Three Words, Cardinal Dolan: Cancel the Dinner

Jenn Giroux

According to the New York Times, “The Archdiocese of New York confirmed that both Mr. Obama and Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, had accepted an invitation to speak on Oct. 18 at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a glittering New York Catholic charity event that has served for more than six decades as a lighthearted pit stop for presidential candidates in the weeks before national elections”.

Discovering that this was done with Cardinal Dolan’s blessing is devastating.

Joseph Zwilling, a spokesperson for the New York Diocese told LifeSiteNews:  “Cardinal Dolan and the Smith Foundation extended the invitation this year to the two of them.  It is non-partisan, it puts aside differences for a good cause to support women and their babies. It brings together people from both sides of the isle for an evening of good humor and good fellowship and civil discourse – something we need more of.”

The last scene in The Godfather comes to mind.  As a newborn baby is baptized and the words of the priest are being heard praying the sacred words of the sacrament, the viewer is visually walked through the calculated killings of each one of the mob family leaders.  The open display of hypocrisy in this intermingling of good and evil was startling and unforgettable.

President Obama’s attending a Catholic Charity to benefit women and their babies is a gross display of such hypocrisy.

I cannot quite find the words to define the outrage I am feeling.

The number of “women and their babies” that have been wounded and aborted through both surgical and chemical abortions as a result of President Obama’s policies and actions here at home and around the globe are beyond epidemic numbers.  Giving this man a platform at such a high profile Catholic event even outdoes the embarrassment of having seen him speak at Notre Dame because this is being done with the blessing of America’s highest ranking Cardinal.

Additionally, this will cause massive confusion among Catholics.  It allows President Obama to further signal that he’s just one of the guys palling around with notable Catholics that like him and like his policies.

We are standing at the most serious moral point in our nation’s history.  We have a President and his administration that have begun the persecution of Catholic institutions and employers while violating their rights to religious liberty for the first time in American history.  He supports and pushes every form of birth control and abortion both within the United States and across the world.  And he is the first President to openly endorse and advocate for same-sex marriage!!  There is no moral justification for an evening of “good humor and good fellowship” with a President or anyone who by their very actions spit into the face of Jesus Christ and His Church.

As the highest ranking Cardinal in the United States and President of the Board of the Smith Foundation, Cardinal Dolan can put a stop to this.  It is an embarrassment to him and our Catholic Church.

The ‘tradition’ of inviting the Presidential nominees to this charity dinner does not trump the morality of our nation.

Cardinal Dolan, we feel betrayed.

Please send a message to the world that the actions of this President are too egregious and immoral for a night of “good humor and good fellowship”.

Three words, Cardinal.


“Cancel the dinner.”

Your credibility in telling Catholics to resist this immoral and unconstitutional Obama birth control mandate is riding on it.


Jenn Giroux has been a Registered Nurse and pro-life activist for over 25 years. She is the founder of “Speaking of Motherhood”, an educational outreach to expose the harms of contraception and reveal the beauty of motherhood.  She is the former Executive Director of HLI America, a program of Human Life International, and she is the founder of Women Influencing the Nation (WIN), an organization dedicated to reclaiming traditional morals in our society with special emphasis on encouraging women to have more children once again in America.  A former radio talk show host with Salem Communications, Jenn has also been seen debating many political and religious issues on MSNBC, CNN, FOX, and COMCAST NEWS NETWORKS.  She and her husband, Dan, live in Cincinnati and have 9 children.

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  • mjb

    Yes, but can you imagine the same things being said when Jesus dined with sinners and tax collectors? Let’s wait and see what comes of this.

  • Flyvido

    There is a great difference between Jesus sitting down with everyday sinners and tax collectors and Cardinal Dolan sitting down with Obama.  This event would be equal to the Pope sitting down with Hitler, in the middle of WWII, just to laugh it up, putting all that is going on aside, to disregard differences just for a few moments.  There is also the times we live in to consider.  When Jesus was on earth there was no mass media to transmit pictures, quotes, or stories as fast as we can today.  In an instant an image can speak a thousand words, and in this case, a photo op with the Cardinal and Obama would send such an image of confusion to so many and you can bet Obama would use that to his greatest advantage.

