Card. Dolan will not offer a prayer at Dem convention as will for GOP.

Life News says:

Obama Rejects Catholic Leader for Democratic Convention Prayer

by Steven Ertelt |

Timothy Cardinal Dolan will deliver the benediction at the Republican Party convention but, in a slight to Catholics, pro-abortion President Barack Obama rejected Cardinal Dolan’s similar offer of a prayer at the Democratic convention.  [Perhaps they understand the power of a photo-op.]

Dolan told Democrats he would be “grateful” to deliver a blessing in Charlotte, according to the New York Post, but Obama turned him down.

Dolan — considered the top Catholic official in the nation, as head of the Archdiocese of New York and president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops — tipped off Democrats a few weeks ago that he had agreed to deliver the prime-time benediction at the Republican convention in Tampa next week, Dolan’s spokesman Joseph Zwilling told The Post.

As the Post reported:

“He wanted to make sure that they knew that this was not a partisan act on his part and that he would be just as happy and grateful to accept an invitation from the Democrats as he would to have received one from the Republicans,” said Zwilling.

“He has not been contacted by them” since, he added.

A senior Obama campaign official said yesterday that the Democrats would have a “high-ranking” Catholic at the convention, but indicated the arrangements weren’t yet final.

“I can’t announce it because the person hasn’t got their plane ticket,” said the official.

Obama campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher would say only, “The Catholic clergy will be an important part of a diverse community of interfaith leaders represented in Charlotte.”

The symbolism of Cardinal Dolan praying at the Republican convention is important as Romney works to reach Catholic voters in swing states to defeat pro-abortion President Barack Obama.


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  1. TNCath says:

    It all depends on what the Democrats mean by “high ranking.” To President Obama, Father Jenkins at Notre Dame, the editors of America magazine, Sister Carol Keehan, and the leaders of the LCWR are “high ranking.” We know it won’t be Cardinal Burke! I’d say it will be either Cardinal Mahony again (he did the invocation at the 2000 convention in Los Angeles) or perhaps former USCCB president and now Archbishop of Atlanta, Archbishop Wilton Gregory. Or perhaps they will ask the current Bishop of St. Petersburg, Bishop Robert Lynch, who is conspicuously absent from any commentary about it on his blog about Cardinal Dolan’s appearance.

  2. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    “I can’t announce it because the person hasn’t got their plane ticket,” said the official.

    Huh? Is there some confidentiality or security law about announcing speaking invitations prior buying airline tickets now?

  3. Girgadis says:

    This sounds like the inspiration for a poll (and in less polite circles, perhaps a bet). My guess is that it will be a high-profile Catholic who has been openly critical of the Ryan budget. There’s a snowball’s chance in hell that it would be a Catholic who has spoken out against abortion and the HHS mandate.

  4. chantgirl says:

    Let the wagers commence! “High ranking Catholic” does not have to mean a priest. Perhaps we will see the nuns from the bus tour or Sr. Keehan?

  5. mamajen says:

    I bet you it will be a nun on the bus. That would fit all of their criteria.

  6. Therese says:

    It appears the Democrats are more careful about whom they invite to their parties than Cardinal Dolan is. (Yes, I wrote a note to Card. Dolan, asking him not to host Obama at this year’s Al Smith dinner. In retrospect, I’m glad he did so anyway. Life’s too short to be petty.) No, I don’t have a clue who will represent [lowercase] catholics in Charlotte but I’m certain that person won’t be a woman.

  7. Sissy says:

    I’m voting with you, mamajen. I think it will be a “pro-choice nun”. The real question is, will there be puppets?

  8. St. Louis IX says:

    Pray for us

  9. OrthodoxChick says:

    I too, will jump on the “nun on the bus” bandwagon. I think Obama would love to use a dissident nun to pander to the liberal feminist base and to thumb his nose at the Church hierarchy.

  10. majuscule says:

    “A senior Obama campaign official said yesterday that the Democrats would have a ‘high-ranking’ catholic at the convention, but indicated the arrangements weren’t yet final.”

    Nancy Pelosi.

