Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, will give the benediction on the final night of the Democratic National Convention next week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Tuesday.
“Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, has accepted an invitation to deliver the closing prayer at next week’s Democratic National Convention,” USCCB spokesman Joseph Zwilling said in a statement. “As was previously announced, he will also be offering the closing prayer at the Republican convention on Thursday of this week.”
Cardinal Dolan criticized the Obama administration’s contraception mandate earlier this year, calling it “a dramatic radical intrusion of government bureaucracy in the internal life” of the Catholic Church. The mandate requires employers’ insurers to provide birth control to their employees without a co-pay.
The statement from the USCCB said Cardinal Dolan, who is president of the organization, isn’t endorsing either party.
“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,” the statement said. “The cardinal consulted Bishop Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte, who gave the cardinal his consent to take part in the convention that will be taking place in his diocese.”