Magazine article The Human Life Review

About This Issue. .

Magazine article The Human Life Review

About This Issue. .

Article excerpt

. . . as I write debate continues over Cardinal Timothy Dolan's decision to invite Barack Obama to this year's Al Smith dinner. I say "decision" because given the two precedents for not asking the presidential candidates to dine in an election year - Cardinal O'Connor snubbed Bill Clinton in 1996; Cardinal Egan John Kerry in 2004 - it's hard to believe that New York's Archbishop, who is also president of the Bishops Conference, didn't at least consider snubbing Obama. As it happens, George McKenna, in "Sleeping with the Enemy?" (page 12), has interesting - and timely - things to say on the subject of how the Catholic clerical class has interacted with the political class over the last several decades. "It turns out," he observes (with echoes of Ronald Reagan), "that a government big enough to enact social programs favored by the Catholic church is big enough to openly war against centuries of Church teaching."

As also happens, the Human Life Foundation will host its Great Defender of Life dinner on the same evening as the Al Smith affair. James L. Buckley, this year's honoree - along with the law-student group Advocates for Life - alludes in "Sound Doctrine Revisited" (From the Archives, page 25) to a concern many of those who don't want to see Obama feted at a Catholic event raise: that it will receive distorted press coverage. "I know of few policy initiatives," Buckley wrote back in 1985 about the much maligned Mexico City policy, "that have been so poorly reported as the U.S. position and its reception at the population conference. …

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