The Democratic Party, sensing that they are alienating the Catholic vote, quickly scrambled and accepted the invitation.
The Archdiocese of New York sent out the following statement:
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.
I wonder what time slot they will put Cardinal Dolan at.
I also wonder words he’ll use in his prayer…
UPDATE: Bill Donohue at the Catholic League samples a bunch of quotes from left-wingers who were speechless that Cardinal Dolan would dare pray at the Republican National Convention.
Andrew Sullivan called Dolan “The Republican Party Cardinal.” The Boston Herald’s Margery Eagan called him an “opportunist.” Mike D’Antonio at the Huffington Post accused Dolan of “leading the bishops in a partisan direction.” John Gehring of Faith & Public Life said he was “baptizing the Republican nominee.” Mike O’Loughlin at America accused him of “being a shill for the GOP.” TheNational Catholic Reporter said Dolan was “playing a dangerous game.” Sarah Posner at Salon said Dolan’s acceptance “solidifies a partisan partnership between the GOP and the Bishops.” Niall O’Dowd at the Irish Voice said his presence “is a dog whistle to all Catholics out there to support the GOP candidates.” And the Los Angeles Times editorialized that Dolan has “placed his imprimatur” on the Republican strategy.
Donohue notes that we could all learn from Cardinal Dolan, a man of principle who doesn’t look at every last thing through politicized glasses.
The fundamental difference between Cardinal Dolan and these critics comes down to one thing: he is a man of principle and they don’t know how to spell the word. He invited President Obama to the Al Smith Dinner, knowing he would receive flak from some on the right. Then he agreed to speak at the RNC, knowing he would be blasted by some on the left. Now he has accepted an invitation to speak at the DNC and none of his critics—on both the left and the right—can figure him out.
What this shows is that Cardinal Dolan is able to rise above the politics of the moment. But to those who view the world exclusively through the lens of power, this is completely unintelligible.