My favorite moment in either convention came late last night, when one of the commentators on PBS used the word “exegesis” in describing what he’d just heard.
He was referring to Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s benediction right after President Obama’s speech. I had not heard it, whether because PBS didn’t show it or I was out of the room, I can’t recall. But C-SPAN had it, as you see above.
The commenter — I think it was Ray Suarez — was saying that the Cardinal had delivered “a riff” on something. Then he corrected himself, saying perhaps the word “exegesis” was more appropriate. His colleagues were impressed.
I very much appreciate that the Democrats gave the cardinal this forum, only about an hour after ostensible Catholic Joe Biden had roared out his approval of the party’s embrace of abortion. The cardinal said, among other things:
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…
At the end of his prayer, the assembled Democrats responded with a strong “amen,” which was a settler for all those Republicans who think they’re just a bunch of heathens. To what extent all had been listening carefully, I don’t know. But the fact is that as with most public prayers, most of the words were ones they would most likely have agreed with.
The coverage came later, after the assembled media caught their breath.
The cardinal was the one person who spoke at both conventions, by the way.
Oh, what did I mean by my headline above? Well, this morning I saw a Tweet from the Charleston paper that said, “Bishop England beats Porter-Gaud. Story:http://bit.ly/NYyg6j .” So I couldn’t resist responding, “… And Cardinal Dolan thrashes the Democrats. Big night for the Catholics…”
Mackerel-snappers had a big one the night before, too. Among the non-headliners, I thought the speech by Sister Simone of “Nuns on the Bus” probably the most uplifting, least off-putting of the two weeks. Her delivery was beatific, but pulled no punches: After taking apart the budget of another dubious Catholic, Paul Ryan, she said to fervent cheers, “This is part of my pro-life stance, and the right thing to do.”
Both of them expressed what I believe. Which is a big reason why I’m so uncomfortable with both parties.