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August 23rd, 2012
09:17 AM ET

Cardinal Dolan to offer closing prayer at Republican Convention

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, America’s highest-profile Catholic official, will deliver the closing prayer at next week’s Republican convention, in another sign of how important the Catholic vote is expected to be this year.

The Archdiocese of New York confirmed Dolan’s role on Wednesday night, after it was reported by The Associated Press. News of Dolan's role initially came in an interview of presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney by EWTN, a Catholic television network, which is scheduled to air Thursday night.

Dolan is the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the church’s U.S. arm, and has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s rule requiring insurance companies to grant employees no-cost contraception coverage.

The Catholic Church opposes contraception and wants Catholic hospitals, colleges and other institutions to be exempt from the law.

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The bishops have also been critical of the Republican budget crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate.

A spokesman for Dolan said convention protocol calls for the local bishop to deliver such a prayer, meaning the slot would have normally gone to a Florida bishop, but that the Republican convention’s organizers insisted on Dolan’s participation.

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“The Cardinal made it clear to the RNC (and to the Democratic National Committee as well) that he was only there to offer a prayer, not to engage in any partisan politics,” the spokesman, Joseph Zwilling, said in an e-mail, “and that he would be willing to accept a similar invitation from the DNC if they were to invite him to pray at their Convention as well.”

Catholics are considered the quintessential swing vote, and no presidential candidate has won the White House without winning that bloc since at least the early 1990s.

Millions of middle-of-the-road Catholic voters populate key swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Catholic Church • Politics

soundoff (696 Responses)
  1. Bob

    The Democrats should have the former altar boys who Dolan abused personally or enabled other priests to abuse close their convention.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      Probably would get more priests watching to see if they did the same ones. Hahahahahahaaha

      August 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • truth be told

      The fact that some devious ho mo se xuals lied their way into the clergy to indulge their filthy pursuits should not reflect badly on the church. That is like blaming the banks for bank robbers.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • FROST

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things" <--- he will watch to

      August 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • FROST

      you should blame banks for bank robbers if they didnt suck our money out our pockets they wouldnt need to be robbed . frosty bows .

      August 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs .,

      August 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • FROST

      change ure name on here its to easy to make fun of you

      August 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      So does going without Oxygen. Try it! Hahahahahahahahaa

      August 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • William J. Burnett

      Sometimes God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.."garth brookes" Prayer is powerful but its results are not always seen... Stop asking What God Can Do For you and start asking what you can do for God... Then you won't need selfish prayers.... Pray always and Pray for everyone..

      August 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • just wondering

      @haha etc.
      Are you speaking from experience?

      August 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      Billy – I'm praying for you so you can see that the GOP hate the Poor, Sick, Hungry, Old, Oppressed, Gay, and Females. I pray you will follow what Jesus would do and vote Democrat. Hahahahahaahahaha

      August 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      @ just – Yes I am. I saw you the other day and prayed to god to get you some more Oxygen or whatever else might cure you. Hahahahahahaahah

      August 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • FROST

      William J. Burnett you sound like uncle sam just a church version . steal that line at all.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  3. Art

    Hey Bob, Where was Dolan's mouth when Massachusett, largely Catholic, tax payers covered abortions and birth control under RomneyCare?

    August 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • sam

      Oh, that's different. Romney is white and says whatever people want to hear, so that's ok.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  4. Madeline M. P.

    That the US Conference of Catholic Bishops sends its president, the highest-profile Catholic official in the US, to offer the closing prayers at the GOP convention is a slap in the face to the millions of poor and low-income Americans who are hit the most by the Ryan budget. Jesus always took the poor to heart but never once mentioned abortion or anything relating to contraception. So, Cardinal Dolan, who's your daddy because you are definitely NOT working with the Father!

    August 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  5. Lenny Pincus

    Keep the kids hidden.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • FROST

      he has one in his hat for later

      August 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  6. Jesus was a hunchback

    I know the GOP wants to turn America into a theocracy, but most American Catholics still vote Democrat.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Calvin

      Shows that most American Catholics are stupid.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • William J. Burnett

      Someone had better chart a course of change in America... if you think that our children and being guided in the right direction you had better take a closer look.... Jesus is the founder of the Catholic faith... what it has turned into is of man's doing... There is still time, thank God..

