Cardinal Dolan to President Obama: We Will Continue to Defend Life, Marriage, and Religious Freedom

Here is the full text of Cardinal Dolan’s letter of congratulations to President Obama:

Dear President Obama,

In my capacity as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I write to express my congratulations on your re-election as President of the United States.The people of our country have again entrusted you with a great responsibility.The Catholic Bishops of the United States offer our prayers that God will give you strength and wisdom to meet the difficult challenges that face America.

In particular, we pray that you will exercise your office to pursue the common good, especially in care of the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn, the poor, and the immigrant.We will continue to stand in defense of life, marriage, and our first, most cherished liberty, religious freedom.We pray, too, that you will help restore a sense of civility to the public order, so our public conversations may be imbued with respect and charity toward everyone.

May God bless you and Vice President Biden as you prepare for your second term in service to our country and its citizens.

Sincerely yours,

Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops




    It looks like I’m going to spend part of 2013 back east working for a friend of mine who’s running for a local office on the Republican ticket.

    With that in mind, let me suggest, in no particular order, some things the GOP might do to retain it’s viability through to 2016 election cycle.

    1: PRESENT A STRONG FIELD OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: That means no more candidate clowns like Herman Cain and Rick Perry. a Think about what a high caliber debate we’d see between front runners Huntsman, Rubio and Christie.

    2: WALK AWAY FROM THE NON-CANDIDATE CLOWNS: Having Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump perceived as a party spokesmen is a real liability.

    3: WALK AWAY FROM THE WHACKO RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISTS: Religion in the public square is a two edged sword. Take a look at the sponsors of Rick Perry’s “The Response” for details. The attacks on Governor Romney’s religion by some of these jerks wasn’t helpful.

    4: EARN THE TRUST OF THE HISPANIC VOTER. No further comment needed.

    5: INSTILL SOME PARTY DISCIPLINE: The RNC should tell congressional candidates e up front and early that if they give a lecture on gynecologic functions, the dress their opponent bought etc. their financial support from the party will dry up instantly.

    6: FOCUS ON NON-PELVIC WOMEN’S ISSUES. Support for things like the Lilly Ledbeter Fair pay act ought to be obvious.

    7: PROMOTE SOCIAL ISSUES WITHOUT THE OBSESSION ON CRIMINALIZING: “When your only tool is hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    I’ll probably have more this week.

    Pax to all,


    • Dandee


      • GREG SMITH

        Thank you
        everyone for your replies.

        First, I’d like to thank Leogirl for making some of my points far better than I
        could. I recall that when Cardinal Dolan first got to New York he launched a
        campaign to reduce the abortion rate (40% of all pregnancies!) by working with interfaith groups the city social services etc. He of course got side tracked with gay marriage, the HHS mandate etc. I’d love to see him pick up that ball now that things have calmed down.

        Paul, I believe that the three guys I named are potential strong GOP candidates for 2016. I’ll also throw in Condi Rice, though she seems to be content to stay in academia and Mitch Daniels who puts his family before his career.

        I’ll go so far as to say that Huntsman would have won last week. (SPECIAL NOTE TO THE MODERATORS: I still don’t understand why you didn’t give Huntsman more consideration. He’s prolife, religious, a fiscal conservative and far more electable than, for example your first choice, Rick Santorum) Also Paul MY religious bigotry??? You can search my name here and you want to retract that comment.

        Chris, I certainly don’t suggest that the millions who voted for Romney are
        extremists, nor is Mitt himself one. I do believe, however that the extremists
        have far too much influence in the GOP base. Rush,The Donald et. al fall into this category as does the “holy roller” fundamentalist at Perry’s rally
        who preached that the Japanese market tanked at one point because the emperor had sex with the Sun Goddess (The empress might have something to say about that)

        Finally Chris, you’ll have to join me at those Republican establishment
        meetings. The dark wood paneled bar with the stuffed moose head over it, the plush chairs and the excellent whisky sours make us forget that Obama is going to make us pay a little more in taxes.

        Pax to all,


        • Morning Jane

          @ Greg: Why are you so opposed to Rick Santorum? And why don’t you just join the Democratic Party? Don’t your realize Huntsman is an ally of Obama? Really, why put on the charade?

          • This Catholic

            McCain lost in 2008. So the Republicans nominated the person who lost to McCain (Romney) to run as president in 2012. It would be quite fitting if the Republicans nominated the person who lost to Romney (Santorum) to run in 2016. I guess there is no where else to turn. The Republicans don’t have any good candidates, so you’ll just recycle the losing ones.

          • GREG SMITH

            @Jane: First off I’m a Blue Dog Democrat who believes in the two party system. If the GOP destroys itself it will be very bad for the country.

            However, please, please tell me in detail what’s a wrong with Huntsman. From what I can see he’s pro-life and electable. That gets him a lot of points in my book. Realy, from a Catholic point of view, why won’t you support him? – Pax, Greg

    • Chris

      Nice try Greg. Looks like you came directly from the liberal seminar or the republican party establishment meeting, teaching how you go to blogs or call in to talks shows and pretend to be some “conservative” to offer “advice” on how the republican party should really operate.

      • Loving You

        Thanks, Chris, in steadying my confidence that the Republican Party will devour and destroy itself. To the right, to the right, rah-rah-rah! I’m counting on you CV guys to push the GOP to the dinosaur graveyard. Keep up the good work!

        • Joe M

          After 4 years of Obama in office, he lost 9 million votes that he had in 2008.

          The trend looks favorable for conservatives in the future.

          • Jeepers Creepers

            From Yahoo!: “In a $6 billion campaign, Rove’s ability to part wealthy Republicans from their money made the political operative – who co-founded the American Crossroads ‘Super PAC’ – a force in the party’s effort to take down Obama.” Go figure that you guys spent $666 per each of those 9 million voters. Y’all are really starting to creep me out with your devlish machinations. But then go figure how much more on top of that you’ll have to spend to actually get the number of votes you’d need to win next time around. And I wouldn’t say Obama simply lost those votes given their high cost and all the obstructionism and other means of antagonism you guys threw out there behind Rush, Fox News, CV and associated ilk.

          • Joe M

            Your argument makes zero sense given that Obama’s campaign spent more money than Romney’s.

          • Santorum 2016

            As always, you’re only correct insofar as you insist on obfuscating reality. Tons more money was spent to elect Romney. You are only considering the money respectively raised and spent by the presidential candidates, the national party committees and the primary ‘super PACs’ whose sole purpose is to support a candidate. Your contribution and spending totals do not include money raised or held by each candidate’s ‘victory fund,’ a joint fund-raising committee that distributes funds to the campaigns and party committees. In addition to these committees, nonprofit groups that do not have to file with the Federal Election Commission and other super PACs have spent much, much more against President Obama or in support of Mitt Romney. BTW, you thought things looked super favorable for Romney just a few days ago. I am glad that you similarly think trends look favorable for conservatives up the road. Finally, is there already somewhere I can send a check to support Santorum for the 2016 primaries?

          • Joe M

            Except that the amount of Super PAC money spent on Obama’s behalf was about the same as that spent on Romney. You presented the issue as if Romney was the only one who spent money and that the votes Obama lost were only due to that. When Obama’s campaign and supporters also spent well over a billion dollars, I think it’s safe to say that your account of the event was quite distorted.

    • leogirl87

      You have some good points in your post.

      The GOP need to get rid of weak candidates, and also encourage people to state their position without too much detail. For example, “I am pro-life in all cases” vs. “babies conceived by rape are willed by God”. The former emphasizes being pro-life and the latter, to those who don’t know better, sound like the candidate is condoning rape. Instead of talking about the will of God (especially because so many people these days are hostile to God), talk about how many women regret abortions and how many families are willing to adopt newborn babies with open arms. Abortion is a tragedy, many young people are pro-life, etc. If someone does ask about rape, tell about the women who did abort after rape, and how that was yet another trauma for those women. Talk about the women who chose life and either placed their child for adoption or took care of the child and see the child as a reflection of herself and not the rapist (it’s her baby, too, not just the rapist’s baby). Most women surveyed did not abort after rape, so telling women they should abort is actually alienating a lot of women and causing more trauma: the first trauma, the rape, was not her choice, but it was her choice to abort.

      Making things illegal will make things more difficult. Women who abort are rarely if ever in those situations by choice, and they feel like abortion is their only option. It will also drive people away who need help the most. We need to find other ways to end abortion, such as crisis pregnancy centers, adoption resources, etc. Women who abort need counselling to help them turn their lives around and not place themselves in situations where they feel the need to abort, not to be sent to jail or prison.

      We need to appeal to Hispanic and black voters. Many people voted Democrat just to keep their aide. Help these people find jobs and develop a strong work ethic and sense of family (dads, don’t abandon your girlfriend/wife and kids or get more girls pregnant; moms, don’t keep having a new baby with a new dad every other year) and they won’t need the aide.

      Reform the welfare system to cut off aide from any household in which all the adults are not all either working, volunteering, or in school, hours adding up to full time. Help people find work or a place to volunteer at (in hopes of getting hired) and get back to school. This will discourage laziness and people having more kids to stay in the system. If people are working they will try harder to earn more money, and of course once their income goes up enough they won’t need aide anyway.

      Regarding women’s health, I think it’s insulting to appeal to women to vote based on their genitalia. Instead of free health care, how about encouraging personal responsibility and most importantly work ethic so that women can pay for their own birth control if that’s what they want. Also focus on equal pay for equal work, another complaint women have.

      • Paul

        Get rid of the weak candidates? Show me a strong GOP candidate. Further, the primary system basically insures that the weak candidate gets nominated. The GOP has courted the insanity of right wing nut jobs for decades. The GOP is going to have a hard time climbing out of the hole they dug for themselves. Just see this post. Half the people here are clamoring to nominate more religious nut jobs that the country has already rejected, while the people that say that you need to leave your religious bigotry behind are attacked and vilified.

        PS: Hispanics know that you are against them. They’ll remember that the GOP was the party that elected nut jobs like Jan Brewer. You can work all you want to try to get them to trust you, but it’s not going to work. They won’t ever trust you. With good reason.

        • Chris

          You forget that about half the population voted for Romney. Does this
          mean they are all “right wing” extremists? What about the fact people
          mostly voted for republicans/tea party folks for the House and for
          several governerships that were up for grabs. There were also many local races in which republicans or conservatives were elected. Are they
          all extremists too?

          All one has to do is to the look at how
          the groups the left/the dems have catered too to see how they have
          fared. Let’s take the black community: after almost 45 years of the
          dems taking them under their wing, they are much worse off in aspects
          like poverty, unemployment, propensity for crime, illegitimacy/breakdown
          of the family. They have been made to be dependent on government
          programs, which has conveniently created a group of democrat voters,
          which is not an accident. And for this the dems are labeled as being
          caring and compassionate toward the black community and minorities. The
          same pattern can be found with the other groups they pander to. And
          you can’t blame this is on the Republicans, as they would like too. I
          would much rather be out of political control than to have destroyed
          communities and made people dependent, for the sake of keeping oneself
          in power. The fact that the left sees a need in the first place to divide people into groups, categorize them, then pander to them says something in itself; versus seeing them as persons, Americans, without need of further categorization.

          It is also revealing that you feel a need to demonize
          anyone who has a different viewpoint, call them names, and such. I bet
          you are one of those who preaches “tolerance” and “open-mindedness”, as
          long as people agree with you. And trying to claim that the left has
          sensibility and the moral high ground while other are “nut jobs” is
          insane. What are some of the lefts’ priorities? More dead babies
          through abortion, institutionalizing sodomy, taking away religious
          liberty and freedom of conscience, using the power of the state to
          enforce “politically correct” thought/speech…

          • This Catholic

            Who’s sleeping in the White House

          • Pat

            Thanks for speaking the truth. The problem liberal Catholics is that they are LIBERAL firsts and Catholics last!

    • Joe M

      Greg Smith.

