1. Religion & Spirituality
Scott P. Richert

How Should Christians Pray? Thoughts on Cardinal Dolan's Prayer at the Republican Convention

By August 31, 2012

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The 2012 Republican National Convention came to a close on August 30 with a benediction delivered by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the cardinal-archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York and, by virtue of his position, perhaps the best-known and most powerful bishop in the United States. Cardinal Dolan had been approached by the planners of the Republican convention to deliver the closing benediction, and, after accepting, he approached the White House with an offer to do the same at the Democratic National Convention. The White House declined, even though Dolan had placed his own reputation on the line a few weeks before by inviting President Obama to appear at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. (See "Cardinal Dolan's Big Mistake?") The decision was later reversed, and Cardinal Dolan will give the benediction at the close of the Democratic National Convention as well.

For frequent observers of political events, both Republican and Democratic, the prayer seems like dozens, even hundreds, that have gone before. It includes allusions to the Declaration of Independence ("the sacred and inalienable gift of life"), common civic slogans that invoke the deity ("one nation under God," "in God we trust," "God bless America"), and patriotic songs of a religious bent ("May you mend our every flaw, confirming our soul in self-control, our liberty in law"). References to freedom, and to God as the source of that freedom, are abundant and expected, and not surprisingly the prayer also includes a veiled allusion to the Obama administration's contraception mandate ("Renew in all of our people a respect for religious freedom in full, that first most cherished freedom").

There was, however, an odd, though admittedly not unexpected, line at he beginning of the prayer:

Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus . . .

There was a time—again, not that long ago—when, even at civic events, Christians would pray in the manner of their particular denomination, as would Jews. Over the last few decades, however, it has become common for Christian ministers, especially Catholics, to pray in a manner that emphasizes God's oneness and deemphasizes, or even ignores, His threeness. This is often justified by the invocation of "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," from whom the three great monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have descended.

Emphasizing God's unity does not, in itself, present a problem. Look closely at the proper prayers for the Mass, and you will find that most are addressed to God the Father, rather than to all three members of the Trinity.

Yet look even more closely, and you will see that those same prayers always end with the invocation of Jesus, through Whom we approach the Father, or the invocation of Jesus, "Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God . . . "—in other words, an acknowledgment of the Trinity. And, of course, Catholic prayer in general, both in a liturgical setting and outside of it, begins and ends with the Sign of the Cross—the simplest and most common trinitarian prayer.

Like so many other Christian ministers praying before a mixed crowd in recent years, Cardinal Dolan did not refer to the Trinity at all in his benediction. He chose not to end it in a Catholic manner, with an invocation of Christ or the Trinity, and the only mention of Jesus is in that first line. He did make the Sign of the Cross before beginning the prayer, though he did not recite the words of the Sign of the Cross audibly (if at all).

Why is this important? Isn't this mere nitpicking, or even disrespect for a prince of the Church? As longtime readers know, I am not normally one to criticize bishops who are acting in their official capacity, and the rest of my remarks here are not aimed at Cardinal Dolan per se, but rather at a tendency among Christians to be so sensitive to the possibility of offending others by invoking the Trinity that they, at best, miss the opportunity to witness to the central doctrine of Christianity that separates it from Judaism and Islam. At worst, they may end up muddying the waters and leaving doubt about what Christians really believe—as, in my opinion, Cardinal Dolan's opening line does.

Let's look at it again:

Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus . . .

On the most basic level, these words are true. God is the "father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus." Why, though, did Cardinal Dolan not use the common ecumenical formulation "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob"? Perhaps because, by including Jesus in the list, it seemed wrong: We don't refer to God as "the God of Jesus."

So "father of" it is. But logically, when we say that something or someone is the A of X, Y, and Z, we mean that it or he has the same relationship—A—to X as he does to Y and Z.

