Cardinal Dolan — UPDATED

Yes, as many expected, he’s getting the red hat.

The list:

  • Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples;
  • Manuel Montiero de Castro, Major Penitentiary of the Roman Church;
  • Santos Abril y Castelló, archpriest of St Mary Major;
  • Antonio Maria Veglió, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Refugees;
  • Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Government of the Vatican City-State
  • Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Religious;
  • Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;
  • Edwin Frederick O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre;
  • Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See;
  • George Alencherry, Major-Archbishop of Erkugnalam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malybars;
  • Thomas Christopher Collins, archbishop of Toronto;
  • Dominik Duka OP, archbishop of Prague;
  • Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht;
  • Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence;
  • Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York;
  • Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Berlin;
  • John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong

There are others, over 80 (past the voting age for the next conclave).  Check here.

UPDATE: John Allen has some typically astute observations.


  1. Seems like a great choice. The left is going to hate his positions on abortion, gay marriage, child molestation, and homosexuality though.

  2. The left? I thought the Church was Universal? So now it’s only Left and Right?

  3. Deacon Greg Kandra says:


    His positions have been known for years. He’s the most prominent and visible member of the American hierarchy — the “American Pope,” as 60 Minutes called him.

    I haven’t detected a lot of hate so far. In fact, there have been a few surprises. Two years ago, a progressive parish in Manhattan dedicated a new altar, and Dolan was there. As part of the Mass, the pastor introduced various members of the parish community, including the parish’s controversial outreach ministry to the LGBT community. Dolan is seen on a video of the event smiling, nodding approvingly and giving the group a thumbs up as they’re warmly applauded.

    Dcn. G.

  4. The only stink bomb I’d like to offer on this thread is a general lament about the connection of the red hat to large sees, and the inevitable shuffling of bishops to get them to either big metro areas or to Rome.

    Why couldn’t a well-regarded bishop of, say, Saginaw or Knoxville, stay in the diocese for which he was ordained and, if he was judged cardinal-worthy, just be a cardinal, rather than go through the careerism of moving from small city to big?

  5. I think there needs to be some outreach to the white male heterosexual community.

  6. Newly named Cardinal Dolan often surprises me. In his statement about this honor he wrote:

    “Over the Christmas holy days I finished a biography of President Kennedy, and recalled his reply to someone who sincerely congratulated him on the honor of the presidency.

    ‘Thanks,’ John Kennedy replied, ‘but I don’t look at it so much as an honor as a call to higher service.’

    My sentiments exactly.”

    I have no doubt that he is referring to the recently released book, “Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero” by Chris Matthews.

    Like Pope John XXIII, Dolan’s background is in Church History. It seems to me that such leaders approach Church in a different way than canon lawyers and theologians. They can integrate the preservation of our tradition with the “signs of the times.”

  7. Probably as much as the right will hate his positions on immigration, worker’s rights and income inequality …

  8. Are they “his” positions? I think he clearly enunciates what is the Church’s position on moral issues which is what a Bishop is supposed to do.

  9. naturgesetz says:

    The elder brothers.

  10. Fiergenholt says:


    It could happen that a bishop of a smaller see would be brought forward as a Cardinal. That title is honorary anyway — it does not really replace the three levels of orders in any way. The only reason why this Cardinal assignment/honor is even in place is because of the Papal Election process. ONLY the Cardinals have a vote. It is far more important politically than pastorally. You keep American Catholics happy by making sure they have a few voices in that election process — but the same is true for all cultures. I noticed that the Archbishop Dolan was one (of eight) who were archbishops of major cultural centers. One other Archbishop represents a major Eastern Rite church.

    In fact, folks have pointed out — correctly — that one really does not have to be a bishop/archbishop at all. Check the supplemental list of those who were elevated but over 80. There was one priest on that list. There is no theological reason why a permanently ordained deacon could not be so elevated and — according to folks who study these things — the only reason why a woman has not been selected as a Cardinal is current Canon Law, and the reigning Pope can change that by personal decree. If Pope Benedict really wanted to elevate a lay-woman to that honor, he could do so easily enough.