  • Chris Burgwald

    Jenn, did you read Cardinal Dolan’s post on this? It’s on his own blog… check it out.

  • JamesIgnatius

    mjb, you have a point – but Jesus did not allow Himself to be used to elevate the profile of His hosts that they might continue on their sinful ways with the tacit or “approval-by-association” that Obama seeks.  There has never been, in the history of Catholicism in America, a holder of such high office that seeks to undermine the Faith and scatter the flock in such a fundamental maner.  Hosting Obama at the Al Smith Dinner makes Cardinal Dolan and the NY Archdiocese “Materially Compliant” in Obama’s plan to confuse, divide, and conquer American Catholics.

  • Mia

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the message of the NT narratives (where Jesus sat down with sinners and tax collectors) conveyed a change of heart in these people. The sinners repented; their sins were forgiven. And remember, tax collectors and prostitutes listened to Jesus while the leadership (Pharisees, etc.) did not (Jesus soundly rebuked the latter). I cannot recall any stories about Jesus just shmoozing around with these guys while they blatantly continued with their transgressions.

    You know as well as I that this administration (and it’s leader) have no intention of changing their policies; be assured, they’ll step it up if reelected!.

  • Mia

    Sorry, before the apostrophe police appear…s/b “its” not “it’s” leader…I’m usually pretty careful about that!

  • Padremarcos

    Obama supports abortion 100% and all other wicked policies as well.  It seems obvious that his campaign will use this dinner (photo op) to their advantage, especially with cafeteria Catholics and swing voters.  I think that more would be contributed to the charity by strong Catholics if the dinner was canceled.

  • Clement_W

    I just heard of a New Saint, Angela Prettis in Pennsylvania. She has been feeding hungry children this summer and the City is fining her $600/day. She is a Black lady who has escaped the Spirit of Slavery which possessed the Hebrew Slaves in the Exodus by the grace of Jesus Christ.

    Yes, Cardinal Dolan, the cost of the Dinner would pay for feeding a whole lot more of the Hungry than the pretentious folks you have invited – AND you would do more to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ by this one single act. Being a Church, your Cathedral would not even be fined as this saintly woman is being!.

    I would also suggest reading 1 Samuel Chapter 8. It brings into stark clarity what Jesus meant when he said ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s’. It did me, a simple layman, recently a returned Prodigal Son.

  • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

    “When you are in a position of leadership or authority, it is a great cross sometimes to know firsthand the actual facts of a situation and then have to listen to all the distortions and misrepresentation of the facts that are made in the public domain.”

    Bishop Leonard Blair: The opening paragraph of his reflections upon his doctrinal assessment of the LWCR.

  • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

    Thank you.

    I have, Chris, and it would help if all commenters did too, before reaching for their gun…

  • TonyR

    makes you wonder what obama would have to do to get uninvited.  abortion, gay marriage, obama care’s direct attack on the existance of Catholic hospitals in this country was not enough.

  • Nicholas Michieli

    I understand that as Catholic we should turn the other cheek, but Mr. Obama’s stance against the church is all too scary and we cannot be naive, To not face the reality of what his HHS Mandate may hold for future generations is unjust for future generations. cardinal Dolan needs to show that the church, while forgiving, and always open to discussion, is not going to give in. For most orthodox Catholics, this dinner will be seen for what it really is, and we will find nothing to excuse support for the pro-abortion left (obama). However, there are plenty of lukewarm Catholics, those who see Obama as more of a Savior than Christ, or those who simply do not understand Church teaching and it’s opposition to the political base of the Democratic party. Unfortunately these are the majority of Catholics in this country and they are also the Catholic’s who will see a picture of Cardinal Dolan and Mr. Obama at dinner together (no doubt with a bit of liberal media bias mixed in) and they will think to themselves “See! The Catholic Church does support Obama…I knew it all along” While reflecting on John 6 this past week, Jesus did not back down from his Bread of Life discourse because He was afraid of losing followers, nor did He say “Eh! Peter, I don’t know about this…if I tell people that I am the bread of life, I might not be liked.” Christ Himself was an example of standing for what is true,right, and just. As Catholics we should be forgiving and do what love requires at every moment, but we cannot be throwing mixed signals in this cultural climate, we must be sure that not only in our words and actions, but in today’s media world we must also be aware of what a photo or soundbite can do to our cause. Cardinal Dolan needs to show that while Catholic Church is a church of forgiveness and love, we are also a church of life, and we cannot acquiesce to be seen as anything else. Take a more hardline stance, please cancel your invite to the President. 