    She knows a lot about her catholic faith.

    Oh, but wait, she doesn’t fly commercial. She wouldn’t need a ticket.

  11. rodin says:

    The Great Divider is always pleased to open the cracks between high-ranking Catholics and rank kathlicks.

  12. Indulgentiam says:

    “I can’t announce it because the person hasn’t got their plane ticket,” said the official.”

    that excuse ranks right up there with; “i can’t give you my book report b/c it got hit by lightening on my way to school” sheesh! my money is on sis. Chittister or fr. Jenkins or both. A sort of buy one get one free deal.

  13. frjim4321 says:

    Maybe Cuomo. High-profile Catholic with lots of credibility among some Catholic voters.

  14. New Sister says:

    We must pray for whomever this Catholic is. I think the Abp of Atlanta is a good guess. His participation would enable the press to counter the validity of Catholic law suits against the HHS mandate, as well as the outspoken opposition of black pastors to the gay marriage “silliness”. He would give Bible-believing African-Americans a replacement figure to look up to whilst energizing liberal catholics. AND, the presence of a Catholic Bishop would, unintentionally or otherwise, sanction Biden’s/Pelosi’s/Kerry’s “practice” of Catholicism as acceptable. And we know how the media would treat a black bishop over Cardinal Dolan — plus mentioning that the latter would have “gratefully” been there if he could have.

    I hope it’s a bus nun over this. I sincerely hope and pray that a Catholic Bishop does not appear at the DNC convention.

  15. Tradster says:

    I hope Cardinal Dolan would have been just as eager to tip off the Republicans if the Democrats had been the ones to invite him.

  16. Sissy says:

    frjim4321 said: “Maybe Cuomo. High-profile Catholic with lots of credibility among some Catholic voters.”

    I think that’s a good guess, Fr. Jim. He’s pro-abortion and lives openly with his out-of-wedlock girlfriend. I think he would line up perfectly with Democrat values.

  17. heway says:

    @Girdadis – agreed but I go for the ‘bet’ also. Maybe a poll and a pool?
    Who was it at America magazine or NCR that called Ryan’s plan immoral? A sainted Jesuit?
    I love hearing the different guesses that are on here. God bless him/her and pray they don’t humiliate the Catholic church!

  18. frjim4321 says:

    Do I win a cigar if I am right?

  19. frjim4321 says:

    Yes, Sissy, I would tend to think whoever it is is pro-choice and pro-marriage rights.

  20. louder says:

    I hope Cardinal is beginning to understand that he’s not using politicians, they’re using him. He needs to get out of these situations because he is being used, and not in a good way.

  21. frjim4321 says:

    Louder, I tend to agree. ++D seems to enjoy the limelight, though and I don’t think it always works to his advantage.

  22. Sissy says:

    Fr. Jim, “pro-marriage rights” would have to refer to natural marriage since that’s the only kind of marriage that exists. So, I’ll quibble with you there. There is no “right” for homosexuals to marry each other, either in the natural law nor under the US Constitution.

  23. Charivari Rob says:

    Which Cuomo?

    Andrew doesn’t have much ooomph. How about Vicki Kennedy, especially after the Anna Maria College commencement thing earlier this year?

  24. DLe says:

    I’d say the Secretary of Health and Human Services is also pretty high-ranking.

  25. tzard says:

    @frjim “…I would tend to think whoever it is is pro-choice and pro-marriage rights.”

    Your username seems to indicate so, and people’s natural response to you as “Father Jim” – seem to indicate you are a priest.

    I would recommend you avoid using such terms as “pro-marriage rights” as the politicos are using, to avoid giving the scandalous impression you think there are such things as “rights” to homosexual marriage (for there are no other “rights” in question at the moment in public discourse).

    Words are important, for words are deeds. God Bless.

  26. Maybe Bp Gumbelton?….or Bp Blaire?

  27. anna 6 says:

    Did anyone else see Erin Burnett interview R. Arroyo and James Carville on CNN on Thursday? Carville suggested that the Dems should invite Sr. Simone Campbell to do the invocation. Arroyo’s reaction is priceless.

