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Obama to speak at annual Al Smith dinner

August 01, 2012

President Barack Obama has accepted an invitation from New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan to speak at the annual Al Smith dinner, LifeSite news reports.

The Al Smith dinner, an annual fundraiser, is traditionally a light-hearted affair, and the archdiocese has always invited both incumbent presidents and their major-party challengers during election years. However the invitation to Obama raises eyebrows because of the bishops' heated protests against White House policies regarding religious liberty.

Meghan Myers, the executive director of the Al Smith dinner, told LifeSite news that Cardinal Dolan extended the invitation to Obama. A spokesman for the New York archdiocese said that he was unaware of the invitation.


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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Aug. 02, 2012 12:03 PM ET USA

    Jesus indeed made Judas welcome at Table, but He was certainly not naïve regarding the possibility of betrayal and cruxifiction. Let us hope that the good Cardinal is aware of that path.

  • Posted by: bnewman - Aug. 02, 2012 11:24 AM ET USA

    ""A spokesman for the New York archdiocese said that he was unaware of the invitation."" This a quote from the above and the answer to it is important. If the Archbishop is truly unaware then some bureaucrat might be trying to force his hand. If the archbishop actually knows and approves then I would trust his judgement. Otherwise I would love to see him cancel it, "with fanfare," to show how seriously he takes the present church-state crisis.

  • Posted by: impossible - Aug. 02, 2012 7:59 AM ET USA

    I don't think this is what Jesus meant by "Turning the other cheek."

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Aug. 01, 2012 9:03 PM ET USA

    I am simply stunned. Are Cardinal Dolan and other Catholic 'leaders' really going to sit down with those promoting abortion and feast on all that food (with so many hungry and homeless people outside) and enjoy an evening of humour while precious babies with immortal souls are losing their lives to abortion.? I pray not. This is beyond scandal. It won't be enough to disinvite anyone; the entire event should simply be cancelled.

  • Posted by: jimr451 - Aug. 01, 2012 8:31 PM ET USA

    I have to think the Cardinal has something up his sleeve. I can't believe he'd give Obama a platform like this unless he knows something that we don't know. Very interesting.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2012 6:28 PM ET USA

    Just because they have always invited the current president does not mean that it is wise or prudent to do it this time.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Aug. 01, 2012 6:19 PM ET USA

    The only possible way to redeem this stupidity is to pull the invitation, and to do it publicly. Obama has shown himself an enemy of religious freedom, the Catholic Church, and religion in general.

  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 01, 2012 12:23 PM ET USA

    There is precedence for not inviting candidates to the dinner (Clinton and Kerry were not), so the cardinal doesn't think Obama is in, at least, the same category? Really? Why hasn’t Cardinal Dolan done anything about Christine Quinn, the mayor-apparent of NYC? She, as has Pelosi, says it’s her Church, despite marrying her lesbian lover recently (with Mario Cuomo in attendance). What of the "gay-friendly" churches in NYC? It seems the cardinal only talks a good game....

  • Posted by: rpp - Aug. 01, 2012 12:21 PM ET USA

    I think it would be appropriate for the good Cardinal to rescind the invitation. I believe it is inappropriate for a promoter of abortion, and principal promoter of terminating religious freedom in this country to be recognized in any capacity by any Catholic or Christian organization.