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  • Timothy Hester
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Your Eminence,
    Is there not a final option? Don’t the organizations have the option, drastic though it is, of dismissing all non-Catholics affiliated with it? I ask this with somewhat of a chuckle because I know that we would never do that. I teach theology in a Catholic high school and have happily done so for the past 8 years. Cardinal Hickey once said “we teach not because they [students] are Catholic, but because WE are”. But, it seems to me that it might come to something like that. I can tell you that I would rather work for a secular employer who has capitulated on this important issue than to know that I was working for my own Church and She went along. Oh well, we shall all continue to pray.

  • Mary Ellen Werner
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    I hope that the administration will loosen those unfortunate guidelines. How could something be not religious enough when it is founded and guided by a religious order? Maybe it is a little nasty, but I say pay the penalty of $2K per employee and don’t offer insurance at all. You probably wouldn’t draw the best employees, though. This is a sad situation and I pray it is solved with satisfaction for the church.

  • Tom Perna
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for a clear understanding of this atrocity. I have written about this tyrannical mandate myself. We are with you and will support the Bishops and other religious leaders the best we can.

  • James F. Marsh
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Stand firm. The call of Jesus Christ is higher than man’s call or satan’s firey darts. Hold up your shield of faith and put on the full armor of God. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and we love not our lives unto the death. jim

  • Jim Cowan
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Your Eminence, a fourth option would be to close all institutions that fall in scope of the HHS dictate. The martyrs chose death over capitulation to a secular tyrant. In essence, the current administration has left us with few if any viable options.

  • Mary
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    How about the Follow-Our-Faith Option: Catholics must vote for a pro-life President on Nov. 6.

  • Michael Langlois
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    It is truly time for faithful Catholics in America to step up to the plate and do everything they can think of to reverse this secular invasion of the Church’s longstanding ministry. Sadly, many people will not think it is an issue because they don’t realize it is just one more stage in the gradual erosion of their religious freedom and moral integrity.
    I pray that the Catholic Church in the U.S, under the courageous leadership of Cardinal Dolan, will stand tall against this intrusion and I intend to do all in my power to support it.
    It is certainly politically incorrect, but one initial step might be to publicy excommunicate all the Catholic public and political figures responsible for this atrocity against the Church.

  • ProLIFEmommyof2
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    It is with a most heavy, heavy heart that I am writing you today. I am absolutely astounded by your decision to invite Barack Obama to the Catholic Charities annual fundraising event, a decision that will certainly cause confusion amongst voting catholics across this nation come November.

    He, along with his administration, has made their position ABUNDANTLY clear. Have you forgotten what happened regarding the same-sex marriage decision in New York? I believe it was YOU, who said, “We were deceived. Shame on us for believing them.”

    You talk in this blog post about “fighting” against this HHS mandate. Cardinal, there is one sure fire way to put an end to this, and that is through the voting booth.

    I pray that you will have the courage to turn your attention away from politicians who clearly have an agenda and say what so desperately needs to be said to your flock:
    “This administration has disqualified themselves from our vote.”

    One way to show this in action would be to deny Barack Hussein Obama a place of honor, a platform with which to speak, at a fundraising event aimed at raising money for the very people HE says are a “punishment:” children. The VERY people he has NO problem with leaving on a table to DIE if they happened to be born alive after a failed abortion.

    Please! I pray that you will “BE NOT AFRAID,” to do what is right…
    God Bless you!
    ProLIFEmommyof2

  • Mireya Geilin
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    This is truly a sad day, but it has to energize us to fight this administration and overturn the law. Please consider conducting voter registration drives at every parish nationwide to make sure every Catholic casts a vote in November. And may the Holy Spirit bless you and guide you, in Jesus’ name. Mireya

  • thomas tucker
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    A hearty AMEN!

  • Irene
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    But, happily, a lot of really good parts of the mandate also go into effect today, like fully covered mammograms, well woman visits, domestic violence screening and support.

    While it’s important to keep pointing out the problems with the law, please let’s not forget all of the wonderful new benefits which are going to save a great many women’s lives.

  • Dick and Terry Boldin
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Ave Maria

    There is no doubt that we need to continue the fight for religious freedom-to regain our religious freedom which is being lost before our very eyes. There needs to be action on all fronts. But the most important element which we need is prayer. Yes persistant and humble prayer. There will be no victory without it no matter what magificient plans are presented.

    We propose to turn to Our Lady and her rosary as many generations have done over the centuries. We can readily recall Mary interceding throughout the past 2000 years when crisis of various sorts arose. Catholic and Christians turning to Christ through and with Our Lady and her rosary has and will continue to turn the tide for truth, for Christ.

    Jesus gave Mary to us, to you as he hung on the cross on that Good Friday. We only need to imitate St. John to take Mary into our homes, into our lives and let ourselves be molded by her into saints! Her only concern is to lead us to Jesus. Her words can be best summed up simply as she did at the wedding at Cana “Do whatever He tells you.”

    Friends, the rosary is so powerful. Bring out those beads and pray daily with Mary as she has the key to the heart of Jesus. May will unlock his Heart for you and and our nation and world. There will be an ocean of His mercy and His love and a tidal wave of true transformation will take place which will change the culture of death into a culture of love so desired by JPII and Pope Benedict XVI. We have the key to victory. We have the tool to convert hearts. It is the rosary which always leads us to Christ.

    Let there be a stupendous spititual revival. Jesus gave himself to you as He died. And with His last words gave Mary to you.

    What is our response at this critical time in our nation and world. There is no time to wait or to consult or to have meetings to brainstorm. It is all quite simple. We already know the solution. It is the simple awesome beautiful prayer of the rosary. For the Resurrection will certainly follow Good Friday.

    The victory is assured. Be not afraid. We only need to read the scriptures.

    For now, let each of us dust off our rosaries and begin a mighty rosary crusade across the nation. Let us now delay for the present moment is the right moment. It is now up to us – to you and me.

    Jesus and Mary love you and so do we.

  • Nick
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Why not not pay the fine for doing charitable activities, since an evil law is no law at all?

    I mean, the worst the government could do then is strengthen the Church and increase her charitable activities via persecution.

  • Nick
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    How simple is the First Amendment, and yet how confusing and deceptive are the government’s justification for imposing the rules. “Yes, that’s your religious exercise, but it really is not fair or reasonable. Heck, your rules are akin to wanting to use snakes in healing people and we would never allow that!!! So, very sorry (we actually are not sorry), but yea, this religious exemption is just not feasible.” Yet I am not so disturbed that an avowed socialist like Obama would push this. What really appalls and disturbs me is the masses of deceived people who go along with this reasoning

  • Mermaz
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    You are forgetting the individual’s freedom of conscience. No employer should be forced to violate his conscience. Thankfully, Hercules Industries is fighting for the rest of us. I wish the Catholic church would engage in more of the fight on behalf of individual rights.

  • Bender
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Meanwhile, Your Eminence, what is the response of Congress to this attack on fundamental liberties and the dignity of the human person, Catholic and non-Catholic alike? What is the response of those in Congress who CLAIM to be opposed to this?

    Well, I read this in the news — “House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was busy forging an agreement with Reid today to pass a six-month continuing budget resolution when they return from recess in September.”

    So, the response of Speaker John Boehner is to put together a backroom deal to pass legislation that will, yet again, continue funding ObamaCare, as well as providing funding for enforcement of the contraceptive mandate.

    And, you can be sure, that Boehner will then advocate passing such a Contraceptive Mandate Enforcement Funding Act, insisting that letting the government shut-down would be worse that trashing people’s liberties and trampling on their consciences.

    The ONLY check and balance that opponents in Congress have is the “power of the purse,” yet Boehner is throwing it away.

    Please contact the Speaker and tell him — NO. NOT ONE MORE DIME must be spent that will permit this travesty to continue.

