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In bipartisan move, U.S. archbishop to pray for Democrats, too


Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan will deliver the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention as well as this week’s Republican meeting, in a sign of bipartisanship after Dolan had taken a role opposing the White House on policy matters.

Dolan, the archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, last week accepted an invitation to deliver the closing prayer at the Republican National Convention on Thursday in Tampa, Florida.

His office announced on Tuesday he would do the same for the Democrats in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sept. 6.

Political analysts see many Catholics as “swing voters” who can be swayed to vote for either party, making Dolan welcome at both conventions.

“It was made clear to the Democratic convention organizers, as it was to the Republicans, that the cardinal was coming solely as a pastor, only to pray, not to endorse any party, platform or candidate,” Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the New York archdiocese, said in a statement.

Dolan has become an increasingly influential political figure in the United States and a champion for conservatives, especially since he challenged President Barack Obama in February over a federal health insurance provision that required Catholic institutions such as universities and hospitals to cover birth control.

On Monday Dolan said he wanted Obama and Mitt Romney, who will get the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s convention, to sign a “civility pledge” to ensure they would not make personal attacks during the campaign and instead concentrate on substantive issues. [More]





  1. Margaret says:

    Intermingling of church and state, Yuk! What happen to faith in God, “what’s God is God’s, what is Caser’s Casers.”

  2. Bob says:

    Thanks anyway Cardinal, but it is too late to pretend where your support lies – we Catholic Democrats will not be swayed to your Vatican inspired allegiance.

  3. dennis says:

    Dolan is a joke,a clown….an embarrassment!

  4. Andrew says:

    Heaven knows the DNC needs all the prayers it can get. I hope Dolan will incorporate a prayer for the rights of the unborn and the sacrament of marriage in his overall prayer to the DNC.

    • Carl says:

      The sacrament of marriage is a intra-Catholic Church issue — not an issue for the larger secular communities. It would be a mistake for Dolan to urge this in a prayer. And surely everyone knows the Church is crazy about the rights of zygotes. Dolan would be too provacative here too. Not his role.

      • Andrew says:

        I respectfully disagree. This audience has approved a party platform that fully endorses all forms of abortions and guts the sacrament of marriage between one man and one woman. I pray that he will include these as well as religious liberty in his prayer. Our Church leaders now more than ever must not be afraid to evangelicize.

        • Carl says:

          Let anyone evangelize all they want — but you are talking about introducuing into federal laws distinctions that apply narrowly to the Catholic Church. Completely inappropriate.

        • Tony says:

          Shall we ask a member of the Jahover Witnesses to pray that transfusions not be allowed in our country? Shall we pray with those of the Christian Science people that doctors and medicine be outlawed?

        • blag says:

          The sacrament of marriage was not gutted in any sense. The legal definition of marriage (ie: the strictly legal contract consented to by two adults) is currently changing on a state-by-state basis to accommodate two adults of the same sex. In no state is anybody required to officiate a same-sex marriages.

          The religious sacrament of marriage is as alive and well as it has ever been, as there is nothing the secular state government can do to change the religious meaning for followers. So your argument is incorrect.

          Also, the word is “evangelize”, not “evangelicize”.

  5. Florian says:

    Will the cardinal of NY be signing his own pledge before he appears at either convention?

  6. Tony says:

    Smart move on the part of the Cardinal to attempt to remove any hint of partisanship on his part. But watch the Right complain..

    • Peggy says:

      Yes but the Cardinal is going to have to be REALLY careful not to insert doctrinal concerns into his benediction. Keep it a general blessing that asks the Holy Spirit’s guidance to make the best decisions and to conduct respectful dialogue


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