POLL: Obama and Romney at Tanagra… er um… Al Smith Dinner

Gov. Romney’s speech at the Al Smith Dinner:

POLLS!

Romney at Al Smith Dinner, on a scale of 1-10, 10 (best,funniest, etc.)

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Obama at Al Smith Dinner, on a scale of 1-10, 10 (best,funniest, etc.)

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UPDATE:

And for the sake of being complete:

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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62 Responses to POLL: Obama and Romney at Tanagra… er um… Al Smith Dinner

  1. iPadre says:

    Just like the debates, Romney was better prepared than Obama.

  2. biberin says:

    Omigosh, a Star Trek: TNG reference! And I got it!

  3. Jason Keener says:

    Obama was funny, but I think Romney owned the night. Romney had a great delivery!

  4. rayrondini says:

    They were both really pretty funny. Romney’s delivery seemed better, more well-timed, but the president was funny, too. Thank goodness for speech writers, huh?

    It’s really kind of annoying to me the comments I’ve seen on social media where people apparently so hate Obama that they can’t even acknowledge that he delivered a few funny lines at a light-hearted political event. I think the guy is the worst thing that could ever happen to this country, but… people. He was funny, too. Get over it.

  5. anna 6 says:

    They were both charming and very funny. Romney had a better delivery with more energy, but to me Obama seemed mellow…almost melancholy.

    As for the crowd…perhaps I am imagining this…but I think that Romney received a more enthusiastic response. Did anyone else see it differently?

  6. Sword40 says:

    Refused to watch. I can’t comment on the event without getting depressed.

  7. acardnal says:

    Will watch later . . . watching the NLCS now. How did His Eminence do? Funny? I read that HE Cdl Dolan was or will be dispatched to Syria to express His Holiness’ concern for the fighting there.

  8. Sissy says:

    I thought the best line came from Alex Smith IV, the 49er’s quarterback and Al Smith’s great-grandson. Turning to Obama, he said “How does it feel that you opponent made more sons than you did jobs?” That was pretty funny.

  9. Giuseppe says:

    Romney was funnier than he ever has been, definitely had an edge to him, and he was quite humble in his closing. I do think, however, that President Obama is much funnier and took as many shots at himself than at Romney.

    The Cardinal’s final prayer was good – talked about Governor Smith’s championing of the ‘un’s – the unemployed, the unwed, the unborn, the undocumented, the undereducated, etc.

  10. Lisa Graas says:

    I gave Romney a 7 and Obama a 5. That Sesame Street joke made me guffaw.

    I can’t hate Obama. He’s a very likable person. I wouldn’t mind having him for a neighbor, but as president he is the worst ever, sad to say.

    I’ll be voting for Mitt Romney in the hope that it may save the life of my friend David, a Coptic Christian in Egypt.

  11. Giuseppe says:

    @Sissy – That Alex Smith line is very funny. And he’s an Obama supporter and fundraiser, too.

  12. Sissy says:

    “And he’s an Obama supporter and fundraiser, too.”

    Giuseppe, nobody’s perfect.

  13. Giuseppe says:

    Sissy, I knew that Alex Smith wasn’t perfect when I watched the 49ers play the Giants last week! I did not know he was Governor Smith’s great grandson. Learn something new every day…

  14. Sissy says:

    Giuseppe, he’s not. I thought that was an odd “factoid” when I read it in a news account…so I looked it up. That was some reporters overactive imagination. Alfred Smith IV, the MC of the dinner is Al Smith’s great-grandson, and he’s an older gentleman…and not a quarterback! Sorry for passing on bad info. The comment is still funny.

  15. Margaret says:

    Obama and Romney on the ocean. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

  16. jmgazzoli says:

    +Dolan, when the walls fell.

  17. Matt R says:

    The White House Correspondents’ Dinner will be awesome in 2013 if Romney wins.

  18. EXCHIEF says:

    Sorry I find nothing funny about Obama not even given his speech writers’ best efforts. And, frankly I was not impressed with Dolan. His invitation to Obama to attend was a slap in the face to all good Catholics. His comments at the dinner were, in part, disingenuous. How can you possibly describe, in any objective way, the current president as loving God and Country. If he loved and believed in God he would not support unfettered abortion and if he believed in country he wouldn’t go around apologizing for it—nor would he take steps designed to weaken it militarily and economically.

