Those seeking public office should remember the primary goal of government is to serve its citizens, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York said at the Republican National Convention.
In his benediction closing out the Aug. 27-30 event, Cardinal Dolan prayed that all those currently serving, as well as those running for office be “worthy to serve you by serving our country.”
“Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself,” he said Aug. 30.
During the convention, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin formally accepted their respective nominations as the Republican presidential and vice-presidential candidates.
Cardinal Dolan's prayer follows the Aug. 28 unveiling of the 2012 Republican party platform which contained a significant section on the importance of religious freedom.
The party explained that its positions respect “God-given individual rights,” including the freedom “of every American to follow his or her beliefs.”
An outspoken critic of the Obama administration's contraception mandate, Cardinal Dolan prayed for a revival of “respect for religious freedom” in America.
“Renew in all of our people a respect for religious freedom in full, that first most cherished freedom,” he prayed.
In his closing prayer, Cardinal Dolan thanked God for the “sacred and inalienable gift of life,” and the “singular gift of liberty.”
He asked for God's special blessing “upon those yet to be born” and those who are “about to see you at the end of this life.”
The cardinal also prayed that “a new sense of responsibility for freedom's cause,” be instilled in Americans and entrusted to God's “eternal care” all those who have died in defense of freedom and all military men and women.
In praying that Americans “know the truth of your creation,” he asked that man “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,” he prayed.
Cardinal Dolan has accepted an invitation to give the benediction at the Sept. 3-6 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Archdiocese of New York spokesperson Joseph Zwilling has stated that neither appearances at the conventions should be seen as an endorsement of either political party's candidates or platforms on Cardinal Dolan's part.