GOP tries to Capture Catholic Vote
The Republican Party made a bold move this week by asking Cardinal Timothy Dolan to close their National Convention in Tampa. The Cardinal accepted. The Republicans want to gain Catholic votes so they requested the leader of the country’s Catholic bishop to close out their convention with a benediction. The Republicans are seeking to take advantage of the churches dispute with the White House administration.
Many thought that the Cardinal would have followed proper protocol and declined the invitation so a local and lower profile cleric could give the closing benediction. Dolan said he was willing to give a prayer at the convention for the Democrats in Charlotte in early September, as well. He insists that his presence and participation this week at the convention is not partisan. His spokesman said that prior to accepting the invitation, Dolan spoke to organizers and said it is standard practice of the church for a local bishop to offer the blessing. However, the spokesman said the Republicans requested that Dolan give it.
Dolan is not only the bishop for New York City, but also leads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and is the front for the conference’s opposition to the White House administration’s regulation that religious affiliated schools, charities and hospitals, not including churches themselves, provide their employees with heath care services that are preventative, including different forms of contraception. The bishops say the policy by the White House administration is nothing more than a war on their freedom of religion.
Romney made the announcement of Dolan’s participation at the convention on the ETWN network, a conservative television network for Catholics. Romney said he supported religious freedom completely when asked about Dolan’s opposition to the White House’s requirements.