According to an AP report, New York Roman Catholic spiritual leader Cardinal Timothy Dolan will offer the benediction at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., the night that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney accepts the GOP nomination for president.
The convention starts on Monday, Aug. 27, with varying amounts of coverage on the major broadcast networks, CSPAN and news cablenets.
(Above, Dolan, at right, welcomes a surprise guest, “Today” host Matt Lauer, at left, to a radio townhall in New York City in May.)
Romney made the announcement in an interview with Raymond Arroyo, set to air on Arroyo’s weekly newsmagazine/opinion show, “The World Over,” airing at 8 p.m. EDT Thursday (Aug. 23) on the EWTN Catholic cable/satellite network.
Dolan is the head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The archdiocese and EWTN are among the 40-plus Catholic dioceses, churches, schools, hospitals and other organizations suing the Obama administration over an HHS ruling that mandates they offer health insurance that pays for contraceptives, abortifacents and steriization procedures, in violation of Church teachings.
But, Dolan recently caused some controversy by inviting President Barack Obama to the Al Smith Dinner in October. The annual nonpartisan event benefits needy children in Dolan’s archdiocese.
In an Aug. 14 blog post, he responded to critics by saying “Those who started the dinner 67 years ago believed that you can accomplish a lot more by inviting folks of different political loyalties to an uplifting evening, rather than in closing the door to them.”
Romney has also accepted an invitation to speak at the dinner, a tribute to the former New York governor, who became the first Roman Catholic to win a major party’s presidential nomination, on the Democrat Party ticket in 1928.
A frequent TV interviewee, Dolan also has a weekly radio show, “Conversation With Cardinal Dolan,” on SirusXM’s Catholic Channel.
While Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his recently announced GOP vice-presidential running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, is a practicing Roman Catholic and has referenced its social-justice teachings in his budget and entitlement-reform proposals.
While this looks to be Romney’s first appearance on “The World Over,” Ryan has appeared before on the show, including in the clip below, from April.