  • I also read Cardinal Dolan’s post and it reminded me of a politician. I have seen a number of his interviews and I come away with the same impression each time.

  • Paxruth

    All I can think of is “WWJD” What would Jesus do ? Cardinal Dolan is doing exactly what Christ would have done and expects his shepards here on Earth to do by protecting his flocks. There is a reason & why he is doing this. We need to have complete faith & trust in Cardinal Dolan. We also need to pray very hard for the Holy Spirit to guide & protect Cardinal Dolan during this time. Actually for Pope Benedict & all our priest & religious. Wouldn’t hurt ! 

  • The bishops sold out the Church a long time ago to be a 501(3)c …. IF all 501’s were required to pay taxes like everyone else… $2 Trillion taxable available… the conversations would return to real issues instead of patti cake patti cake…

  • mjb

    Let’s wait and see. Jesus may have also been accused of “approval by association” before the dinner with those that others found scandalous began.  

  • Karenaiden

    This just scares me to death!  I am going to try and think the best of this situation and hope that Cardinal Dolan is hoping to use this opportunity to speak to President Obama about Pro-life issues supported by the Catholic Church.  Hopefully, this will not just be used as a time to laugh and visit.

  • mjb

    Had Jesus not taken the time to dine with and be with those sinners and tax collectors, they may have never had the personal experience of a call to repentance. They also had the choice not to repent after called. Some may not have. Let’s see if Cardinal Dolan has this in mind. We will only definitively know after the dinner is over.

  • Jpdainko

    When the hubub around the usual invitation arose, my thoughts also turned to Jesus’ dining with sinners, and the scandal this caused.  This is a similar case, I think.  Do you not think that the sinners in Jesus’ day did not tell the townspeople ‘The Rabbi dined with Me!’?  They most certainly did.

    Did the Lord refrain from healing the 9 ungrateful Lepers?  he did not.  His actions were more powerful than their ingratitude.

    I for one trust Cardinal Dolan.  Like the Pope, he does have a political side to his job, and to cancel a longstanding tradition in an election period could have negative political consequences for Mr. Romney, believe it or not.

    Those who feel strongly enough should not waste their time on who should or shouldn’t be “honored” and should instead go to their local pregnancy resource center or women’s shelter and volunteer.

  • Ronald Summers

    All that comes to mind is “What would Jesus do”? Obama, as I understand it, is not going to be giving a speech. Who knows, he might learn something and have a change of heart. I for one will be saying the rosary for him.

  • Karenaiden

    I do work at a pregnancy help center.

  • Jlgeii

    who’s the “we” in “we feel betrayed”?

  • Karenaiden

    This is from Cardinal Dolan’s blog.  It is worth reading.

  • Amoore1846

    what would Jesus do?  HE WOULD SPEAK THE TRUTH IN INFINITE LOVE.  Barack Obama, evil is evil.  You are responsible for taking innocent human lives – bottom line.  Cardinal Dolan, if you give public approval to this evil, you are creating scandal instead of speaking the truth at a time when this country so desparately needs the Truth…

  • Jim in colorado

    I doubt that Cardinal Dolan will cancel his appearance at this dinner. Let us pray for a “mother Teresa moment”, like the time that she was honored for her charity work and President and Mrs Clinton were in attendance. What did she do? She spoke about the crime of aboration and asked all in attendance to bring the unwanted children to her that she might care for them rather than see them perish .” Come Holy Spirit fill the heart of your faithful Cardinal Dolan and enkindle in him the Fire of your Divine Love”.

  • Gil and Vic

    “Cardinal Dolan Responds to Criticism Over Al Smith Dinner”. Article on Women of Grace Blog Posted August 15,2012 by Sue Brinkmann. All i can say is that those of us who are not Cardinal’s or Bishops should be aware that we are not there because God has not ordained it. Read it . 

