Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

8/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

He is a happy warrior. He is also unafraid to speak the full truth in any venue. He knows that no-one is beyond conversion. Not even U.S. Presidents.

Some within the Catholic blogosphere and on social networks are responding to the news of the two speakers at the annual Al Smith Dinner on October 18th with some rather uncharitable words. We will not join them.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Mitt Romney, President Obama, Al Smith Dinner, Knights of Columbus,


NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) - Some within the Catholic blogosphere and on social networks are responding to the news of the two speakers at the annual Al Smith Dinner on October 18th with some rather uncharitable words. I will not join them.

The spokesman for the Archdiocese, Joseph Zwilling explained "It is the tradition of the Smith dinner to invite the presidential candidates in the presidential election years in the spirit of nonpartisanship, good humor and good fellowship."

Anyone who wants to read about the private Foundation behind the dinner, its purpose and the past invitees can go to their website here. You can also read the history of the invitations to the event.

What is disheartening to me are some denigrating comments directed toward the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan. This man is a champion of the Church, a light in an otherwise dark moment in our Nation. All you have to do is go to the Diocesan website or his wonderful blog to read his crystal clear and always uncompromising defense of the full teaching of the Catholic Church.

You see his holiness and living faith displayed in his apostolic work and inspiring leadership of the Church. The lawsuit the Archdiocese filed against the Obama administration  - as well as his letters to the same administration defending life, religious liberty and marriage - bear witness to his courage.

We choose instead to call attention to the Cardinal's continuing defense of marriage as displayed in his States Dinner Address at at the 130th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus on Tuesday, August 7, 2012. It can be read in its entirety here. 

Below is an excerpt

*****
"Usually, at this State's Dinner, thousands of our knights look up in admiration to this dais, the head table, to this "crimson tide" of bishops and cardinals. Tonight, I'm going to literally "turn the tables" as we up here look out with awe, admiration, and deep appreciation upon you, our knights and their wives, united in marriage.

"For this evening, I want to salute marriage. . . and it would be tough to find anyone who has done more to defend, strengthen, and promote marriage than you, Knights of Columbus, and your cherished wives and families. In fact, as you are aware, one of the driving motives of the Venerable Father Michael McGivney in founding the Knights was to assist men better fulfill their vocation as husbands and dads."

"We Catholics are hopeless romantics, you know, when it comes to married love . . .Against all odds, we still believe that, when a man and woman vow that they'll love and honor each other, "for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do us part," they really do mean it;"

"We still hold fast to the teaching of the Bible that God so esteems marriage that He compared His personal, passionate, eternal love for Israel to that between a husband and a wife; that Saint Paul tells us that the love of Jesus for us, His Church, is just like that of a groom for His bride;"

"We still have in our gut the Church's timeless "Valentine's Day card," that the love between a husband and a wife has the same characteristics as does that of God for us: it is faithful; it is forever; it brings about new life in children."

"We are such hopeless romantics that we contend the best way to get a hint of how God loves us now, and in eternity, is to look at how you, married couples, love one another. "The love of a man and woman is made holy in the sacrament of marriage, and becomes the mirror of your everlasting love . . . ," chants the Preface in the Nuptial Mass."

"You see why we, mostly celibates up here, look out upon you married couples with awe? We gaze out now at thousands of icons, reflections, mirrors of the way God loves us. Now, you are, we are, the first to acknowledge that this romantic, poetic, lofty, divine lustre of marriage can at times be tarnished a bit in the day-in-day-out challenges of lifelong, life-giving, faithful love."

For example, I recently had the golden jubilee of a wonderful couple I've known for decades. "What's the secret to the success of your fifty years of marriage? I asked Pat. "Well, you know Eileen and I are both of Irish background, so, for our 25th anniversary, I took her back to Ireland."

"Pat, how thoughtful," I remarked. "Yeah and then, for our 50th, I went back to get her! There's the key to our success!"

"Tension, trial, temptation, turmoil - - they come indeed, but - - just as Jesus worked His first miracle, at the request of His blessed Mother, for a newly married couple at Cana by turning water into wine - - so does Jesus transform those choppy waters of tension, trial, temptation, and turmoil, into a vintage wine of tried-and-true-trust in marriage."

"So, brother knights and wives, I thank you for being such metaphors of God's love; and I exhort you, please, to continue, now, more than ever, to be so. Why, now more than ever! Let me give you a few reasons."

"When I was Archbishop of Milwaukee, at an archdiocesan pastoral council meeting, we were discussing ways to increase vocations to the priesthood and consecrated religious life . . . yet another project, by the way, you Knights have vigorously promoted."

"Well, Jan Ruidl, one of the members, commented: "Archbishop Dolan, in talking about an increase in vocations for priests, sisters, and brothers, I think you're barking-up-the-wrong-tree!" Uh-oh, here it comes, I thought, buckling my bullet-proof vest, figuring Jan would begin arguing for an end to celibacy or to the male-only-priesthood. But Jan continued: "The greatest vocation crisis today is to lifelong, loving, faithful, life-giving marriage. You take care of that one, and you'll have all the priests and sisters you need!"

Well-said, Jan!

"For an increase in vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, and the Sacrament of Marriage" should perhaps become the new phrasing for a prayer of the faithful at every Mass, as we are sobered by the gloomy statistics that only 51% of our young people are approaching that sacrament, a piece of data you all somberly see verified even among your own children and grandchildren."

"A vocation crisis in the call to the Sacrament of Matrimony . . . reason #1 for this sense of urgency regarding marriage I speak to you about this evening.

