Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York and a leading Catholic-American voice opposing abortion and President Obama's health care reform law, inserted what some saw as an anti-abortion remark into his benediction Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention.
"Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us 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," Dolan said in prayer delivered immediately following President Obama's address accepting his party's nomination.
Dolan offered a similar benediction at the Republican National Convention last week in Tampa, Fla. Following his prayer there, he gave an interview saying he was non-partisan and would be glad to offer a benediction at the DNC this week in Charlotte, N.C. Democrats then extended an invitation.
In Tampa, he called life an "inalienable gift" and prayed for God's "benediction upon those yet to be born and on those who are about to see you at the end of this life."
The Catholic Church has long opposed Democratic Party platform planks that promote keeping abortion legal. More recently, the church assailed the administration over an Affordable Care Act provision that would require religious institutions to provide employees with contraception.