      1. Candidates are not “presented”. They choose to run.
      2. The only people who suggest that people like Limbaugh and Trump are “party spokesmen” are liberals. Don’t fall for political gimmicks.
      3. Who walked toward this? Rick Perry was rebuked for this. He wasn’t even close to being nominated.
      4. Agreed. I think that this is more likely than not to happen. In this recent election, it looks like it would have been the difference.
      5. There will always be people that make gaffes on both sides. And it looks like Democrats will continue to have an advantage there since the media plays up GOP gaffes and plays down DEM gaffes. It has reached absurd levels. Obama is involved in a scandal easily as bad as Watergate with Benghazi and most of the press covered it as nearly irrelevant. — That said, I don’t believe that the gaffes you refer to had much of an impact on races outside of the ones those candidates were in.
      6. The merits of that act are debatable and not obviously deserving of support.
      7. What are you referring to? If it is abortion, what non-criminalization outcome are you suggesting?

      • GREG SMITH

        Dear Joe,

        Regarding # 7, let me say that I believe that regardless of who is president, the abortion rate in America will remain at its horrible high levels. Efforts
        to re-criminalize it have failed and there is no evidence that they will succeed in the future.

        What will work is a national non coercive campaign to provide women with the resources to make the “right choice” This would mean a major
        PR campaign combined with support for having the child (many under resourced crisis pregnancy centers already do a good job of this) and providing support after the baby is born. To accomplish the latter, conservatives would have to be more open to public assistance programs for families who can’t afford with current means to have another child.

        Who better to lead such an effort than the USCCB? The American Church has tremendous organizational, moral and financial resources which, if harnessed, could really make a difference over, say, a 10 year period.

        Pax tecum,


        • Joe M

          Greg Smith.

          To be perfectly honest, your position sounds like a rationalization from someone with liberal beliefs but whose conscience is tortured by the lefts embrace of abortion.

          There are two significant forms of evidence that abortion could be banned in the future:

          A) Polling statistics suggest that a growing percentage of our population identifies themselves as pro-life.

          B) Laws change on a nearly daily basis. Evidence that we could indeed change laws to ban abortion the same way that every other law gets changed. The only way it certainly won’t happen is if we give up trying as you are suggesting.

          There is no evidence that the solution you describe would work. In fact, the exact opposite has already happened. Liberals first campaigned squeamishly on abortion. They said that they wanted it to be “safe and rare”. Now, they want abortion on-demand and paid for by taxpayers. Planned Parenthood raised millions of dollars and did bus tours for Obama. As a late game-changer, the Obama campaign brought Planned Parenthood to the forefront.

          I’m thankful that you at least do not approve of abortion. But, please, don’t sell out the lives of the unborn for the sake of your feelings about gay marriage, food stamps and environmentalism.

          • GREG SMITH

            Dear Joe,

            I believe that in this complicated world, the question is not “abortion: yes or no?” My understanding is that people’s views vary as to early vs. late in the pregnancy, to save the life of the mother if the only alternative is that both mother and child die? To save the life of the mother if the child can be saved? And on and on.

            Campaigning for criminalizing abortion hasn’t worked. Isn’t it time for Catholics to put more resources into an alternative strategy? Maybe we ought to get behind supporting “rare” rather than just rail against the “safe and legal” people. Do we want to prove the liberals wrong or drasticly reduce abortions?

            Finally regarding gay marriage, I suspect that married lesbians have the lowest abortion rate of any group of women in the US. I wholeheartedly support making food stamps available to pregnant women who are tempted to having an abortion because of fears that she might not be able to feed her baby, her other children or herself.
            As for the environment, I’m all for it, however babies need to be born to appriciate whatever progress we make in saving it.

            Pax tecum, Greg

            PS: Thanks to all for helping me prepare to make my case to the USCCB through our “chain of command” starting with my bishop.

          • Joe M

            Greg Smith.

            So, what you are saying is that your position on abortion is dependent on what other views exist about it in the world?

            Campaigning for criminalizing of abortion HAS worked. Support for it has increased and several significant laws have been passed that criminalize some forms of abortion and abortion funding. There is more to be accomplished. However, it has often been the case that changes in laws that are resisted take time. This is just a matter of fact. Not evidence that it’s not possible.