    The Al Smith dinner may be a financial success for the Archdiocese of New York–it is an abysmal failure in terms of projecting to the public the true values of our Faith.

  19. Jim says:

    Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.

  20. Alan Aversa says:

    Who cares how “funny” the speeches were.

    Seeing the most anti-Catholic, child-murder supporting president dining with the U.S.’s highest-ranking Catholic churchman scandalizes many into thinking the Catholic Church is complicit in such intrinsic evils.

  21. Alan Aversa says:

    Wow, he made a disgusting, snide “joke” about Latin, also disrespecting the Holy Father… Domine, miserere nobis!

  22. frjim4321 says:

    Wish I saw this about an hour earlier . . . have been up learning WordPress and my admiration for our Reverend and Dear Blogmaster is real. This is really a nice website, and a very clever one at that.

    I will return and listen to the three clips in the morning.

  23. Bea says:

    Just leaves me wondering what’ s REALLY going on in their minds as they deliver and listen to their jokes.

    Reminds me of the song:

    “Laughing on the outside, Crying on the inside…….” (probably before most of you guys’ time)

    But all in all, it was entertaining and raised some funds for good causes. (or should I say “un-causes”
    I liked the “un” references. Did the Cardinal say “un-born” too? I’ll have to listen to that again.

  24. JKnott says:

    EXCHIEF and Alan Aversa you both express my thoughts as well.
    It bears repeating
    “How can you possibly describe, in any objective way, the current president as loving God and Country. If he loved and believed in God he would not support unfettered abortion and if he believed in country he wouldn’t go around apologizing for it—nor would he take steps designed to weaken it militarily and economically. ”
    EXACTLY and for Dolan to describe Obama as honorable is beyond the pale. His whole politically correct speech under the boast of open-minded charity sickened me. Pure scandal. Up the vote for Obama he certainly did.

  25. Torpedo1 says:

    They were both funny, but Romney’s delivery was much better. Obama sounded So tired.

  26. Clinton R. says:

    Typical Cardinal Dolan. Jokes, jokes, jokes. He doesn’t understand Latin. Ha ha ha!!! He personifies the post Vatican II Church to a T.

  27. David Collins says:

    Jeez, some of you people! [cf Luke 18:9-14] All right, the President is a socialist, and so on, and so forth; and you would refuse to invite him to the Al Smith dinner?

    Let’s see: Christ invited tax collectors and sinners to a dinner and Pharisees complained about it. [I'm trying to think of a point in the Gospels in which Christ invites tax collectors and sinners to dine with Him. He Himself is invited, if I recall correctly. He tells people that He will dine with them. I suppose He invited the Apostles to dine with Him at the Last Supper, though that was in someone else's house. On the other hand, we are all tax collectors and sinners to one degree or another and He invites us to His Eucharistic banquet. And we can receive Communion once we repent and stop sinning.]

    They were both funny but…Romney made jokes at the President’s expense, and Obama simply laughed at himself.

  28. george says:

    I thought the self-deprecating jokes were rather unbecoming of a cardinal. I was very disappointed in this closing remarks. His list of “un-”s, while it did contain “unborn,” was a list of the standard social issues that Modernists push in their favor and against anyone more conservative. It also contained “undocumented” which should have been “un-legal” or “un-American.” He then went on to say how the “government should be on the side of the ‘un-’s” and how they should “partner” with families and churches. Doesn’t that play right into the claims of the democrats/progressives/modernists?

    I really disliked his dismissive comment about Latin and the statement that he doesn’t speak a word or understand a word — I forget which it was. His final blessing sounded Protest-ant.

    I agree with Clinton R in that his speech epitomizes the post-conciliar mentality that we are to be The Church of Nice. I certainly didn’t get the impression that he was wondering if he did the right thing when he invited Obama, as was reported on ChurchMilitant.tv…

  29. JonPatrick says:

    Because Star Trek Next Generation was after my time, I had to go to that World Wide Web thing to figure out what Tanagra meant. Now I understand.

  30. Fleeb says:

    And how many children died during this?

  31. eyeclinic says:

    Katie Couric, Chris Matthews, Barack Obama showcased with Cardinal Dolan…what’s wrong with this picture? His Eminence did not help the Catholic cause.

  32. thickmick says:

    lame. I want to cry. Nothing was funny about this. everyone likes a good laugh, but not at the expense of our Lord and Savior. I’m pretty bad, but even I get this.

  33. Fern says:

    One wonders what the word “scandal” means. To think that any of it is funny at this point is just too sad. May God have mercy on us all. especially on our leaders, both civil and spiritual.

  34. Magash says:

    “Katie Couric, Chris Matthews, Barack Obama showcased with Cardinal Dolan…what’s wrong with this picture? His Eminence did not help the Catholic cause.”

    Because Christ only ate with unrepentant sinners?

    At this point Cardinal Dolan still has to deal with these people on an almost daily basis. THe purpose of the Al Smith dinner is charitable. In a plitical landscape it has since WWII been, every four years, a tradition to have the candidates of both political parties as guests. Not inviting or uninviting one of those candidates is a “bridge burning moment”. Its one of those acts that you can’t take back and then effects all actions that are taken on both sides afterward.

    Get a grip people. In the future there may come a time when the Archbishop of New York, or Washington DC or Chicago may have to stand in the docket and like Paul testify to Christ knowing that his witness will be the seed of the Church. We’re not there yet. It may be coming. It may be here within the next few years if Obama wins. But its not here yet.

    Let’s not burn our bridges before we have to.

  35. eyeclinic says:

    Can we please have a poll about Cardinal Dolan’s speech?

  36. wmeyer says:

    I did not watch. It seems to me the real question ought to be whether anything came of this which would make clearer to the laity that a vote for Obama is just not acceptable Catholic action? Or was this just an entertainment event, to be dismissed entirely?

  37. Giuseppe says:

    Sissy – you’re right, it’s still one of the best lines.

    Wmeyer – I think Governor Romney’s joke about how the press covers him differently from President Obama will answer your question. “Obama Embraced by Catholics. Romney Dines with Rich People.”

  38. Facta Non Verba says:

    Cardinal Dolan reminded his audience, which of course included President Obama, that religious liberty is our most precious, and our faith extends outside of 1 hour on the Sabbath Day — that it in fact extends to what we do everyday. I hope President Obama was listening!

  39. george says:

    Magash – I think saying that “Jesus only ate with unrepentant sinners” is an overstatement. And I wonder, at what point do we start burning the bridges? It seems to me that 50yrs. of chumminess is merely boiling the frog. Where is that line which the government cannot cross without repercussions?

    The State is promoting and/or protecting every whim to kill children in the womb, sodomitic relationships, homosexual lifestyle being taught in schools, and forcing all people to pay for others’ immoral prescriptions. They staff their most prominent posts with proud apostates from the faith and put idealogues on the Supreme Court rather than judges.

    When *do* we burn the bridges?

  40. wolfeken says:

    Cardinal Dolan’s speech — perhaps the greatest missed opportunity of the year — reminded me of a line from American Life League’s Judie Brown describing him: “He’d rather have a beer with someone than tell them (sic) they’re going to hell.”

    That’s not to say it was the right place to bring up damnation, but how about something? Anything? Are we really applauding one mention of the unborn shoved in between positive mentions of granting illegal immigrants amnesty and funding socialist nonsense?

    If Fishwrap calls it a home run, beware: http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/cardinal-dolans-home-run-al-smith-dinner

    The cardinal archbishop of New York keeps writing blog posts that toss conservatives and traditionalists a bone, then he keeps doing stuff like this (or not doing anything). Sheeps and wolves are coming to mind right now. Can’t he start acting like the USCCB head who writes his blogs?

  41. HyacinthClare says:

    You all are much braver than I. I listened to Archbishop Dolan’s speech and Governor Romney’s speech, but I just couldn’t listen to that other voice. George, agreeing with you and remembering another bridge, I think of Gandalf: “You shall not pass!” When will our bishops say that? When? Ever?

  42. JKnott says:

    Pope Pius XII has been under attack for not coming out vigorously against Hitler, who promoted the killing of millions and who turned on the Catholic Church. Imagine him inviting Hitler to dinner and praising him.
    Gee whiz, it is pretty hard to understand how Cardinal Dolan could call a man who promotes the killing of “the innocent unborn” (and born from botched abortions) and who denies freedom of conscience to people of faith in making them pay for the murder of the innocent, HONORABLE?
    It would have been better if he left those hollow praises out than to speak such blatant untruths for the sake of money and human respect. Fat chance Caroline Kennedy will ever be corrected for her proclamation at the DNC.