  • R. Hrlic
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    And why is Obama invited to speak at the Al Smith dinner by a Roman Catholic Cardinal?????

    It will definitely be sending mixed signals to all of the world and possibly get him back into office.

  • Jason
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    It really ticks me off – even if I wasn’t Catholic, this would really tick me off.

    Not Catholic enough? How about priests deny Sebellius Holy Communion by saying the same thing! “Not Catholic enough, sorry Kathleen.”

    Good grief. I am so sick of everything having to be secular at all possible costs. I’ll stop there…I don’t feel like going to confession this week for acting uncharitably.

  • Tim Weinmann
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan, There is a fourth option and it’s called civil disobedience. Once we’ve exhausted all other options, then these organizations should continue operating. Build self insuring organizations regardless of what the government says. Force the government to come in and physically drag employees out of their places of business and put them in jail. Let’s call the governments bluff. Yes, this is a drastic measure and it should clearly be the option of last resort. But it should be considered, discussed, and plans put in place, openly and publically. And the faithful need to be prepared so that if and when that option becomes the only option, we are ready to make that kind of sacrifice to fight for our religious freedom.

  • Bill
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Fourth option: don’t capitulate, don’t pay the fine; see if the gov’t will confiscate property of go to jail. Politcal prisoners in the USA! Oh, how the country is a changing.

  • Randy L. Rainey
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Please, Cardinal Dolan, do not give in to this. Our Savior is watching! Blessings and Love to you!

  • Jeffrey Quick
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Fourth option: Provide the services, refuse to pay the fines, call the believers in to defend the Church’s property when the tropps come to seize it for non-payment. The State should not be allowed to hide its violence under our good will.

  • Heather Wilson
    August 1, 2012 Reply

    Please, please, please do not believe this right wing, propaganda. Thank God Obama Cares. The “assault on religious freedom” hysteria is a contrived, right wing, political maneuver to further the conservative agenda to diminish women’s rights. All you have to do is listen to the hysterical republican politicians saying August 1 is equivalent to the day Pearl Harbor was invaded or 9/11. Give me a break!! Read the following from 170 lawyers who have debunked this attack on religious freedom myth:

    We are law professors concerned about the Constitution, religious freedom, individual liberty, and gender equality. Today, the egalitarian notion that every American deserves to enjoy religious freedom is under attack from those who would cede employees’ religious-liberty rights to corporate executives and nonprofit directors. In this cramped and one-sided view of religious freedom, supervisors are entitled to decide, based on their religious sentiments, whether their employees will be permitted to enjoy essential health benefits without the slightest concern for their religious beliefs. In particular, advocates claim that the Constitution gives all employers the right to veto their employees’ health-insurance coverage of contraception.
    This view, which is espoused by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and others, is both wrong as a matter of law and profoundly undemocratic. Nothing in our nation’s history or laws permits a boss to impose his or her religious views on non- consenting employees. Indeed, this nation was founded upon the basic principle that every individual – whether company president or assistant janitor – has an equal claim to religious freedom.

    You can read the full article here:
    https://filemanager.capwiz.com/filemanager/file-mgr/reprorights/2_Conscience_and_Contraception_Sign_On_Letter_8_1_12.pdf.

    Please try to open your minds, stop being brainwashed by Fox drivel and US Bishops who have been co-opted by the immoral religious right who count on the ignorance of meek sheep.

  • Greenman
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    Thank You, Cardinal Dolan. You break the text down well enough for me to understand. I always try to catch your letters. Be assured of my families’ prayers. It seems like everyone has a horse in this race. Everything that went unspoken for years is now out in the open. The outcome is sure, but until then it will not be pretty. God grant you His wisdom in these trying times.

  • David J.Paulik
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    We must fight this “HEAD ON” or we are doomed as a “Christian” Nation. All will be lost if we fail!!!

  • raymond klaes
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    I ask you to advise us of the sinfullness of compling with this mandate. The bishops and priests have an obligation to teach us about sin not about what is constitutionally or financially
    correct.

  • Katie
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    Why would Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York invite the man (Barrack Obama) who supports taking away our religious liberties to speak at a Catholic Charities fundraiser, the Al Smith Dinner? Is it because of tradition with a lower case t. If we are not careful then soon our Tradition with a capital T will be taken away. What is the price Catolic Charities is willing to betray the Catholic Church, 30 pieces of silver? Cardinal Dolan I urge you to not allow president Obama to speak at the Al Smith dinner!

  • Todd
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    +JMJ+

    Your Excellency,

    My prayers are with you.

    I am a convert to the faith of 14+ years and I am from a Jewish family.

    Please, please, please ignore the man in power who cares nothing for anyone and only for himself. Everything that he does i.e. HHS mandate, homosexual marriage, immigration allowing illegals to stay in the country, are clearly directed to consolidate his hold on power. Anyone who is following what he is doing will be able to see this. ***Please do not close down any of the churches services because that is exactly what he wants***. He wants full, and compete control. Do not negotiate with him. He cannot be trusted!!!!!!!

    God Bless You.

  • MaryGr
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    Your invite of President Obama to the Al Smith dinner is a scandalous confusion, in my opinion. Are all your advisors progressive democrats? Kennedy Catholics formed after Vatican II and raised on peace and justice issues — not so much on abortion. What will it take to convert you? You relied on Albany advisors and gay marriage became law. You were deceived by Obama with a promise of conscience rights. And the sponsor of this fat cat feast is Catholic Charities. Despite its good work, its leadership is much more in line with Sr. Carol Keehan than with Bishop Sheen. Please, all you have to do is remind Catholics to pray, fast and ELECT A PRO-LIFE PRESIDENT ON NOV 6. Not one who wants to sterilize the population and force Catholics to pay for it.

  • Ferde Rombola
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    I agree with those who say civil disobediance is the answer in the (unlikely) event the Supreme Court gets this one wrong, too. Are our bishops ready to go to jail over this issue? I hope so. I’m ready.

  • John
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    We should be discussing the option of civil disobedience, as others have stated here. It’s a drastic step, and we need to be sure all other options have been exhausted. We need to pray fervently that a way will be made clear to avoid this step. But in the end, we may have no option. As others have said, perhaps we should keep the ministries open, self-insure, and refuse to pay the fine. Perhaps it is time.

  • AndyP/Doria2
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    We are missing a huge teaching moment here. Yes, the government violates our constitutional rights Cardinal Dolan but there are mountains of evidence on the damage that the contraceptive mentality has wreaked on society such as the following:

    Contraception: the ‘common ground’ that devastates family life by Phil Lawler, May 27, 2009

    You’ll be notified of the latest commentary and significant additions to this site!
    [In his commencement address at Notre Dame, President Obama suggested that advocates and opponents of abortion should find common ground in a campaign to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Although he did not flesh out that suggestion, he clearly intended to suggest more aggressive promotion of contraceptives. That option should be recognized as unacceptable– not just by Catholics, but by anyone attuned to the prescripts of natural law and indeed the realities of modern life. More than a decade has passed since I published the op-ed below; it originally appeared in several US newspapers as the world marked the 30th anniversary of the prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae. The fundamental argument has not changed, but I would contend that today the evidence is still more powerfully in support of my conclusion: that the widespread acceptance of contraception has had a devastating effect on American family life.] A generation ago, American politicians debated about the Cold War and the Vietnam conflict, the problems of poverty and racism, and the challenges of the space program. But back in 1968, did anyone forecast that we would soon be talking about a general breakdown in ordinary family life? Yes, someone did. Some 30 years ago, Pope Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae an encyclical letter which upheld the time-tested Christian teaching that artificial contraception is morally wrong. In 1968, Pope Paul worried that:

    … a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument of the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

    Today, in the midst of an epidemic of domestic abuse, thoughtful people ought to ask: Was Pope Paul right or wrong? And if contraception became widely accepted, Pope Paul asked:
    Who will blame a government which… resorts to the same measures that are regarded as lawful by married people …? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. Today the government of China stands accused of requiring abortions for women who have already fulfilled their one-child quota, the Peruvian government has sterilized illiterate women without their consent, and massive population programs funded by our own federal government have been accused of employing deception and coercion. Again, was Pope Paul right or wrong? Many people forget— and many more are too young to remember— how radically the introduction of the birth-control pill changed popular thinking, and altered our approach to sexuality. Not long ago, moral leaders of EVERY description condemned contraception, and agreed that if the practice ever became widespread, it would inevitably lead to disaster.