    Heaven help us!!

  28. jessicahoff says:

    It ought to be the nuns on the bus.

  29. TNCath says:

    In light of the fact that Cardinal Dolan already offered to say a prayer at the Democratic convention and was , I’m now beginning to wonder if there has been a subtle message sent to the active U.S. bishops NOT to accept an invitation. Of course, this does not necessarily mean that a retired bishop who didn’t care would. If this is the case, the Democrats will most likely bring forward a priest or sister who obviously favors the Obama administration.

  30. frjim4321 says:

    Raymond might have been a bit star struck being on a real news network and perhaps a bit overwhelmed by being outclassed by James but he made two blunders: (1) He applied the word “dissident” to a woman religious in an era and culture that understand dissidence as a positive quality, such as in “the Chinese dissident,” “the dissident from Myanmar,” etc. (2) He threw a hissy about women religious only being real when they wear habits, which would be sure to rile just about anyone in an era and culture in which many people’s positive feelings about sisters have nothing to do with what sisters wear. Also, habits had nothing to do with the subject at hand . . . sort of like fixating on Paul Ryan’s lack of a tie. Lightweight! Game, set and match to James.

  31. lydia says:

    I think it will be a consortium of so-called religious. An in your face renagade Catholic, a radical muslim imam, a self loathing jewish rabbi and a crazy rev wright type black minister is what I think we’ll see take the stage durning the democrat convention. The closer will be Barry Linn. This will appeal Obama voters.

  32. frjim4321 says:

    Also, how many undecided voters out there care about what sisters wear?

    A lost opportunity to discuss substantive matters.

  33. wmeyer says:

    “Raymond might have been a bit star struck being on a real news network…”

    ROFL! CNN a real news network? Their current ratings indicate they can’t even claim as many viewers as populate metro Atlanta. And the numbers are declining. Their credibility is roughly on par with MSNBC. Which is to say, -3 on a scale of 1o. Obama campaign headquarters south.

  34. Sissy says:

    frjim4321 asked: “Also, how many undecided voters out there care about what sisters wear?”

    I don’t know, Father. I get the feeling from reading this blog that some Catholic voters who comment on here are both undecided and concerned about what sisters wear. It’s possible there are traditional-minded Catholics who have historically voted for Democrats but are now undecided (perhaps because of information like the post Fr. Z has up about the Born Alive Bill) .

  35. Gail F says:

    This is a surprise? I would not expect them to invite him in a million years. Non-story made into a story: “+Dolan, Uninvited, Says He will Come if Invited; Remains Uninvited.”

  36. Gail F says:

    Someone bet me $5 it will be Sr. Simone from Nuns on the Bus, she of “Ryan’s budget is immoral and we stand with the bishops on that” fame. I hadn’t thought of it but I think he wins the $5.

  37. frjim4321 says:

    Tzard, thank you for the civility of tone. You set a good example for me and all. I was rude in my statement about Raymond Arroyo because I am so offended by him. But I guess that is no excuse for being rude or hurtful.

  38. SKAY says:

    James Carville is just the loudest mouth in the room and sleezy politics is his game. He fit right in with Bill Clinton-who had a problem with the truth–and certainly fits with Obama-who also has the same problem.
    If you live in Louisiana you recognize the kind of politics Carville is engaged in and I am sure he feels quite at home with the “Chicago Way” political game.
    Raymond is from New Orleans–but he is not a Carville type political operative – thank goodness.

    Father Pfleger of Chicago was a big backer of Obama and was/is also a good friend of Rev. Wright and Louis Farrakhan–who were also supporters Obama. Perhaps he would represent the kind of Catholic that the Democrats would be comfortable with.

  39. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Is it using too fine-toothed a comb to note there is no reference to a ‘ “high-ranking” U.S. (citizen) Catholic’ ? Who is the nearest South- or Central-American analogue to, say, Desmond Tutu?

  40. Michelle F says:

    Since everyone is placing bets, I’m going to wager that they invite Fr. Thomas J. Reese, S.J.