But that's not the case here. God is the Father of Jesus in a way that goes beyond His being the father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (and the father of all of us). That's because Jesus is something more than another Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob (or another one of us). Fully man, He is also fully God, and thus God's fatherhood of Jesus is ontologically different from His fatherhood of us, because Jesus is the only begotten Son of God—that is, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

What would a non-Christian who is unfamiliar with Christian trinitarian theology—say, a Jew, a Muslim, or a Mormon—make of the equation of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus as sons of God? Such a person could be forgiven for thinking that the formula "the father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus" means what it logically seems to mean—that God is the father of all of them in the same way, and that Jesus, therefore, is no different from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Perhaps the likelihood of non-Christians being misled is low, but it is certainly not nonexistent. Many poorly catechized Mormons, for instance, truly believe that they hold the same understanding of the Trinity, and of Christ as the Son of God, as Christians do. Fuzzy language, designed to avoid offense, sows confusion.

When Christian ministers—not just Cardinal Dolan—have the opportunity to address a large, mixed crowd, it is a moment of witness. Such prayers do not need to be (and, even more, should not be) full-on evangelization—an attempt to convert those listening rather than to pray to God—but they should flow from our Christian convictions and they should not downplay our beliefs or avoid our traditional formulas for prayer. No one should find it surprising or offensive for a Catholic minister to begin a prayer with the Sign of the Cross, audibly as well as physically, and to end it in Jesus' Name, or to offer it through Christ, with a full invocation of the Trinity. Yet there's little reason to think that Christian ministers—at least those most likely to be asked to address such crowds—are likely to wake up and realize that their perfectly natural desire not to offend has kept them from being proper witnesses to the truth of the Gospel.

If we pretend long enough to be something that we're not, we may wake up one day to find out that we're no longer what we once professed to be.

"Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).

(This post was edited to correct an embarrassing error and to reflect the fact that the White House ultimately decided to feature Cardinal Dolan at the Democratic National Convention as well. Thanks to commenters Mike and Tribeca Mike.)

The Full Text of Cardinal Dolan's Prayer at the Republican National Convention:

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Comments
August 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm
(1) Mike says:

The poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty is by Emma LAZERUS, not Emma Goldman!

August 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm
(2) Scott P. Richert says:

Mike, thank you for catching my incredibly boneheaded error. I’d like to say that it’s because I’ve only had a dozen hours of sleep all week, but I can’t be certain that’s why.

I’ve edited the text accordingly.

August 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm
(3) Lori says:

I was thrown off by the opening line of the prayer. I’m used to hearing “..the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac,”…etc. Hearing Jesus’ name at the end of that line made me think that He is their baby brother.

August 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm
(4) Jim Jordan says:

Islam is not descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but from Abraham and Ishmael.

August 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm
(5) Scott P. Richert says:

Jim, the reason that the formula “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” is used in reference to the three monotheistic religions is because of Abraham. The claim that Islam is descended from Abraham through Ishmael does not affect that.

August 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm
(6) Maria says:

I think you meant to say “sows” confusion instead of sews. Otherwise, I agree with the point you made about not shying away from opportunities to witness to our faith.

August 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm
(7) Scott P. Richert says:

Thanks, Maria. As an editor of a monthly magazine (my day job), I always thought it was fascinating to see that, as writers got older, they would become more likely to type one homophone when they meant another. Then it started happening to me. :)

August 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm
(8) Celinedesilva says:

As a Catholic, I find it increasingly difficult to respect especially cardinals, bishops and priests who do not believe in the Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They manifest this public denial by their written and spoken words.

I have a few questions for this man.

Mr. Dolan,

Do you believe that Our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST IS GOD?

Are you putting God on the same level as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

Have you forgotten the following words of our Blessed Lord?

“I and the Father are one.” [John 10:30]
“Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.” John 8:58

Are you a Roman Catholic bishop? Just remember these words of the Son of God:

[32] Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. [33] But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. [Matthew 10:33]

You need to make a public statement about your blasphemy that will leas souls astray.

August 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm
(9) Celinedesilva says:

correction

Dolan,

You need to make a public statement about your blasphemy that will lead souls astray.