      August 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Bob

      Show that most American Catholics don't know their faith.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      Calvin thinks he's a rich republican and that the republicans actually represent him. Hahahahahhaah Try getting that camel through the eye of the needle! Hahahahahahaha

      August 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • William J. Burnett

      No Catholic should vote for anyone that is not pro-life ...

      August 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      Sure they do BOB. Jesus is a democrat. Hahahahahahahaha

      August 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • sam

      Jesus didn't found the catholic faith. Not only would he not recognize it today if he saw it, I think he'd ask his dad to set most of you on fire.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      BOB – No Catholic should vote for anyone that doesn't want to help the Poor, Sick, Old, Oppressed, or Female then either. The GOP hate them all!!! Hahahahahahaha

      August 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  7. William J. Burnett

    Peace to all souls, may Faith become Truth.. Fr. Timothy is a good man... with the elevation of his stature lets pray that he stays that way... Good choice for the closing prayer an the GOP convention.. God's speed.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      Is that you you s.u.c.k up in the Catholic Church? Or maybe there's another way? Hahahahahahahah

      August 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • FROST

      is gods speed is fast or slow

      August 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      it is God's speed

      August 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  8. matt

    What hitler and stalin had other engagements?

    August 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • William J. Burnett

      Get a grip matt..

      August 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  9. LetUsPray

    Bless the s.t.r.i.p.p.e.r.s and p.r.o.s.t.i..t.u.t.e.s in Tampa. Let them be free from disease so the RNC members don't spread it to their families.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Bob

      Bless the s.t.r.i.p.p.e.r.s and p.r.o.s.t.i..t.u.t.e.s in Charlotte. Let them be free from disease so the DNC members don't spread it to their families.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      How original Bob! Is that the name you use when soliciting? Hahahahahahaha

      August 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • FROST

      pray on. the parties at my house.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • sam

      The DNC isn't as wrapped up in pretend 'traditional family values' as the RNC is...so they don't lose control around strippers like most repubs. I'm sure you know that, though, Bob.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      BOB – No Catholic should vote for anyone that doesn't want to help the Poor, Sick, Old, Oppressed, or Female then either. The GOP hate them all!!! Hahahahahahaha

      August 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  10. Terry

    Yet another blowhard, bombastic Catholic Church official attemptimg to meddle in politics and and be open to manipulation by cynical politicians! Funny-why isn't Romney having one of his secretive church-s Elders deliver a closing prayer since he claims to be a devout Mormon! Puleeeeese!!!!!!!

    August 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  11. rATL

    I bet he'll be the first one through the door of the strip club! Making it rain!

    August 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • atroy

      No he will be going to K-mart where boy's pants are half off.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • rATL

      @atroy.........HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  12. cedar rapids

    The church may claim they arent being political but the gop sure are with this so if the church goes along with it then its no different than being political themselves.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  13. The GOP Voucher Plan will include a "Legalize Euthanasia" clause and a free gun to commit suicide

    You will need it when your health care money runs out.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • FROST

      can i watch

      August 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Hahahahahahahaha

      The gun includes a 100 round clip so the old people can go down firing. Sure go ahead and watch. Hahahahahaha

      August 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • FROST

      old people have Arthritis there trigger finger hurts. try a water gun.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      There will be plenty of them. One of them knows how to shoot. Hahahahahahahaha

      August 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    See prayer change a dogs life at saladandchips.com.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • FROST

      saladandchips.com do you toss salads on there

      August 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Your post proves that your soul is in need of Gods truth. See the light of God at saladandchips.com.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • FROST

      im cold and i melt in every church

      August 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  15. TAX THE CHURCH

    The church has become the militant wing of the GOP army. TAX THEM

    August 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Intelligent Catholic

      I don't believe there is a so-called "Catholic Vote". Voting Catholics are adults who can make up their own mind.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      You almost had me until I saw "Intelligent Catholic" in your name. Hahahahahahaah

      August 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  16. PSK

    As a catholic, I am disturbed that the highly respected bishop will accept the invitation. The present Republican Party’s philosophy is an affront to the Catholic Church’s teaching on social issues. The Republican party is more interested in unborn fetus than poor children in the inner cities of America. It is more interested in the wealthy few than the millions of Lazaruses in America.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Bob

      If you are NOT a cafeteria Catholic and believe as the Catholic Church teaches that life begins at conception, then the Democrats are the baby killing party. The Church teaches that we help those who cannot help themselves, and who is more helpless than a baby inside its mother's womb. Take a look at a aborted fetus. That doesn't look like a glob of tissue to me.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Sueb