  • I don’t understand why this all falls on Cardinal Dolan’s shoulders and not on the President’s as well.  Isn’t is just as easy for abortion supporters to wring their hands and wail that by accepting the invitation to this dinner, the President is showing tacit support for the pro-life movement and other pet projects of the Catholic Church?

  • If you know Cardinal Dolan and have read his works and heard his preaching you would know that he is pastoral and isn’t afraid to reach out to those who need to hear Christ’s message the most. I think Giroux in this article saying it is devastating, hypocrisy, not morally justifiable to invite Obama to this event is off base. Dolan is a faithful and orthodox Cardinal who is loyal to the Church’s teachings and tries to live by his words and actions the Catholic faith he so holds dear. By inviting the very one who is attacking the Church’s religious freedom, and much more is courageous and Dolan is no dummy. Why is it devastating to try to witness the truth to someone who opposes it? Why is it hypocrisy when the Church is called like Jesus to reach out to sinners and not just condemn them from a distance? Why is it not morally justifiable to invite Obama since the dinner benefits good things and Obama won’t be given the opportunity to share his pro-choice beliefs but instead be rubbing shoulders with people that are for life? I respect the author’s comments but I think she hasn’t done her homework on the writings and teachings and personality of Dolan well. Let us all pray for the conversion of all pro-abortion politicians that the Holy Spirit will enlighten their hearts to see the truth of life and the freedom that being pro-life brings.

  • FMZ840

    For you folks who don’t believe in the Freedom of Speech – did you ever think that this is an excellent opportunity for Cardinal Dolan to show Obama that the Catholic Church is GREATER & LARGER than his sick, perverted narrow mindedness. That the Catholic Church actually believes in the U.S. Constitution and is willing to show the world she can invite all, even a LOST SOUL like Obama. And, I am sure, knowing the Cardinal, he will have the last word and will dig into Obama under the appearance a good time, fun and laughter but go in so deep and cut him down that this THIN SKIN President’s smile will be wiped off his face as he gets a Public Undressing in the Name of Christ (something Jeremiah Wright never taught or preached)??? Just a thought… hummm!?

  • gdgdgd

    I find this horrible to read, how can you believe in this?

    Go to !

    and stop wasting your lives! RIGHT NOW!

  • “It is non-partisan, it puts aside differences for a good cause to support women and their babies.” These men in church need to get a backbone, stand up for good and fight evil. I’m sure God is going to understand.

  • We expect our leaders in our church to stand up for our natural rights given to us by God as they are men of God. They are not men of politics or money. Through out history, many Bishops, Cardinals, in this country & world have succumbed to the temptation of greed and the lure of power of politics. Jesus called his Apostle’s by name and sent them into the world alone to evangelize and to spread truth, do good works, display faith hope charity and help liberate mankind. President Obama’s anti christian big government over reach into every aspect of our lives is horrendous,as is, the loss of freedom to do good works and to freely give in this country. We are the only country to have experienced true freedom and have some semblance of freedom left. The Church nor these men of God should give the impression that all is well with a invitation to speak at this glitterting catholic charity event. We are fighting with this mans hope and change.

  • Patti Hi

    I will pray that Cardinal Dolan will prayfully consider what this action shows to believers. This President has done his level best to trash the belief of Life before birth, pandering to the base that wants “their way of convenience” at all times. TIme to stand up and be counted, review the record of this president from the very first days of this term and remember his horrible record of ungodly actions. Don’t let him convince any one any more he is a Christian – THERE IS NO FRUIT!

  • Mia

    Hopefully, all of the well-meaning souls who are praying for Obama will be praying for Romney and Ryan as well. Do you share a similar compassion for those who are demonized for trying to do the right thing? A devout, pro-life Catholic (shouldn’t need to add the latter) such as Ryan needs the full support of the Catholic community but I have my doubts he will receive it.
    These are indeed scary times, as some posters voiced/implied. Don’t think that the Cristero counter-revolution in Mexico is so removed from us!

  • Member24

    It is understandable that there would be so much animosity about Pres. Obama’s presence. But he is the president and should be supported. He’s not doing anything wrong technically. In Catholicism, isn’t respect for authority taught?

  • hillbilly

    Inviting Obama may be Cardinal Dolan’s plan to educate the president or whatever. As mentioned by someone earlier, this can be manipulated by Obama and the media to make it look as however they wish.
    You can never trust a snake that slithers into camp promising he won’t bite.

