'The tradition of the Smith dinner is to bring people together,' said Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the archdiocese.
'Given that issues in this year's campaign could provoke division and disagreement that would detract from that spirit, it was felt best to proceed in a different direction, while maintaining all of the ideals and values of the dinner.'
Zwilling declined to comment further on what issues might provoke division."
In 1996, President Clinton was not invited because Cardinal John O'Connor criticized him for vetoing a bill that would have outlawed some late-term abortions.
Dinner organizers decided that they did not want to appear partisan by asking the GOP challenger, Sen. Bob Dole, to attend if the president was not invited.
I wonder if we will hear reasons similiar to 1996. Given that Bush was invited in 2000, one would think this is a result of Senator Kerry's pro-abortion views.