Dolan to Pray at Dem Convention too

Dolan to Pray at Dem Convention too August 28, 2012

Cue more hysteria from the combox episcopacy as the good Cardinal is again interpreted as offering an endorsement when, in fact, he is just offering prayer and blessing as is fitting for his office.

Wake me when it’s over.

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  • Meggan

    I have friends that have been posting on Facebook that President Obama himself denied poor Cardinal Dolan the opportunity to pray at the dem convention. So I will be interested to see what the spin will be now.
    The whole campaign process seems to be a lot like a fight between fifth graders.

    • Irenist

      I used to teach middle school. Fifth graders are way more mature than politicians.

      • Nick R

        It’s true (Middle School teacher here too).
        Middle schoolers have a sense of fairness and occasional common sense.

  • Irenist

    Under the absurd headline “Dolan Retreats,” Andrew Sullivan has updated us on the perspective from the alternate reality he lives in:
    “Perhaps made aware that his bigfooting of the local bishop in Tampa in order to bless the GOP was egregious even by Ratzingerian standards, the GOP Cardinal has agreed to end the DNC with a benediction as well. Good save. The Church wounds itself and its mission by descending so baldly into partisanship.”
    Seriously? Sullivan used to be interesting. His blog is increasingly taking on the editorial tone of “Slate” magazine, Jesse Bering interviews and all. Maybe it’s his stridently secularist interns–it always gets worse when he’s on vacation.

    • Mark Shea

      Sullivan is deeply dishonest when it comes to reporting on the Faith.

      • Is he intentionally dishonest or is he just subject to an incredible ignorance brought on by preoccupation with other things?

        • Mark Shea

          Nothing dishonest about praying that our civic deliberations are guided by God. Paul prayed for Nero and told his churches to do likewise.

        • Irenist

          A longtime dissenter from the pews, Sullivan seems to have been tortured by the conflict between the teaching of the Magisterium and his same sex attraction. He resolved this by being dishonest to himself, and then projecting that self-deception onto the hierarchy, imagining the episcopacy and the Vatican to be in denial about the wondrous advent of the brave new world of respectable libertinism. He has painstakingly crafted a narrative for himself in which the members of same sex unions are the natural next addition to Burke’s little platoons. He’s blinkered, but sincere.

  • Tim in Cleveland

    Yet he still refuses to pray at the Strange Women Lying in Ponds Distributing Swords Convention. Divisive.

    • I think that ‘s more of an Archbishop of Canterbury event, myself.

    • I’m going to invite his eminence to come pray at my anarcho-syndicalist commune.

  • Kirt Higdon

    What makes me nervous about Cardinal Dolan is not that he is partisan to one party or the other of the duopoly. The problem is that he seems quite comfortable hob-nobbing with the rich and powerful, whatever their political views might be. Do he and his colleagues really expect the average Catholic Joe in the pews to respond to a call to arms to defend freedom of religion and the Church when it is issued by those who increasingly behave like high level Quislings? I’m reminded of Cardinal Manning of Los Angeles. He ended his tenure the darling of the LA politicians, the LA Times, and the Hollywood crowd, but loathed by almost all ordinary LA Catholics for his neglect of the Church, his protection of molesters, and for throwing the pro-life movement under the bus. (He smugly proclaimed, “Pro-life is not my thing.”)

    • Irenist

      This Bishop Remigius seems too comfortable hob-nobbing with King Clovis. Doesn’t he know Clovis is a pagan? What’s he expecting Clovis to do, have a change of heart and convert?

      • str

        Difference of course is that while Clovis indeed was sort of pagan, he was neither a persecutor of the Church nor a propagator or innovator of evil.
        Clovis was always friendly to the Church (and was after all born into a Christian Empire), even before he was converted. And Remigius returned the courtesy. However, the real impetus to the King’s conversion was his wife.

        • Irenist

          All correct points about Clovis. Still, I think that hobnobbing with the powerful is not an inappropriate role for a bishop–provided it is not the chief role. Being present in the public square is important, and eating and praying with sinners are both okay.

          • enness

            And it doesn’t preclude his hobnobbing with anybody else — we’re just not as likely to see it on TV.

    • Jane

      Really? I get the sense that Cardinal Dolan is comfortable with everyone, so it seems a bit harsh to picture him as an out-of-touch brown noser. I just saw a video of him last week spending time at the Bruderhof (communal Christian group in upstate NY), jacketless but with suspenders, holding a baby while chatting about solidarity and the joy of the Christian life with a group that certainly couldn’t be categorized as the “rich and powerful.” I wish I was as comfortably with everyone as the Cardinal is!

      • Andy

        Maybe Cardinal Dolan is comfortable in his own skin and with other people because he is human – he knows that none of us is perfect and that each of us offers something to the world. He seems to be able to recognize Christ in everyone. I pray someday to have that.
        By the way I used to live near the Bruderhof, and it is a unique and neat place, and the folks who live there do try and live life in a way consonant with what they see in the Bible. Rich they are not, powerful in their witness they are.

