Dolan to Close of Both Parties' Conventions

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan will offer closing prayers at the Democratic National Convention Sept. 6, as he will at the Republican National Convention a week earlier. Cardinal Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, accepted an invitation from the Democratic convention organizers to deliver the benediction on the last night of the Sept. 4-6 event, after clearing it with Charlotte, N.C., Bishop Peter J. Jugis, said an statement on Aug. 28 from Joe Zwilling, spokesperson for the New York Archdiocese. Since the Charlotte convention is in his diocese, protocol would call for Bishop Jugis to have the say over whether a bishop from another diocese plays such a role. Zwilling's statement from the previous week announcing Cardinal Dolan's participation in the G.O.P. convention in Tampa, Fla., said the cardinal had cleared that activity with St. Petersburg Bishop Robert N. Lynch, whose diocese includes Tampa. "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," said Zwilling's statement. Clergy from several denominations are scheduled to pray at the opening and closing of each day's sessions of the party conventions. The tradition of such prayers goes back more than 100 years. It is unusual for the same person to pray at both conventions in the same year, but it's not without precedent. For example, in 1948, Philadelphia Cardinal Dennis J. Dougherty prayed with both parties when the nominating conventions met in Philadelphia. Nor does the local Catholic prelate always participate. At the 2008 conventions, neither Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver nor Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minn., participated in the Democratic and Republican conventions, respectively, in their cities. Archbishop Chaput said he was never approached about it, and Archbishop Nienstedt said he declined.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Rohingya refugees wait to receive aid Sept. 21 at a camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. (CNS photo/Cathal McNaughton, Reuters)
This year the Grand Bargain on refugees seems increasingly fragile.
Kevin ClarkeSeptember 22, 2017
Residents mourn on Sept. 20 for the 11 victims killed in a church in Atzala, Mexico, during the Sept. 19 earthquake. A Catholic bishop in Mexico said the situation was extremely serious, and much aid would be needed. (CNS photo/Imelda Medina, Reuters)
The earthquake feels like yet another crisis tearing at our transnational families. The earthquake was a natural disaster, but the many ways American society fails to value the lives of foreigners, of immigrants, of its own citizens, because of their skin color or their Latino heritage is a
Antonio De Loera-BrustSeptember 22, 2017
“It is good to rediscover our history and welcome the diversity of the people in the United States.”
J.D. Long-GarcíaSeptember 22, 2017
These photos were taken August 16, 1920, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital for the Insane. Salmon had been on a hunger strike for 34 days. (National Archives and Records Administration via the website BenSalmon.org)
The courageous witness of 'unarmed prophet' Ben Salmon—precisely one century ago—anticipated a major development in Catholic doctrine on war and peace,.
Barry HudockSeptember 22, 2017