Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York and a top Catholic leader in the Church’s charge against all the things it’s still against, was speaking at the Republican National Convention before he was speaking at the Democratic one but was there “to pray, not to engage in partisan politics.” And so, despite the Church’s pending lawsuit against the Obama administration’s contraception policies and a late invitation, Dolan was on hand last night to close out the convention in Charlotte just as he did last week in Tampa. But he did switch things up a little, making sure to (sort of) subtly remind the heathen Democrats where he stands on abortion and same-sex marriage.
Whereas, at the RNC, Dolan said, “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,” in front of the more pro-choice party he said, “We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected.”
The coded digs continued. At the RNC, Dolan said, “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.” But at the DNC, he went further: “Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” he prayed. “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.” Institutions like, say, marriage?
After a few days of promises to fight for the reproductive rights of women and marriage equality from a party more or less united behind those principles, it was an odd note to end on.