    • Thomas R

      I do have issues with some bishops who flatter and fawn over rich celebrities. It kind of hurt my opinion of a local bishop. Still somehow this doesn’t necessarily bother me on that score. Praying for, and talking with, the rich and powerful isn’t the same thing to me. Catholic class-solidarity, as I understand it, means we are to love the rich too. That love can or even should come with a great deal of criticism too, but if he’s not treating the rich and powerful any better or worse than he does the lowly it would be fair.

  • Elizabeth Scalia

    “The problem is that he seems quite comfortable hob-nobbing with the rich and powerful, whatever their political views might be. ”

    As did Christ. People forget that we need “the rich and powerful” too, and they need Christ. If not for the “rich and powerful” Joseph of Aramithea, who would have gotten Jesus down from the cross before sundown, enshrouded and entombed? The rich and powerful have their place. Jesus loves everyone.

    • While the rich may need Christ, it’s just not clear that the rest of us need them. Joseph of Arimithea notwithstanding, the early Church is characterized by being run by a group of peasants and being so politically disfavored that she was persecuted for hundreds of years. If raw power and wealth were really effective means of getting things done, then it seems to me that Pilate would have made a better pope than Peter.

      • Irenist

        The early Church often held liturgies in the homes of wealthy benefactors. IIRC, Acts and the Pauline letters have a fair number of mentions of such people.

      • str

        That the early church was comprised of (materially) poor people is a myth without foundation. and if any social grouping was underrepresented in the early church it was peasants!

        Sentences like “it’s just not clear that the rest of us need them” could not be further from Christ and his gospel. It is true that the New Testament is indeed skeptical of earthly riches and critical of the rich. However, even though James teaches us not to favour the rich and well-dressed over the poor and ragged, the reverse form discrimination is not better at all. We are called to love our neighbour, even the richt ones, not contemplate their extinction.

        • Irenist

          “if any social grouping was underrepresented in the early church it was peasants!”
          Indeed. The term “pagani” originally referred to the rustics who had not yet gotten on board with Christianity, the militant new faith of the cities.

          “We are called to love our neighbour, even the rich ones[.]”
          Coming from a pre-reversion background on the political left, envy and resentment of the rich is one of my temptations. That we are to love them, too–and that they are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their property–is a truth that I for one appreciate seeing restated.

        • I’m not sure that stating “we don’t need the rich” equates to an appeal for their extinction any more than my not needing chocolate cake implies I wish to set the world’s cacao plantations ablaze.

          • Irenist

            I wonder what the aroma of the world’s cacao plantations burning would be like.

            • orthros

              I can answer that for you: Totally Awesome

        • Thomas R

          I think that might be too far the other way. Early Christians might have been too urban to be peasants, but I think there was a good deal of lower-class and slaves among them. Onesimus being a Biblical example of a Christian slave.

    • Rosemarie


      Zaccheus wasn’t exactly dirt poor.

      • Let’s not forget that not everyone at either convention is rich and powerful. Plenty of average Joes and Janes among the delegates. A very large number of them probably average Catholics. To bad they have to put up with the long-windedness of the big party muckety-mucks. (I’m watching the convention now, as a matter of fact — I would love to see Zacheus get up among these people and announce he’s giving everything to the poor).
        I think Cardinal Dolan will be right at home there as he is everywhere.

  • Cardinal Dolan is a smart and holy man – having that combination in one Cardinal can only help us. Besides, nothing is permitted to happen in God’s Universe by mistake. Those who constantly rail about the end of The Church or The World need to remember who exactly is in charge. It ain’t Dolan, bless his heart. It’s The Trinity.

    • str

      “Besides, nothing is permitted to happen in God’s Universe by mistake.”

      I am not sure how I think about Dolan praying at the convention but is the quoted sentence supposed to be reasonable or is it, as I think, obscurantist hogwash that – if taken seriously – would lead to all discernment and discussion shutting down.

      • Irenist

        I think the sentiment is meant to be coupled with “Those who constantly rail about the end of The Church or The World need to remember who exactly is in charge.” It’s not that Dolan’s actions can’t be questioned, it’s that people who constantly fret that the sky is falling every time some political development distresses them need to relax and trust Providence.

  • Andy

    The sooner we realize that Catholic Teaching is not republican or democrat the sooner we can start to change what is happening in America. Trying to put the cardinal or any catholic leader or teacher in a small box is foolish – some stress one part or another or Catholic Teaching, most likely because of life circumstances, but in the end we are all catholic and not part of a political tribe.
    I am glad to see him praying at both conventions, I am glad he invited both to the Al Smith dinner – frankly I am glad that he is representing the not one size catholic teaching.

    • I would demur, but only a little. When a political movement (I’m thinking communism after the utopians) is demonstrated to be divorced from reality and broadly destructive, the Church has not been, is not, nor should be even handed just for the sake of box ticking.