            As I already pointed out, some people did get behind the “rare” movement. That movement quickly turned into the taxpayer funded on demand movement. “Rare” hasn’t worked.

            Make sure to let your bishop know that you are pro-choice on abortion. To not do so would be a dishonest omission.

  • Will Tesch

    Nice Job. It doesn’t make much sense to elaborate beyond the simple truth.


    We can all start for following the Cardinal’s advice to “restore a sense of civility to the public order, so our public conversations may be imbued with respect and charity toward everyone.” right here in this forum. – Greg

    • Jamie Candace Ward

      It’s a shame cardinal Dolan couldn’t follow his own advice in his own damn letter!

      • Nicole Bockwinkle

        Please explain, Jamie, sans the vivid adjective, which is always unbecoming a lady.

        • Brian

          Dolan asks for civility and then is un-civil and demeaning. That is what she is talking about.

          • Tony Love

            Brian, there’s not a more civil person around than the Cardinal.

          • Brian

            Clearly, you don’t understand the idea of facts and truth. His letter is un-civil and inappropriate. That’s a fact. You can’t call someone civil if they engage in un-civil behavior. That’s both a fact and truth. Therefore, the Cardinal is not a civil person.

            You can’t dispute facts.

          • B. Greg

            Brian, let it rest. You have shown that you are unfair.

          • Brian

            I am not unfair. Cardinal Dolan is the one that is unfair using a “congratulatory” letter to take a stab at a politician. If he wasn’t glad that Obama was re-elected to four more years, perhaps he shouldn’t have written a letter to him to congratulate him.

          • Alan Parsons

            Long after you are buried, Brian, the Church will be defending the truth. No question. A Pastor has every right to express himself. Homosexualists do all the time. Why can’t Cardinal Dolan.

          • Paul

            I suspect that I will see the destruction of the Catholic Church in my lifetime. It is run by corrupt people and their lies are catching up to them. My church closes next month and I’ve already decided that I am not moving to a new parish, I am finding a church that doesn’t preach hate.

          • Alice Callan

            No dice, Paul. Christ is with the Church “all days.” You and I will be long forgotten, the Church remains until the end.

          • Tim S.

            Please don’t offend God.

    • Bandy B

      This is what you are fighting. Happiness.

      This is why you will lose.

      • GREG SMITH

        Bandy – I celebrate their happiness. Why would I fight it? – Pax tecum, Greg

        • Susan B.

          Greg, that’s not happiness…that delusional.

    • This Catholic

      This Catholic wishes Dolan would just go away already. His calls for civility are empty as he continues to “fan the flames of hostility” against minorities by supporting hate groups that promised to do just that.

      • Joe M

        Your lie keeps growing.

        ONE person wrote “fan the flames.” That doesn’t constitute “groups.”

        That person was not writing about themselves having hostility “against” minorities. They were referring to the gay movement people who had been making racist comments about blacks who voted against gay marriage in California.

        So, before you cast stones, maybe you would like to address whether or not the gay marriage people should have been making racist comments over their political loss in California. Are gay people a hate group because of this?

        • Brian

          Actually, Joe, you are attempting to turn this around. NOM is an organization, which has numerous groups within their organization that they fund, including this website.

          Further, NOM wrote that THEY would “fan the flames of hostility between blacks and gays”. THEY said that THEY THEMSELVES would do the fanning of the hostility. No one else. If the Bishop continues to support this hate riddled organization, then he is indeed supporting that message.

          Lying accomplishes nothing.

          • Alan Parsons

            Brian, neither does untruth.

          • Joe M


            ONE person wrote that sentence. The entire group did not write it.

            And as I pointed out, it’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for your side of this debate to keep bringing this incident up. After all, if it wasn’t for gay marriage supporters making racist comments, there would be no hostility to “fan” in the first place.

            Again, I ask, what do you think about the people who think it is appropriate to make racist comments against black people who don’t vote for gay marriage? Were you one of them?

