Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, head of the U.S. bishops' conference, has been invited to offer the final benediction at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
The news was announced by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in an exclusive interview with Raymond Arroyo, host of EWTN's news program The World Over.
Cardinal Dolan will give the concluding benediction prayer on Aug. 30, the final night of the GOP convention, where Romney is slated to accept the presidential nomination for his party.
The cardinal has not endorsed either candidate in the 2012 presidential race.
However, he has been an outspoken critic of a mandate issued by the Obama administration to require employers to offer health-insurance plans that covers contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences.
Numerous dioceses, nonprofit organizations and Catholic-owned businesses have sued the administration, arguing that the mandate violates the First Amendment by forcing them to compromise their deeply held religious convictions.
Obama has also voiced support for abortion and is the first U.S. president to openly advocate a redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples.
Arroyo explained that, during the interview, which will air at 8pm EDT today, Aug. 23, Romney “breaks news about what we can expect at the Republican National Convention and reacts to charges by President Obama that he chose Paul Ryan as his running mate to lower his personal tax burden.
"He also talks about the hot issue of religious liberty, the role of prayer in his life, and how being a bishop in the Mormon church prepared him for the presidency."