      • Andy

        I agree – I was think about the dems. and the reps. specifically. The church should and I hope will continue to call out those forms of “politics”.

  • PJ

    Praying for the government, or even for a particular party, is entirely different than offering a blessing at a partisan convention devoted to forwarding an anti-life, anti-marriage, anti-Christian agenda. Context is meaningful.

    • Amy

      Praying for the government, or even for a particular party, is entirely different than offering a blessing at a partisan convention devoted to forwarding a pro-torture, pro-war, pro-greed agenda. Context is meaningful.

      Democrats aren’t the devil. Neither are Republicans.

  • Peggy R

    Hey, Card. Dolan is a fine StL Cardinal, if there ever was one.
    On to serious stuff. I think it is better that Card. Dolan deliver the prayer at both conventions to avoid confusion or the appearance of a lesser-ranked Catholic contradicting him. Eg, what if, say a Fr. Bourgeois, or a Sr. Joan Chittister were to pray at the DNC event? Another Cardinal or visible bishop could have…this is more even handed. Hey, given the path the DNC is on, they could use prayers for their souls…as we all could.

  • Alexander S. Anderson

    This is good news! Last I heard, people were saying that Obama snubbed him. If there’s anyone we can trust to tell the red men and the blue men what they need to hear, I’d think it would be Dolan. Pretty glad to see him up there.

    • Kurt

      Obama didn’t snub him. The Cardinal made an offer to pray at the DNConvention late in the game when others had already been invited. The Democratic Party did not take Dolan up on his offer until matters were worked out with the clergy already invited. Seemingly it has been worked out.

  • Kirt Higdon

    I’m not calling for the extermination of the rich and powerful even though many of them call for the extermination of the unborn and various sets of foreigners. I’m not even saying that Dolan is necessarily doing the wrong thing, although Church history would give some cause for suspicion of Cardinals who behave like Renaissance princes. The problem arises the next time we Catholics at the parish level are asked to write our Congressmen or demonstrate against some obnoxious anti-Catholic and anti-life initiative of our rich and powerful rulers. Then some obvious questions arise. Didn’t Cardinal Dolan take care of that at the Al Smith dinner or at the political conventions? Did he even bring it up? What did he say? Oh, they didn’t listen to him? Then what makes you think they’ll listen to me? I do not even get invited to their dinners and conventions.

  • Dan C

    I think it a theological novelty to suggest the poor need the rich. Materially, perhaps, but the case will need to be made that this is a theological necessity in the same way as Matthew 25 dictates the works of mercy for the poor.

    Such a consideration qualifies itself of course. The poor, often historically and biblicallly cheated out of their just due, are to pray for their persecutors, as should all Christians. While unpopular in conservative thought and the American mind, it is an ancient desert fathers consideration that the extra coat I possess belongs to the poor. Also, the poor, who often pity the rich, by the way, should be eager for all to be saved, not just the “multos,” but “all.” Such is the just position of the Christian.

    The rich were present in the early Church. The community for whom the Gospel of Matthew is written was likely wealthy, hence the watered down beautitudes of “poor in spirit.” In contrast, Luke clearly wrote a Gospel for the poor. He Jerusalem Church is described as poor and needy in Paul and in Acts. The churches of Paul were established to have rich and poor alike in the same Church (in comparison to modern Churches which have a class-based division that makes apartheid look integrationist). Such was to create vibrant communities of faith,( and, despite Anthony Esolen’s best translations, the American RC churches will not see such vibrancy return until that apartheid is broken and the poor and the rich worship together again.)

    The poor and the rich and their relationship were a huge concern in the early Church. The couple in Acts who were struck down for failing to communally share define Luke’s view of that relationship, however. It is closer to the faith to declare that, theologically, the poor need the rich like a fish needs a bicycle, than to say the rich need the poor. The poor need Christ. The rich need the poor, because we are told in them, we meet Christ.

  • Has the good Cdnl said anything that would lead is to believe he is doing anything wrong by praying at these things? Nope. In fact he’s been clear about where the Church must stand on all these issues whole carefully NOT rejecting an entire party, which seems prudent to me. I’m imPressed with his hate-the-sin-love-the-sinner example.

  • Confederate Papist

    Just goes to show; no one can please the Combox Army.

    Dolan gets crap for being at the RNC.
    Dolan gets crap for saying he’d go the DNC if invited.
    Dolan gets invited and accepts…and gets crap.

    He ain’t getting it from me. And you’ll rarely find me saying anything along these lines, so here goes: the DNC did the right thing.

  • Brian

    So we are now in chapter 5 of the great novel, “Dolan Hates Us” . Just wait until chapter 6, when the Chattering Classes compare the two prayers to find the evil Cardinal’s “True-Catholic”(tm) masters.

    I would suggest that the Cardinal come up with a prayer that would offend large parts of both conventions and say it word-for-word both times.


  • enness

    I had a feeling you wouldn’t be among the mob calling for his head. Much has been made of extending the Al Smith dinner invitation to Obama…hardly a peep about Romney.