Um, Cardinal Dolan, You Know What You’re Doing, Right?

10 Aug

at Catholic Online

Dear Cardinal Dolan,

Well, you’ve had an interesting week, haven’t you? I thought rather than talking about you I’d talk to you. Who am I? Nobody special, just a daughter of the Church. Just an Army wife, a homeschooling mom raising three kids, and an American citizen who’s very worried about her country.

You, on the other hand, are a breath of fresh air for the Church in America. You are the embodiment of the courage, enthusiasm, joy, and faith we need now more than ever. Your election to the head of the Bishop’s conference was music to my ears. It gave me great hope in many ways. God has not forsaken us here in the U.S.A., even though we’ve forsaken Him. He has given us you in this critical hour. I know I’m not alone here — any Catholic who’s paying any attention at all is grateful for all you’ve done.

I want to thank you for the leadership you’ve provided. I want to thank you for having a spine. Thank you for your forthrightness and fidelity. Thank you for fighting and defending and teaching and admonishing and for doing it all with your unbeatable smile. You’re a big bear — part teddy and part grizzly. It’s exactly what we need, so don’t ever change.

When this story of the Al Smith Catholic charities dinner first came to light my first thought was that the reporter had his facts messed up. I thought, “There’s no way Cardinal Dolan invited him!” Then came some disbelief, then an out loud, “What?!?” when I learned it was true.

The firing squad quickly took aim at you, and the Catholic blogosphere was soon crackling with a lot of angry Catholics who could not fathom why our Church leaders were inviting the worst President in history to dinner.

In my own small circle, I tried to encourage folks to take a deep breath and not rush to join in the condemnation. Cardinal Dolan, I said, has never given us a reason to doubt his strength or his loyalty. Let’s give this a chance and see what comes of it.

But I have to admit, I’m not crazy about it either  The whole thing makes me nervous, to say the least.

The man sitting in the White House does not behave like a President, so I won’t call him that. He wants to be king, and he acts like a tyrant, so from now on, I will refer to him as the tyrantking. He is the enemy of life and freedom in America. I don’t think anyone can dispute that assessment. I think he is a wolf who barely bothers to put his wool on anymore.

He is the enemy of Catholicism, as far as I’m concerned. He uses the Church to cover his behind and give his evil policies some sort of legitimacy, thanks to apostates like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Kathleen Sebelius, and thanks to the inexplicable Fr. John Jenkins. (Why is he still the president of a Catholic university, by the way??)

After this last year and the all-out assault he has waged on religious freedom and the child in the womb; after his pathetic and manufactured “war on women” that revolves around contraception; and after all you have said and done to stand up to him and lead the Church in the battle to defend what is right, why why why do we have to invite the guy to dinner for drinks and a few laughs??

As of this moment, Catholics in America must decide whether to violate Church teaching and their own conscience, or whether to disobey the HHS mandate and risk their business and livelihood. The war is ON, and we’re gonna tell jokes and have a good time with the tyrant behind the oppression?  Seriously?

Your Eminence, please tell me you have an ace up your sleeve. Please tell me there’s more to this that the rest of us just don’t know about yet. Please tell me you haven’t taken leave of your good senses.

In my head, the conversation is going something like this:
Cardinal Dolan is no idiot. True. This ain’t his first rodeo. True again. He’s certainly no Obama sycophant. Very true. He must have a good reason for doing this. I sure hope so. But c’mon, really? Are we suddenly no longer fighting for our lives against this guy and his evil policies?  Exactly…  This will end badly with one opportune photo, and Obama will milk it for all it’s worth right through the election. Yep. Okay Jesus, I trust in You. Please prove me wrong about this.

I’m waiting anxiously to hear what your thoughts are about this whole mess. Please reassure your worried sheep that you’ve looked at this from all sides and all is well.

I beg you, please promise me that you won’t gift the tyrantking two weeks before the election with a snazzy picture of you with your gregarious smile and him with his cocky grin. You know that’s what he wants — a snapshot to tell the country, “See? I love the Church and they love me! There’s no problem here! Vote for me!”

Your Eminence, we all know the stakes could not be higher this November. The last thing we need is to allow any confusion at all about the reality of what the tyrantking is doing to annihilate religious freedom in America. Now is definitely not the time to muddy the message about the Church’s opposition and resistance to his mandates and his abortion-obsessed agenda. The hidden blessing in all that Obama has done so far is that it has ignited Catholics and other people of faith and brought a unity that wasn’t there before. We can’t afford to squander that now. But surely no one knows that better than you.

You are the Cardinal, not me (obviously). You’re not where you are by accident or stroke of luck, but by the design of our mighty and loving God. I respect your authority, and even though I don’t see how this will end well, I choose to believe the best of you and your decision.

I will be praying that God gives you keen insight and wisdom, as well as courage to fight the good fight. I will trust the Holy Spirit to guide you and use you for the glory of God and the good of His Church.

And if a few sheep like me bleat on and on about what a colossal mistake it could be, well, pray for us . I, for one, will be delighted to admit I was worried for nothing.

