Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, has become an object of fascination in Rome for the fluency of his juggling act: he is simultaneously head of the United States’ most prominent Roman Catholic diocese and president of its national conference of bishops, tapped by the Vatican for numerous prestigious assignments and by network television anchors for their most prized interview spots.
At first, everyone said Dolan didn't have a chance. How quickly the winds can change (and what is that awful stench in the air?).
But in recent days, his joyful and telegenic orthodoxy is getting new attention in Rome; on Thursday, a prominent Vatican reporter, Sandro Magister, highlighted his qualifications, calling him “the consummate candidate, who represents the impulse in the direction of purification.”
As I said recently, Dolan's got a good chance and he's trying as hard as he can to snatch that popeship. There's something terribly, awfully hungry inside this man.
Cardinal Dolan has colorfully dismissed speculation that he could be pope, saying that he expects, and is eager, to return to New York. Nonetheless, this papal interregnum has become an important period for him, presenting an opportunity for him to use mass media to reach Catholics in his vast and diverse archdiocese, and to elevate his stature as he faces battles with President Obama over health insurance regulations and with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York over a proposed liberalization of the state’s abortion laws.
Such a stalwart warrior, that Timmeh. On the wrong side of everything, but always willing to fight. He'd make quite a popey guy. But there are naysayers.
“Italians don’t understand him,” said one Vatican official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the news media. He added, “They don’t like people joking on serious occasions, warming the crowd.”
I guess they'd prefer another dyspeptic gay pope, like Ratzinger. But Timmy wants that popeship so bad he can taste it.
Cardinal Dolan has some of the attributes of a gifted politician — he remembers names, works crowds, checks in. During a visit to a New York synagogue, he put his right arm on the left shoulder of each person he greeted; some adults he hugged, some babies he held. During a walk through Kennedy International Airport, he greeted each worker, pausing as some kissed his ring, posing for photos with others.
Workin'. The man is workin'. He wants this thing! A throne! Adoration! Gold and jewels! And anything he wants to eat! Timmy's gotta have that popeship. He's gotta!
Fun times ahead!