Arch Bishop of New York Timothy Cardinal Dolan is one of the most well-known Catholics in the nation as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Thursday night he gave the benediction at the Democratic National Convention, just as he did a week prior at the Republican convention.
Dolan has stressed that his appearances at both conventions did not constitute any endorsement, and that he was there in a pastoral capacity. At both conventions he spoke on similar themes, though the Huffington Post reports his speech at the DNC was longer.
Dolan has been an outspoken critic of several points of the Democratic party platform, and of President Barrack Obama’s Health and Human Services Mandate. His prayer at the DNC did not shy away from those points. Two of his statements seemed directly aimed at the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage. ABC News described one of Dolan’s statements as an “anti-abortion remark.”
“Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure,” Dolan prayed. “We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected.”
He later added, “Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community.”
ABC News reports that Dolan’s words were similar, though not identical, to his prayer at the RNC. After the RNC benediction, Dolan granted an interview saying he would be happy to pray at the DNC, and the invitation to have the nation’s top Catholic official in attendance came shortly thereafter.
At both conventions, Dolan asked God to make those in public office worthy to serve, and asked that they remember a good government serves the needs of its citizens, not of itself.