  43. GregH says:

    I sometimes wish Cardinal Dolan would be less politician and more Prince

  44. StabatMater says:

    My 13 yo daughter just came in on Archbishop Dolan’s speech and said, “Rident stolidi verba latina!” She didn’t appreciate the slam of the beautiful gift of the language of Holy Mother Church. Out of the mouths of babes! (Dear Lord, I pray that means I have done SOMETHING right?!?!?!)

  45. AvantiBev says:

    Whether Cardinals, priests, or laypeople, seems we Catholics are ready to pray for the unborn and the unwed mother but as I have mentioned to pro-lifers in my parish WHERE and WHEN are we going to start praying for the unwed FATHERS, (sires, sperm shooters, whatever you call them)? Let’s pray for each and every man-child that wants to keep the Sex Revolution Party rolling and considers marriage “a piece of paper”. So many times they end in loneliness and regret.

    I wish every day was Fathers’ Day and we had a church year dedicated to St. Joachim and St. Joseph. My babbino care had devotion to the latter and was able to say from his deathbed that he was “blessed to have his 3 girls” – Mom and sister and me — with him.

    I wish everyone of you could see the faces of so many of the divorced/divorcing men that come through this law office; many realize how precious the Sacrament of Marriage is but too late to stop the bullet train of “no fault” divorce reducing them to a monthly support check and visitor in their children’s lives.

  46. AvantiBev says:

    Make that “my babbino caro”

  47. Joan M says:

    Just watched each of the 3 videos. Gave Romney a score of 8 (I really laughed out loud at a number of his remarks) and Obama a score of 4. I don’t know if is wishful thinking, but the general impression I had of Obama was one of trying hard to be funny, but really feeling depressed about the whole election campaign thing. His small jokes fell very flat with me.

  48. Sword40 says:

    I can find no sense of tolerance for Obama. He is my enemy and the enemy of the country and church. The man is a traitor.

  49. Suburbanbanshee says:

    “Honorable,” in the political context that Dolan was using it, simply means “a person holding high office, or eligible for it.” For example, the common parliamentary address of one’s opponent as “the honorable gentleman from X,” which is followed by all sorts of slams. It’s a point of civic politeness to call the other person honorable, no matter what state you think their honor is really in. (Bless their hearts.)

    Now, of course, if you aren’t honorable, you are supposed to writhe with embarrassment if called that undeservingly. And if you don’t, you’ve had coals of fire heaped on your head which God can later collect on. Either way, your opponent is totally covered, having maintained a polite separation between your views and your self; and you can’t sue him for libel or slander or call him out for a duel.

  50. Jim says:

    If this dinner didn’t cause scandal… what exactly is scandal ?

    On top of this vain stupidity that the dinner was, are people really serious while comparing Card. Dolan to our Blessed Lord ? Really ? Have y’all ever heard of something called the second commandment ? Those who make such comparisons, have you no fear of the Lord or do you not believe that you will be judged one day ?

    CCC 2145 The faithful should bear witness to the Lord’s name by confessing the faith without giving way to fear.76 Preaching and catechizing should be permeated with adoration and respect for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    How many souls were saved yesterday ? Was there even an attempt to save souls ? Was all this so that his Eminence could mention “Uns” in the passing and include child murder in the same category as unemployment or illegal immigration ? Does the right to life and the dignity of a baby, fall even remotely in the same category as being temporally well off ?

    UN-Believable !

  51. Lizzy says:

    Father Z, I second the request for a poll on the Cardinal’s speech please? Or perhaps a poll on the invitation itself? I was really distressed that the Cardinal didn’t, as many had hoped, do something to mitigate the situation. The image of President Obama and Cardinal Dolan sitting there having a laugh was highly disturbing to me. I just don’t understand how we can be expected to take the USCCB seriously when it rails against Obama’s violations of freedom of speech when Cardinal Dolan is joking around with Obama. I’m sure the Cardinal has the best of intentions, but it just seems (to an non-politician layperson such as myself) that he can’t be taking the HHS mandate too seriously if he’s happy to chill out with Obama. I could understand meeting with Obama to discuss the issue, being charitable when describing him, praying for him, but this I do not understand.

    [The time for polling about the decision to invite Pres. Obama has passed. The event took place. Cardinal Dolan is not really the story any more.]

