Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will offer a prayer at the opening of the Republican National Convention next week, the cardinal announced Tuesday.
“As a priest, one of my most sacred obligations is to try and respond positively whenever I am invited to pray,” Dolan said in an Aug. 18 statement.
“Prayer is speaking to God, offering him praise, thanking him for his many blessings, and asking for his intercession; it is not political or partisan.”
“That is why I have accepted an invitation to pray at the Republican National Convention,” the cardinal added. “My agreeing to pray does not constitute an endorsement of any candidate, party, or platform. Had I been invited to offer a prayer for the Democratic National Convention, I would have happily accepted, just as I did in 2012.”
In fact, Dolan led prayers in 2012 at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, and in 2017, he led a prayer at President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The announcement of Dolan’s participation in the Republican convention, to be held next week mostly online, came after it was announced that Fr. James Martin, SJ, and Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, would offer prayers at the Democratic National Convention this week.
Martin, an editor-at-large for America Magazine, told the National Catholic Reporter that he was “honored” to be asked to pray at the DNC.
The priest said that his prayer will “respect the dignity of all life,” including “the unborn, the young Black person, the LGBTQ teen, the migrant.” He said that he hopes that his prayer “will help people find a way to build a more welcoming nation.”
In a tweet, Martin said that he would offer “the same prayer” at the upcoming Republican convention if asked to do so. Martin, who is well-known for his book “Building a Bridge” and advocacy on issues related to homosexuality, has also spoken frequently regarding his support for the Church’s teaching on abortion.
For the curious, here is what the cardinal said in 2012:
With firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, let us pray:
Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus, we beg your continued blessings on this sanctuary of freedom, and on all of those who proudly call America home. We ask your benediction upon those yet to be born, and on those who are about to see you at the end of this life. Bless those families whose ancestors arrived on these shores generations ago, as well as those families that have come recently, to build a better future while weaving their lives into the rich tapestry of America.
We lift up to your loving care those afflicted by the recent storms and drought and fire. We ask for the grace to stand in solidarity with all those who suffer. May we strive to include your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, in the production and prosperity of a people so richly blessed.
Oh God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us, and on those who would govern us: the president and vice-president, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and on all those who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office, especially Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself.
Almighty God, who gives us the sacred and inalienable gift of life, we thank you as well for the singular gift of liberty. Renew in all of our people a respect for religious freedom in full, that first most cherished freedom. Make us truly free, by tethering freedom to truth and ordering freedom to goodness. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope, and love; prudently, and with justice; courageously, and in a spirit of moderation. Enkindle in our hearts a new sense of responsibility for freedom’s cause. And make us ever-grateful for all those who, for more than two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg your mighty hand upon our beloved men and women in uniform.
May we know the truth of your creation, respecting the laws of nature and nature’s God, and not seek to replace it with idols of our own making. Give us the good sense not to cast aside the boundaries of righteous living you first inscribed in our hearts even before inscribing them on tablets of stone. May you mend our every flaw, confirming our soul in self-control, our liberty in law.
We pray for all those who seek honest labor, as we thank you for the spirit of generosity to those in need with which you so richly blessed this nation.
We beseech your blessing on all who depart from here this evening, and on all those, in every land, who seek to conduct their lives in freedom.
Most of all, Almighty God, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country.
For we are indeed “one nation under God.”
And “in God we trust.”
Dear God bless America. You who live and reign, forever and ever,