The Abomination of the Al Smith Dinner
by Christopher A. Ferrara
October 25, 2016
Every year since it was first held in 1945, the Archdiocese of New York has sponsored and organized the “Al Smith Memorial Benefit Dinner,” named after America’s first Catholic presidential candidate. Hosted by the Archbishop of New York, the original purpose of the dinner was to raise funds for needy children of the Archdiocese. Over the ensuing decades, however, this charity event has morphed into an American grotesquerie of diabolical proportions at which Presidential candidates are honored before the whole world regardless of their opposition to the Church’s most fundamental teachings on faith and morals.
Each year at this event, proponents of the gravest imaginable evils in civil society, the pro-abortion, pro-“gay rights” Democrat presidential candidates, are feted by one of the Church’s most eminent prelates, and a crowd of well-heeled liberal Catholics joins the prelate in laughing uproariously at their professionally written jokes, pretending that the jokesters are not the advocates of abominable crimes against the divine and natural law.
The Al Smith Dinner has become a classic “value-free” space of American public life, wherein the moral order is deemed inoperative and the only “value” that matters is American-style “civility” — meaning the tacit consent to utter evil by silence in the face of it. Thus did we witness Cardinal Dolan laughing with, and jovially nudging, Hillary Clinton during this revolting spectacle, as if it mattered not in the least that he was sitting next to, and dignifying with the presence of a Prince of the Church, a staunch defender of sodomy and the brutal mass murder of innocent children by abortion, even at the very moment they are leaving their mothers’ wombs — for which Clinton now demands a federal subsidy!
Dolan was so solicitous of his evil guest that he was seen whispering in Clinton’s ear to distract her from the “unpleasantness” of Donald Trump’s remarks about her. No, one must not be unpleasant toward a defender of federally subsidized child-murder. For after all, this is the Al Smith Dinner for the benefit of needy children — that is, the ones who are allowed to escape the abortionist’s scalpel and forceps.
It is no exaggeration to say that the Al Smith Dinner, which receives national and even international press coverage, makes the Archbishop of New York an accessory to grave sin in several of the nine ways the Church has traditionally recognized: at least by praise or flattery of the objective sinner, as well as by concealment and silence. But also by tacit consent on the part of a Catholic prelate who has a bounden duty to condemn the sin. As Sacred Scripture warns us: “Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them (Rom. 1:32).”
The Al Smith Dinner has become an abomination that should be ended in its present form; and the Cardinal Archbishop of New York should make amends for the immense scandal this annual disgrace has caused by placing the cloak of respectability on leading partisans of intolerable evils that cry out to Heaven for divine retribution against our nation.
But then the image of a roly-poly cardinal laughing it up with the very embodiment of political evil in our time is a veritable icon for the unprecedented ecclesial crisis the Church now endures. A crisis whose resolution would now seem to depend upon the most dramatic of divine interventions.
Our Lady of Fatima, protect us!