Readers of this blog know that we occasionally like to take a poke at Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, aka His Eminence, His Rotundity, His Gravitas, etc. Credit where credit is due, however, and if we're not mistaken, the Big Guy broke some new ecumenical ground in his benediction upon the Republican National Convention last night. And we use the word broke advisedly.
The prayer began with this invocation of the Deity: "Almighty God, Father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus..."
We Jews, of course, tend to refer to the Lord (blessed be his name) as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To have our patriarchs mentioned in the same patrilineal package as Jesus is pretty amazing, considering that folks like His Eminence consider Jesus to be the son of God in a pretty unique way.
So unique, we think, that for Nicene Christians Jesus qualifies as God Almighty too--or as the Greeks like to call Him, Pantocrator. Whereas, in +Dolan's mode of address, you'd almost think that Jesus was a separate personage from God Almighty. Which, now that we think of it, is just what a Latter-day Saint like the just-anointed GOP standard-bearer Mitt Romney believes. All we can say is, like, Wow.
Update: Interestingly, in his Democratic Convention benediction, Dolan altered his invocation of the Deity to differentiate Jesus from the three patriarchs; to wit: "Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, revealed to us so powerfully in your Son, Jesus Christ..." That's a return to more traditional Christological ground.