Now, the parallel magisterium at LifeSiteNews has Cardinal Timothy Dolan in their crosshairs. His sin? Going ahead with the annual Al Smith Dinner that has a tradition of inviting both presidential candidates to a fundraising dinner for Catholic Charities.
Of course, the people at LifeSiteNews, and the usual suspects they quote – Deal Hudson, Michael Hichborn – are not concerned about the scandal of inviting a man who signed a health care overhaul that explicitly provided for taxpayer funded abortions. That man would be Mitt Romney. No, this crowd is furious that President Barack Obama will be invited. They cite a line from a USCCB text about not bestowing honors on those who disagree with Church teaching, but as the document in question is entitled “Catholics in Public Life” it is difficult to see how that applies easily to Mr. Romney or Mr. Obama, neither of whom are Catholic.
It is also curious that LifeSiteNews characterizes the “Fortnight for Freedom” as a response to the HHS mandate. I think the bishops, most of them at least, were at some pains to point out that while the HHS mandate was the most immediate area of concern, the issue of religious liberty is broader, encompassing concerns about anti-immigrant laws in Alabama and Arizona, to say nothing of Justice Antonin Scalia’s decision in Employment Division v. Smith.
It should not surprise that groups like LifeSiteNews and the American Life League will now turn their ire on Dolan. Previously, they criticized Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley for presiding at the funeral of Sen. Edward Kennedy. Actually, “criticized” is a bit too gentle a word to describe what was said about Cardinal O’Malley. Judie Brown said he was “spitting on Christ.” I do not know if Ms. Brown is an expert on spitting. She is no expert on Christ. Nor is she or Hudson or the “reporters” at LifeSiteNews very expert on pro-life matters. To suggest that either cardinal O’Malley or Cardinal Dolan are somehow insufficiently pro-life is so absurd, I don’t know how to respond. It is as ridiculous as suggesting that Catholic Relief Services or the Catholic Campaign for Human Development are secretly abetting abortion. Oops! They have gone there and done that too.
As I say, this crowd views themselves as a parallel magisterium, so I suppose they think they can say whatever they want. But, they demean the pro-life cause, and the witness of the Church more generally, by these ridiculous and mean-spirited attacks on cardinals, on CRS, on CCHD.