Open Letter to Signers and Supporters
I received an email early in our campaign that requested me to take this website down on the grounds that the only scandal was the one I had conceived here. Essentially, the writer of that email was saying that I created the scandal by calling it a scandal. Interesting . . .
After thanking him for his concern I pointed out that what motivates me to keep this Petition Drive going was the hundreds of comments being made by both Catholics and Protestants. I had almost been moved to tears on a number of occasions by some of those comments. Christians were heartbroken over Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s decision to invite the most pro-abortion President in the history of this country to the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Fund Dinner on October 18, 2012. They felt betrayed. They felt like the Cardinal placed a knife in their back. They felt let down and disappointed over this apparent show of weak leadership. They felt ashamed and scandalized. I came into the Church shortly after the height of the child abuse scandal, so I don’t know what it is like to feel let down and betrayed by the ordained leadership, but reading these comments I’m starting to understand.
I honestly didn’t expect the Cardinal to change his mind, inasmuch as I joined you all in prayer that he would. I knew it would take the humility of a saint to reverse course. I knew, in much like the fashion of Supreme Court Justice John Roberts Jr. in his Affordable Care Act Mandate/Tax, he too would create a reason to defend his invitation in spite of past precedent and clear letter of the statute (so to speak) in ‘Catholics in Political Life’. It’s just the way things are in this world when we place people in power. No one admits they were wrong and no one reverses course. Everyone finds justification for their wrongdoing these days.
I have no solace over the fact that the Cardinal offered an apology for creating a scandal in his letter to us, nor am I thankful. Like many of you I feel as scandalized, hurt, betrayed, and confused as I was when I first heard about his invitation to the President.
What I am thankful for is your support and love. I am thankful for your belief that we can be better. I am thankful that you took the time to share your heart. I am thankful for your prayers for the Cardinal. It is you – the faithful – the ones Bill Donohue insulted by calling the piety police – in which I find my solace. Although there will be another Notre Dame – although there will be more scandals to come – we must continue have as our mantra – ‘NEVER AGAIN’. NEVER AGAIN will we be silent in the face of scandal. NEVER AGAIN will we let the ordained leadership harm our Church without us telling them they are. Prayers, Petitions, and Personal communication may be all we can do, as not all scandals are criminal, but it’s enough for us that we do the most that we can do.
As a historical record I will continue to leave this website and the Petition up as long as God provides me with the financial means to do so. And again I thank you. Keep the Cardinal and all of the ordained leadership in your prayers.
David L. Gray