NEW YORK Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan will give the benediction at the Republican National Convention on the night Mitt Romney accepts the presidential nomination. The cardinals spokesman said the appearance was not an endorsement.Dolan is the New York archbishop and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Romney announced Dolans appearance in an interview with Raymond Arroyos The World Over Live on EWTN Catholic network.
Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said Cardinal Dolans agreement to participate, which occurred within the last two weeks, should not be seen as partisan.Cardinal Dolan is going to pray, not to engage in partisan politics, Mr. Zwilling said. He made it clear when he accepted the invitation that he would also accept an invitation from the Democratic National Committee to offer a prayer at their convention, should they ask.He is going simply to pray, which is part of what a priest should do.Before accepting the invitation, Cardinal Dolan told the convention organizers that it was standard church practice for the local bishop of the area to give the blessing. But, Mr. Zwilling said, they said we would really like you to do it, so he checked with Robert Nugent Lynch, the bishop of St. Petersburg, Fla., and he had no objection.
I wonder how much sway the hierarchy really brings here. Folks tend to recoil at perceived political action by their church leaders, even if they might agree with those leaders on the issues. And of course, what if Obama wins? Is putting all your eggs in one basket good politics?