The Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and Protestant evangelist Franklin Graham have both agreed to read Scripture during President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
The choice of Cardinal Dolan was especially interesting, considering that during the campaign he prominently spoke out against Donald Trump’s comments about Syrian refugees, Mexicans and Muslims. Now he has stated that he will be honored to pray during the ceremony inaugurating Trump as our nation’s 45th president.
“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.
Various reports stated that in addition to Graham and Dolan, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Pastor Paula White, a spiritual adviser to Trump, were also slated to deliver readings. Rabbi Marvin Heir, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Bishop Wayne Jackson, whose predominately black Detroit church was visited by Trump during the campaign, will also speak.
Graham will be delivering the benediction as well as some readings during the swearing-in ceremony, Politico reported.
Faith plays an important role in the inauguration, and though it’s nothing like what Poland has just done with their leadership, the symbol of religious guidance is not something to be taken lightly.
“Since the first inaugural ceremony, our leaders have paid tribute to the blessings of liberty that have been bestowed upon our country and its people,” Tom Barrack, head of the Inaugural Committee, said in a statement. “I am pleased to announce that a diverse set of faith leaders will offer readings and prayers at the swearing-in of President-elect Trump and honor the vital role religious faith plays in our multicultural, vibrant nation.”
The Inaugural Committee has said it was also planning a national prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral on Jan. 21.
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