Appearing at the GOP convention, Cardinal Dolan will send a message
What exactly does the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop of New York City think of American Catholics' ability to put two and two together? Dolan’s office claims that his appearing at the Republican National Convention to offer a benediction is “just a priest going to pray” and not an endorsement of the GOP presidential ticket. But as America’s Michael. J. O’Loughlin points out, he has to know what this appearance means to Catholic voters, “especially in political matters as he sues the Obama Administration…" Don't forget, 60 Minutes called him "America's Pope." 
O’Loughlin:  “How can the photos that will emerge of the Cardinal at the GOP convention, perhaps even with Romney and Ryan themselves, imply something other than an endorsement from arguably the nation’s most prominent Catholic cleric? How does this foster unity and not alienate a large segment of Catholics from their church leaders, especially as polls show that most Catholics plan to vote for Obama over Romney?”
In other words, now Catholics have photographic evidence that the bishops and GOP are in cahoots. Between this and Madison Archbishop Morlino’s fawning over his diocese’s “native son” when Paul Ryan was announced as the Republican VP candidate (using the very buzzwords Ryan used to defend his budget proposal! ), U.S. Catholic leadership isn’t even trying to hide it anymore.
Yes, Los Angeles' archbishop Mahony appreared at the Democratic National Convention in 2000, but that was in his own diocese, and Mahony has never been referred to as "America's pope." Mahony also wasn't charging ahead with a lawsuit against one of the candidate's administration.
I can’t decide if they think we’re stupid, or they just don’t care how offensive this message is to Catholics who have a serious issue with the Republican ticket’s approach to the budget. Either is an insult to Catholics of both political stripes.