, a bishop were informed that a man with a knife had charged into the daycare and was going to kill children, what would he do?

    Give lip service to why such things shouldn’t happen for 35 years, while letting the faithful knows that they can vote for the knife wielder and his supporters if their conscience says “it’s okay, the knife wielder shares the bishops position on saving the wetlands.” doesn’t seem like the appropriate answer.

    Neither does a photo-op with the chief knife wielded for a fist full of cash.

    This is possibly the greatest scandal I have ever seen.

  41. Chris says:

    Brian wrote: Chris, if Obama held his same views but was opposed to abortion, the party you call your own would not have nominated him and would not be supporting him. Would you have remained a Nazi in Germany in order to convert Hitler? You are deluding yourself and contributing to the deaths of millions
    The party I call my own. You make so many assumptions!! I’m not even in the US. Neither am I ‘contributing to the deaths of millions’. I was simply saying that a) he will win and win big and b) although I profoundly disagree with his views on Abortion he will, in international affairs, be a far better president than W, who has been a disaster for America and the world!

  42. Jordanes says:

    Geoffrey said: Isn’t it likely that He would have if possible? No one is beyond Divine Mercy.

    Divine Mercy is not dispensed only at public galas and dinner banquets.

  43. chironomo says:

    Chris;

    If that is the case (which it might be), then why the clear endorsement of Obama? And your assesment that he will be a far better president than GWB is, well, a litle premature. I am old enought to recall that Carter was going to “rescue” our nation from all of the ills that had befallen it under Nixon and Ford. That didn’t quite work out so well, did it? His pro-choice (or rather, pro-abortion) stance is enough to make him repugnant to Catholic voters. His pro-socialist policies, now out in the open, should make him repugnant to the rest (with the exception of socialists!). Cardinal Egan should be appearing with neither.

  44. Aine says:

    Cardinal O’Connor, RIP, didn’t invite Bill Clinton because of his stance on abortion – Cardinal John O’Connor criticized him for vetoing a bill that would have outlawed some late-term abortions.

    Cardinal Egan is no Cardinal John O’Connor.

  45. Miseno says:

    Don’t worry! Soon His Eminence will be an Archbishop Emeritus and a prelate made in imago Burke will take his place.

  46. Study the Battle of Lepanto and pick up your Rosary.

  47. Fr W says:

    Can you imagine its Nazi Germany; it isn’t really discussed but Jews are rounded up in concentration camps. And one of the biggest supporters of this is invited to a Catholic dinner with the Bishop of Munich –

    give me a break – we just are not thinking of what is really happening in abortion mills around this country.

  48. “Yeah, but how often did Christ sit down to dinner with Pontius Pilate, Herod, and Caiaphas?”

    Well, he did with Zachaeus and Matthew. And I assume he would have eaten those you name. had these sinners been willing.

    Sigh.

  49. Lee says:

    “Study the Battle of Lepanto and pick up your Rosary.”

    Absolutely right. One Hail Mary would probably do more good than all of Diogene’s critique, or our comments

    As for Cdl Egan’s decision, who knows what prayer, consultation and soul searching went into it?

    McCain- the most pro-life presidential candidate we have- came off looking very good in contrast to Obama. So in effect, having this dinner and inviting both candidates was probably the most pro-life choice the Cardinal could have made.

    But all that to one side- the rosary, the rosary and again the rosary!

  50. Jerry Boyd says:

    The Abp by participating in this event missed a huge teaching moment. His absence would have reinforced to Catholics the necessity of combating pro-abortion efforts in any lawful way possible. Maybe even the media, noting his absence, would have helped spread the message. As it actually happened photos of the Abp yukking it up with both candidates gives an entirely different message. Sad

  51. BTW… if you get nasty to each other here, or over the top in your comments about Church authorities … I will find the comments later or be alerted to them, and then probably lock you out of the blog when I have a little extra time.

  52. LCB says:

    My apologies if my comments above were part of the “over the top” catagory.

