Cardinal Dolan prays on the Nationwide Republican Conference
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will offer a prayer at the opening of the Republican National Convention next week, the cardinal said Tuesday.
"As a priest, one of my most sacred duties is to try to respond positively when I am invited to pray," Dolan said in an Aug. 18 statement.
“Prayer speaks to God, praises him, thanks him for his many blessings, and asks for his intercession; it's not political or partisan. "
"That is why I accepted an invitation to pray at the Republican National Convention," added the cardinal. “My consent to pray does not mean the approval of a candidate, party, or platform. Had I been invited to offer a prayer for the National Democratic Convention, I would have gladly accepted, as I did in 2012. "
Indeed, Dolan presided over prayers at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in 2012, and presided over a prayer at the inauguration of President Donald Trump in 2017.
Dolan's announcement that he would be attending the Republican Convention, largely online next week, came after it was announced that Father James Martin, SJ, and Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, would be offering prayers at the Democratic National Convention this week.
Martin, an editor-in-chief of America Magazine, told the National Catholic Reporter that it was "an honor" to be asked to pray at DNC.
The priest said his prayer would "respect the dignity of all life" including "the unborn, the young black, the LGBTQ teenager, the migrant". He hopes his prayer will "help people find a way to build a more welcoming nation".
In a tweet, Martin said that he would say "the same prayer" at the upcoming Republican Congress if asked. Martin, known for his book "Building A Bridge" and advocacy on issues of homosexuality, has also spoken frequently of his support for Church teaching on abortion.
If Martin's prayer included the explicit mention of "the unborn," as he suggested, it would be opposed to the Democratic Party's platform due to be passed at Congress this week. The draft platform, released in July, reads: "Democrats believe that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health services, including safe and legal abortion," and pledges to "restore federal funding for planned parenting."
Campbell, the executive director of the NETWORK lobby for Catholic social justice, had previously spoken at the 2012 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions.
During an interview with Democracy Now in 2016, Campbell said, "In my view, banning abortion is not a good policy," Campbell told Democracy Now, saying instead that pro-life activists "focus on women's economic development should focus and economic opportunity. That is what really makes the change. "
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “the right of every innocent person to life is a constitutive element of civil society and its legislation”.
For his part, Dolan hopes that “at this turbulent time in our nation's history, people of all religions or none can work together to seek peace and reconciliation in our hearts, in our cities and in our country. "