  11. Regina J. Faighes says:

    I am happy but not at all surprised to learn of this. Congratulations to Cardinal Dolan. Ad multos annos!

  12. That seems at odds with his recent public statement on homosexuality:

    On gay marraige:

    “I have a strong desire to play shortstop for the Yankees. I don’t have a right to, because I don’t have what it takes. And that would be what the church would say about marriage.” “Where would then the tampering stop? I love my mom, I don’t have the right to marry her. There are certain rights and attractions in life that are very beautiful and noble, but don’t entitle you to marriage.” — Archbishop Timothy Dolan

    On New York’s New Gay Marriage Law:

    Gay activist Terence Weldon wrote after the NY gay marriage vote in his blog “Queering the Church,” Weldon pointed out that of 21 bishops in the state, he could only think of two who had taken any public steps to fight the gay “marriage” law – Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Bishop Nicholas DiMazio.

    Dolan referred to the passage of the bill as, “Very sad. Very sobering,”

    “We said the next thing will be we’ll be sued if we don’t do marriage, we’re going to be harassed if we don’t do receptions, we’re going to be penalized if we don’t allow adoption, we’re going to be booed if we don’t hire these people,” Dolan told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo.

    But “no sooner was the ink dry,” he said, than priests throughout the state started coming to him with stories of couples threatening to sue if they didn’t agree to rent out their parishes for same-sex weddings.

    On the immorality of the gay lifestyle:

    Archbishop Dolan, speaking on Fredric U. Dicker’s radio program on WGDJ-AM (1300), repeatedly made it clear that he strongly opposed gay marriage, which he called “unjust and immoral,” “detrimental for the common good” and “a violation of what we consider the natural law that’s embedded in every man and woman.”

    Gays React to Dolan’s “Homophobia”

    “The Rainbow Sash Movement’s Executive Director, Joe Murray has challenged Archbishop Dolan, president of US Conference of Catholic Bishops to meet him in the public square at any Catholic University in the United States to debate Gay Marriage. Such a debate will not only be informative, but could highlight reason over homophobia.
    We realize that Archbishop Dolan is more comfortable taking cheap shots at the Gay and Lesbian Community from his ivory tower in New York, but is he willing to show daring and engage in a disciplined debate that is focused on scientific, and social reality, and based on Catholic Tradition.”

  13. Good post George. Sometimes a bishop can be caught by something when he is brought on site. I suspect Dolan is the type of person who does not stop everything and make his point, but makes sure later that those in charge who created controversy with Catholic teaching are educated.

    As to his quote on Kennedy, seems like he was making a point about service, not advocating Kennedy as a role model.

  14. This list looks like it is starting to align for what could end up being an election in the next couple of years. I have heard rumors that a favorite of many of the Italian Cardinals is Cardinal Burke who also has support in many other countries as well. I hope we soon see Cardinal Chaput as well.

  15. The speculation that Edwin O’Brien was being moved out of Baltimore in order to get him the Cardinalate seems to have been correct, although he remains, interestingly, the Administrator of the Archdiocese.

  16. Bill Russell says:


    Given various factors, I think it was the opposite case with Edwin O’Brien. Baltimore is our unofficial primatial See. His predecessor received the red hat and is over 80. O’Brien was not moved out of Baltimore to get the Cardinalate: he was given the Cardinalate to move him out of Baltimore.

  17. naturgesetz says:

    It seems to me that going from being Archbishop of Baltimore to a nothing job such as Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher is a big step down. Could Cardinal-elect O’Brien have felt out of place as a diocesan bishop and screamed to Rome, “Get me out of here?”

  18. Based on observation of him, he did not seem to feel out of place. He was more apparent “on the ground” than his predecessor. He showed up twice at my parish (Cdl. Keeler has never been there in my eleven years of attendance) and led the Good Friday stations of the Cross to Planned Parenthood every year he was here. He was particularly loved by the Vietnam-era vets at our parish as one of them. He did admit recently his sadness at having to order the closure of a number of schools and indicated that the anger over this weighed on him.

    Primatial see or not, William Keeler was only the third Archbishop of Baltimore to be named a cardinal, after James Gibbons and Lawrence Shehan.

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