More pro-life groups are weighing in with opposition to the Archdiocese of New York inviting pro-abortion President Barack Obama to attend the annual Al Smith Catholic Charities dinner this October.
Human Life International President Father Shenan J. Boquet chimed in, with comments to LifeNews:
“As faithful Catholics, we cannot set aside our deeply-held differences and put in any place of honor those who continuously attack the tenants of our faith, and even our very ability to practice that faith. We cannot pretend for one moment that such an honor at any function promoting the work of the Church doesn’t give legitimacy to their position while harming the Catholic Church’s image and the perceptions of those looking for guidance from our bishops and Church leaders.
“The Catholic Church in the United States is facing greater persecution from our government than at any time in recent history. Political figures who actively seek to undermine the Catholic Church, especially in her work to protect life, promote family values, and to freely live our faith, should not be afforded a public platform by Catholic organizations, foundations, charities, events, etc., even if that’s not the intention. The need to show unwavering commitment to the Church’s teaching is greatly needed and must be safeguarded so as not to cause confusion, a potential scandal, or give any semblance of support or endorsement.”
Judie Brown, president of American Life League, issued the following statement to LifeNews:
Why is a renowned Catholic charity hosting Obama in a year when he has clearly made God, the Church and his people targets? What is the message to Catholics in particular and Americans in general? The stakes are high, and surely this is not the time for confusion in perception.
This invitation gives the appearance of camaraderie with a president whose actions and policies are no less hostile than Roman Emperor Decius who tried to root out the Christian religion by issuing an edict ordering all citizens to worship the state gods or face dire consequences.
We cannot fight the good fight for religious freedom on one hand, and then laugh and break bread on the other with the enemy because it is political tradition or socially convenient. We were taught in church that we are under moral obligation to voice our discontent when acts conflict with our teachings.
As such, we urge all Catholics to voice their outrage by putting the “No Dinner for Obama” appeal card in their collection baskets. Send a clear message to President Obama and Cardinal Dolan- this is not business as usual. Religious freedom has to be respected. We, the Church body, say- No Dinner for Obama.
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The Archdiocese has responded to the criticism, with one blogger who works for it saying the invitation was extended to both of the presidential candidates and does not constitute an endorsement of Obama’s abortion views.