August 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm
(10) SCP Larry says:

Scott, I like almost everything you write, but I think so many people fall into a trap today of judging every little utterance of things Catholic by everyone who speaks as one. I think this particular posting may potentially feed the frenzy of those Catholics who find fault in everyone except themselves. As a member in good standing of the Catholic sinners club, this kind of slant drives me crazy. There is no need to pick nits today–no need to look for specks in the Cardinal’s eye when there are all kinds of people walking around with planks in theirs. I am one of those who believe there are many good leaders in the U.S. church, there are many good Catholic colleges, and we had more than one good Pope in the 20th Century. I think Catholics need to ease up a bit in their judgements, especially when it comes to those who are called to speak an encyclopedia of thoughts in a year’s time. No one is going to mistake Cardinal Dolan for anything other than a Catholic who is doing everything he can to lead the church here in the United States. When he said his goal in life is to become a saint, I don’t doubt it. I honestly hate to write this note to you. I also want to say that few people can do what you do with your columns, you walk a tight rope in the media and I know you personally get criticized from all sides. Keep up the good work and may God bless you. I look forward to more of your postings. But lay off Cardinal Dolan please!

August 31, 2012 at 5:05 pm
(11) Helen says:

Scott, as usual your writings are stimulation for discourse!
However, at this time, I tend to want to agree with SCP Larry.
We can open up a can of worms here and enter into an open litany of disrespect for Cardinal Dolan from amongst those whom he shepherds.
He is human. We ought to remember this and he did what he thought was ‘his correct’ act.
Instead of commenting in this way, may I ask that we pray for the gentleman’s office and for him as an annointed priest and bishop within our church. Mary has asked to pray for Her priests, not throw stones at them.
May God continue to give him the strength and wisdom he needs to dutifully fulfill his office.

August 31, 2012 at 5:26 pm
(12) Reginald Smith says:

I do not see this as a case of nit picking.
That first line jumped out at me. For non Christians that suggests that Jesus was/is a mere human.
We must always be vigilant and correct one another. Even our dear leaders from time to time. By discussing these things we may come to a greater understanding of what pressures people like Cardinal Dolan face from day to day, and thereby be stirred into more fervent prayer for them.
(If I should make a mistake someday I hope that it is pointed out.)
:D

- Reg.

August 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm
(13) Celinedesilva says:

SCP Larry
Are you Dolan’s Attorney?

Most Catholics are suffering from a massive dose of misguided charity and holier than Jesus syndrome.

Asking Catholics who clearly see and tell that the emperor has no clothes not to judge, is hypocritical especially by a Catholic of good standing pretending to ooze with a false humility.

You have not only judged but have also accused Catholics who stand up in defence of the Truth that our Lord Jesus Christ is God, “…there are all kinds of people walking around with planks in theirs…”

Have you forgotten about the silence and misplaced so called charity during those years that led to scandals in the Church?

Mr. Timothy Dolan will do well to humbly and prayerfully study St Paul’s letter to Timothy 4:3-5 “…Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. [3] For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: [And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. [5] But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober.”

(Jeremiah) 50:6 “My people have been a lost flock, their shepherds have caused them to go astray, and have made them wander in the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place.”

August 31, 2012 at 5:48 pm
(14) George says:

I was a bit taken back by the Cardinal’s prayer, too. My wife didn’t think the prayer was from the heart and she hated for continuously looking up? She said it looked weird. Also, she said he read the prayer in a monotone.

My advice to the Cardinal, not that he would listen, is to pray as a Catholic would and don’t worry about offending.

August 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm
(15) Tribeca Mike says:

Actually, Cardinal Dolan will be giving the final prayer at next week’s Democratic convention.

August 31, 2012 at 6:10 pm
(16) Scott P. Richert says:

Tribeca Mike, you are correct. Because of family matters, I’ve been out of touch for most of the past week, and hadn’t seen that the Democrats changed their initial decision. Thanks for pointing that out; I’ve updated the post.

August 31, 2012 at 6:19 pm
(17) Scott P. Richert says:

SCP Larry and Helen, I tried to make it clear that I am not criticizing Cardinal Dolan per se, but using his prayer as a current example of a trend that has been going on now for quite some time.

To point out that language that is designed to be non-offensive can often be misleading is hardly “throwing stones” or engaging in a “feeding frenzy.”

