Cardinal Timothy Dolan defended his Republican National Convention appearance by stating he doesn't see offering a prayer as an endorsement of a party or a candidate after receiving online criticism.
Posting on Twitter his previous statement on why he agreed to participate, Dolan said that had he been invited to offer a prayer during the Democratic National Convention he would have "happily accepted," as he did during the 2012 DNC convention.
The statement says it’s one of his “most sacred obligations” to “try and respond positively whenever I am invited to pray.”
“Prayer is speaking to God, offering Him praise, thanking Him for his many blessings, and asking for His intercession; it is not political or partisan.”
In response to CNN’s inquiry about some of the criticism he has received since word emerged of his participation, Dolan acknowledged it.
“I want to say that I maintain almost neutrality when it comes to Politics, we the church absolutely don't get involved in party politics, I only represent a sector of the church, if we don't pray for America, as Catholics, who will? The RNC involvement is giving me a positive criticism these past days," he told CNN.
The Archdiocese of New York says that they notified the Democratic National Committee that Cardinal Dolan would accept an invitation to pray at the Democratic National Convention as well.
"We notified the DNC that the Cardinal would also accept an invitation to pray at their convention, if they wished. However, they had already invited other Catholic representatives to pray," Joseph Zwilling, the director of communications for the Archdiocese of New York told CNN.
Read the tweet: