Just yesterday, the Al Smith Dinner, which has been the focus of many efforts at American Life League in our quest to encourage Cardinal Timothy Dolan to disinvite President Barack Obama, took place with the totally pro-abortion president attending and in excellent humor—as was the cardinal.
In his defense of the invitation, the cardinal wrote in his blog, “In the end, I’m encouraged by the example of Jesus, who was blistered by his critics for dining with those some considered sinners; and by the recognition that, if I only sat down with people who agreed with me, and I with them, or with those who were saints, I’d be taking all my meals alone.”
The cardinal apparently abandoned his former rules for choosing dining companions. I say that with all due respect because his statement takes me back a few years to the annual Pro-Life Wisconsin banquet which, in 2009, was scheduled for October 3. I had been invited to be the keynote speaker.
Then-Archbishop of Milwaukee, Timothy Dolan, had been invited to sit at the head table with me as well as members of the Pro-Life Wisconsin board. He was asked to offer the opening prayer and reflection.
When the archbishop discovered that I was the keynote speaker, he sent a letter to Pro-Life Wisconsin president Peggy Hamill stating that he had to decline the invitation to attend the banquet because Judie Brown was involved in the public castigation of bishops.
Personally, as I look at what is occurring today regarding the Obama situation, I find this troubling to say the least.
On the one hand, he found it problematic that I led and continue to lead a campaign to beseech Catholic bishops to obey Canon 915 and deny Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians. On the other hand, he finds it Christ-like to dine with the most pro-abortion president in the history of this nation.
The media are having a field day with the Dolan/Obama encounter, just as we predicted it would. Even before the event, one New York Times headline read: “Dolan Will Let Obama and Romney Joke it up at the Al Smith Dinner.” An Associated Press headline read: “Cardinal suing Obama invites him, Romney to dinner.”
I am not attempting to suggest that dining with me in Milwaukee should have garnered any headlines at all, but I am suggesting that Dolan has changed his dining partner comfort zone over the past three years.
When Dolan wrote, “If I only sat down with people who agreed with me, and I with them, or with those who were saints, I’d be taking all my meals alone,” perhaps he didn’t really think it through.
Or could it be that he, unlike Christ, would prefer to be the darling of the media elite instead of emulating the good shepherd who, by His teaching and His very presence as the Son of God, brought people to their knees in repentance for their sins?
I cannot answer that, but I remain not only concerned but curious about the double standard. “No Dinner for Obama,” Your Eminence, would have at the very least been consistent with your 2009 mantra, “No dinner with Brown.”