Even so, I did think long and hard before writing this post, because I knew that some people would take it the wrong way. However, this trend among Christian ministers who are asked to pray at public events is so pervasive now that I decided to address it anyway.

I do appreciate your kind words about my work, and understand your disagreement with this post.

August 31, 2012 at 6:28 pm
(18) Kirt Higdon says:

The whole wording of the prayer business might seem like technical nit-picking, but it sort of confirms my concern about all of these ventures of Dolan. He’s not speaking any kind of truth to power; he’s just being as politically correct as he can without falling into heresy. This is simply wining and dining with the enemies of Christ and the Church and being careful not to say anything that would cause him not to be invited back.

August 31, 2012 at 6:32 pm
(19) Celinedesilva says:

Helen,

You seem to be concerned about respect for Mr. Dolan. However you do not seem to even notice that as a priest, bishop and prince of the Catholic Church he has pledged to defend our Faith and be ready to shed his blood for the Faith.

To be politically correct, Dolan has not only denied and ignored the Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, he has also publicly denied and spurned our Catholic Creed.

LCP Larry calls this a “…little utterance of things Catholic…” This is not a little utterance. The Divinity of Jesus Christ IS OUR CATHOLIC FAITH and our Catholic Creed.

The Nicene Creed of the Catholic Church.

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all ages, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father, by Whom all things were made;

Who for us men and for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was Incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made Man;

He was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven. He sitteth at the right hand of the Father:

and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead: and His kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who, together with the Father and the Son, is adored and glorified: Who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I expect the resurrection
of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen

August 31, 2012 at 6:38 pm
(20) Celinedesilva says:

Scott P. Richert

Thank you and God bless you for this post.

It’s about time that the Truth be told, be heard and discussed.

August 31, 2012 at 6:51 pm
(21) Jim W says:

I see a lot of paranoia here. What if Cardinal Dolan (I will respect his title) had said “Almighty God, Father of Joe, Mary, Mike and Jesus”, who would be offended?
God is our Father and the Father of Jesus. That does not diminish the divinity of Jesus rather raises us up.
Do we go back to what the nuns taught me 60 years ago, that only Catholics will get to heaven? I see a skewed view of Catholicism in many of these comments.

August 31, 2012 at 7:08 pm
(22) Scott P. Richert says:

Jim W, you’re illustrating the problem quite well. It’s not that Cardinal Dolan said, “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” rather than “Joe, Mary, and Mike”; it’s that God is the Father of Jesus in an ontologically different way than He is the father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joe, Mary, and Mike.

The non-Christian who is unaware of that ontological distinction, and even (sadly) many Christians who are less aware of it than they should be, can be misled by the good cardinal’s attempt not to offend.

The Trinity is essential to Christianity; the divinity of Christ is essential to Christianity. To downplay both is to rob Christianity of its essence—that is, of its Truth.

August 31, 2012 at 8:03 pm
(23) Chris16 says:

I thought it was disrespectful that Boehner (he sounded drunk) brought Cardinal Dolan out after the balloons and the shouting of the audience was ongoing.
The Romney family had left the stage and not one member came back out to thank Cardinal Dolan or escort him off of the stage.
Were they to busy laughing it up with their token Hollywood star Eastwood.

August 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm
(24) Corine says:

Hi Scott,

I agree that Cardinal Dolan’s prayer appears to equate Jesus with everyone else. Wrong, wrong, wrong and yes, we should be careful and aware of how PC waters down our basic catholic beliefs.

Perhaps there were people in charge of reviewing and “approving” the prayer who made an effort to be inclusive and the Cardinal went along with what is most politically correct as was his voluntarily asking to lead the benediction for the Democrats. I think that idea is worse and most damaging. There is no way that any Catholic in good conscience should appear to endorse or be connected with the current leader of our country who does not respect it and who, in my opinion has made it clear that he does not respect any Christian religion.

