NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - New York's Cdl. Timothy Dolan rubbed shoulders and traded jokes with pro-abortion Democrats at a fundraiser Tuesday.
The Al Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a $2500-a-plate affair held annually at the Waldorf-Astoria, draws prominent public figures each year. Tuesday's event featured Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer, New York governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio — all supporters of abortion and gay "marriage."
Named after the former Catholic governor of New York, the Al Smith dinner is organized by the New York archdiocese and raises money for charity. Last year's event featured TV personality Charlie Rose, the year before that was liberal Catholic comedian Stephen Colbert, and in 2012 presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both spent time at the podium, followed by a closing speech by Cdl. Dolan himself.
This year, no presidential candidates were invited, but plenty of them were the butt of jokes of former New York governor Michael Bloomberg in his keynote speech. He also cracked wise about the Holy Father.
"The pope's schedule was jam-packed — a homeless shelter in D.C., an elementary school in Harlem, a prison in Philadelphia. He had also planned to meet with a group of hardened criminals when he was in New York," Bloomberg said,"But the state legislature wasn't in session."
Cardinal Dolan caused scandal in 2012 when, as president of the board of directors of the Al Smith Foundation, he invited President Obama to be a keynote speaker at the fundraiser. Although Republican Mitt Romney was also invited, faithful Catholics noted that two previous New York cardinals had chosen to eschew the dinner rather than share space with pro-abortion politicians, for fear of showing implicit support or at least toleration of their anti-Catholic views.
In this case, Dolan was inviting the most radically pro-abortion, pro-gay president in the history of the nation, who was also locked in a bitter feud with the Church in his attempt to force Her to bend to the HHS contraceptive mandate — not to mention the fundraiser would be held only weeks before the election, giving Obama a prized photo-op with the high-profile cardinal, in hopes of swaying Catholics in his favor.
Thousands of faithful signed a petition asking the cardinal to avoid scandal and rescind the invitation — but Dolan went ahead with the event. The predicted photo op took place, and Obama went on three weeks later to win the election. He gained more than 50 percent of the Catholic vote, and many speculate the Al Smith fundraiser had something to do with that.
The consistent roster of pro-abortion Democrats at each year's fundraiser is not surprising, considering a number of board members of the Al Smith Foundation are wealthy supporters of Democrat lawmakers, including the Foundation's chairman Al Smith IV, along with developer John Zuccotti, former head of NBC Robert Wright, CEO of Mutual of America Thomas Moran, and New York Private Bank & Trust president Howard Milstein, among others. Federal Elections Commission records show they've donated thousands to various Democratic politicians, including to Obama himself.
As long these men continue to sit on the board and exercise influence on the Foundation's decisions, it's unlikely the guest list for future fundraising dinners will change.