It’s not hard to sell-out one’s values over abortion. The Catholic Church did it when they continued to support Pro-Choice Mayor Bloomberg, Mayor DiBlasio, Obama and Hillary. Tom McArdele wrote:
Sandy Newman, president of Voices for Progress, for instance, emailed Clinton campaign chief John Podesta complaining of the Church’s ban on contraception and hoped for “a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages [sic] dictatorship.”
Podesta replied, “We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this … likewise Catholics United.” Another email found John Halpin of the Center for American Progress mocking the Church’s “severely backwards gender relations” and charging that Church leaders “throw around ‘Thomistic’ thought and ‘subsidiarity’ and sound sophisticated because no one knows what … they’re talking about.”
The two parties’ presidential candidates aren’t the only ones in the spotlight at the Al Smith Dinner whose presence hurts the Catholic Church’s moral authority. In 2012, the master of ceremonies was MSNBC host Chris Matthews, a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and chief of staff to House Speaker Tip O’Neill, both of whom supported abortion rights, O’Neill then being the highest-ranking Catholic in the U.S. government.
It apparently doesn’t matter that Matthews considers the Catholic position on abortion“fascistic.”
The overall message the Al Smith Dinner now sends to Americans, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, is that Catholic teachings on human life and marriage can’t be allowed to muss relations between the Church and an increasingly anti-Catholic state. But in both 1996 and 2004, the abortion-friendly position of first Bill Clinton and then Catholic Democrat nominee John Kerry led to both parties’ candidates not being invited by the Archdiocese of New York.
As praiseworthy as the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation’s work on behalf of poor children continues to be, it may be time for the famed event that raises so much money for that institution to stop breaking bread — permanently — with politicians with whom Catholic Democrat Al Smith himself might well be ashamed to be seen.