Just as they had a week earlier at the RNC, the mainstream media ignored Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s benediction at the end of the DNC Thursday night in Charlotte. Once more, Fox News covered the 700 word prayer in its entirety as a featured event, CNN showed the video as the background setting for a group of talking heads, and MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and NBC failed to cover it at all.
Even Fox News offered virtually no commentary on the cardinal’s message.
It was unfortunate for viewers that Cardinal Dolan’s benediction received such little attention, because there was a powerful story in two things he said at the DNC that he had not emphasized at the RNC.
In one passage, Dolan confronted the Democrats directly on abortion:
Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected. Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile. (emphasis added)
In another passage, he indirectly criticized the Democrats for their recent support of gay marriage:
We praise and thank you for granting us the life and the liberty by which we can pursue happiness. Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community. May we welcome those who yearn to breathe free and to pursue happiness in this land of freedom, adding their gifts to those whose families have lived here for centuries. (emphasis added)
Despite these strong words in opposition to some of their party’s policies, the delegates in attendance were respectful as Cardinal Dolan delivered his benediction. Their conduct stood in stark contrast to the loud booing that took place on the floor when the DNC leadership decided to ram-down the inclusion of the word “God” in the Democratic Party platform on Wednesday.
The attentiveness of the delegates to Dolan’s message appeared to justify his non-partisan approach to appearing at both the RNC and DNC, even though the Democratic Party, under President Obama, has been consistently opposed to Roman Catholic theology in the areas of contraception and abortion.
There was an important story to be told in describing Cardinal Dolan’s message, the delegates reaction to it, and the implications of both for the general election. Unfortunately, this was one story the mainstream media had no interest in covering.