In Praise of the Happy Warrior and Defender of Life, Marriage and Freedom, Timothy Cardinal Dolan
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.
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, ...
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