  52. David Collins says:

    Fr. Z, you’re right that our Lord was invited to dinners, but, having no place to lay his head, never invited anyone to a dinner. I stand corrected. Most definitely we should repent and stop sinning before receiving communion!

  53. terrigr says:

    Disappointed in Cardinal Dolan. The picture in the LA Times does show him as a “good ole boy” as some people from his old diocese have said of him. Also, learned that he would not dine with a pro-life warrier, Judie Brown, when he was a bishop in Wisconsin, because of her criticism of some bishop concerning their weak stance on pro-life issues. I’m trying to be charitable and not critize a priest but .. Father Z, should I confess this?

  54. terrigr says: Disappointed in Cardinal Dolan.

    I respond saying that, Card. Dolan is not up for election or re-election. Gov. Romney and Pres. Obama are. If you are disappointed with Card. Dolan, pray for him and offer fasting and other mortifications. Concerning the other two, be sure to vote.

  55. mike cliffson says:

    I wonder.
    It’s part of my family as well as brit history how at the first christmas of the 14-18 war the British isles (Included Eire then)frontline troops, all volunteer, hundreds of thousands of them, who had volunteered from morality and patriotism , seldom either alone, joined the draftee German soldiers in no man’s land between the safety of their respective trenches and fraternised … before going back to killing each after Christmas.
    Don’t wish to draw too many paralels, just musing.

  56. BobP says:

    An A+ to the joke writers. Can’t give either candidate same marks for delivery.

  57. OrthodoxChick says:

    I gave Romney an 8 and Obama a 7. I prefer the self-deprecating humor and I think Obama showed a tad more of that. But his delivery wasn’t as polished as Romney’s. Romney was funny but at an event with a “charitable” purpose, I found myself having mixed feelings about the whole thing. At first, I was taken aback a bit by how many edgy shots Romney took at Obama while Obama took fewer at Romney. But after giving it some thought, I figure that it was better for Romney to go there and be himself and take his shots. At least he didn’t pretend to like Obama 2 days after they nearly came to fisticuffs at the debate on Monday. At least Romney didn’t act like a hypocrite last night. I haven’t been as much pro-Romney as I have been no-way/no-how about Obama. Being a moderate in Massachusetts isn’t my idea of a stellar conservative. I guess I’m still warming up to him.

  58. jimsantafe says:

    Anyone else think that Cardinal Dolan looked underdressed? A white tie dinner certainly calls for a ferraiolo! Please, restore the marks of dignity among our clergy!

  59. catholicmidwest says:

    This is a holdover from 20th Century American politics, Depression-era. It’s not a bad thing. It puts the Church in New York in high profile, even if it isn’t what it used to be socially. It doesn’t make a lot of sense in flyover country, it never did and probably it doesn’t have to. We never even used to see much of it except the occasional newspaper photograph. It’s a New York thing.
    Now, I’m not really sure how much utility it has anymore. It probably ought to be handled more carefully. This came off as more politicking, albeit with the requirement that it be “funny politicking.” And trivialized the Church a bit, I might add. Jokes about Latin and the Holy Father are probably not so funny in front of non-Catholics who already often have odd notions about us.

    BTW, in response to a few comments above, I’m always incredulous when people tell me that Obama is especially likeable. I’ve never been able to see that in him. He shocks and repulses me, and always did. He’s brooding and dour, self-centered and assuming. He has a horrible vibe. Not a nice man. Nothing he’s done has shocked me. :/

  60. robtbrown says:

    Jim says:

    If this dinner didn’t cause scandal… what exactly is scandal ?

    Cardinal Dolan has been a very effective defender of Catholic morality.

    The Al Smith dinner is not a catechism class. Nor should the Cardinal act like John Brown in a cassock

    On top of this vain stupidity that the dinner was, are people really serious while comparing Card. Dolan to our Blessed Lord ? Really ? Have y’all ever heard of something called the second commandment ? Those who make such comparisons, have you no fear of the Lord or do you not believe that you will be judged one day ?

    In so far as he’s a priest, it is necessary that Cardinal Dolan be compared to Christ. To anyone who does not understand that, have you no fear of the Lord or do you not believe that you will be judged one day ?

  61. skypilot777 says:

    Firstly to share my poll answers: I gave a 6 to Romney, a 6 to Obama, and 6 to His Emminence.

