Cardinal to pray at Romney ceremony
MITT ROMNEY’S August 30th coronation as the Republican presidential candidate will be bookended by prayers from a close Mormon friend and the Irish-American Archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan.
Cardinal Dolan is also president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, one of dozens of Catholic groups suing the Obama administration over a directive requiring employers to provide health insurance that includes contraception. Churches are exempted, but church-run hospitals, charities and universities are not.
The announcement, made by Mr Romney in an interview with a Catholic television station on Wednesday night, coincides with a heated debate over abortion, sparked by a Republican politician’s claim that rape victims do not get pregnant.
Asked what he would do about the Obama administration’s requirement that employer-provided insurance includes birth control, Mr Romney said: “Well first of all, I’ll continue to meet with Cardinal Dolan – who by the way is going to offer the benediction on the last evening of the Republican convention after my acceptance speech . . . I am making it very clear that the interest of religious freedom is something I support wholeheartedly.”
Cardinal Dolan’s spokesman said the benediction was not an endorsement, just “a priest going to pray”.
But a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group called Truth Wins Out protested, recalling the bishops had condemned the Catholic vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget as a moral failure. “Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the just passed the most right-wing, anti-woman, anti-LGBT party platform in modern history,” said John Becker, TWO’s director of communications.