Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Contrarian Take on Cardinal Dolan’s DNC Prayer


Media outlets went crazy with the "news" that Cardinal Timothy Dolan gave a “conservative” prayer to close the Democratic National Convention. They based this view on the fact that his prayer included calls for protecting life, true marriage, and religious freedom.
I read Cardinal Dolan’s prayer at the Democratic National Convention which caused such fuss, and strongly disagree with the assessment that the prayer was "Republican" or "conservative." Dolan certainly called for respect for those “waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and pursued.” This, of course, stood in stark contrast to the fixation on abortion at the Democratic National Convention.
But Dolan merely reiterated basic Christian principles in his prayer - principles which the Democratic platform rejected. His prayer served as a simple yet elegant reminder to those present of the principles that true Christianity entails, which transcend politics.
As I noted in an article that appeared on Catholic Exchange, the Church is neither “liberal” or “conservative” – the Church is Catholic. The Church is not beholden to either party.
But the Church stands for certain principles, such as the right to life and the preferential option for the poor, that come into conflict with various elements of political platforms. When these principles are attacked, it is the duty of the Christian to offer fraternal correction in a spirit of loving charity, and to remind those who reject those principles of their Christian duty.
Cardinal Dolan’s prayer was a loving reminder that Christianity demands respect for certain basic rights - and a call for those present to reexamine their consciences. It was not a "conservative" prayer. It was a Christian prayer.

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