August 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm
(25) Salvy says:

I’m afraid this Cardinal Dolan is a compromised man who’s great ambition has always been to move up in the ranks of the church. I heard an interview with his brother one time who said his brother Timothy always wanted to be a priest and nothing else since he was a young kid. I personally find this kinda weird.
I think a normal guy wrestles with this decision at least somewhere along the way. Heck, even Father Groeschel, who decided to become a priest since very young, said he first wanted to be a fireman.
This brother of Timothy Dolan is a media guy who wrote a book about his brother, and I’m sure if Dolan ever does make it to Pope you’ll see a second book.
The Cardinal seems to be attracted to the power and the limelight a little too much, so much so he’s afraid to identify Christ in the Trinity as the center of our Catholic faith and church to the political powers that be. I hope he enjoys his gourmet meal with Obama.
Excellent work again, Scott. You’ve got the mind of a Sherlock Holmes.

August 31, 2012 at 10:07 pm
(26) Celinedesilva says:

Jim W. You “..see a skewed view of Catholicism in many of these comments,” because the Truth is hard to take and it is not very comfortable.

Comments such as the above sadly display the lack of proper catechesis and an ignorance of the faith in addition to people liking this form of mediocrity.

They are the result of flawed and heretical teaching by many bishops and priests, through these 50 years, intent to please, rather than to preach the Truth, just as Timothy Dolan has been doing.

Firstly, we are speaking of the Only Begotten Son of the Father. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.

I am young and have come to realize that those in the 60’s and 70’s have robbed us young Catholics of our Catholic TRADITION and PATRIMONY.

Jim W, “Do we go back to what the nuns taught me 60 years ago”,

The Catholic Church did not start 60 years ago with Vatican II.
The nuns were right. We never left 2,000 years of Catholic teaching on Faith and Morals. Catholic teaching is the same. It has not changed and never will because JESUS SAID: heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.

What was wrong and sinful yesterday can never be right and virtuous today.

Jesus Christ, yesterday, today and forever is the same. God does not change.

Yes Jim, every one in heaven is a Catholic. Those who get there despite their false religions, get there through the mercy of God and through the Supreme Act of adoration of Mother Church, which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where She prays for all her children.

Have you heard of the Church Militant, The Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant? That’s Catholic.- Contd…

August 31, 2012 at 10:08 pm
(27) Celinedesilva says:

Contd…
St. Paul teaches: “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liars with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God” 1 Cor 6:9-10

Our Lord Jesus Christ said much on this subject:

Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 7:21

“Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world.

The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:47-50

Mark 13:22]. For there will rise up false Christs and false prophets, and they shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce (if it were possible) even the elect. [[23] Take you heed therefore; behold I have foretold you all things

August 31, 2012 at 10:28 pm
(28) Pablo A. Pinzón MD says:

We are in really bad shape! Please pray for Cardinal Dolan and so many other US Bishops that have fallen for the Theology of political correctness. And pray for our country.

Pablo A. Pinzón, M.D.

Oklahoma City

September 1, 2012 at 12:12 am
(29) Fr. Ryan says:

Very True , Scott…We are trying to become so Secularist and Inclusive that we dont understand ourselves anymore.
Fr. Ryan

September 1, 2012 at 12:54 am
(30) David Brugge says:

Please pray for Cardinal Dolan and so many other US Bishops that have fallen for the Theology of political correctness. And pray for our country.

To which I say… Amen.

September 1, 2012 at 1:25 am
(31) MJC says:

When I first came to know of Cardinal Dolan in Australia over the HHS Mandate, I liked him for his bravado and frankness defending the Truth. Admittedly though, I see him now as a “try-hard” preferring to be politically correct, compromising, and evangelical. I had to switch off when he came to close the RNC because I saw an actor, not a humble authentic Bishop. Please Bishops! – just be truthful to God, yourselves and your flock. Archbishop Fulton Sheen was proud to be Catholic. We knew where he stood. He did not waste time watering down the truth. He was a soldier of Christ to the end. I will continue to pray for Cardinal Dolan and other Bishops to stand up for the Truth.
God bless.

