With humor and grace, cardinal sets right tone for candidates

By TERRY MATTINGLY

Scripps Howard News Service

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

While Dolan is known for his boisterous wit, this final litany was clearly the big idea he wanted to communicate to both candidates and to all who were present, said the Rev. James Martin, author of "Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life."

"It was very moving, and very Catholic, because he refused to narrow the Gospel down to one or two issues," said Martin, who attended the dinner. "He reminded everyone of the sacred dignity of all human life, not just in the womb, but also not just in the slums. ...

"There are Catholics these days, on the left and on the right, who don't want to be reminded of both sides of that equation. What the cardinal did was honor our Catholic tradition — all of it."

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Contact him at tmattingly@cccu.org or www.tmatt.net.

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