‘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.”


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