September 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm
(32) Salvy says:

Thinking about this, here’s what’d I do if I was leading those prayers. First, I’d be wearing a good enough size chain and crucifix around my neck, a beautiful gold one that is very visible and striking.
Then I’d start by saying the In the name of the Father the Son and Holy Spirit. Then the Our Father. And then I’ would try to be more inclusive mentioning and talking about people of all faiths and the love of God.
What’s wrong with any Catholic Cardinal or Christian minister doing that anywhere in public?

September 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm
(33) Celinedesilva says:

Salvy,

I like everything you say up to this point. “…try to be more inclusive mentioning and talking about people of all faiths…” This is wrong

Obviously you are not a priest. You too seem to have been stung by the insidious monster of inclusiveness, political correctness and a sense of misguided charity.

Jesus did not instruct His Apostles to preach about “all faiths” other faiths. Jesus said the following:

[16] And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. [17] And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. [18] And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. [19] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. [Matthew 28:20]

He that is not with Me, is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth. [Luke 11:23]

Cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and lay Catholics should learn from the many Catholics throughout the world who are persecuted and killed because of their Catholic Faith in our own time.

May God have mercy on us all.

September 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm
(34) Salvy says:

Celine, I didn’t mean to go into and start preaching about other faiths but to say something like the love of God is there for people of all faiths. This is leading a prayer at like a political convention.
You’re right, I’d make a lousy priest. I’d be better yet to have you write that prayer for me, darl’in.

September 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm
(35) Celinedesilva says:

Salvy,

The Catholic Church already has prayers. Every thing a Catholic does and prays should start with the Sign of the Cross

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

And ends with:

…We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ,
Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, forever and ever. Amen

Not forgetting that God Himself, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity taught us: The Lord’s Prayer

September 2, 2012 at 5:20 am
(36) Becca says:

It is no wonder politicians don’t take us seriously when Christians and their leaders are embarrassed to proclaim their beliefs or afraid of offending. I’m disappointed in Cardinal Dolan. A president lied to him, trampled our religious freedom, and he doesn’t proclaim the Trinity in public. To add insult to injury, he places Jesus in the same category as the prophets.

September 2, 2012 at 8:25 am
(37) Celinedesilva says:

Throughout these comments I noticed the words: “Christian, Christians” used when referring to us Catholics and even to the Cardinal and clergy as “Christian ministers.” I have heard Catholics calling themselves, “Catholic Christians.”

Some Christian denominations say that Catholics are not even Christian just as they do not believe that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is God.

An evangelical Christian friend pointed this out to me. I had to admit that here again, Catholics, no matter how educated in the faith have forgotten their roots. Catholicism is not one of many denominations.

I told her that Catholicism did not start 500 years ago and splinter into 38,000 denominations.

ALL CATHOLICS ARE CHRISTIAN. NOT ALL CHRISTIANS ARE CATHOLIC.

May God enlighten us all to the Truth of our Catholic Faith and in His mercy help us to live this Faith through our Lord Jesus Christ Amen.

September 2, 2012 at 11:10 am
(38) Charlene says:

Good article………you are very polite……….

You wrapped it up in the end very nicely. Too bad he missed the chance to share with all, what the tenants of our faith are. From that opening line a misinformed christian/catholic would think Jesus is just one of guys……….a profit, patriarch, and nice guy.

When he opened with the sign of the cross ( the words of the fomula would have been a GREAT witness. In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…………

September 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm
(39) Frank Brownlow says:

Dear Scott,

You are right, and I thought you put it very well. It’s a matter of taking the meaning of words seriously, especially when used in the form of prayer. I had an exchange with our bishop a couple of years ago about a prayer on the diocesan website that struck me as unbelieving as well as cliched–I don’t think the bishop had a clue what I was talking about. Is he one of the unbelieving clergy we keep coming across? I don’t know, & would hesitate to draw that conclusion. What I do know is that he and some others in his position have little if any grasp of the standards of precision, clarity, and eloquence that the Church sets for us in her use of words. It’s a failing that has real consequences both for Catholics and non-Catholics.

