Regarding Cardinal Dolan’s decision to offer a benediction – a blessing – following Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech on the final evening of the Republican National Convention, I recently wrote:
In a sense, it will be the final piece of business at the GOP convention, and it puts Cardinal Dolan in the position of offering what Mirriam-Webster defines as “the invocation of a blessing; especially: the short blessing with which public worship is concluded.” When the balloons have all hit the floor and the assembled crowd is finally hoarse, when the last strains of Kid Rock’s “Born Free” have faded away, Cardinal Dolan will ascend the platform and “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” he will say … whatever. No one will be listening, really. All that will matter is that he is there and that his imprimatur has been definitively conferred on all that has gone before. That is what is so disappointing about this. I would be equally disgusted if Dolan were offering a similar blessing at the Democratic Convention. Dorothy Day, Servant of God, pray for us.
Now, Cardinal Dolan has announced that he will offer a similar “service” at the Democratic National Convention. In response, I wrote in the same comment thread, below:
I … think it is a huge mistake for Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, president of the USCCB, to ascend the platform at the Democratic National Convention and offer a benediction following the acceptance speech of its nominee, President Barack Obama. Charlotte has its own bishop, who could have offered a welcoming invocation. But for Cardinal Dolan to walk on that stage, after all that will have gone on before, and stand at the same lectern as Cecile Richards, Sandra Fluke, and the president of NARAL, is an abomination. Cardinal Dolan apparently considers himself pastor to the political elite in this country, but in fact he soils the reputation of the Church and his own reputation by appearing at either of these contrived, corporate, deeply anti-Catholic events. It would have been far better for him to lead prayer vigils on the streets outside both conventions: a vigil for peace and the poor in Tampa, a vigil for the unborn and families in Charlotte.