    Consider, for example, the words of Mohandas Gandhi:
    There is hope for a decent life only so long as the sexual act is definitely related to the conception of precious life.

    Or listen to Sigmund Freud:
    Moreover, it is a characteristic common to all perversions that in them reproduction is put aside as an aim. This is actually the criterion by which we judge whether a sexual activity is perverse– if it departs from reproduction as its aim and pursues the attainment of gratification independently.

    In 1930, when the leaders of the Church of England broke from the previously universal Christian consensus, and allowed for the use of contraceptives, a Washington Post editorial lamented that the move “would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality.”
    Gandhi, Freud, and the Washington Post were obviously not promoting a “Catholic” or “Christian” position. Their opposition to contraception was based on a simple, age-old understanding of human nature. In the 1960s Americans ignored such warnings, and plunged headlong into the sexual revolution. Now, with the casualties of that revolution visible all around us, are we still foolish enough to believe that THIS generation has understands human nature– and in particular human sexuality– better than all its predecessors?

    Long after he helped to introduce the birth-control pill, Dr. Robert Kistner of Harvard Medical School began to understand the forces he had helped to unleash. “For years I thought the pill would not lead to promiscuity, but I’ve changed my mind,” he confessed. “I think it probably has.” Once again, Pope Paul VI had foreseen the problem:

    Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that men—–and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation– need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law.

    The famous “Moynihan Report” of 1965 saw a crisis in family life among Black Americans, because 23.7% of black children were born out of wedlock. By today’s standards, that statistic looks tame. In 1996– despite the contraceptives that spilled off the shelves of every pharmacy– that figure had soared to a catastrophic 70.4% for black children, and 25.5% for whites.
    With divorce rates also climbing, more and more young children are growing up without the support of their parents. (Among married couples who do not use contraceptives, the rate of divorce is a negligible 2%.) In 1965 more than three-quarters of all American newborns came home to a married mother and father and (except when death intervened) remained in that household through childhood; by 1990 that figure had slipped below one-half. Few social scientists dispute the gravity of these trends. Children who grow up in a single-parent household are more likely to fail in school, more likely to experiment with drugs, more likely to commit crimes, more likely to spend time in prison.

    In the past 30 years our federal government has invested $4 trillion in social programs designed to treat the consequences of a breakdown in family life: the nagging problems of poverty, illiteracy, and crime; the steady rise in drug abuse and sexual promiscuity; the frightening increase in child abuse and domestic violence. Can anyone possibly be satisfied with the returns on that investment?

    Is there any limit to the amount of money we shall spend on government programs that treat the symptoms of family breakdown, before we finally admit the need to address the underlying disease? How many families will be broken, and how many young lives will be scarred, before we admit that the solution to family problems lies not in condoms but in chastity?
    If contraception is a leading cause of family breakdown, then we are pouring fuel on the fire with condom giveaways, and exporting our problems to the Third World through family-planning programs. And if contraception is not to blame for the burgeoning crisis in American family life, can anyone offer a better explanation?

    Link – http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/articles.cfm?ID=323

    There is much much more such as Humanae Vitae that predicted all of this. Why is this not shouted fron every pulpit in the world?

  • John Fisher
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    So the correct option is refuse to pay and keep refusing to pay. Go to prison and still refuse to submit. It worked during the day of the civil rights moevment. It worked for Nelson Madela.

  • Bill
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    Citizens have the freedom to choose where they are employed. Therefore, private (and we all claim the right to privacy) entities are able to establish their religious preferences within the confines of their own operations. Morality within Churches or other private concerns do not threaten anyone’s life. Thus, there is no unjust imposition. Liberty is preserved by opportunities to work elsewhere, and the pursuit of happiness is consequently preserved. Claiming that people are imposing their religious belief on others in the ecclesiastical realm is pure sophistry. Using words like “extreme” and “hysteria” is manipulative and contrived in and of itself. A bit of projection, no doubt. Wait, is there a movement afoot to “legislate morality” by government pretense? Allow people to associate and legislate their own lives, provided they do not do violence to just principles of life. Oh, wait, isn’t that already being done, in the womb?

  • Irene
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    I am so pleased to see our President and the Republican candidate will participate in the Al Smith Dinner; this will do a lot to raise money for that important charity.

  • Cathy
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    I do have a suggestion for posters at the Al Smith dinner, posters of Tanya Reaves and the date she died at Planned Parenthood with a simple question, “Mr. Obama, does she look like your daughter?” Perhaps you might invite, as well, Dr. Alan Keyes, one of the Notre Dame 88 who were imprisoned for protesting the honor given to Obama, to speak. If one is so compelled to honor this man with a speaking engagement, I hope you feel equally compelled not to make it too comfortable for him.

  • Anthony Zarrella
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    For the poster(s) who are trying to re-characterize this as *Catholic employers* trying to force *their* views on people, there is a critical flaw in your argument:

    There is a difference between preventing someone from getting something, and merely refusing to provide it for them. I may not be able to *stop* a friend from smoking, but no one can force me to buy him cigarettes (or give him money to buy them).
    To the best of my knowledge, no Catholic employer is even *attempting* to directly prohibit employees from obtaining contraception – they’re just refusing to buy it for them (or facilitate their purchase). In the abortion context (an argument for another day), pro-choicers always say, “Well, if you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one,” but in this situation, Catholics are doing exactly that (saying, “We don’t believe in contraception, so we’re not buying it”), but opponents are saying, “That’s not good enough! We don’t just want you to *let* us get contraception – you have to *give* it to us!”
    The Church has never made any secret of its position on contraception (and, let’s not forget, abortifacient drugs and sterilizations). No one is forced to take a job working for the Church, or for any of its subsidiaries, or for any company run by faithful Catholics. Presumably, every such employee had a chance to review the offered health coverage before taking the job, and could have seen that it didn’t have contraception covered. Don’t like that? Don’t take the job. To choose to take the job and then complain about what you’re not getting is just disingenuous. If you want to be guaranteed contraceptive coverage, find a job with an employer who doesn’t object.

    In summary, there is *no* coercion on the part of the Church or Catholic employers. There is *no* employee who is being *prevented* from following her own conscience on contraceptive issues. They just have to follow their own consciences on their own dime. It’s no more “coercive” to simply refuse to cover contraception (but still allow them to get it themselves) than it is to tell employees who smoke, “Go ahead and smoke, but not on company property.”

  • Don
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    A picture is worth a thousand words, and the pictures that will be forthcoming from the Al Smith dinner–namely, Cardinal Dolan laughing it up with Barack Obama–will send the message to Catholics that “all is well.” Make no mistake, these pictures will be plastered in the New York Times, USA Today, and on all the major television networks–and right before the election. Very likely, this will again cause a majority of Catholics to vote for a pro-abortion candidate. All of Cardinal Dolan’s heretofore noble efforts on behalf of the unborn and religious liberty will mean nothing.

    Barack Obama is a proven enemy of the Church, yet Cardinal Dolan is going to honor him. Would Cardinal Dolan invite a pro-segregration candidate to the dinner? Would he invite a candidate who supports the murder of the homeless? Ah, but it’s only babies that Obama believes in killing, and to date, only 50 million have been murdered. No big deal.

