Saturday, September 8, 2012


Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York prayed the benediction at the Democratic Convention the other night.

The moment of delivery came at the end of a difficult labor.  The Archbishop is the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  He had offered to pray at both conventions.  The Republicans accepted, the Democrats went into "crickets" radio silence, likely because Archbishop Dolan and the USCCB are leading opposition to several policies of the Obama Administration right now, and having him pray at the convention created some inner turmoil.

Eventually the Democratic party extended an invitation and Archbishop Dolan accepted it. 

You can see the benediction on video.  You can read the text here. 

One sees why the Church has always been on, at best, uneasy terms with both political parties.   The Archbishop's prayers for immigrants and the poor must have resonated deeply with Democrats, and been a tad unsettling for some Republicans, given the Church's disagreements with some Republican positions on both subjects.  Conversely, the Archbishop's prayers for the unborn and for religious freedom likely touched a nerve for Democrats, for the same reason.

It was a touching moment, and a reminder that even New Yorkers can be gracious.  Prayer is like eating a meal together.  It tends to beget peace and goodwill.

As the Archbishop said, at the end, "God bless America."

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