COLORADO SPRINGS. Although problems in contemporary culture can seem overwhelming, Catholics today are called to renew their commitment to the sanctity of all human life and the dignity of the human person, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York told a crowd of more than 1,500 gathered at The Broadmoor Hotel for the annual Bishop’s Respect Life Dinner on Oct. 17.
“This sentiment of gloom and anxiety can drive us into escape or denial, or it can renew in us a call to the better,” Cardinal Dolan said. “We are so at home in a country which has always believed that its best days were yet ahead — so logical to believers who believe that not even the gates of hell shall prevail against us. It is a loyalty to this call to the better which radiates from this magnificent crowd this evening.”
Cardinal Dolan said that there are two “contemporary toxins” that can cause people to lose hope. “The first is the mortal wound that the unlimited abortion license has had on the republic founded on self-evident truths, with the right to life leading off,” he said. “The second contemporary development that is a booster shot to the ‘throwaway culture’ described by Pope Francis is the sidelining of faith. We’re seeing a secularism on steroids that considers religion a superstitious hobby at best and a violent bigotry at worst.”
“My allies here in Colorado, the dignity of the human person promoted and defended as a first thing — a dignity not dependent on race, a passport, a stock portfolio, one’s age, address or health; the sacredness of human life from the spark of conception to the holy moment of natural passing; and the recovery of that raw need for God — these are essential to our civilization,” Cardinal Dolan said.
At the beginning of the dinner, Congressman Doug Lamborn read a statement that he had entered into the Congressional Record in honor of the late Father Bill Carmody. The People of Life award posthumously given to Father Carmody by the USCCB was also on display.
Several other awards were also given out. Michael Faricy was given the Father Carmody Defender of Life Award, and Matt Niedzielski was given the 2016 Respect Life Person of the Year Award.
Bishop Sheridan announced the winners of the Pro-Life Project contest for teens, who were asked to design a billboard around the theme “Every Life is Worth Living.” The billboard designed by Diego Rojas, Elizabeth Vall and David VanRemortel — eighth-graders at St. Paul School — was chosen to be displayed on two billboards in the region.
A portrait of Mother Teresa of Calcutta was sold in a silent auction. Bill Maggio was the winning bidder.
Proceeds from the dinner will go toward efforts to defeat Proposition 106, a ballot initiative that would legalize physician-assisted suicide, and to Project Rachel ministry for post-abortive men and women. More coverage of Cardinal Dolan’s visit to Colorado Springs will be featured in the Nov. 4 issue of the Herald.