‘everything we do, everything we say, every public posture we take should bring people closer to Jesus’

So Timothy Cardinal Dolan said yesterday on his Sirius radio show. That’s the sorta thing you would hear from a pastor. And he reminded listeners that that is his primary role yesterday. (See more about his pastoral role in the public square here.)

Speaking about praying at the conventions, he said:

Part of prayer is conversion of hearts.  When you pray you are asking the Holy Spirit to purify us and bring out what is most noble.  Part of my prayer, for both parties, would be that they would be true to the biblical, to the theistic, to the natural law traditions of this country.  And that can be prophetic, and that can be a call to conversion when they’re not.”

About the initial phone call and what transpired thereafter, he said:

I’ve got to be honest with you, I had to stop and think, “Uh oh, should I accept this?”  Because if I go to the Republicans, the Democrats and our Catholic people who have sympathies for the Democratic party are going to say, “Well, this is partisan.  He’s praying with one party and not the other.”  So you probably saw what we put out a couple weeks ago.  [We said,] “Hey, I’m honored to have a received an invitation from the Republican party to do the final prayer at their convention.  You bet I will, by the way, as I told them, I’d be equally grateful if the Democrats invited me.  I’m not expecting it, I’m not asking for it.  And I’m praying, not endorsing.”  I hope I made it clear.  And, sure enough the Democrats invited me as well.”

The president of the U.S. conference of Catholic bishops said:

Any serious disciple of Jesus Christ is going to say, “We have to be concerned about how things look.”  I don’t mean from a prestigious point of view.  Jesus asked us to be lights to the world, correct?  So everything we do, everything we say, every public posture we take should bring people closer to Jesus, correct?  That’s the goal in life for any disciple of Jesus Christ, for any parent, for any leader, for any individual.  … So you are constantly wondering about, is this going to look ok?  Again, not from a society page type of thing. Who cares about that?  But is this going to distract people from Jesus or is it going to bring them closer?  You have to make these prudential judgments. … So I thought, well, if we can’t pray — that’s what our vocation is, you and I are leaders in prayer to try to bring people closer to God — if somebody invites us to pray, we do.”


  • Patrick Brennan

    Unfortunately, the good Cardinal thinks like a Cardinal, as Benedict XVI did when he opined in public about the merits of condoms worn by male prostitutes afflicted wwith AIDS. He forgets that his first job is to teach (the Church is “Mater et Magistra”); and that when he publicly treats the political party promoting “Gay Marriage” and “Abortion Rights” the same as he treats the political party supporting the traditional family and Right to Life, he teaches the observant faithful that it is perfectly OK to vote for either one of them. When will they ever learn?

  • eddie too

    cardinal dolan is the pastor of the members of the democratic party just as much as he is pastor of members of the republican party.

    Jesus associated with sinners. when He associated with them, He was not affirming them in their sinful actions. He was affirming them as His sheep. the Good Shepherd seeks to lead and protect all His sheep.

    what the cardinal conveys by praying at both political conventions is unique to each person who observes and forms an opinion about it. that is true of all words and actions we perform and speak that are viewed and heard by others.

    your opinion seems to be that by associating with sinners the cardinal intends to confuse the sheep about right and wrong.

    my opinion is that by attending and praying at both conventions the cardinal is conveying the message that Jesus and salvation is not about politics. Jesus transcends politics.

    the cardinal’s decision to pray at both conventions has not in the least confused me about the moral teachings of the Church. it has edified me to see one of the successors to the Lord’s apostles so vividly affirming that the Lord’s offer of salvation is for all human beings, not just those who have already accepted it.

    the Good Shepherd leaves the flock to seek out the lost sheep. there is more rejoicing in heaven over the repentance of one who was lost than in the presence of the hundreds who have already been saved.

    well i might understand your confusion and your rather snide comment about when will they ever learn, i felt compelled to present a different analysis of the cardinal’s decision so that others might be given more of choice than to accpet a simple put down of the Catholic hierarchy.