Over the past week I have been reading the comments that faithful Catholics have left the ‘Stop the Al Smith Scandal Petition’, and I’ve been almost moved to tears by some of them. Catholics are heartbroken over this. They feel betrayed. They feel like the Cardinal placed a knife in their back. They feel let down and disappointed over this apparent show of weak leadership. They feel ashamed and scandalized. I came into the Church shortly after the height of the child abuse scandal, so I don’t know what it is like to feel let down and betrayed by the ordained leadership, but reading these comments I’m starting to understand.
So I’m taking it quite personal, and I’m quite upset at Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, for going on the Lou Dobbs show on August 9, and belittling, berating, insulting, mocking, and ridiculing the thousands of good and decent Christians who have signed these petitions. Uncharitably, he snatched these Catholics and Protestants real pain and called them inappropriate names – He called them the ‘piety police’ with ‘little petitions’. He then suggested that Catholics who disagree with Cardinal Dolan giving Obama honor and platform live in a ghetto.
If that were not enough, this man then insulted our intelligence by suggesting that all Cardinal Dolan was doing was sitting down to have a drink with the President. Mr. Donohue, if the Al Smith Dinner were just a drink then why did John Cardinal O’Conner not invite pro-abort Bill Clinton to it in 1996? If the Al Smith Dinner is just a drink then why didn’t Cardinal Egan invite dissenting pro-abort Catholic John Kerry in 2004?
And if that were still not enough, Donohue then insulted our intelligence even further by contrasting the Cardinal’s invitation to Obama with Pope Benedict’s XVI welcoming of Obama and Rep. Nancy Pelosi to the Vatican. Uhm…. Mr. Donohue, last time I checked welcoming a guest to the Vatican is not giving them honor and platform. If Notre Dame was wrong in 2009, then Cardinal Dolan would be wrong if he carries through with this ‘drink’ as you call it. Moreover, it would give the apperance of hypocrisy – of saying one thing, but doing another in the light of the U.S. Bishop’s document ‘Catholics in Political Life’, which reads in part:
“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
Mr. Bill Donohue owes everyone who have signed these petitions and have been praying for Cardinal Dolan to rescind his invitation to the President an apology. Until that happens I don’t see any reason why he should be speaking on the behalf of those he so callously speaks about to the media.