The news that New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the nation’s most prominent Catholic prelate, will deliver the closing blessing to the Republican National Convention in Florida next week was seen as a huge coup for Mitt Romney, the party’s presumptive nominee. But the move has also prompted a sharp debate within the church over the increasingly close ties between leading bishops and the GOP.

The cozy relationship between a sizable portion of U.S. bishops and the Republican Party should be cause for concern, and not just among progressive Catholics,” Michael O’Loughlin wrote in a post on the website of America magazine, a leading Catholic weekly published by the Jesuits.

“Cardinal Dolan’s appearance in Tampa will damage the church’s ability to be a moral and legitimate voice for voiceless, as those who view the Catholic Church as being a shill for the GOP have just a bit more evidence to prove their case,” O’Loughlin concluded…

Similarly, David Cruz-Uribe, a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and a professor of mathematics at Trinity College, wrote on the Vox Nova blog that Dolan’s decision “will only drag the Church further into a partisan divide and fuel the perception (true or not) that the Catholic Church wants to replace the Episcopalians as the Republican party on its knees…”

They share a war on Women – denying reproductive rights, abortion, birth control, IVF – even the papal edict against a woman choosing to abort to save her own life. They oppose civil rights for the LGBT community. They demand that religious dogma and doctrine take precedence over civil law. All that may be missing from the podium that night is an appearance by one of those uppity nuns – gagged and in chains.

  1. Dallas says:

    All I say is a picture is worth a thousand words.

  2. Guyver says:

    So what?

    • GregAllen says:

      Tax exempt status is “so what?”

      The conservatives bishops are using the church to play politics.

      They needs to have their religion status changed to political.

  3. Jim says:

    worst part is, i would bet most pastors that actually have to work with the poor and normal people are a lot softer in their stands politically than the heirarchy. the nuns are also more sympathetic towards the dems because of working on the ground. I know my pastor has softened his political stands after working with a bunch of burmese catholic refugees, I know. so the biggest problem is maybe the bishops, arch-bishops, and cardinals have been too disconnected from the rest of the world to know what is going on.

    kind of ironic though, because when they made changes to the wordings in regular masses in November. the changes, according to my mom who used to teach sunday school for a while, harken back to the wordings promoted by Pope John 23rd, the pope who was for the longest time looked down upon by the top officials for things like Vatican 2, and his occasional sneaking out of the vatican offices in more humble clothing to spend time with the normal people on the street. and who set in motion the changes? Pope John Paul 2nd, as one of his last acts in his papacy.

  4. Marcin says:

    Cardinal Dolan was not invited to the Democratic National Convention but Democrats listed Muslim Jumah prayers as “official function.

    • GregAllen says:

      Why, in a million years, would they invite Dolan to their convention? He hates thinks we Democrats are Satan’s little helpers.

      As for giving Muslims a room to pray in — I’m fine with that. Any other religious group, too.

      What I’m not fine with is the anti-Muslim bigotry on right wing media today, about this.

  5. Marcin says:

    This just in:

    Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, has accepted an invitation to deliver the closing prayer at next week’s Democratic National Convention. As was previously announced, he will also be offering the closing prayer at the Republican Convention on Thursday of this week.

    So, Mr. Dworak I wonder if “The cozy relationship between a sizable portion of U.S. bishops and the Democratic Party should be cause for concern”?

  6. deowll says:

    It is my understanding that most Catholics voted Democrat. If you keep hate mongering maybe you can change that?

    • GregAllen says:


      I think most people here understand that there is a HUGE divide between the Catholic bishops and Catholics.

    • Gildersleeve says:

      That is correct – over the past 75 years Catholics have voted primarily Democrat. This became increasingly evident during FDR’s administration, when Catholics were primarily blue-collar. But today’s Democratic party are not the philosophical descendants of FDR – they act more like the ‘lunatic fringe’. Problem is, so does the Republican party. We used to elect Democrats because they appeared to run the government better than the Republicans. It’s clear NEITHER does now.

      Meanwhile, the Catholic bishops are tending to side with the party that shares *something* with them, and that is primarily the stand on abortion. There is little else to work with. Neither side provides a coherent strategy for dealing with fiscal, social or moral issues, so if the bishops appear to be taking sides, don’t get too worked up over it. You play the cards you’re dealt, and the hand stinks.

      • I love RCC says:

        Yet, when Obama set the mandate in motion to allow those immigrants who were brought here while children having grown up here in the USA, the bishops commended him for that action. That doesn’t sound biased to me, but we didn’t hear anything positive about that in the media, now did we.

  7. NewformatSux says:

    Almighty God, who gives us the sacred and inalienable gift of life, we thank you as well for the singular gift of liberty. Renew in all of our people a respect for religious freedom in full, that first most cherished freedom. Make us truly free by tethering freedom to truth and ordering freedom to goodness. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope and love, prudently and with justice, courageously and in a spirit of moderation. Enkindle in our hearts a new sense of responsibility for freedom’s cause and make us ever grateful for all those who for more than two centuries have given their lives in freedom’s defense. We commend their noble souls to your eternal care as even now we beg your mighty hand upon our beloved men and women in uniform. 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.