    Please read the following story from LifeSite News:

    http://www.lifesite.net/news/confirmed-president-obama-to-speak-at-catholic-charities-usa-annual-fundrai

    At the bottom of the story is Cardinal Dolan’s email. Please pray, and then write a respectful letter to Cardinal Dolan asking him to rescind this invitation.

    God help us.

  • Joel
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    A picture is worth a thousand words: Cardinal Dolan, smiling, next to Obama will help him to be reelect.

  • Mary Dilworth
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    It blows my mind when some people say we are thrusting our beliefs on the employees. It is just the opposite in that any present health plans offered by employers that do not contain provisions for sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives will be required by the government to include them. So who is forcing whom?? The government is making employers violate their consciences by denying them the right to practice their religious beliefs which is guaranteed by the consititution. The constitution does not guarantee anyone the right to have their employer provide sterilizations, or contraceptives, or abortion-inducing drugs. It is NOT so! So can any limit be put on the government’s imposing anything under penalty of paying a tax for non-compliance.? It is frightening to imagine where this is heading. Therefore we must get the legislature to repeal this mandate or not fund the “Affordable” Care Act, which is extremely costly and start all over to reform our health care system and the tax code.

  • Middleman15
    August 2, 2012 Reply

    Yes, congratulations on inviting President Obama. This is definitely a huge step in the right direction.

  • Mary Sorensen
    August 3, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan, remember that you said “We will not comply”? Therefore, the ONLY option is business as usual – and ignore the fines and penalties – don’t pay them! And, for heaven’s sake, do NOT close down any Catholic services. Not one! Just continue business as usual. If it means jail time, they’ll have to come in with a SWAT team to drag you and your brother bishops off to jail. That will help the average American see what is actually going on. There is no better way to evangelize the masses than to take up this cross. Along with many other faithful Catholics, I stand ready to be dragged off to jail, if necessary, to protect our religious freedom. You are in my prayers!

  • Mary
    August 3, 2012 Reply

    When all other options, including the federal lawsuits, have been exhausted, then civil disobedience is the next step. We will refuse to comply with the mandate, and we will refuse to consent to the law by refusing to paying the fine.

  • Walter
    August 3, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan…I would force the issue and not wait the year…this “one year” reprieve is a trick to buy time…so regardless of the option you select, you should select it now, months before the election. Do not be concerned about saving the Church…you cannot save the Church…our Lord promised to protect the Church…so I stress to you to go forward now…Cardinal Dolan our “catholic” Governor said, when passing same-sex marriage, that some people throw rocks into a pond and make ripples, with same-sex marriage he says he throw a boulder into the pond that would ripple around the world…well it’s time for you, Cardinal Dolan, to throw the Cross of Christ onto the entire earth…do it now…a greater good will come out of this evil situation forced upon the Church…God Bless you.

  • Jason
    August 3, 2012 Reply

    I respectfully ask what kind of message the Cardinal is sending when, on the heels of this evil, he is inviting the president to the Al Smith dinner. I could understand if the Contraception Mandate didn’t exist and if Obama was a little less supportive of child killing. When we have millions of poorly catechized Catholics confused about the issues – and the Catholic vote was critical in the president’s election the first time – how is it at all helpful to inform the conscience of the Catholic voter when the president is invited to a premier Catholic event in NY? My fear is that countless American Catholics will think 1) the HHS Mandate must not be so bad, and 2) if Obama’s views on abortion were against Catholic teaching, why would the top Catholic in the US personally invite him to a charity event? I honestly think the timing was horrible and this will be a mistake we’re forced to live with for another four years. I honestly think for this one time, in an election year, neither candidate should have been invited so as to take politics completely out of it. I’m sorry, but it really hurts – I’m a convert and my Protestant family continuously looks at our “Catholic” politicians – and the bishops who do nothing about the open heresy in their dioceses – and they say, “You see? You Catholics .” Such tremendous scandal…and I’m left speechless to defend my Church when there seems to be no end of this confusion in sight.

  • Don Ross
    August 3, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan, How can you continue to fight Obama on the Mandate and then welcome him to the Joseph Smith dinner? How hypocritical can you get. I know that Jesus ate with sinners but that was in hopes of Converting them. You don’t realy think you can convert Obama do you?

  • JohnG
    August 3, 2012 Reply

    J.M.J.

    I agree with “ProLIFEmommyof 2”, “R.Hrlic”, “Katie”, and “MaryGr”. The invitation to President Obama to appear at and address the Al Smith Dinner is a scandal. It shows that the leadership of the Catholic Church is weak and not willing to stand up for its beliefs. It is really disillusioning to the faithful. Whoever issued the invitation should be fired.

    Is it not inappropriate for the Archbishop of New York, who is also the President of the USCCB, to appear on the dais at a Catholic function with a politician who is strongly Pro-Abortion, an opponent of the Defense of Marriage Act, and who would like to put most or all of Catholic Charities in the United States out of business? Such action would make your recent statements on the HHS mandate, etc. appear to be disingenuous. It would also undermine your pro-life, pro-marriage, pro- religious liberty actions and those of some of your fellow Bishops.

    Suppose that Pro-Life Organizations picketed the Al Smith Dinner. That would not really be out of line. Who would be most embarrassed?

  • Sir Louis
    August 3, 2012 Reply

    Your Eminence, I know it is a tradition to invite the presidential candidates to the Al Smith dinner every four years, but I haven’t seen any authoritative statement that Messrs Obama and Romney have been invited. One columnist for the National Catholic Reporter says on his blog that he has confirmed that Mr Obama has been invited, but I find it difficult to believe that you, or the Foundation, or Catholic Charities, would allow it. Assuming Mr Obama is not going to be invited, it would be well if an authoritative statement saying so is made as soon as possible, to stop the divisive yelling before it gets any louder.

  • nanato8
    August 4, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan,
    What a wonderful campaign tool the photo opt of Obama with you and all of the New York Catholic elites will be! I can’t wait to see the political ads with those pics here in Ohio! He will get back in office with the Catholic vote just as he did in 2008. Thank you very much!

  • Jim Montine
    August 4, 2012 Reply

    Inviting President Obama to the Al Smith dinner will completely undermine any efforts being made to fight against the HHS mandate. People will view the event as “although we have our differences we can get along, see that contraception thing is no big deal”. In fact, I think the fact that President Obama is coming is a clear signal that the fight is over.

  • Magdalene
    August 4, 2012 Reply

    I am finding it VERY hard to believe there is really opposition to the HHS killing mandate. Why is the greatest enemy of our holy Church in America invited to dinner? Pictures of the Cardinal and president will be everywhere–laughing and drinking together as if millions of lives are not at stake here. It is a CONTINUING SCANDAL that our clergy, leaders, and religious even when they say the ‘right thing’ continue on to not do it. Whether is is the sad USCCB givine money to Acorn or CORE or the winking at dissent and heresy–no wonder millions have left the church in disgust! I am disgusted too. There is smiling and nodding at a ‘gay Mass’ while there is talk of upholding true marriage. Smoke and mirrors. The talk is all wind. I do not look for the bishops to stand firm. No way. We can look at history. How many went along with Henry VIII–all but one who is a saint. And our culture is far more perverse than that one.

    But, on the bright side, there may be opportunities for true faithful to be saints and suffer for the Lord in the coming times–how many will be wearing red hats remains to be seen.

  • Andrew
    August 4, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan,

    I am not sure how you can write a post like this and then invite President Obama, the very person who started all of this in the first place, to the Al Smith Dinner.

    This is a huge disgrace. Please rectify this or you will lose all credibility.

  • Richard Maffeo
    August 4, 2012 Reply

    Regarding Archbishop’s invite to President Obama, despite the flagrant and cavalier attack by this administration on religious freedom — I do not understand this terrible and faith-testing double message he is sending. All I can hear are the Jewish prophets of the Old Testament, along with Sts. John the Baptists, Paul and Peter crying out and rending their garments.

