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Cardinal Dolan’s prayer at Republican National Convention: full text

August 31, 2012

Following presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s speech at the Republican National Convention, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, delivered the closing benediction.

“With firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, let us pray. Almighty God, Father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus, we beg your continued blessings on this sanctuary of freedom, and on all of those who proudly call America home,” he began. “We ask your benediction upon those yet to be born, and on those who are about to see you at the end of this life. Bless those families whose ancestors arrived on these shores generations ago, as well as those families that have come recently, to build a better future while weaving their lives into the rich tapestry of America.”

Cardinal Dolan continued:

We lift up to your loving care those afflicted by the recent storms, drought, and fire. We ask for the grace to stand in solidarity with all those who suffer. May we strive to include your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free in the production and prosperity of a people so richly blessed.

O God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us, and on those who would govern us: the president, and vice president, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and on all those who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office, especially Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. And help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself.

Almighty God, who gives us the sacred and inalienable gift of life, we thank you as well for the singular gift of liberty. Renew in all of our people a respect for religious freedom in full, that first most cherished freedom. Make us truly free by tethering freedom to truth and ordering freedom to goodness. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope and love, prudently and with justice, courageously and in a spirit of moderation. Enkindle in our hearts a new sense of responsibility for freedom’s cause and make us ever grateful for all those who for more than two centuries have given their lives in freedom’s defense. We commend their noble souls to your eternal care as even now we beg your mighty hand upon our beloved men and women in uniform. May we know the truth of your creation, respecting the laws of nature and nature’s God and not seek to replace it with idols of our own making.

Give us the good sense not to cast aside the boundaries of righteous living you first inscribed on our hearts even before inscribing them on tablets of stone. May you mend our every flaw, confirming our soul in self control, our liberty in law. We pray for all those who seek honest labor as we thank you for the spirit of generosity to those in need [with] which you so richly blessed this nation. We beseech your blessing on all who depart this evening and on all those in every land who seek to conduct their lives in freedom.

Most of all, Almighty God, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country. For we are indeed one nation under God, and in God we trust. Dear God, bless America, you who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.


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  • Posted by: pauper servus et humilis - Sep. 01, 2012 8:41 PM ET USA

    The choreography of the celebration, the prayer and final gavel was awkward. The prayer and final gavel could have preceded the ballons and confetti so that things would end on a high note. There was such a long awkward stretch, one started to wonder if the prayer was omitted. Other than CSPAN & FOX News, most had already cut away so the prayer was not heard. Maybe Mr. Eastwood's "day was made" but he took double his alloted time and thus upstaged God. Miserere nobis.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 01, 2012 1:40 PM ET USA

    Most unfortunate opening, rolling together "Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus." Even the Muslims think of Jesus as a great prophet, only. But this does seem aimed at pleasing everyone and "offending" no one with truth. Another evangelizing opportunity blown.

  • Posted by: Polycarp - Sep. 01, 2012 9:32 AM ET USA

    What does his opening line mean? "Almighty God, Father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus, ...". Jesus, the Son of God, Himself Divine, is lumped in with the three great prophets and patriarchs of the old testament. Jesus is part of the Holy Trinity, but in this opening line of a prayer heard by so many, Cardinal Dolan appeared to be equating all religions instead of proclaiming the Truth of the One True Church instituted by Jesus Christ himself. Another example of not wanting to offend.

  • Posted by: seewig - Aug. 31, 2012 10:36 PM ET USA

    Thank you for making the full text available. A great prayer, not only for the Convention, but for all of the U.S.. And next week the Cardinal should read the whole thing again, word for word. That would answer Agnes' request,....:)

  • Posted by: John Holecek - Aug. 31, 2012 7:11 PM ET USA

    Amen to the comment that Cardinal Dolan deliver the same benediction at the Democratic National Convention.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Aug. 31, 2012 12:00 PM ET USA

    Now, let's see Cdl. Dolan deliver the exact same benediction in Charlotte this coming week.