Cardinal Dolan latest prelate to offer prayers at political convention
Published: August 23, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The announcement that New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan would deliver a benediction at the Republican National Convention made him the latest in a long string of prelates to offer prayers at the major party conventions. Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the New York Archdiocese, said Aug. 23 that Cardinal Dolan accepted an invitation to offer the closing prayer at the Aug. 27-30 convention in Tampa, Fla. On the program for the evening, the benediction immediately follows the major address by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, accepting the nomination for president. The convention is to be gaveled to a close after the prayer. Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios is scheduled to offer a benediction Aug. 29, and the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, an Assembly of God minister who heads the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, is scheduled to do the same on Aug. 27. In his statement, Zwilling noted that the normal protocol would be for the local bishop to be invited to offer such a prayer, but that convention organizers approached Cardinal Dolan about doing it. Zwilling said Cardinal Dolan contacted Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla., whose diocese includes Tampa. He gave the cardinal his approval and the cardinal accepted the invitation. "It was made clear to the convention organizers, however, that the cardinal was coming only to pray, not to endorse," Zwilling said, "and that he would be willing to accept a similar offer from the Democratic Party as well. That same sentiment was conveyed to the Democratic National Committee." The lineup of who might offer invocations and benedictions at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 4-6, had not been announced as of Aug. 23.
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