The prayers at the DNC and RNC were on very similar themes. Here’s the Cardinal at the RNC:
Here’s the Cardinal at the DNC:
The prayers followed similar themes:
At the DNC he prayed: “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.” At the RNC the prayer for fairer measures came after his prayers for those impacted by Hurricane Isaac: “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.”
At the DNC he went at length to pray about the unborn: “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.” At the RNC he prayed: “Almighty God, who gives us the sacred and inalienable gift of life, we thank you as well for the singular gift of liberty.”
At the DNC he prayed about the dangers of redefining institutions ”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. At the RNC he prayed: “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 in our hearts even before inscribing them on tablets of stone.”
At the DNC he prayed: “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.” At the RNC he prayed: “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.”
If you were listening closely you could hear the church’s critiques to both conventions. At the DNC he seemed to go at greater lengths to explain himself and to be pastoral with words of encouragement and admonition. At the RNC he gave his praise and critiques more subtly.