  • Mary

    I don’t understand how the bishops can put out a document about how parishes, schools, and catholic institutions cannot give a platform or awards to pro-abortion speakers,candidates etc. Doesn’t this just send mixed messages to the faithful? I agree this will just give fodder to the Obama campaign (especially in a campaign ad) inspite of Cardinal Dolans good intentions.

  • Jay Junk

    Well I can certainly see why it would be problematic to invite Mitt Romney who earned over 49 million $ through his ownership of Stericycle but President Obama should be honored for his work to include medical care financial help for pregnant women in the ACA. We know that economics and health care is a major reason for abortions.

  • Mia
  • Mia

    Think about what you’re saying…I’m not comparing Obama to Hitler or these others but, but come on… Assad, Chavez, Ahmadinejad???? All in positions of authority! And he’s not doing anything wrong? Where have you been lately? Have you missed the HHS mandate, the stepped-up funding for abortions, gay marriage now a part of the Democrat platform?????

  • Dan

    I could not agree more with these comments. I am a big supporter of the Cardinal in many ways, but in this he is simply wrong. Before anyone starts recommending the good Cardinal’s blog-let me tell you where he is WRONG in his blog (yes I have read it). He emphasizes three key ideas:

    1. Civility. No one can argue with this simplistic term. But civility is how one acts in the face of differences-not going out of one’s way to be confusing at best to the faithful about this President. You need not call the President names, etc. but you don’t invite him as a guest to an event for a cause-life-he publicly scorns and actively destroys. Cardinal Dolan is confusing civility with hospitality-something this President does not deserve at this time in the political race. For the 90% of run of the mill Catholics who do NOT follow all the political news, this is unbelievably naive of the Cardinal. It materially will contribute to confusion at best and acceptance of the war on faith.

    2. His second point reiterates his first about civility and calls it an evening of “friendship, civility and patriotism”. Let me speak plainly to the Cardinal: President Obama has never been and certainly is not now a friend of the Catholic Church. Friends do not lie to and mislead a friend. As for patriotism…what happened to the fact that Obama is the enemy of the First Amendment? Patriotism does NOT mean doing away with religious liberty. So all on all three points-Cardinal Dolan is naive at best and inconsistent at worse.

    3. Engagement and dialogue. Good grief, Cardinal Dolan, surely you understand the difference between PRIVATE engagement and dialogue and PUBLIC engagement and dialogue. Private expressions of this kind are critical to your position but public so called “engagement” and “dialogue” is not what this is. It is exactly like what happened at Notre Dame. They called bestowing an award/degree on Obama as “engagement” and “dialogue”. That was a lie. There was neither. And there will be neither at this event. What they, and you, are doing is giving a mixed message to those who want consistent public dialogue and engagement in a pro-Catholic manner. Again, amazing naivete for a Cardinal like Dolan.

    Finally, I’d point out that NOT ALL NY Cardinals have done this at all. The “67” year history was broken before-most notably and recently by Cardinal O’Connor for not hosting President Clinton during his shameful excuse for a presidency.

    Cancel the dinner indeed. We need consistent public messages to such a pro-death President as Obama.

  • Believer with sense

    You are crazy, Rommney has donated and supported pro choice for years, but he is OK with you? Give me a break, Nobody likes or pushes abortion, but it is between a women and her faith, not politicans, or relious zealots. Teach the word of God and hope the people listen! Don’t try to control people with laws.
    Comparing Obama with Hitler is sickening – you need to pray for forgiveness
    What war against the Church, Catholics have been using Birth control and having it paid by their Insurance for years, now all of a sudden it is a war on the Church, that is your excuse to push your radical right wing agenda.

  • Ingrid

    I think Cardinal Dolan has been sitting in the Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia) if he believes extending the invitation was the thing to do. Ms. Giroux article speaks well for me. It has been several weeks since I learned of his invitation and I am still sickened, depressed and discouraged by it. He has been snubbed by the DNC; but I have reached the point I don’t care what he says and find myself passing on what he has written or is saying.

  • Scott

    Jesus Christ was condemned by the Pharisees for eating with the sinners yet he did so because the sick need a physician. Cardinal Dolan is correct.