          • paul

            The CEO and founder of the group in question wrote that message and then sent it out on a press release. And who cares if it’s one person or many people, it’s the entire purpose of that organization and Dolan continues to support their message long after their hate has been exposed.

          • Joe M

            I’ll tell you who cares whether it’s one person or many people: anyone who wants to know if your attributing it to many people is a rational thing to do. Obviously not.

            Dolan, in the quote provided above, directly and publicly makes a statement that completely contradicts the point of “fan the flames.” Yet, you want us to believe that he is secretly encouraging the opposite based on some press release that one person wrote and few people are even aware exists.

            Your argument works well as a joke. Not sure if it works as anything any rational person should take seriously.

      • Paula Davis

        This Catholic, if you are really a Catholic, please go to Confession asap to confess stirring up hatred towards the Church and a Bishop. I lived in Rome at the same time Card. Dolan lived there. He doesn’t have a hateful bone in any body, but he will lay down his life in speaking the Truth. There isn’t a homosexual that he doesn’t love as a brother or sister in Christ. Yet, he will never condone the sin of homosexuality. Never.

  • Paul

    That’s not a letter of congratulations. It is a childish slap in the face. The bishop should know better.

    • David

      And what is he supposed to do? Bow down to worship Obama as a cult leader as his supporters do? Is the bishop not allowed to stand up for his principles? Remember, this is the president that has deliberately taken aim at the Catholic Church.

      • Jamie

        Letter of contempt and animosity would be a better description. Congratulations Mr. Dolan, you’ve probably just succeeded in alienating Obama even further from the Catholic Church.

        • Nicole Bockwinkle

          “Jamie,” you are not Jamie Candace Ward.

  • Chris R

    We’re going to need a bigger tent without compromising on nonnegotiable principles. For example, the bishops of my state support the DREAM act, which does not violate my principles, widens the tent and gives us a chance to compete in a two party system.

  • Dandee

    Haven’t seen too much graciousness by the left. They are working to defeat congress now. If you don’t want to make examples of Catholic politicians who mock our religion, you stand to lose more than you gain.

    • Paul

      I haven’t seen much graciousness by the right, the archbishop’s letter of “congratulations” included.

      • Paula Davis

        Are you Paul Davis?

        • Paul

          Yes. Only a CatholicVote administrator would be able to see my email address on the comment, so I assume that “paula davis” and “Nicole Bockwinkle” above are just Administrator of CV doing some trolling. That’s pretty embarrassing, petty, and childish. Exactly what I have come to expect from this website.

          • Alice Callan

            Oh no, Paul, we have known for a long time that you are the troll. You push your hate on us. Stop it.

          • Mark S.

            You can’t be serious, Paul. You have engaged in minute-man tactics, defamed the Name of the Church and made fun of others. And now you are calling someone else “petty” and “childish.”

    • Occupy CV

      Defeat Congress? What does that mean? So much for your own sense of “graciousness.” And if your are supportive of the Republican Party, it seems you are more concerned with obstructionism. Also, did you notice that Democrats are in the majority in the Senate? And that more Americans voted for Democrats for House seats than for Republicans in 2012?. And we all know how the vote for the presidency went. As long as you insist upon crude political partisanship, as long as you go out of your way to insult and demean our president and our common beliefs , you’re going to have to learn to live with a hurricane of blowback.

      • Dandee

        I think you are looking for an atheist blog.

        You won. Live with the consequences instead of wallowing in anger.

        • Christian

          Why atheist? Well, thanks, I guess, for not calling people who disagree with you Muslim (not that there’s anything wrong with that), like folks around these parts with all due civility (sic) so frequently call the president. Also, wallowing suggests defeat, but like you mentioned, we won. Kinda sticks in your graw, donnit? Don’t you have something better to do, like trying to raise about 4 billion dollars to throw away again in a couple years?

          • Dandee

            The president will reap what he has sewn.

            The fact you need to add your two cents shows you ate still unhappy. And that makes me happy.

          • Happy Camper

            I would be happy if you could learn the difference between “sewn” and “sown.” Make me happy, please.

          • Dandee

            Yeah, that’s the problem, a typo. I doubt you know what happy means.



Receive our updates via email.