The American Life League has written an open letter to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the highest ranking Roman Catholic Archbishop in the United States, asking him to withdraw his invitation to President Barack Obama to the Alfred E. Smith dinner, and has warned Catholics not to be duped into voting for Obama again.
"I believe Mr. Obama sees the 2012 Al Smith dinner as an opportunity to, once again, use his wiles to entice the Catholics in America to "trust" him -- a trust that he has betrayed time and time again," said Judie Brown, president of American Life League in a statement.
Brown explained in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Thursday that the main reason why Catholics are as ambivalent about politicians as they are, including Obama, is because the average Catholic in today's culture does not even realize that abortion is a sin against God. "They need to realize that there are fundamental differences between individuals running for congress, and they should first put the Catholic teachings of the Church foremost in their mind before deciding on who to vote," the ALL president said to CP.
ALL reminds that in the 2008 Presidential elections, President Obama managed to capture 54 percent of the Catholic vote, despite his public support of abortion and contraception. The organization claims that Obama has been able to rally Catholic support by using the tactics of a shrewd politician, and ALL is now concerned that speaking at this year's event may give him the platform to again gain support of Catholics.
The Alfred E. Smith dinner event is scheduled for Oct. 18, 2012 in New York, and will feature both presidential candidates as keynote speakers. The dinner stands in honor of Alfred E. Smith, the 42nd Governor of New York who is also known as the first-ever Roman Catholic presidential candidate. Over the course of the past 60 years, both presidential candidates have traditionally been invited to the dinner. Brown noted that the main purpose of the event is to raise awareness for various Catholic charities and to raise money.
Obama, who spoke at the 63rd Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in 2008, has been invited to speak again by Cardinal Dolan – but the Life League are calling for the archbishop to reconsider his decision based on Obama's policies this past year that have threatened core Catholic beliefs.
Obama's Health and Human Services' contraceptives mandate, signed earlier this year, threatens to force all Catholic institutions to provide insurance coverage that includes contraceptives.
"Obama came across as this very appealing, charismatic fellow – Catholics had no problem voting for him, and the Bishops didn't do anything about it," Brown continued about Obama's last address at the dinner.
"You and the bishops of the Church have convinced us over the last several months that the future of the Catholic Church in America is hanging in the balance. We MUST oppose the contraceptive mandate and all of the other affronts the current administration is throwing at us," Brown's letter to Dolan adds.
Brown suggested to CP that as soon as the dinner is over, there will be front page pictures of Obama with the Cardinal across the country's news publications.
"And Catholics will think 'Oh – well if he is good enough for Cardinal Dolan to break bread with, then why shouldn't I vote for him.' That is going to cause tremendous confusion and scandal," she warned.
The ALL president has urged Dolan to make a strong statement for Catholic principles by focusing the dinner on the poor and those that need help, rather than the presidential candidates.
"I honestly believe that if the Cardinal put his foot down and said 'neither one of you will be invited – I am going to bring in the poor from the city streets of New York instead, that will send such a glorious message to Catholics that they would not vote for Obama – then they would understand," Brown remarked.
The letter concludes that in the past four years President Obama has done everything in his power to undermine the teachings of the Catholic Church: "As you know, he is implementing programs and policies that may soon make it necessary for the Church to repudiate our basic beliefs or close down all of our charitable and educational organizations."
The American Life League, founded in 1979 by Brown, describes itself as the largest grassroots Catholic Pro-Life organization in America.