    If there ever was a time our Bishops needed prayer, THIS is the time. Otherwise, what hope is left for the Church in America?

  • erika
    August 5, 2012 Reply

    Have you invited Obama to the Al Smith dinner?

  • Melissa
    August 5, 2012 Reply

    I second the post by ProLIFEmommyof2: In addition, the MSM will have a field day with the photo op that inviting Barack Obama to the Smith dinner will provide. Further scandal to the faithful will result as they assert that the Catholic Church is just fine with the current administration – implying that the Church doesn’t actually reject abortifaciants, birth control or same sex marriage!

    August 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    It is with a most heavy, heavy heart that I am writing you today. I am absolutely astounded by your decision to invite Barack Obama to the Catholic Charities annual fundraising event, a decision that will certainly cause confusion amongst voting catholics across this nation come November.

    He, along with his administration, has made their position ABUNDANTLY clear. Have you forgotten what happened regarding the same-sex marriage decision in New York? I believe it was YOU, who said, “We were deceived. Shame on us for believing them.”

    You talk in this blog post about “fighting” against this HHS mandate. Cardinal, there is one sure fire way to put an end to this, and that is through the voting booth.

    I pray that you will have the courage to turn your attention away from politicians who clearly have an agenda and say what so desperately needs to be said to your flock:
    “This administration has disqualified themselves from our vote.”

    One way to show this in action would be to deny Barack Hussein Obama a place of honor, a platform with which to speak, at a fundraising event aimed at raising money for the very people HE says are a “punishment:” children. The VERY people he has NO problem with leaving on a table to DIE if they happened to be born alive after a failed abortion.

    Please! I pray that you will “BE NOT AFRAID,” to do what is right…
    God Bless you!
    ProLIFEmommyof2

  • Lordpray4us
    August 5, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    I find it hard to believe that you would extend the invitation to have Barack Obama speak at the Al Smith Dinner. What could this President have to say that would change any of the facts, or do you expect him to have a change of heart on the HHS Mandate, Socialized Health Care or anything that involves Abortion issues because of this invitation? The thought of any Democratic politician invited to any Catholic Charity function is scandalous and total unacceptable. The Democrats stand for Abortion and Gay Marriage as the two rights that every Democrat must follow behind and support. It is right there, in black and white, in their platform. Which words are we not to read or understand?

    We need to stop negotiations(DIALOGUE) with this President and realize that everything he stands for is evil. How long will your decisions of tolerance and political correctness affect the flock you’re entrusted by God to guide forward.

    Cardinal Bernardin seamless garment theory was an effort to soften the abortion issue and endear himself with the liberal press. We do not need leaders who emulate him. He caused confusion in the last election. You are causing the same confusion in this election. And we will have another 4 years of sin. You must examine your conscience.

  • concernedcatholic
    August 5, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    I am writing to express concern that you would invite President Obama to the Al Smith dinner. It seems that the devil, who is the father of confusion, continues his assault on the Catholic Church. What I mean is that your action will cause confusion among voters. It’s hard enough with the media making Catholics to look foolish, but this continued catering to the President and his platform are unbelievable. It goes back to his lying to your face about HHS after we gave him recognition at Notre Dame. It goes back to his covering the crucifix at Georgetown University, a slap to our Lord’s face…just how much more are Catholics supposed to take before the Church wakes up?

    Ultimately we will all answer to God, either in this life or the next. I will pray for President Obama, because that is what we are called to do. However, I don’t believe we are called to stand by and allow evil to progress. If St. Paul were alive today, I hardly think he would be silent, or inviting these people to dinner. Even our Lord expressed passion when he overturned the tables in the temple. When you chose to become a priest, I believe that you were called to be a leader. I have seen your strength, but not in this case. You are a man, so not perfect. But you are a leader, and like St. Paul, the leaders of the Catholic church today need to cut through the confusion. There is a right and wrong, and God made it very clear. I cannot believe that the Catholic Church will stand by while this all transpires.

    I believe that this is a pivotal point in the Catholic Church’s history, and there have certainly been many crises in the past as well. I pray for you and other leaders of the Church to receive God’s grace to know what to do. God will prevail, because He always does.

    Submitted with the utmost respect and prayers.

  • Christine Niles
    August 5, 2012 Reply

    Your Eminence,
    I am utterly dismayed that you would invite Obama, who is presently viciously assaulting the Church, to this fundraising dinner. Why did you not follow the example of your predecessor and refuse to invite him? You would have been perfectly justified in doing so, and would have prevented scandal to the faithful.

    As it is, it is not too late. You can disinvite the president, thereby sending a clear message that the Church will not compromise on the HHS Mandate. You will hearten Catholics everywhere with this bold and courageous act.

  • That Hat Lady
    August 5, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan, we the faithful respectfully ask you to write a column or blog post like this one to explain your decision to invite Obama to speak at the USCCB dinner. It is creating confusion with regards to your call to oppose the HHS mandate while supporting the President who created it.

  • Jay Boyd
    August 5, 2012 Reply

    I am writing, along with others above, to express dismay at the invitation extended to Obama for the Al Smith dinner. I believe this sends a scandalous message to the faithful, many of whom are already badly confused.

  • Mitch Smith
    August 5, 2012 Reply

    To be frank, I have a very hard time taking this post seriously. Considering that we are not supposed to honor pro-abortion politicians, and that the President is one, as well as being the person ultimately responsible for the actions of his appointees, the Archdiocese of New York’s decision to invite him to the Al Smith dinner makes me wonder how serious the bishops are about this issue, or if they are simply indulging a in a little face saving. This becomes especially confusing when I look at the groups receiving grant money from the CCHD, and now Catholic Relief Services. It will be very hard to make a case against the HHS Mandate when TWO of the US Bishop’s own outreaches seem to have no problem with the idea of funding groups that are involved in abortions, contraception and other activities inimical to the faith. NOt to mention, that the Photo Ops at the Al Smith dinner will allow President Obama to have pictures of himself smiling and hob-nobbing with Catholic Prelates, which will further confuse the faithful, along with the “Catholics United” and Catholics for Obama groups, which have been told they are not really Catholic. Perhaps it’s time for the Bishops to separate themselves from their long standing political associations?

  • Mary Kuhns
    August 5, 2012 Reply

    The only things I can think of to say are that this hurts me personally and the Church as a whole because it is scandalous. Obama has clearly shown who he is and what he intends to do and what he is doing. At this point it looks as if Cardinal Dolan is bowing down to him. I honestly don’t know whose side Cardinal Dolan is on. Social graces such as inviting the President should be out the window when the President has declared war on the Church and is even now trying to crush it. I personally think that if Cardinal Dolan invites Obama, then some of the blood of the unborn cannot help but touch his hand.

  • Jim
    August 5, 2012 Reply

    I concur with those who question why Pres Obama was invited to this dinner. He deceived you and the Catholic Church, and has been in my humble view deceitful about his view on marriage too (4 years ago God was in the mix, according to him, now he abandons God calculating votes instead). Recently with the Chick Fil A controversy he had a golden opportunity to lead by reiterating that our position was not only one he agreed with not very long ago, but that everyone has the right to express his or her opinion on marriage without mayors threatening to exclude them from opening business in their cities. In a heartbeat, if he gets re-elected, I suspect he will cancel the executive order banning federal funding for abortions. Lets not reward him for his open disdain for our religious freedom. And, keep up the fight!!!

  • wayne
    August 5, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal, It is my greatest hope that you will stand for our religious rights and for the magesterium of the church.My question concerns Kathleen Quinn……everyone is wondering whether she will be refused communion if she is elected mayor,I say what about now??? Where is this lesbian attending mass and who is presenting her with the body,blood,soul and divinity of our Lord each sunday? Or is it only a scandal if she holds a high political office?

