New York's Cardinal Dolan may have tried to offend everybody in just eight days, though the Republicans seem not to have noticed his blessing on recent immigrants who have come to America in search of jobs. Democrats, however, did not miss his call for protection of the unborn, his veiled allusion to gay marriage, and his call for "religious freedom in full," which to him means freedom for Catholic institutions to deny contraceptive coverage to employees. (You can read the full text of both benedictions here.)
It must be tricky, being a bishop-politician. The Republican position on abortion sounds very Catholic, but its approach to the economy goes counter to over a century of Catholic social teaching. The Democratic platform upholds Catholic social teaching, but it also affirms Roe v. Wade.
Faced with this split, Cardinal Dolan, a great admirer of Paul Ryan, did what the Catholic hierarchy has typically done, at least in recent years--he paid little attention to social justice and focused mainly on sex. No wonder Andrew Sullivan, in a blistering op-ed piece, dubbed him "The Republican Party Cardinal."
Enough about the Cardinal. Another Catholic speaker at the Democratic National Convention was much more inspiring. Here's Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a social-justice lobby criticized by the Vatican last spring for spending too much time fighting poverty and too little time fighting abortion and gay marriage. Like Cardinal Dolan, she offered to speak at both conventions. The Republicans did not get back to her.