To get around the potential problem of having to invite or snub one of the presidential candidates for the annual Al Smith dinner, Cardinal Egan of New York decided not to invite either one of them. The problem is that John Kerry is a pro-abortion Catholic and it would not do to endorse in some way by inviting him to a Catholic charitable dinner. But we can’t appear to be partisan, so we can’t invite his opponent either. Don’t want to rile up all those chancery Democrats.
But in order not to completely lose face, we’ll invite the president’s father, a former president himself, and another prominent Democrat (who may or may not be pro-abortion; I don’t know him.)
Here’s what the official archdiocesan spokesman says:
“The tradition of the Smith dinner is to bring people together,” Zwilling said in a statement. “Given that issues in this year’s campaign could provoke divisiveness and disagreement and could detract from that spirit, it was felt best to proceed in a different direction while maintaining all of the ideals and values of the dinner.”
God forbid that we should provoke divisiveness and disagreement over abortion. Instead, it’s most important that we all look like we get along.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt 10:34)