  • glenna
    August 6, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan, I support you 101% on your stand re: this HHS mandate. I just have to wonder if you realize what scandal the Al Smith Dinner is causing in Catholic circles at least? http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/gaynor/120803

    Plz reconsider this invite or at least give us some explanation about why in the world you’re doing this. thx.

  • Mike Cartina
    August 6, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    Given all that has transpired, the HHS mandate, the promotion of the culture of death here and abroad, the unrelenting aggressive adversarial posture against Church teachings on all fronts, and the outright lies with regards to support for matters of conscience, I cannot abide by the decision to invite Obama to the Al Smith Dinner. This decision is unconscionable, ill-advised and a breach of trust that the you are willing to stand firm in the face of this administration assault on our religious freedom. Please restore our faith and trust in you to be a faithful Shepard of the Lord’s people. I pray that you reconsider your decision and rescind the invitation post-haste.

  • Jeanne Breunig
    August 6, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan:
    1.I kissed your ring at your Holy Hill Mass of Thanksgiving before Mass-you walked by me on your way past the last row of pews before talking to the family behind me about Bessie the Cow before getting in line for the processional.
    2.From that moment on, I made a commitment to pray for you every day.
    3.I bought your books and asked your brother to get you to sign them and then mail them to my pastor. Thank you.
    4.I heard about you inviting President Obama to the Al Smith event for Catholic Charities.
    5.I object to that invitation.
    6.Please cancel the whole fundraiser rather than invite such a person to a Catholic event.
    7.I assume you will make more money if he comes, so you figure you can make more money for Catholic Charities this way.
    8.You can not serve God and mammon, for you will hate the one, and love the other.
    Sincerely,
    +Jeanne Breunig+

  • Heather Wilson
    August 6, 2012 Reply

    As I read the outrage at inviting The President of the United States to the dinner, what runs through my head is:
    And they will know we are Christians
    by our hate,
    by our intolerance,
    by our self-righteousness,
    by our arrogance,
    by our ignorance,
    by our politics, and
    by our racism.

    I am quite sure Jesus is weeping at what has become of us

  • Mary Kuhns
    August 6, 2012 Reply

    Your Eminence,
    Some say it is a difficult decision because of the potential fundraising opportinity, but any money made because of Obama’s attendance is clearly blood money because of what he stands for, and nothing good can come from it. Please uninvite him, I beg you. At this point we have “not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood”, but step by step we are headed toward exactly that if the Church keeps falling for Obama’s deceit. If he is re-elected with the help of Catholics and his sure-to-be headline photo op with you, then the Church is assisting in more bloodshed via abortion and death panels.

  • Marilyn H
    August 6, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,
    I echo the above comments and beg you to please, please rescind the invitation to President Obama to the Al Smith dinner. It is scandalous and very disheartening to those of us who are in the trenches, trying to convince others that the Church is being attacked. Then when the same Church invites the man to dinner, how do we explain that? I am sick over this invitation.

  • Carolyn L
    August 6, 2012 Reply

    I just want to add my voice to those already commenting that I think it is awful that you have invited Obama to the Al Smith Dinner. I am sick to my stomach over this. It is beyond scandalous and I hope that if he has been invited that you will rescind the invitation.

  • Joel
    August 7, 2012 Reply

    Even though it is unintentional, holding the Al Smith Dinner right before elections makes it political. Cardinal Dolan, will you please consider rescheduling the dinner sometime after the elections?

  • Rusty
    August 7, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan, I understand that an invitation to the sitting President is customary. However, in light of the attacks against our freedom as Catholics, the invite is scandalous. Please reconsider.

  • marc w
    August 7, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan,

    I’m sad and disheartened by the shocking news that you’ve caved and invited Obama to the Al Smith Dinner. So this is the real call for the faithful to oppose the HHS mandate (aka Fortnight of Freedom)? Very disturbing. Please reflect on how Cardinal O’Conner handled this with B. Clinton. The Catholic faithful are shaking our heads in bewilderment over this. It seems lke pure pandering politics and not the march of saints.

    This is a huge disgrace. Please rectify this or you will lose all credibility

  • Edwin and Evelyn Roberts
    August 8, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan:
    So what gives? What good will the laughter and jokes do to help the unborn and this unjust mandate? Do we all suppose that you have a plan to influence this administration’s horrific stance on abortion for the good with the jokes and laughter made the night of the dinner? Life is full of paradoxs; however, unborn babies need split second decisions that transcend “jokes”.
    We need the Lord’s help on this one……….

  • Dennis
    August 8, 2012 Reply

    With the greatest respect and admiration fo your excellency, I humbly ask that you retract your invitation to President Obama. It may seem awkward but it must be done. It will speak volumes more than any words of admonition that could be said at the dinner.

    Again, I want to say how honored I am to have you as Archbishop of New York and President of the US Bishops. You are a man of integrity and piety. Your writings are insightful.

  • Rosa
    August 8, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    Inviting the most pro-abortion president in the nation’s history to join you at the A. E. S. annual Catholic Charities fundraising event sends mixed messages. Obama stands for Abortion and Gay Marriage (clearly, adverse to our faith). Perhaps, if you reply via a column, blog post, TV etc… to explain your decision to invite him may help clarify this issue. Still, I feel the best message in support of our faith and values is dis-inviting Obama or simply canceling the event.

    God Bless you (and us) in your decision.

  • Dennis
    August 8, 2012 Reply

    By the way, financial civil disobedience will not work. There is no way to avoid the fines by simply not paying them. Catholic Hospitals and Schools are too big to hide. The IRS can and will seize the assets. The banks will comply with the IRS and the money will be taken by force. Happens all the time.

    The law itself must be changed or the fines will be levied and collected.

  • ahstreet
    August 8, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan,
    How do you expect those of us who are fighting for the dignity of life…fighting in the trenches to continue the fight when the leader of the bishops invites the enemy to a party? We are feeling a sharp pain in the center of our backs!
    Are you seriously thinking that Catholics who are rightly concerned over the abridgement of our freedoms by this evil man will continue to follow you into battle when it is clear that you have a cocktail in your hand and no other weapon? How can we take you seriously anylonger? It is not political to stand up for your faith!
    This sad excuse for a president seeks only to get your smiling face in a picture with him and all the poorly catechised Catholics and the catholics for Obama, and for abortion, etc will plaster it all over the news as a sign that all is well and a vote for Obama is just fine!
    God help us! Who do we turn to? Christ is our only hope; his apostles have fled. Shame on you; I am glad it is you who will have to answer for this damage to Christ’s Church and not I.

  • Rita Ippolito
    August 8, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan, What are you doing?! While so many of us lay Catholics are trying to defend religious liberty in our country and help sadly, too many Catholics who are apathetic to this great abomination against the Catholic Church and other religious institutions and individuals, you set a stage of confusion. It would be better for one to tie a millstone around their neck than to lead one astray! You have compromised the faith, and even though Jesus went out and dined with sinners, tax collectors and stirred confusion amongst the Pharisees, this is playing with the Devil. If you think you can change the present administrations mind through Obama, you are disillusionioned, and that I do not believe. You sir, will be held accountable for those who wil now support this Pro-abort president. May God help us and our Holy, Catholic Church. So much for all the rallies for relgiousmfreedom and the fortnight for freedom, just flush all that down the cesspool. I am one voice on this page, but I represent thousands more in my reactions to your decision!

  • Karen
    August 8, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan, This invitation is almost impossible to believe. Principles trump tradition. Your message is mixed and that is extremely disappointing-your position is high and this decision is a low blow.

    Actions do speak and your flock is waiting for action.

  • Susan
    August 8, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal: Your stance would seem more solid and serious if you did not invite Mr. Obama to laugh it up with you at the upcoming fundraiser. Perhaps us Christians stand on our own in this world in the battle for Religous freedom. Where is the Black Robe Regiment?

