CHARLOTTE, September 7, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Democratic officials appeared wary of accepting Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s offer extended last month to lead the closing invocation at their national convention, and now we know why.
Dolan, the archbishop of New York and current head of the U.S. bishops conference, did not shy away from controversial subjects in his invocation to a convention that has been dubbed “abortion-palooza” for its heavy emphasis on abortion rights, specifically praying that Americans be given the courage to defend life – including that of the unborn.
“Help us to see that a society’s greatness is found above all in the respect it shows for the weakest and neediest among us,” the cardinal began.
“Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure,” he continued. “We ask Your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected.”
The Democratic platform unveiled this week endorses taxpayer funded abortion on demand. Delegates at the convention have been addressed by top abortion advocates including Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richard, and head of NARAL, Nancy Keenan.
Dolan had also mentioned the right to life in his invocation to the Republican National Convention last week, asking God’s benediction “upon those yet to be born.”
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The cardinal extended his prayer for the protection of life also to the elderly, at a time when concerns are high among pro-life advocates about a growing push for euthanasia and the possibility of healthcare rationing. “Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see Your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile,” he said.
The cardinal also prayed at length for the protection of “religious liberty,” a prayer that comes at a time when the U.S. bishops are locked in a battle with the Obama administration over its HHS mandate, which requires many Catholic employers to violate their consciences by paying for contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs.
Earlier this year the bishops’ organized a “Fortnight for Freedom” in response to the HHS mandate and other incursions on religious liberty.
“Renew in all our people a profound respect for religious liberty: the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our Founding,” prayed the cardinal.
In a petition that is being interpreted as a defense of traditional marriage and the family, the cardinal prayed, “Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community.”
The following is the complete text of the prayer:
With a ‘firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,’ let us close this convention by praying for this land that we so cherish and love.
Let us pray.
Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, revealed to us so powerfully in Your Son, Jesus Christ, we thank You for showering Your blessings upon this our beloved nation. Bless all here present, and all across this great land, who work hard for the day when a greater portion of Your justice, and a more ample measure of Your care for the poor and suffering, may prevail in these United States. Help us to see that a society’s greatness is found above all in the respect it shows for the weakest and neediest among us.
We beseech You, almighty God to shed Your grace on this noble experiment in ordered liberty, which began with the confident assertion of inalienable rights bestowed upon us by You: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thus do we praise You for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask Your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected. Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see Your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile.
We praise and thank You for the gift of liberty. May this land of the free never lack those brave enough to defend our basic freedoms. Renew in all our people a profound respect for religious liberty: the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our Founding. May our liberty be in harmony with truth; freedom ordered in goodness and justice. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope, and love. Make us ever-grateful for those who, for over two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg the protection of Your mighty arm upon our men and women in uniform.
We praise and thank You for granting us the life and the liberty by which we can pursue happiness. Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with Your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions You have given us for the nurturing of life and community. May we welcome those who yearn to breathe free and to pursue happiness in this land of freedom, adding their gifts to those whose families have lived here for centuries.
We praise and thank You for the American genius of government of the people, by the people and for the people. O God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us: President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Congress, the Supreme Court, and all those, including Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself. With your grace, may all Americans choose wisely as we consider the future course of public policy.
And finally Lord, we beseech Your benediction on all of us who depart from here this evening, and on all those, in every land, who yearn to conduct their lives in freedom and justice. We beg you to remember, as we pledge to remember, those who are not free; those who suffer for freedom’s cause; those who are poor, out of work, needy, sick, or alone; those who are persecuted for their religious convictions, those still ravaged by war.
And most of all, God Almighty, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country.
For we are indeed “one nation under God,” and “in God we trust.”
So, dear God, bless America, You Who live and reign, forever and ever.