I’m sure that’s the big difference between you and me. You’re a shepherd. Your job is to seek lost sheep and lead them home. Maybe your heart’s desire in all of this is a chance to try once more to get a certain very lost sheep to follow a different road. Most days it’s all I can do to just wish him well and want him gone from the White House. This “love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you” stuff is crazy, you know?

Maybe you are, too. Crazy like a fox. I guess we’ll find out.

In the meantime, lead the way, Smiling Cardinal. I’m still with you.  With respect and gratitude.


Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


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12 responses to “Um, Cardinal Dolan, You Know What You’re Doing, Right?

  1. Catholic Defender

    September 6, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    Thank you very much for your splendid articles. Genius and well articulated. I agree on all what you’ve said about Cardinal Dolan. He’s the nemesis for the evil tyrant residing at the White House. I am not an American but I would like to join those opposing voices against the evil Obama and his mandate which he wants to be globally accepted. We are not subjects of Obama that he is sending his lesbians and gay, anti-life ambassadors to many parts of the world (though I’m not a homophobic). We Christians in Asia are under Obama. WE have our deep values that are totally different from the “values” Obama is trying to induce in our minds. God bless America. God bless the World.

  2. Joseph

    August 19, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    I respect you. I say no to fanatism.

  3. James

    August 16, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    It was once said “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”. I trust Cardinal Dolan had this in mind by inviting President Obama. Jesus Christ never had a problem confronting his opponents and since he leads us by example, it does not surprise me the Cardinal did the same. The term tyrantking for President Obama is most inappropriate. If you believe in his policies or not he was still voted in as President of these United States and should be shown the respect of his office.

    • catholicmoxie

      August 17, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      James, it’s my opinion that Obama has forfeited the “respect of his office”. Never have we seen an official more obsessed with abortion in our country. There is nothing respectable about that. He does not lead; he issues mandates and edicts. He doesn’t want to be the President of a free republic; he wants to be king of his own domain. He circumvents and outright ignores the law any time it suits him. These are not the actions of a President. They are the actions of a tyrantking.

  4. John Calabro, MD

    August 16, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Today’s gospel points out the importance of forgiving one another. Perhaps our best course of action would be to forgive Mr Obama for all he has done to us, and help him to reform his life by giving him a sound and unmistakable defeat in the November election, so that he may be less tempted and less able to repeat or extend his immoral and evil actions.

  5. Jim Conrad

    August 16, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Jennifer and all,
    I am with you in what seems to be a mind-boggling decision by Cardinal Dolan, but he is a warrior for Christ, for our Catholic faith, and has ignited his fellow Bishops and Cardinals to really get into the war effort on all the spiritual battles we are engaged in. He is a bold leader and shepherd and just as the HHS mandate has seriously helped to wake up Catholics and unite them, I believe God will make good out of what appears bad. Cardinal Dolan is no fool, he is dumb like a fox and strong like a lion. Trust him! Trust Jesus Christ! Trust the Holy Spirit. And, continue to pray and fast for ousting Obama our of office as well as his leftist party members, and continue to pray and fast for God’s forgiveness that our apathy has brought this on ourselves.
    Your brother in Christ,
    Jim Conrad

  6. Rob

    August 15, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Does Matt. 9:9-13 ring a bell?

  7. Gracie Guillotte

    August 15, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    I, too, felt such shock, anger and disappointment upon hearing that Obama was invited by Cardinal Dolan. It doesn’t take much these days to scatter the sheep and create another controversy in the Catholic Church and when Cardinal Dolan stood up to Obama against the HHS mandate, I was suddenly very proud! But, this situation just undid all the motivation and unity he was leading us toward….then, I came across his blog and his answer yesterday about extending the invitation. I now have a better sense of where he’s coming from although i must say, I still don’t like Obama being anywhere near our Catholic celebrations, etc. Maybe, this needs to be shared around so Catholics can try to understand why he allowed it.

  8. John Calabro, MD

    August 10, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Dear Jennifer, I love your articles on Catholic Online, and was very happy to find the link to your blog so I could leave a comment for you. I think you are right on the money, as usual. I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will use this opportunity for good. The good Cardinal is a very smart man, and although he sometimes seems to be too kind to the bad guys, I believe he knows what he is doing. (I never call Obama a president either, because he isn’t one.) God Bless you!

  9. charles w watson

    August 10, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Mrs. Hartline: Obama and his associates,Planned Parenthood,NARL,Campaign for Human Rights.
    Lambda,members of his cabinet,high placed members in the government,several
    on the supreme court,CBS,NBC,MSNBC,CNN,Hearst eEnterprises,NYTIMES,
    Chicago Tribune,LA TIMES,many others in the electronic and print media are
    are enemies of Catholicism .I now doubt that Cardinal Dolan has the guts to
    face off with these enemies like our Savior did with the Pharaises Give them
    no quarter much less eat and drink with them.Wrong decision by the Cardinal!

    Charles W Watson

    • catholicmoxie

      August 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      Let’s pour our energies into praying for Cardinal Dolan instead of skewering him. He’s no coward. Let’s have faith and cover our Church leaders with our prayers.

  10. Carolee Gifford

    August 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    I trust Cardinal Dolan — I am sure the invitation took the tyrantking by surprise.


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