New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan offered an invocation on the opening evening of the Republican National Convention, underscoring the importance of prayer at this moment in the nation’s history.
Over and over during his invocation, Cardinal Dolan repeated the refrain “pray we must,” insisting that gratitude and neediness impel Americans to turn to God to thank Him for his abundant blessings and to invoke Him for the many intentions that require divine assistance.
“Let us pray. And pray we must, as grateful citizens of a country we boldly claim to be one nation under God,” the cardinal said. “Pray we must, praising the Lord for a country where freedom of religion is so cherished.”
Both Republicans and Democrats begin their conventions “heads bowed in prayer,” Dolan observed, a visible image of one nation, under God.
The cardinal called down God’s blessings and protection on those suffering from COVID and on “our troubled cities and the police who guard them.”
He went on to pray for “our men and women in uniform” who keep the peace, as well as “the innocent life of the baby in the womb.”
He prayed for “our elders in nursing care and hospice,” “our immigrants and refugees,” and “those lives threatened by religious persecution throughout the world, or by plague, hunger, drugs, human trafficking or war.”
In concluding, the cardinal also asked for divine wisdom for “an electorate so eager to perform its duty of faithful citizenship” while reiterating that Americans dare claim: “In God we Trust.”
Cardinal Dolan has taken heat from Catholic Democrats who have berated him for not being more critical of the Trump administration.
Last spring, the progressive National Catholic Reporter (NCR) newspaper published an editorial titled “Dolan delivers the church to Trump and the GOP,” in which the paper’s editors accused the New York cardinal of having “inextricably linked the Catholic Church in the United States to the Republican Party and, particularly, President Donald Trump.”
The editors said Cardinal Dolan had “capitulated” to the Republican Party, for having participated in a conference call with Mr. Trump.
Similarly, Catholic Democrats from the George Soros-funded organization Faith in Public Life (FPL) posted an online letter blasting the cardinal and other bishops for engaging in the conference call, insisting that the president is “not pro-life.”
“Instead of challenging Trump’s cruelty toward immigrants, denial of climate change and racism, Cardinal Dolan praised the president,” the letter declared. “He even joked he talked to Trump more than his own mother.”
In response, Cardinal Dolan said that left-wing Catholic Democrats had become “snotty” over his attempts to encourage dialogue.
“Now the left wing is snotty about the fact that I was part of a conference call with Catholic leaders, and I just say, ‘Look, are we in the sacred enterprise of accompaniment and engagement and dialogue, or are we not?” he asked in an online Facebook interview with Jesuit Father Matt Malone, editor-in-chief of America magazine.