GOTHAM’S GOOD NEWS
The Holy See announced this morning that their worst-kept secret was true and the Holy Father had indeed appointed Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan as the new Archbishop of New York. My personal friendship with Archbishop Dolan goes back to 1984 when I was asked to serve as Associate General Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of the United States and the new archbishop was on the staff of the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington. We worked together on common matters and enjoyed the friendship and company of each other. Archbishop Dolan is a Church historian who has that wonderful ability to make today’s problems and challenges seem small compared to some other era in the Church. He is witty, expansive, warm, articulate and bright. I shall not soon forget the story he told at his episcopal ordination a few years ago as Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis. From a solidly Catholic working class family in St. Louis, home to Anheuser-Busch, he said that when his Archbishop, now Cardinal Justin Rigali, called him in to tell him that he was being made a bishop, as he was leaving his archbishop said, “Oh, Tim, you will need a coat-of-arms.” Dolan responded, “really, what is that?” The archbishop then described the heraldric shield that every bishop has which usually includes some symbol of one’s personal family. “Well,” the new bishop-elect said, “then I will just have to place a six-pack of Bud on it somewhere!” The new Cathedral in St. Louis exploded with laughter and long applause.
Our Fathers Ken Malley and David Toups will be happy today because Archbishop Dolan was their Rector at the North American College in Rome for most of their time as seminarians there. They have a great affection and respect for him. New York now has a very priest-friendly Archbishop who understands the challenges of priestly ministry in this time and that place. The new Archbishop-Designate of New York has come at my invitation and spoken to our own priests here in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. I am proud of our Pope and our Papal Nuncio for making this important appointment and I predict that the Church in the United States will be stronger and better with +Tim in Gotham.