After Cardinal Timothy Dolan agreed to give the closing benediction at the Republican National Convention (RNC), he told the Democrats that he would be happy to do the same for them. He was rebuffed.

Bill Donohue told the New York Post that the invite was smart politics. “The Catholic vote is the most critical vote,” he said, “So, why wouldn’t you ingratiate yourself to the pope of America and send a wink and a nod to Catholics?”

The week following Cardinal Dolan’s announcement, he was hammered by liberals for accepting the RNC invitation. They looked foolish when the DNC announced that he would close their convention as well. Here’s a sample of what they said.

Andrew Sullivan called Dolan “The Republican Party Cardinal.” John Gehring of Faith & Public Life said he was “baptizing the Republican nominee.” Mike O’Loughlin at America accused him of “being a shill for the GOP.” The National Catholic Reporter said he was “playing a dangerous game.” Sarah Posner at Salon said his acceptance “solidifies a partisan partnership between the GOP and the Bishops.” Niall O’Dowd at the Irish Voice said his presence “is a dog whistle to all Catholics out there to support the GOP candidates.” And the Los Angeles Times said that he had “placed his imprimatur” on the Republican strategy.

The fundamental difference between Cardinal Dolan and these critics comes down to one thing: he is a man of principle and they don’t know how to spell the word. What this shows is that Cardinal Dolan is able to rise above the politics of the moment. But to those who view the world exclusively through the lens of power, this is completely unintelligible.

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