    My comments on the comments on this whole very sad event:

    On one hand I see far too many knee-jerk reactions, venting of anger at Cardinal Dolan without support of good moral reasons. Not to say that there are no good moral reasons, no justification, for being angry, disappointed, frustrated, and discouraged at this development.

    On the other hand I see more than a few examples of inordinate deference (indulgence perhaps) granted His Emminence and for the clergy in general. A faithful and loyal Catholic can, and sometimes must, disagree with – sometimes vigorously and publicly – with the actions of clergymen, including prelates. This criticism of the actions of clergymen must be done proportionately, with sound moral reason and justification, and with charity. That does not preclude one from expressing their feelings of frustration, disappointment, and even anger. All these things can be expressed without committing sin (or fearing for one’s soul @robtbrown?).

    Therefore, here is my opinion of this whole affair – hopefully delivered without going to either erroneous extreme:
    The Al Smith Dinner is an exclusionary event given by some self-appointed elites of American culture, most very wealthy, some having much social and political influence and the whole thing stinks. This is a yearly gathering of a bunch of rich oligarchs who constantly fight against the Catholic Church and promote every form of social and political rebellion against God in our nation and in the world. This “club” is a pit of vipers and I would want nothing to do with them, if I were in the role of a prelate of the Church. But I’m not, so…
    His Emminence, I feel (with abundant moral support of the facts) made a grave mistake by accepting the invitation to this event for himself. I am frustrated, disappointed, and very angry at His Emminence for his whole handling of this affair. The climactic mistake made by His Emminence is in the content of his speech at the dinner. Given the abundant opportunity to find humor in so many aspects of the current situation (impasse if you will) between the Administration and the Church, Cardinal Dolan chose to make the religious, liturgical, and social practices of Catholics (his flock) the target of the jokes. This, to me, says volumes about His Emminence. To me, it says that he would rather target his own flock (because they are a “safe” target perhaps?) than risk offending his “esteemed” (?) fellow dinner guests.

    Finally, (this may be aside from all this) I’m just expressing my opinion (hopefully without sinning in the process) and it doesn’t really matter all that much. Cardinal Dolan is currently the Head of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (having no direct juridical or canonically binding authority on me as a Catholic over and above the Magisterium) and he is the Bishop of the diocese New York (of which I am not a resident member) and so I can regard his actions about as much as any other public figure. The painful part is that His Emminence wears a red hat and a miter.

  62. Jim says:

    @robtbrown
    To my question
    If this dinner didn’t cause scandal… what exactly is scandal ?
    you answer
    Cardinal Dolan has been a very effective defender of Catholic morality.
    Hmm… maybe… may be not…(I leave canonizations to the Holy Father) but what has that got to do with giving scandal ?

    you further say
    “In so far as he’s a priest, it is necessary that Cardinal Dolan be compared to Christ. “

    If being a priest alone makes one worthy of comparison to our Most Holy and Blessed Lord at all times and in all circumstances then Martin Luther surely was Christ like when he was tearing up the Church. Or… was it the Church Fathers at Trent who condemned him Christ like ? Surely both cant be Christ like being on opposite sides of the same truth at the exact same time! One of these priest(s) were Christ like the other(s) were not.

    Arius then surely is worthy of the comparison when he was being declared a heretic or was it the Church Fathers who condemned him who were worthy of that ? Nestorius (Archbishop of Constantinople) surely is worthy of that comparison too or were it the Church Fathers who condemned him…and so on.

    All these three are still priests wherever they are. Now I am in no way comparing His Eminence Card Dolan to any of these folks – I am merely pointing out the error in your “In so far as he’s a priest, it is necessary that Cardinal Dolan be compared to Christ. ” reasoning.

    A priest is Christ like, because of his priesthood while consecrating the Holy Eucharist and in the sacrament of reconciliation (as far as my limited knowledge goes) and even in these it is not a question of being worthy – none of us can do anything to be worthy (ask St Francis) – it is rather because of the mercy and love of God. That dinner was neither Holy Mass nor a Confessional.

    Further, as I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t canonizing or condemning His Eminence, that is the Holy Father’s job and I am not he. I wasn’t even speaking about his Eminence. If you read my comment again you will see that it was about taking the Lord’s Most Holy name in vain – not about what a prince of the Church chose to do in the past about which we can pray now – but cannot change.

    Taking the Lord’s name in vain is a very serious grave matter – even more serious than murder or giving scandal for that matter.