New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan has accepted an invitation from the Democratic National Committee to deliver a closing prayer at their convention next week, making the Cardinal one of the few Catholic prelates in history to pray over both Conventions.
According to the Catholic News Herald of the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, where the Democratic National Convention will be held, Cardinal Dolan will deliver the closing benediction for the Democrats just as he will do for the Republicans at their convention which concludes tomorrow.
According to a statement from Archdiocese of New York spokesman Joseph Zwilling, the cardinal is appearing at these conventions only as a pastor and to pray, and is not not endorsing either party or candidate.
There was some question as to whether or not the Democratic party would invite Cardinal Dolan to say the benediction at their event because of the Cardinal’s outspoken opposition to many Obama Administration policies, particularly to his stance on abortion, same-sex marriage, and the controversial birth control mandate which Catholics believe infringes on religious liberty.
However, Cardinal Dolan made it clear at the time that he accepted an invitation from the Republicans to pray at the convention that he would do the same for the Democrats if asked.
Even though the tradition of praying at the opening and closing of each day’s session at national conventions is a tradition that dates back more than 100 years, Dolan’s appearance at both events makes him one of the few Catholic prelates to pray over both parties at their nominating conventions. The last time this took place was in 1948 when Cardinal Dennis J. Dougherty of Philadelphia prayed over both conventions when both parties chose the City of Brotherly Love for their convention sites.
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