  • Jim
    August 8, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,
    I am very dismayed at your invitation to President Obama to attend the Al Smith dinner. This could not come at a worse time. This is a grave period in the history of the Catholic Church in America, and what I foresee will simply be a photo op for the President to be standing next to you and smiling away for the cameras two weeks before the election. You will be played as a pawn in his political game. Your leadership in opposition to the HHS mandate has been heroic, but this decision leaves that effort impotent. Actually – your past effort becomes – literally – laughable. Is our opposition to the HHS mandate laughable? This event is not dialogue, this event is a comedic night of photo ops. You represent our Church, just as Cardinal O’Connor courageously did when he did not invite President Clinton to the dinner because of his veto of the Partial Birth Abortion legislation. Please don’t trade jokes with a man who is determined to undermine the Catholic Church on every front – from abortion and same-sex marriage to his assault on religious freedom. If you must have him at the dinner and you do not have the courage to dis-invite him, then I implore you to not attend yourself. This invitation is not inviting sinners to the table for conversion – you know better than most that our president is avoiding that true dialogue at every turn.
    I beseech you to make the tough call – dis-invite the president or do not attend yourself. This is a scandal for our beloved Church.
    God Bless,
    Jim

  • Mauricio
    August 9, 2012 Reply

    Your Eminence,

    Has the cock crowed once? There has been a collective gasp among the faithful, we who struggle every day under the burden of this administration’s attempt to box out and suffocate our right worship, practice and live the Faith. Will you now deny the Truth? Will you allow the smoke to enter the Church? Your Eminence, one cannot serve two masters.

    The message being sent by this invitation does not reconcile with the teaching promulgated in the document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship issued by the organization you are the president of, the UCCB. I hope and pray you will reconsider this invitation and not let the cock crow twice.

  • MaryGr
    August 9, 2012 Reply

    God help us for the times we live in. First John Roberts, in a stunning and confused reversal, delivers his decision on Obamacare. Now we have the Cardinal prepared to gladhand the most evil leader this country has ever known.

    Lord, to whom shall we go?

  • Lauren Rooney
    August 9, 2012 Reply

    Cardinal Dolan, what were you thinking inviting the man who is intent on taking away our religious liberty, and is being sued by you, to the Al Smith Dinner. Are you not away of the mixed message you are sending to the laity. We rely on leaders who are strong in their convictions and don’t practice “do as I say, not do as I do”.
    Jesus was very clear in his message that one must stand strong in his religious beliefs and not be intimidated by “political correctness”. I have spoken with many of my fellow parish members this morning who wonder why we spent our time and talent in working diligently during Fortnight For Freedom holding rallies, petitions, prayer groups, etc. so that this vile Obama HHH mandate is not implemented. Obama ignored your requests for a waiver for Catholics (showing his contempt for Christians) . If you only understand how many Catholics are so disappointed with your intention to break bread and high five it with this poor excuse for a President.

  • Joan
    August 9, 2012 Reply

    Please Cardinal Dolan, say it isn’t so!

  • A concerned Catholic deacon
    August 9, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan and brother deacon,

    Please reconsider your mistaken invitation to President Obama.
    Joking around with him at the Al Smith dinner could lead Catholics to believe you agree with him.
    You are a great strong voice for the truth, please withdraw your invitation to this radical secular president.

  • Robert Fox
    August 9, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan: Regardless of your intentions in inviting Obama to the Al Smith dinner… you gravely underestimate the scandal it is causing.

    By doing this, you legitimize many who have left the Church for a kind of Traditionalism (with a capital T) that rationalizes acting as though the visible magisterium has completely lost it. And so you exacerbate a Church that hemorrhages from the “left” and the “right” when in fact there is no “left” or “right” in authentic Catholicism.

    Servus, Bob Fox.

  • Therese
    August 9, 2012 Reply

    Your Emminence,
    Please rescind your invitation to the President to the Al Smith Dinner! Please know you are in our prayers.

  • MaryGr
    August 9, 2012 Reply

    I think your love of Catholic Charities has gotten the better of your love of your flock. In these posts we are making a collective baa crying and panicking as we watch you open the gate for the wolf-in-chief.

    Whatever you do now, the message must be: On Nov 6, Catholics must vote for a pro-life president.

  • marsha tandy
    August 9, 2012 Reply

    I too am a huge supporter of you and your outspokenness when it comes to my beloved Catholic Church.Still I cannot say it any better than the email I received from American Life League today…

    ” I am confused and deeply
    concerned about President Barack Obama being invited
    to the October 18 Alfred E. Smith dinner. Obama has
    repeatedly attacked the Catholic Church and the Church
    is suing his administration over his contraceptive mandate.
    And now, we invite him to a high-profile Catholic fundraising
    event? Past sitting Presidents were not invited to this same
    event for less.”
    Please Cardinal Dolan correct this scandalous situation.
    God bless you and know that I am praying for you.

  • Chuck
    August 9, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan:
    You showed great leadership against an enemy of the Church and religious freedom by strongly opposing the HHS mandate. But why do you undermine and confuse the faithful by inviting President Obama to the Al Smith Dinner? President Obama is the person who has effectively established the mandate, increased funding for abortion by recinding the Mexico City Treaty policy and who refuses to defend DOMA in court. It makes no sense and will thoroughly confuse the faithful !

  • Tom
    August 10, 2012 Reply

    I was really quite shocked and dismayed to hear that President Obama will be asked to the Al Smith Dinner this year. This will provide him with an enormous propaganda boost. The Church leadership is either quite politically naive or has divided opinions on abortion. What else would explain the entreaties and obeisance to Mr. Obama? In addition to the propaganda value provided to the greatest abortion advocate in the country (the second being apparently practicing Catholic Nancy Pelosi), this only muddies the moral waters for those Catholics who regularly support pro-abortion candidates. First Notre Dame now the Archdiocese of New York. The Church is really loosing credibility on this issue with both the faithful and the faithless.

  • Sheila Faline
    August 10, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    Meaning no disrespect, I assure you. I believe a fervent..heartfelt prayer to the
    Holy Spirit for awareness of Gods will concerning the USCCB dinner would certainly be
    in order.

  • Grandin
    August 10, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    I have a great deal of respect for you, especially for the way you connect with young people. My daughter had the opportunity to meet you at World Youth Day last summer and that helped her fall even more deeply in love with her Catholic Faith. One of the ways you are able to reach younger people is through your humor. Now, I understand the Al Smith dinner is supposed to be non-political and a venue for some humor and enjoying the company of others for a good cause. However, extending an invitation to a president whose administration has declared war on the Church is just misguided. It sends a mixed message about your commitment (and by extension that of the USCCB) to opposing the HHS mandate. We live in a time when Catholics are confused enough about what the Church teaches and what is required of them to live a life of Catholic faith. Inviting a man to spend the evening with you in a setting that is designed to look like a group of people at peace with one another can only send the signal that you aren’t that serious about the HHS mandate, so why should the rest of us be? Please, please, please rescind the invitation to President Obama. This is not the time to be communing with him, not even for what is objectively a good cause. I know at this point it might be embarrassing to rescind, but frankly those who would ridicule you for doing so (mainly the media and the White House) are not supporting you regardless of what you do, plus it would demonstrate a tremendous strength of character and commitment to the rest of us, especially those who are wavering and NEED to see leadership.

    In Christ,
    Grandin

  • Irene
    August 10, 2012 Reply

    These comments show that our bishops’ very strong “religious freedom” rhetoric has borne some poisonous fruits.

    Right here on a Catholic website, some Catholics now feel free to call our democratically elected President, (a political moderate by the way) “the man who is intent on taking away our religious liberty”, “a man who is determined to undermine the Catholic Church on every front”,” “the most evil leader this country has ever known”, or simply “the enemy ”

    But, heck, why limit ourselves to just the President, ban all Democrats, as one commenter suggests, “The thought of any Democratic politician invited to any Catholic Charity function is scandalous and total unacceptable.”