      Bob, the Church has not always believed that life began at conception. For many years the debate was whether life started at quickening or when the baby was born. St. Thomas Aquinas believed it was at 40 days gestation; he was ardently anti-abortion in any case; I'm just saying it's not cut and dried. In my opinion, a woman has a right to do with her body as she sees fit. It's between her and God if she's wrong. Same thing with marriage equality. I'm going to treat my neighbor as I would want to be treated and if they're wrong in their beliefs, that's between them and God. Jesus wasn't as quick to judge others as some people on these message boards.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • sam

      Nice hysteria, Bob. Whatever you've been looking up online is not the reality of 99% of abortions. Move along, crazy.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      Bob – Take a look at a poor, hungry, abused, homeless, child. That's JUST a glob of tissue for the GOP. Hahahahahahaha

      August 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  17. Gwenie

    I would like to know why evangelicals and catholics are more concerned about birth control as they are about electing the Romney/Ryan team who will decimate the middle class, poor, sick,throw old people under the bus by destroying medicare,medicaid, social security, ACA and other safety nets for these people?..I don't know what bible they read, but the one I read states that God has a special place in his heart for the poor, orphans and widows which a lot of these individuals would fall into those catagories..These republicans are in for a rude awakening, because I don't care how much money they spend, and how they try to buy this election with their billionaire friends,GOD HAS THE LAST WORD...He sees what's going on and there are millions of people who would be hurt if Romney repeals healthcare..Some of these people are crying out to God, and trust me, he is going to hear them because he is a just and merciful God...It's kinda strange for a hurricane to head towards Tampa just in time for the republican convention; something that hasn't happened in 90 years...People need to stop playing with God...I now understand why Jesus said,"It's easier for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter into heaven"...

    August 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Alan

      I see you received your Obama 2012 handbook and are reading it verbatim.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • William J. Burnett

      Gwenie, you need to calm down... there is no evil'er sin than removing a baby from a mothers womb... Liberal people seem to be GOOD but evil hides itself in GOOD.. that is how its wins your soul.... by making you think you are doing good.. Peac to all souls my friend

      August 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Hahahahahahaha

      Billy, Billy, Billy. But letting the Old, Sick, Hungry, Poor, and Oppresses people just die like the GOP want must be just A-OK in your mind then right? Hahahahahahahaha

      August 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  18. FROST

    does he have a little kid under his hat in that video

    August 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  19. John Jacobson

    Well, now that the catholic church has taken a political side, it's time to remove their tax exemption

    August 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Larry

      The Bishop plainly stated he was not taking sides and offered to provide the same service to the Democrats.
      Larry

      August 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Larry,

      accepting their invitation is tantamount to taking a side.

      He is accepting the terms of the GOP using him as a pawn to win Catholic votes in OH and PA.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • GP

      Read the article closer. “The Cardinal made it clear to the RNC (and to the Democratic National Committee as well) that he was only there to offer a prayer, not to engage in any partisan politics,” the spokesman, Joseph Zwilling, said in an e-mail, “and that he would be willing to accept a similar invitation from the DNC if they were to invite him to pray at their Convention as well.”

      August 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Calvin

      John is a turd.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Wasn't it just last week that the Cardinal had dinner with the President. Was that taking sides too? You people have no concept of leadership do you?

      August 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bill D,

      there's nothing wrong with the Cardinal having private meetings with whosoever he chooses.

      Do you argue that this is something other than a ploy to win Catholic swing votes in PA and OH?

      Otherwise, what's wrong with having a local priest or bishop from Tampa provide a benediction? Why does it have to be the Cardinal?

      August 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @GP,

      I did read the article and I did note that the Cardinal's spokesman said he would be happy to accept an invitation from the DNC. It's kind of moot if they haven't invited him, isn't it?

      August 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  20. Discordia Nocturnum

    Tax religion already! The "believers" need to keep their religion out of politics, or have their religion taxed. Its bs they stick their nose into social issues and try to form social policy around archaic religious myths. Shut the fvck up or start paying taxes like the rest of us.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Bob

      Why is it that there values should be kept out and your's should not.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Sueb

      Discordia–people have a right to believe and to fight for their beliefs, just as you have the right not to believe. What you don't have the right to do is to denigrate people who believe.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.