    He is a favorite in the liberal media, and he has the additional cool-factor of being a professor at Georgetown, where he was sent after being fired from his position of editor of America magazine on orders of Pope Benedict XVI (which gives Fr. Reese bonus cool-factor points for having been persecuted by the mean old Pope).

    I will also place a small sum on Sr. Joan Chittister, another media darling, should the Dems want to avoid the patriarchal overtones invoked by inviting Fr. Reese – although she might be something of a has-been in the media these days.

  41. Phil_NL says:

    And they actually invited card Dolan afterall!

    Now I wonder if they cardinal will have his text vetted in advance. After all, the D’s can’t have him praying for those not-yet-born, or for wisdom concerning natural marriage, and so forth.

    Frankly, if I were in the cardinal’s shoes, I’d even throw caution to the wind and depart from the vetted text with a fire-breathing prayer….

  42. jhayes says:

    ++Dolan speaks to Dems. Here’s the announcement from the archdiocese website

    “Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, has accepted an invitation to deliver the closing prayer at next week’s Democratic National Convention.  As was previously announced, he will also be offering the closing prayer at the Republican Convention on Thursday of this week.

    It was made clear to the Democratic Convention organizers, as it was to the Republicans, that the Cardinal was coming solely as a pastor, only to pray, not to endorse any party, platform, or candidate.  The Cardinal consulted Bishop Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte, who gave the Cardinal his consent to take part in the convention that will be taking place in his diocese.”

  43. Supertradmum says:

    I am sorry, but I cannot understand why His Eminence is praying at the Democratic Convention. His presence there will just confuse Dem Catholics more.

  44. jhayes says:

    Nun also speaks

    “A nun who has been critical of the Republicans’ federal budget will also have a speaking role at the Democratic convention, a source with the President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign said Tuesday.

    Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of a social justice group NETWORK, who helped lead a recent “nuns on the bus tour” against Rep. Paul Ryan’s federal budget, will speak, the source said.”

  45. jhayes says:

    Supertradmum, I assume ++Dolan wants to get across that the Church does not support either party.

    The USCCB has issued position papers rejecting both the Ryan budget and the HHS mandate.

    He could review those positions at the appropriate conventions but I hope he will just pray that God give wisdom to our elected leaders, whoever they may be.

  46. wmeyer says:

    “Supertradmum, I assume ++Dolan wants to get across that the Church does not support either party.”

    Since the media will report what the Dems wish, and not anything contrary, I think the convention is a poor choice of venue. And as Supertradmum suggested, I believe that it will be used to cloud the issues, in the direction even of claiming that the bishops are not opposed to Obama. That would be most unfortunate. Actually, I believe the right term for it would be scandalous.

  47. jhayes says:

    in the direction even of claiming that the bishops are not opposed to Obama

    The bishops are opposed to some of Obama’s policies just as they are opposed to some of Ryan’s policies and those of others – but I haven’t seen any statement from the USCCB that they are opposed to the re-election of Obama.

    Can you provide a link to one (from the USCCB – not individual bishops)?

  48. Sissy says:

    jhayes said: “I haven’t seen any statement from the USCCB that they are opposed to the re-election of Obama….Can you provide a link to one (from the USCCB – not individual bishops)?”

    I don’t think the USCCB can issue an official endorsement from the organization itself without running afoul of IRS rules (whereas individual Bishops are free to make their personal views known). See this article by a Notre Dame law professor:

  49. Michelle F says:

    I was a bit surprised and very disappointed to see that Cardinal Dolan is going to the Democratic Convention as well as to the Republican Convention. As some of you already mentioned, this is going to cause a great deal of confusion among Catholics who are neither well-catechized nor given to critical thinking. I wish the Catholic Church in the U.S. would give up its 501(c)3 tax-exempt status so the bishops and priests could start talking about political issues, and support and condemn politicians by name.

    Also, someone should remind His Eminence of how the reputation of Pope Pius XII, who engaged in less hanky-panky with Adolf Hitler than His Eminence proposes to engage in with Barack Obama, is sullied to this day. Does no one learn from history?

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