    Cardinal Dolan, Is this really the face you wish Catholics to present to the world? Or maybe its time to change tone?

  • Tom
    August 12, 2012 Reply

    To Heather Wilson:

    Since when is accusing those you disagree with of hate a Christian value?

    One of us doesn’t belong in the Catholic Church. Cardinal Dolan has only left me confused as to which of us should leave.

  • Mare Ulicne
    August 13, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan, When you took over the archdiocese of NY we were glad to see such a strong conservative Catholic at the helm. If you go through with this invitation to dinner with the president, you will be
    harming your credibility by throwing pearls to swine. It’s an insult to your vocation to ignore well meanijng Catholics who are warning you of
    this sin of scandal by dining with a man who claims to be a Christian but ignores God’s commandments ” Thou shall not kill” &” thou shall not commit adultery ” the commandment against fornication as anyone who has relations outside of marriage are committingb adultery. this does not only apply to the married. many sins have many sides to them. For him to promote these sins is a scandal against Christianity.He also has shown no proof that he is a Christian & has publicly mocked Christians in his speeches. We actually don’t know WHO the man is as he has denied every truth revealed by his history, companions & those who knew him. Because of this behavior- who can trust him? The comments here about him using you & the fundraiser as a means to promote him & not Catholic charities or Catholic principles is spot on. what good is all the work to defeat & pray against the mandate if we can’t count on the leader of our bishops to do the right thing. please don’t be one of the bishops who brought Jesus’ church to shame by a scandal you can avoid. By breaking bread with an anti-catholic ( possibly an anti-christ based on his lack of support for Christian values taught by Our Lord. )
    if you do this- you would be betraying Jesus Himself. Words are empty no matter how charming they sound. Actions speak louder than words. it’s also not a great idea to be sharing a comedy show with blasphemous comedian Colbert. You will only make a fool of yourself & the Catholic church if you associate publicly with unrepentant sinners who flaunt their sins. We need more leaders who call a sin a sin. Catholics learn nothing from leaders who don’t set a good example ymeaning what they say. to socially visit with both men who have insulted God himself will not make it appear that you wish to convert them. it will only lead to more scandal. We love your sense of humor, but there’s a time & place for everything. The jews can be forgiving, but they wouldn’t invite hitler to a passover meal. those who promote abortion by defending it are just as guilty as abortionists. This is a time for you to discern & pray about your own lack of discretion. if you want to meet with these men privately to discuss their sins, is one thing. To pal around with them is another. You remain in my prayers with all priests in this time of temptation in the world. . Even the holy have to guard their senses more carefully as we are surrounded by evil which aims to steal our souls. and it is often a subtle theft.

  • Ernesto Kortright
    August 13, 2012 Reply

    Dear Father Dolan,
    You have chosen a position of leadership in order to feed your sheep. Please don’t add another scandal with this invitation. Rescind it immediately. We’ve had enough with Obama at Notre Dame, Sebelius at Georgetown, pseudo Catholics like Cuomo, Biden, Pelosi and others taking Holy Communion in spite of their scandalous apostasy.
    HELP US!!! And if you can’t rescind it. Sit as far away from this evil man as possible and don’t let anyone take video ot pictures with the 2 of you together.
    Sincerely,
    Ernesto Kortright
    Helena, Alabama

  • Freda Muldoon
    August 13, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan, As we — the lay faithful who heeded your call to step out of our own comfort zones to defend the faith by resisting the HHS mandate — as we suffer for our efforts even now — we shall not soon forget the picture you now propose to our minds, of Your Eminence greeting and smiling and laughing it up with our persecutor. The NY Post says this is a “classy” invitation — but it is only “classy” to those who sow class warfare and division in our Church. We urge you to be our good Shepherd now. PLEASE do not betray us — even in appearance. Please rescind the invitation for the sake of the flock.

  • Maria Leano
    August 13, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal,

    this is an article I believe crystallizes the argument for the average Catholic. It was published by the newspaper of the Diocese of Orange (California).

    http://rcbo.org/images/stories/occ/july_2012/Pg%204%20DIOCESAN%20NEWS%20Fortnight%20for%20Freedom%20Conference%20Highlights.pdf

  • Heather Wilson
    August 13, 2012 Reply

    To Irene – very well said. The “war on religious freedom” propaganda has definitely served to incite the “faithful.”. What will be interesting to observe in the months ahead is how the bishops will deal with continuing to promote a self-righteous right wing agenda, demonizing President Obama, when Romney’s VP choice is so blatantly hostile to the needs of the poor and vulnerable in this country.
    To Tom – we are not talking about simple disagreement here. If you open your mind and read the replies in this blog, listen for the hate spewing from the mouths of all these self-righteous “Christians.” Can you honestly tell me this is how Jesus would want us to be in the world? Intolerant. Exclusive. Judgemental. Harsh. Self-righteous. Rude. Don’t think so. It is, as Irene correctly pointed out, a result of the bishops allowing the Church to be co-opted by the religious right and spewing Fox news sound bytes regarding a war on religious freedom, blah blah blah. With regard to which one of us should leave – don’t fret – I already have – with great sadness but absolutely no regrets. I occasionally venture to this website and my decision to leave is confirmed time and time again as I read the continued hate (yes hate) from the “faithful.”.

  • C J
    August 14, 2012 Reply

    So Heather
    Where did you find perfect people, a church who are ‘tolerant, not harsh or rude?

    Sad that you left the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus the Christ of God.

  • John
    August 15, 2012 Reply

    Dear Cardinal Dolan – i sympathize with the difficulty you face regarding these difficult decisions. When i consider Jesus’ willingness to associate with sinners, i usually consider how obstinate or open the person may be to conversion. The president seems to be more of the former.

    If you are correct about Jesus’ openness to others no matter what (as your example seems to suggest) then there doesn’t seem to be any basis for our notion of causing scandal. Woohoo! It’s nice not to have to worry anymore about that!

    However, Jesus was a polarizing figure and He did turn over the Temple tables. He also warned us about who we associate with.

    I think the primary cocern for those who think the decision is the wrong one has to do with the difficulty we see with many Catholics who are desperately looking for reasons to vote again for the president.

  • G. W. Markle
    August 23, 2012 Reply

    The greatest threat to America, and indeed to the rest of world, comes from the staunch advocates of right wing ideology, and I must submit this warning to you: There is a grave problem with the right wing movement, in that; they seem to possess a distorted sense of entitlement. They’ve set themselves apart, and seem to think that their faith gives them the right to view the world from a platitude of conceit, through condescending eyes, and with a false sense of superiority. They actually believe themselves to be superior beings, with a manifest destiny and some strange notion that God is on their side. A people with a desire to conquer, under the false guise of Christianity, seeking to dominate in the name of Christ, their view of humanity being reduced to nothing more than a matter of “us” and “them”.

    What they fail to realize is; if the Christ you believe in leads you to view other humans as lesser beings, then you are a follower of the anti-Christ. The plain truth is; God doesn’t have a religion and God doesn’t discriminate. Any religion that professes to be the only true religion, or that they‘re special in the eyes of God preaches false doctrine. If the Spirit of God is truly with you, it will only be known by acts of “unconditional” love and charity. No religion can claim exclusive rights to God. He belongs to all that He has created, and to foster a belief in “us” and “them” is to divide humanity, not unite it.

    And so it will be in The End, that those who have set themselves apart from their fellow man will find that they have set themselves apart from God. The worth of a soul will only be measured by how much it has loved, nothing more, nothing less. Woe to those who have taken the widow’s mite and built castles and empires in His name. They have incurred a great accountability, their suffering will be unending.

    Even Jesus will not claim to be Christian, but will only proclaim the glory of the Father. And when He returns they will shout: “Here we are Lord!” And He will respond: “I never knew you”. They have forsaken the Word and have become prisoners of the Numbers.

    Those who have put themselves first will be last.

 

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