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Cardinal Dolan, Paula White to take part in presidential inauguration

Archbishop of New York Timothy Michael Dolan speaks about a chair that will be used in Madison Square Garden for Pope Francis' papal Mass in New York on Sept. 2, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Lucas Jackson

(RNS) For the first time in 40 years – since President Jimmy Carter took office in 1977 – a Catholic bishop will take part in a presidential inauguration.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, is among six faith leaders who will participate in the Jan. 20 swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Michael Pence, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Wednesday (Dec. 28).

“I am honored to have been asked to offer a reading from Scripture at the upcoming presidential inauguration and look forward to asking Almighty God to inspire and guide our new President and to continue to bless our great Nation,” Dolan said in a statement.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, will also take part — the first time since 1985 that a rabbi will offer prayers at the event.

The Rev. Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association also will offer readings and give the benediction at the ceremony.

Others offering readings and giving invocations at the ceremony include the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Paula White, who is pastor of the New Destiny Christian Center, chairwoman of Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board and the president-elect’s longtime spiritual adviser, according to the committee.

White and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson of Great Faith Ministries International, who will give a benediction, also are the first prosperity gospel preachers in recent memory to take part in a presidential inauguration.

“I will be humbled to stand shoulder to shoulder on stage with the new administration, other distinguished men and women of faith, and with the great sea of witnesses watching around the country and around the world who continue to pray for God to bless America,” White said in a statement.

“On that sacred day, we will ask God to guide our leaders with wisdom and strength and that He would richly bless our extraordinary home, the United States of America.”

(David Gibson contributed to this report)

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.


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  • “On that sacred day, we will ask God to guide our leaders with wisdom and strength….”
    Too late – god has already given us Trailer-Trash-Trump !

    ” yielding to bestial appetites or violence, or by perverting their human intellect to fraud or malice against their fellowmen. ”
    John Ciardi (translating Dante’s Inferno)

    Doesn’t that describe Trailer-Trash-Trump’s ” Access Hollywood ” tape ?
    Let’s do our damnedest to have it shown while the nauseating ” holy men ” are kissing their masters ring

  • Guess the invisible beings will be asked to help out our nation finally, since no one has bothered to ask any invisible ghosts, spirits, or gods to help out yet. I wanted to attend the inauguration with my Ouija board and do some quick hands-on Q&A with just the three of us – me, Don and Mike, but no invitation yet. Careful don’t want to piss off Satan, the other invisible god of light not represented at the gathering….

  • Here is all about Paula white, and why this scamvangelist is the perfect godly accessory for that other great con, trumpelthinskin.

    From the Christian Post:

    “Longtime televangelist and senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, Paula White offered her followers an Easter Sunday deliverance from a spiritual death sentence for a $1,144 “resurrection seed” she says was set by God.

    Preaching the story of Lazarus who Jesus resurrected from the dead in John 11:38-44, White promised believers in a video appeal that if they would sow the seed and have faith, she believed deliverance would come.

    White was quick to note, however, that donors who sow a resurrection seed should not expect God to respond like a “sugar daddy.”

    Deliverance? Why am I thinking about Duelling Banjoes?

  • So Christ said that? I thought it was paul and timothy. Oh, well, what are facts when you have belief?
    And women are by nature dishonest scam artists? Perhaps Christ was more interested in dishonest scam artists than he was with women.

  • Oh my. For starters, Christ said no such thing. Then find an Intro to Logic book. See: “Correlation does not imply causation.”

    Or we’d conclude that women should definitely be pastors. Fewer of them have been corrupt than male pastors.

  • Whatever motivations Cardinal Dolan might have for accepting that request–he might genuinely want a peaceful transfer of power–publicly shaking hands with Trump (metaphorically speaking) can’t end well. I have reason to doubt that Trump is a serious champion of life or freedom. Lord have mercy on the successors to the Apostles. On a side note, what is the dean of the Wiesenthal Center thinking?

  • I think you mean Paul. And I think there isn’t the time or space here to consider that carefully. But it has been done, and others have arrived at a conclusion you wouldn’t agree with.

  • So corrupt AND weak. Got it. Thank the god I don’t believe in that I don’t share your low opinion of women.

    And “Paul was speaking for Christ” was certainly not what you were saying earlier. But then, you are adept at not saying what you totally said.

  • typo thanks.
    If you want to consider that…Galatians 1:11I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”

  • One might have expected the right wing homophobic clergy to line up for this event. Such hypocrisy – but why should one be surprised ?!

  • I don’t have a low opinion of women, Ben. You are the one vilifying them. Also, I’ve always said Paul spoke for Christ. No need to lie. Women should not be teaching men.

  • Of course you have a low opinion of women. “Women should not be teaching men.”

    I am the one vilifying them? Quote from the woman trying to teach men “no need to lie..”

    If women should not be teaching men, then why are you always trying to teach men?

  • ok….will you learn it this time? Women are not allowed to teach or have authority in a church. This forum is not a church.
    Just because women cannot teach men does not lower them. Christ decided it isn’t a woman’s job.
    Im sad that at your age you need to be taught not to lie. blessings Ben

  • “I…look forward to asking Almighty God to inspire and guide our new President and to continue to bless our great Nation,” Dolan said in a statement.

    Dolan believes that America is already great.
    I’m not sure Trump would agree.