No Muslim prayers at Democratic Convention, but Cardinal Dolan will give closing prayer

It’s time for truth telling to end the viral distortions. Photo: Cardinal Timothy Dolan will give the closing blessing at the Democratic Convention AP

WASHINGTON, August 29, 2012 — Enough of the nonsense. Enough of the outright lies and distortions.

Here are the facts:

* Cardinal Timothy Dolan will give the closing prayer at the Democratic Convention, just as he is doing at the Republican Convention.

* There will be no Muslim prayer led by any radical Islamists at the Democratic Convention.

Here is the truth despite Right Wing blogs and misreporting by various media:

Just as he did at the Republican Convention, Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, accepted the Democrats’ invitation to close their convention with a blessing. Even though he has often been at odds with Democrats on social issues, the Cardinal will be there as he was at the GOP event as a pastor. In a statement released by the Cardinal’s spokesman, Joseph Zwilling, to the Catholic journal Commonweal Magazine, the Catholic prelate made clear his role:

“Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, has accepted an invitation to deliver the closing prayer at next week’s Democratic National Convention. As was previously announced, he will also be offering the closing prayer at the Republican Convention on Thursday of this week.

“It was made clear to the Democratic Convention organizers, as it was to the Republicans, that the Cardinal was coming solely as a pastor, only to pray, not to endorse any party, platform, or candidate. The Cardinal consulted Bishop Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte, who gave the Cardinal his consent to take part in the convention that will be taking place in his diocese.”

That should end the ridiculous rumors about Democrats snubbing the Cardinal, disinviting him, or in any way disrespecting him.

As for the Muslim distortions that have gone viral, there will be no Jumah prayers at the Democratic Convention by the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs. There will be a gathering of Muslims on Friday, August 31 at Marshall Park in Charlotte for an open-air prayer, and other events are planned for around the city as well. It is, however, only one of the 1,000 non-official events that are occurring in Charlotte over the next week.

As the Charlotte Observer noted, these events are timed to coincide with the Convention but are not part of the convention unless they have the Democratic Convention logo. The Jumah Congregational Prayer does not have a DNCC logo.

Some of the other events planned for the week of convention, and not endorsed by the DNCC, include a NASCAR event, an Alabama Gospel brunch, A CarolinaFest (celebrating the Carolinas and the South), Texas Exes Happy Hour, Financial Football, Zumba/Cardiofunk Dance Fitness, and Bend the Arc Jewish Action breakfast to name only some of the events swirling around the main event of the Convention itself.

To fact check this further, go to Snopes, a website that investigates and debunks rumors that have no basis in fact.


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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

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