  53. paul says:

    I think that this issue of dealing with pro-abortionists is a really difficult call. My opinion is if attending one can call the evil doer to repent- then definitely go. If this is not possible- then one should not attend. Archbishop Burke sent a strong message by not inviting Sheryl Crowe. Greek Orthodox archbishop Iakovos sent a strong message to the ncc in 1983 by threatening the national council of churches that if a “gay church” joined- all the Eastern Orthodox churches would secede from the ncc. If attending such a dinner gives the appearance of an imprimateur to both candidates-not attending would have given a better message in my opinion. God only knows our hearts though.

  54. Daniel says:

    Aine:

    It’s a real stretch to find a difference btwn Egan and O’Connel on this sort of thing. The latter was just a little more comfortable and funny in this venue. Just as O’Bama was funny.

    Plenty of fotos of both of them giggling with pro-aborts.

  55. TJM says:

    What I find so profoundly sad as a Catholic who has lived on both sides of the Council, is that pre-Vatican II, NO CATHOLIC who was a
    practicing Catholic would have voted for a pro-abortion candidate like Obama. The fact that so many “catholics” are willing to do so today
    shows what an extremely poor job the Church has done in this Country following the Council in terms of religious instruction. Perhaps if
    the Catholic bishops had taken a vigorous stand against “catholic” politicans who were pro-abortion in the 1970s, and used all of the ecclesiastical
    penalties in their arsenal, then perhaps the Democratic Party would not have morphed into the Party of Death, as Archbishop Burke commented
    recently. Tom

  56. Jordanes says:

    Father Augustine said: Well, he did with Zachaeus and Matthew. And I assume he would have eaten [with] those you name. had these sinners been willing.

    Yes, Father, He may have, under the right circumstances. He wasn’t known for hanging out with the famous and powerful, though. He also didn’t throw very many gala parties and invite the famous and powerful to them, but he did dine at times in the homes of influential and notorious sinners. I feel confident, Father, that you would agree that it’s all a question of what would be appropriate in any given situation. But discerning that takes more than simply referring to the well-known “Jesus ate with sinners and publicans” passage.

  57. dymphna says:

    Jesus remained absolutely silent when he came face
    to face with Herod and he didn’t chow down with Pilate
    either.

  58. Maureen says:

    Jesus dined with other people besides Mary. We are all notorious sinners compared to them. Jesus allowed Himself to go to Egypt, to a land full of pagans, and He didn’t smite the whole place.

    Every day, the Sisters of Life and other pro-life fighters walk on the streets paved by abortionist governments, eat food that pays taxes to such a government, and refrain from going into the wilderness to live free of this sort of “cooperation”. Fr. Groeschel’s monks don’t quiz people they feed as to whether they’ve been committing mortal sins before they give them a plate, whether or not you’re talking homeless people or volunteers from the suburbs.

    The administrators of the Al Smith Foundation set it up as a sort of evangelization for civic virtues, administered through a sugar pill of fun. The “inclusivity” and fun is all part of the plan for world dominat… er, winning souls for Christ. Especially the very unlikely souls. Al Smith had faced every kind of anti-Catholicism and thuggishness, after all.

  59. Aine says:

    ABORTION: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

    BY JOHN CARDINAL O’CONNOR
    ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK

    Each week in Catholic New York, the newspaper of the New York Archdiocese, His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor reflects on issues pertinent to the faithful in his column From My Viewpoint. In July of 1990, he dedicated an expanded version of that column to the subject of abortion. Since that time, this column has proven to be a useful educational resource. We therefore make it available to you.

    –Fr. Frank Pavone
    http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/cardocqanda.html

    Daniel, I was discussing the topic of this thread. Cardinal O’Connor did not invite Bill Clinton to the Al Smith dinner because of his open stance on abortion. There was no one more steadfast or spoke more boldly, than Cardinal John O’Connor, on the sanctity of human life. It was the subject closest to his heart. Please read his – From My Viewpoint – column posted on his Archdiocese of New York site. Fr. Pavone reposted it on his “Priests for Life” site. It’s lengthy but an excellent read and leaves no doubt whatsoever on his stance on the culture of death.

    Not to take away Cardinal Egan’s recent scorching response in response to Pelosi:

    We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb.

    In simplest terms, they are human beings with an inalienable right to live, a right that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons. They are not parts of their mothers, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith.

    Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.
    Edward Cardinal Egan
    Archbishop of New York
    August 26, 2008

    Despite Cardinal Egan’s wonderful letter he did invite Obama to the dinner which can lead to some confusion. Cardinal O’Connor spoke and acted with great clarity and would never have invited Obama to the dinner.

  60. Brian says:

    If I am not mistaken, Cardinal Egan sternly corrected Giuliani for taking Communion at Pope Benedict’s D.C. Mass in the Spring. While the Al Smith Foundation banquet may be important, Cardinal Egan is one of the few Bishops who have carefully monitored the Paschal banquet.

  61. Isn’t it amazing that the Jews are holding up the beatification of Pius XII because he didn’t say/do enough (ih their opinion)to thwart the murder of 6 million of their number in Europe, while we chatter with pro abortion agents after 50 MILLION AMERICANS have been killed? Does anyone take any of this drivel seriously any longer? Is someone still insisting there is something called “the Church”?

  62. Jordanes says:

    William Phelan asked: Is someone still insisting there is something called “the Church”?

    Yes. God is.

  63. Carolina Geo says:

    Perhaps if the Catholic bishops had taken a vigorous stand against “catholic” politicans who were pro-abortion in the 1970s, and used all of the ecclesiastical penalties in their arsenal, then perhaps the Democratic Party would not have morphed into the Party of Death, as Archbishop Burke commented recently.

    Sadly, the bishops and priests in the 70s seemed to be more interested in condemning Humanae Vitae than in condemning abortion. And even had they turned their attention to the crime of abortion, they had already lost all their clout with the faithful. Why believe them on one particular Church teaching when they themselves indicated that you didn’t have to?

    The seeds of our current problems in the Church here in the US were sown long ago.

  64. cthemfly25 says:

    Having read the posts, many raise a good point and do see where my earlier comments were intemperate. Cardinal Eagan is a prince of the Church and whatsoever his purpose in entertaining with Obama et al there perhaps is a greater Wisdom at work. I got caught up in the heat of battle. Mea culpa.

  65. First, note, as has been said, this was not an official Archdiocesan event and Obama is NOT a Catholic.
    The event was not honoring Obama even if by custom he were allowed to speak.
    Egan’s position on abortion promoters is well-known – they are not fit to govern.
    That said, would this perhaps be the only chance the cardinal would have had to speak with Obama who has otherwise avoid the bishops?
    I find it hard to like Obama, but HOPE for his conversion. Perhaps after prayer, Egan oped to be able to plant seeds in his mind and heart.
    PS Notice who’s on Egan’s right and who’s on his left.

  66. lcb says:

    this is an official event in so much as all proceeds go to the diocese, it is run out of the chancery office, the cardinal must approve invitations,and it is understood by all to be a de facto official event.

    Other then those things, nothing official about it.

  67. Aine says:

    Brian ->If I am not mistaken, Cardinal Egan sternly corrected Giuliani for taking Communion at Pope Benedict’s D.C. Mass in the Spring. While the Al Smith Foundation banquet may be important, Cardinal Egan is one of the few Bishops who have carefully monitored the Paschal banquet.
    Comment by Brian — 20 October 2008 @ 2:37 pm

    Rudy’s Parish Priest told reporters last year he wouldn’t give him Holy Communion because of his stance on abortion. The PP also took the heat for it at the time therefore old news by the time Cardinal Egan spoke out.

    Bottomline: The general population of NYC see a front page picture of Cardinal Egan laughing with Obama in all the news stands. That’s what sticks in their head. They’re not thinking deeply as to who sat on the right or left of the Cardinal etc. – they don’t even want to – they grab that picture to ease a conscience which was slanting towards voting for Obama – the picture closed the deal. The Cardinal made money for Catholic Charities but at what cost? I just hope none of it goes to ACORN.

  68. Cliff B says:

    NY is not far from becoming a titular diocese. I hope someday it goes to the future bishop
    of Lincolm or La Paz

  69. Cliff B says:

    Note:

    The address for the chancery is on Madison Avenue. ‘nuf said?

  70. Trillium says:

    Let’s hope they don’t waste too much talent on Egan’s replacement.

    At this point, Northeastern Catholicism is hopeless.

  71. Hidden One says:

    “…but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves…” Philippians 2:3