The scoop, via The Catholic Herald:
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who gave a speech at the Gala, told Sirius XM that he had lent Rihanna her jewel-encrusted papal mitre. The Wrap reported that “Cardinal Dolan Says Rihanna Borrowed One of His Miters for Met Ball”. The story has nearly 650 retweets and more than 2000 Facebook shares, was repeated by Time and made it onto the Drudge Report, one of the biggest aggregator websites. It is, however, based on a misapprehension. Listen to the exchange (it starts at 5:50) and it is pretty clear that His Eminence is being playful.
HOST: I saw a couple of the celebrities…Rihanna was wearing a mitre.
DOLAN: Yes. In fact, the news said she was wearing a tiara, which…no. She was wearing a mitre. And, you know, she gave it back to me this morning. [Laughs] I was teasing my Auxiliaries, who were teasing me about Rihanna, and I said, ‘Hey, you guys should not complain, because she’s volunteered to do some Confirmations. [Laughs] She was very gracious. Everybody was, I couldn’t believe it.
In context – and given Cardinal Dolan’s jovial character – the remark is obviously a joke. The archdiocese confirmed that to me over email.
It would be a shame if cardinals felt they couldn’t make a surreal wisecrack. And the story does illustrate the danger which faces every journalist in the internet age, where stories spread before they can be properly checked.
Photo: From Getty Images