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American Life League Hails Vatican Call for Church Leadership to Adhere to Catholic Teachings in all Circumstances

Washington, D.C. – Catholic News Service reports on Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s homily on theological, spiritual, and practical leadership and responsibilities at the annual 10-day seminar for 95 new bishops. In response, Judie Brown, president of American Life League, issued the following statement:

We applaud Cardinal Bertone for his brave and candid exhortation to bishops to remain firm in their fidelity to the Gospel and Church teachings by not living “according to the criteria of the world and the fashion of the moment.” Furthermore, Cardinal Bertone stated, “If people criticize us because we are not faithfully living our vocation and our mission, certainly we must examine ourselves and change.”

We realize that in certain circumstances, such as the one confronting Cardinal Timothy Dolan at the upcoming Al Smith Dinner, it is difficult to ignore the criteria of the world and do that which is unpopular. However, there are times when such action is called for no matter what the negative response from the world may be.

We have asked Cardinal Dolan to disinvite President Barack Obama as keynote speaker at this prominent Catholic roast and dinner that takes place only weeks before the election. The entire purpose for our NO DINNER FOR OBAMA campaign is predicated neither on our desire for media coverage nor on a tactic to embarrass a prince of the Church. Rather, we exhort Cardinal Dolan to avoid mixed messages to the faithful by joking it up with the very man who is working so diligently against the Church.

Cardinal John O’Connor did not invite William Jefferson Clinton to the 1996 Al Smith dinner because of his pro-abortion position. Cardinal Edward Egan asked John Kerry not to attend the 2004 event for the same reason. Obama is more militantly pro-abortion than either.

Thus, we respectfully ask Cardinal Dolan to rescind the invitation of scandal to dinner.

American Life League, cofounded by Judie Brown in 1979, is the oldest national Catholic pro-life education and advocacy organization in the United States. For more information, please visit