September 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm
(40) Salvy says:

Just another thought…That charity dinner that’s coming up…If I were in charge I would send Obama an uninvite form letter, like the way he sent a form letter to all the families of the dead Navy Seals..
And, I’d invite Clint Eastwood to take his place.
I would also dis-invite Cardinal Dolan and replace him with the nun who’ now runs Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Sisters in India.
By the way Celine, you charming little maniac, I think about everyone here you can assume knows, when we say Catholic it’s synonymous with Christian followers of Christ Jesus.
And, I’ve corrected clueless people before on that.

September 2, 2012 at 9:58 pm
(41) valente venegas garcia says:

he thinks he is beater than all of us and lost his Faith The Pope needs to say something to him, I’m very sad that He bows down to Man.He has to answer to God

September 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm
(42) chris16 says:

I watched the GOP Convention on CSPAN. To me it appeared to be an afterthought when Cardinal Dolan entered the stage. I could be wrong but Rep. Boehner sounded drunk.
Balloons were falling on the Cardinal and the audience with yelling and leaving.
After the prayer not one member of the Romney family returned to the stage to thank Cardinal Dolan or escort him off of the stage.
I’m embarrassed that a tasteless skit by Eastwood was considered appropriate by the GOP the same evening that Cardinal Dolan was present.

September 4, 2012 at 10:26 am
(43) Celinedesilva says:

It is significant that our Holy Father publicly spoke of Judas only 3 days before the timely demise of Cardinal Martini.

This sermon could well apply to Cardinal Dolan/Cardinals, bishops, priests, religious women and laity intent on creating a modern, all inclusive politically correct Catholicism within the True Church.

VATICAN CITY, August 28, 2012 – In his Angelus address Sunday,

Pope Benedict XVI SPOKE OF JUDAS’ BETRAYAL OF CHRIST, SAYING THAT JUDAS’ PROBLEM WAS FAILING TO LEAVE CHRIST WHEN HE NO LONGER BELIEVED – A “FALSEHOOD,” SAID THE POPE, “WHICH IS A MARK OF THE DEVIL.”

“Judas,” said Pope Benedict, “could have left, as many of the disciples did; indeed, he would have left if he were honest. Instead he remained with Jesus. HE DID NOT REMAIN BECAUSE OF FAITH, OR BECAUSE OF LOVE, BUT WITH THE SECRET INTENTION OF TAKING VENGEANCE ON THE MASTER.”

“… for those Catholics who cannot bring themselves to believe the formal teachings of the Church on life and family matters it would be more honest to leave the Church rather than betraying Her.”

“…Intellectual difficulty is not disobedience.” He explained, “You might have teachings you find difficult to accept. However, (in those circumstances) it is virtuous to believe since you make a sacrifice of your own will, taking as your own the mind of the Church.”

contd…

September 4, 2012 at 10:27 am
(44) Celinedesilva says:

Contd…

To you, cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and lay Catholics who like Martini clamour for a futile and demonic change, LEAVE.

You will never be able to change the Magisterium and Tradition of the ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH because Jesus said, [18] And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [Matthew 16:18

[18] The gates of hell: That is, the powers of darkness, and whatever Satan can do, either by himself, or his agents. For as the church is here likened to a house, or fortress, built on a rock; so the adverse powers are likened to a contrary house or fortress, the gates of which, that is, the whole strength, and all the efforts it can make, will never be able to prevail over the city or church of Christ.

By this promise we are fully assured that, neither idolatry, heresy, nor any pernicious error whatsoever shall at any time prevail over the church of Christ.

September 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm
(45) jim in colorado says:

I agree with you Scott. My first thought after I read the prayer of Cardinal Dolan’s was that he was downplaying the importance of Jesus as the Son of God. It reminded me of John Denver’s “O God” movie when George Burns, playing his part as God ,said that yes, Jesus was a son of God, but so too ,were Mohammed, Moses and Budda. May our Dear Lord forgive all of us for our lukewrmness and may the Holy Spirit come and fill the Hearts of His faithful and enkindle in us the fire of His divine love.

September 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm
(46) Salvy says:

Like Dr. Scott Hahn says, ” Compromise leads to corruption.”
There are examples of this all over the bible.
So you see, the smarter Catholics see and recognize this when they see it happen…Cardinal Dolan.

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