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Dolan to Offer Prayer at Both DNC, RNC

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Every year during the parade, Archbishop Timothy Dolan greets Italian-American parade-goers outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Every year during the parade, Archbishop Timothy Dolan greets Italian-American parade-goers outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. (Marlon Bishop/WNYC)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan says he's now giving the closing prayer at both the Democratic and Republican conventions.

The New York Roman Catholic leader made the announcement Tuesday through his spokesman.

After GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced last week that Dolan would offer the benediction at this week's Republican Convention in Tampa, Fla., some Catholic liberals criticized Dolan's appearance. They said it gave the impression he was endorsing Romney.

Dolan, president of the U.S. bishops' conference, is also an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama's mandate that employers provide health insurance that covers birth control.

Dolan said he was participating only to give a prayer. After the criticism, Dolan said he offered to attend next week's Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., - an offer his spokesman says was accepted.

WNYC’s Amy Eddings spoke with David Gibson, a writer for Religion News Service and the author of The Coming Catholic Church and The Rule of Benedict about how Dolan’s presence at the GOP convention may affect the Catholic vote.

The fact that Dolan will be speaking at both conventions, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, shows the measure of respect both parties have for "out new cardinal."

"It's very flattering, I think, to him," Bloomberg said. "He's a very good speaker, and I'm sure he'll give a very nice invocation, blessing or whatever he chooses to call it."

 

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