Dolan is leading prayers at the GOP convention in Tampa this week and will likewise join the Democrats in Charlotte next week
. The archbishop of New York - Dolan is also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops - isn't endorsing either party, as a statement from his office noted.
Joe Zwilling from the offices of the New York archdiocese said that "It was made clear to the Democratic Convention organizers, as it was to the Republicans, that the Cardinal was coming solely as a pastor, only to pray, not to endorse any party, platform, or candidate."
Catholic League speaks too soon
While the Democrats had said that they had asked a top ranking Catholic to appear at the DNC in Charlotte but did not wish to reveal the name until travel plans had been finalized, nonetheless some pundits assumed they had snubbed Dolan, who had made the offer to attend both conventions. It turns out that is not the case but The Catholic League's Bill Donohue is one who mistakenly jumped the gun: "The Republicans are smart enough to get the 'pope of America', and the Democrats are stupid enough not to invite him," he wrote.
Dolan has batted with Obama and his administration over aspects of Obamacare, such as the inclusion of contraceptives in health care. The plan, however, has exempted
churches and places of worship from offering to employees a healthcare package that would include contraceptives.
The Catholic Church has also been in vocal opposition to Republican initiatives and the national organization of bishops sent a series of letters
to the House condemning Republican V.P. nominee Paul Ryan's budget proposals. One letter said Ryan's vision “will hurt hungry children, poor families, vulnerable seniors and workers who cannot find employment” and that his proposed cuts are "unjustified and wrong."
Cardinal Dolan has longed called for more civility between the two parties.