Influential Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan to speak at Utah’s Freedom Festival

(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) Cardinal Timothy Dolan speaks to the press after leading a morning prayer service at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 in New York. He will speak in Utah on June 30, 2019.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, one of the nation’s most influential religious voices, will give the keynote address at the Patriotic Service for this year’s Freedom Festival.

In a sign of growing interfaith relations, apostle Quentin L. Cook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will introduce the visiting Catholic prelate.

The free service is slated for June 30 at 7 p.m. in the UCCU Center at Orem’s Utah Valley University.

The 69-year-old Dolan, who serves as archbishop of New York, was named a cardinal in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. Born in St. Louis, he has served as archbishop of Milwaukee and head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The New York Latter-day Saint Professional Association honored Dolan in 2016 with its Visionary Leadership Award. Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland offered the principal address on that occasion.

“One of the reasons I jumped at this chance [to attend the interfaith event],” Dolan said in a news release, “[was that] I've been wanting to sit down with LDS leaders in this community.”

Holland saluted the Catholic leader as a “stalwart in defending religious freedom, another interfaith bond he has forged with us.”

“With his Irish charm and unshakeable faith, he has won our hearts,” the apostle said. “He has been as firm in his friendship to us ... as he has been resolute in his many clerical responsibilities to his mother church.”

In 2017, another Latter-day Saint apostle, David A. Bednar, joined Dolan and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik of New York’s Congregation Shearith Israel at a forum in the Big Apple on marriage and families.

“Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God,” Bednar said in a news release. “This divinely designed pattern of marriage is neither an experiment nor a sociological innovation. Rather, it is a relationship ‘central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of his children.’”

Dolan said it’s up to married couples to help buttress the institution.

“If [they] can show that the way God intends for us to be happy is when a man and woman give themselves to one another totally and selflessly in a love so fruitful that it becomes incarnate in a baby is the happiest way to live, if we can reclaim that luster, folks,” he said, “that will show the world the sanctity of marriage as God defined it.”

The Catholic Church, with 1.2 billion members, and the Utah-based faith, with 16 million, have formed alliances to relieve human suffering and defend religious liberty around the world.

In March, Pope Francis welcomed President Russell M. Nelson at the Vatican, the first-ever private audience between a Catholic pontiff and a Mormon prophet.

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