"Reason #2: the very definition of marriage as a lifelong, life giving, faithful union of one man and one woman is in peril, with a well-choreographed, well-oiled crusade to conform marriage to the whims of the day instead of conforming our urges to God's design, as revealed in the Bible, nature, and reflective reason. Once again, a tip of our zucchetto to you knights who have been indefatigable in defending marriage."

"And, a final fact that prompts us to a sense of renewed promotion of marriage? Its singularly pivotal, irreplaceable role in what the modern Popes have called the civilization of love, a topic eloquently written about by our own Supreme Knight in his book by that very title."

"See, it's not just saints, pontiffs, or theologians who predicate marriage and family as the central, love-promoting cell of the human project, but historians, sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists. They demonstrate that, when the normative relationship for a man and woman's existence is that of a husband, wife, father, and mother, well, then, home, industry, finance, culture, society, and governing structures are more easily directed to virtue, responsibility, and the restraining of the primitive lust and selfishness that destroy civilization. Ask, for instance, Edward Gibbon, the author of The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, what happens when a culture loses this focus."

"The most effective guarantee of a civilization of love rather than the survival of the fittest; the culture of life over the culture of death; the law of the gift rather than the law of the "get", solidarity rather than selfishness, is precisely the preservation of traditional marriage and family. When that goes, we all go."

*****

This is vintage Cardinal Dolan - a profound, dynamically orthodox message reflecting the uncompromised teaching of the Church - delivered in an accessible manner with humor, warmth and plenty of anecdotes. He is a happy warrior. He is also unafraid to speak the full truth in any venue. He knows that no-one is beyond conversion. Not even U.S. Presidents.

I suggest that the few using the blogosphere and social media for criticism take the energy used to speculate about the Cardinals motives in allowing both Presidential candidates to speak at this banquet and direct it instead toward more prayer for his vital apostolic work.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Sudanese woman previously sentenced to death arrives in United States Watch

Image of Greeted by her husband and two young children at a large crowd of supporters at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire, Mariam Ibrahim declined comment to the media.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mariam Ibrahim from Sudan, at one time sentenced to die for her Christian faith has since arrived at her new home in the United States. Her plight was of grave international concern. Greeted by her husband and two young children at a large crowd of supporters ... continue reading


'We are coming for you!' American Islamic jihadist suicide bomber gleefully shouts to Americans on chilling final video Watch

Image of American terrorist Moner Mohammed Abu-Salha smiled and talked about dying and going to paradise.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new video shows an American smiling as he prepares to kill himself and dozens of others in a suicide bombing. In the video, made just before his death, Moner Mohammed Abu-Salha, 22, ripped, chewed, and burned his American passport before climbing into an ... continue reading


Bridget of Sweden, Marriage and Family, and the Need for Canonized Married Saints Watch

Image of St Bridget of Sweden, her husband Ulf, and all the modern Popes call Christian married couples to become the 'Sweet and Smiling Face of the Church' in this age. This is an age which is desperately in need of all kinds of saints. I suggest we particularly need examples of married, canonized Saints. That is precisely because this is an age where faithful marriage is now counter-cultural. We need examples of men and women who not only embraced it in Christ, but lived it as a but a path to heroic virtue.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The clear teaching of the Bible, the Christian tradition and the re-emphasis of the last Council in the Catholic Church, the Second Vatican Council, make clear - we are ALL called to holiness in life. That  is what the Catholic Church regularly refers to as ... continue reading


GOBBLING UP RESOURCES: Fastest part of U.S. population is immigrants, gobbling up national resources Watch

Image of A new report from the group warns that continued population growth could top a worldwide 10 billion by 2100. The report, entitled

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Most of the United States' population growth is from immigrants - who are consuming resources dangerously fast. Those are the finding of the group called Negative Population Growth Inc. Furthermore, 80 percent of the growth in U.S. population comes from ... continue reading


Malinformed much? Ninety percent of your information now comes from just 6 media sources Watch

Image of Small media outlets are consumed by the large, limiting the variety of expression.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Have you ever tried to describe something, but lacked the vocabulary to do it? This is the concept behind Newspeak, a fictional language in George Orwell's 1984. Orwell proposed that by limiting expression, thought itself could be limited. Today, as media companies ... continue reading


Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage struck down Watch

Image of The Virginia case, Bostic v. Rainey, was brought by two same-sex couples. Fourteen thousand gay couples also were certified as a class for the suit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a dramatic reversal of a voter-based 2006 decision, U.S. appeals court this week struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, the latest in a string of court rulings to back gay marriage. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit ... continue reading


Archbishop Chaput Speaks at the Napa Institute Conference on Pope Francis and Economic Justice

Image of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is one of the preeminent Churchmen of our age. He offers a prophetic voice for this important time. He not only grasps and articulates Catholic Social Doctrine well, he also understands the real treasure we have been given in this Pope who took the name Francis. I believe that his insights into Pope Francis need to be read by as many people as possible.

By Catholic Online

In matters of economic justice, Francis' concerns are the same as Benedict's and John Paul II's and Pius XI's and Leo XIII's. He understands economic matters through the lens of Church teaching in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Like his ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Obama demands that illegals be allowed to enter U.S. Watch

Image of Tens of thousands of illegal, unaccompanied minors have flooded into the United States since 2014 began, often escaping violence in war torn Central American countries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's administration is considering whether or not it will allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras and other war-torn Central American states to enter into the United States illegally and without crossing into the country ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 26:1-9
1 At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:6, 8-10, 14
6 Those who hope in you must not be made fools of, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:54-58
54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 1st, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
August 1: Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter