“The issue is now quite clear. It is between light and darkness and every one must choose his side.” G. K. Chesterton

Friday, August 10, 2012

7 Quick Takes--Random Thoughts...

--- 1 ---

Most of you have probably heard by now about Cardinal Timothy Dolan's invitation to President Obama and Mitt Romney to attend the annual Al Smith Dinner in October, a few weeks before the attention.  I've heard a lot of criticism of the Cardinal's action in inviting President Obama, some of which boarders on the hysterical.  To hear them talk, Cardinal Dolan has declared his support for the President, same-sex marriage, abortion on demand, and dogs marrying cats.

Now, if you've read me before, you know I'm a rabid Cardinal Dolan fan.  You also know that it really bothers me when laypeople unfairly criticize the hierarchy.  Now I'm not saying Cardinal Dolan is perfect; I'm not even saying I like the decision.  You probably don't.  But I'm not Cardinal Dolan--and neither are you.

We need to remember who Cardinal Dolan is--he is a leader of the Catholic Church here in America.  He is the spiritual leader of New York City's Catholics.  He is an adviser to the Holy Father.  He is one of the most vigorous defenders of the Church we have.  There is no question of his orthodoxy.

We also need to remember what he is not.  He is not a political leader.  Unlike the unfair characterization of the Bishops by the "catholic" Richard Cohen in the Washington Post, the Church is not "the Tea Party at prayer."  The purpose of the Church is to preach the Gospel of Christ and convert the sinner.  As Catholics, we are to hate the sin but love the sinner.  In extending the invitation to the President, Cardinal Dolan is exercising his pastoral office.  I have no doubt that the Cardinal's remarks will be cordial but to the point--and there will be no doubt in anyone's mind that he still does not approve of the President's actions.

One more thing.  In the rhetoric concerning Cardinal Dolan's invitation, I've heard that we are in a "war", and in a war you don't invite your "enemy" to dine with you.  I agree we are in a war, and we have enemies.  But the Catholic Church is not at war with the Obama Administration, the Democratic Party, Planned Parenthood, or George Soros; they are not enemies to be defeated, but souls to be saved.  St. Paul tells us who we are at war with, and who our real enemy is.
For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. (Ephesians 6:12, Douay-Rheims)
--- 2 ---

Speaking of President Obama, yesterday he gave a speech in Colorado, where he gave a spirited defense of the HHS contraception mandate.  Among other things, he said:
When it comes to a woman's right to make her own health care choices, they want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st Century...
This got me thinking....

The 1950s did not have the divorce rate we have now.

The 1950s did not have the rate of illegitimacy we have now.

The 1950s did not have people engaging in cohabitation as we have now.

The 1950s did not have the rate of sexually transmitted diseases we have now.

The 1950s did not see the prevelance of pornography we have now.

So what do we have now that they did not have in the 1950s?

Why, contraception, of course.

So tell me Mr. President, wouldn't women be better off as a country if we did have the policies of the 1950s?

I'm just asking...
--- 3 ---
Most of you probably don't support the President's policies on contraception and abortion.  You may not know anyone who does.  So, you may be wondering about the type of person who does support government funded contraception.  Well, here is a video from Revealing Politics of some Obama supporters outside his speech in Colorado.

These people need our pity, and our prayers.
--- 4 ---
Someone else who needs our prayers is our wayward Catholic sister, Nancy Pelosi.  Sure, she's a militantly pro-abortion Congresswoman who believes she knows more about church teachings than the Magisterium.

But now she believes she's in communication with the dead.
In the [YouTube] video Pelosi says [during a meeting at the White House after she became Speaker of the House], “He’s (Bush) saying something to the effect of we’re so glad to welcome you here, congratulations and I know you’ll probably have some different things to say about what is going on--which is correct. But, as he was saying this, he was fading and this other thing was happening to me."
“My chair was getting crowded in," said Pelosi. "I swear this happened, never happened before, it never happened since."
"My chair was getting crowded in and I couldn’t figure out what it was, it was like this," she said.
"And then I realized Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, you name it, they were all in that chair, they were," said Pelosi. "More than I named and I could hear them say: 'At last we have a seat at the table.' And then they were gone."
I wonder if Anthony or Stanton happened to question her position on abortion?

--- 5 ---

Speaking of Cardinal Dolan.  He gave the States Dinner Address before the 130th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus on Tuesday night. His theme was "The Witness of Marriage."  I've tried to find a video, but haven't been able to.  You can read the text of the entire speech here. Just to give you a taste, here's a quote:
"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.
As a member of the Knights, I am proud of the role our order and it's Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson, have played in supporting the Church in America.
--- 6 ---

If Cardinal Dolan is my favorite Catholic New Yorker, Frank Reagan and his family are my second favorites.  I am speaking of course of the Police Commissioner character played by Tom Selleck in the police drama Blue Bloods , the head of the multigeneration New York Irish Catholic police family.  If you've never seen it, you are missing one of the most family friendly and positive portrayals of the Catholic Church in the media today.  The writer/creator of the show, Siobhan Byrne O'Connor, is a serious Catholic as this interview with National Catholic Reporter reveals.

We rightly criticize the secularist media when the Church is misrepresented or shown in a bad light in television or movies.  When one comes along that shows us positively, I believe we are morally obligated to support that show by watching it, purchasing the DVDs, and patronizing its advertisers.

--- 7 ---
Finally, I ran across this poster of the Holy Father.  I just LOVE it!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. We need to encourage other male bloggers to to 7QT!

  2. I LOVE your number 1. I think the same thing. If Cardinal Dolan came into my house and started telling me how to organize my closets, what to make for dinner, how to clean the floor, and otherwise how to run my home, I'd show him the door! No offense Cardinal, but it's not your domain. Well, the same is true of us second-guessing everything the man does.

    I also really like your #7.

    1. Sarah, thanks for your comment. Second-guessing is too frequent today; it's a waste of time and energy. I for one, as a husband and father of 3 late teen/early twenties children, have too little of either!