Cardinal Dolan Urges Catholics to Bring Values to Public Debate
“Religion is meant to have a public impact,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan when he addressed the 117th annual dinner of The Cathedral Club of Brooklyn.
“Religion is intensely personal but it is never private,” he said as he urged the club’s members to be active in public policy debates and to bring their values to shaping modern society.
“In the middle of everything that’s where the Church should be. That’s where the Cathedral Club should be.”
He also decried the state of contemporary political debate saying that there are too many who would “build a minefield” between the secular and religion.
He pointed to the recent Senate committee hearings for Betsy DeVos when she was nominated to be secretary for education in the Trump Cabinet. He said she was opposed and challenged because she attended parochial schools and because she supports religious education.
Cardinal Dolan was the guest speaker at the dinner that was held Feb. 9 at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. About 350 people made up the audience that was significantly diminished because of the day’s snowstorm.
Honorees included Larry Kudlow, CNBC senior contributor and radio host of “The Larry Kudlow Show,” and Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, Inc.
In his remarks, Kudlow spoke about his Catholic faith, religion and civility in political debate. “This is the greatest country in the world,” he said. “But it is being sorely tested right now.”
He said that the “United States must regain its sense of civility and respect for different points of view, not just for public problems but for private issues as well.”
Saying that the country faces a crisis of faith, he urged that it regain an attitude of faith based on the fact that “we are all brethren.” Faith is what has made America great and it can be that way again, he maintained.
He pointed to U.S. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan as leaders who knew how to talk to people and were able to help people talk to one another.
Ruddy, a summa cum laude graduate of St. John’s University, Jamaica, who went on to study in London and Jerusalem, explained that his roots in the Brooklyn Diocese go back to his mother, Marie Lynch of Queens Village, a graduate of Bishop McDonnell H.S. in Brooklyn.
Cathedral Club President Mark Cipolla of Flushing said that the profits from the event would assist the bishop’s scholarship funds to Catholic schools in the diocese.
Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto represented Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio who was recovering from severe bronchitis.
Noted faces in the crowd included Michael Reagan, son of the late President Reagan; Sharon Bush, sister-in-law of President George W. Bush; Betsy McCaughey, former Lieutenant Governor of New York State; and Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees.