NY Archbishop Dolan officially a cardinal after Vatican
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan was made a prince of the church today at the Vatican when Pope Benedict XVI presented him with his red hat and ring during an elevation ceremony before 10,000 people.
"I'm grateful for all the prayers from everyone back in New York," he said afterwards. "This is for them!"
Nearly 800 New Yorkers were in attendance inside the
grandiose St. Peter’s Basilica to see Dolan when he was called up to the ornate
altar, where the pope carefully put the hat – called a biretta – on his head
and placed the ring on his finger
The two-hour ceremony included a speech by the pope, and after the 22 men stood before the altar in a semicircle and took their oaths, Benedict XVI called each one up to the altar individually.
Dolan – who was called up 16th – bowed and kneeled before the pope. After he was given his ring and hat, Dolan, who sported a big grin, leaned in as the two had a few words.
"He thanked me, and I said, 'No, thank you for this,'" Dolan recounted, pointing to his new red robe.
Aside from the pilgrims living in the New York archdiocese who made the trip to Rome, Dolan’s family and close friends from his native St. Louis were also there.
In his speech, the frail-looking pontiff said the newest members of the College of Cardinals “need to serve the church with love and vigor, with the transparency and wisdom of teachers, with the energy and strength of shepherds, with the fidelity and courage of martyrs.”
Also elevated at the ceremony was Bronx-native Ed O’Brien, the former archbishop of Baltimore and currently the head of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.
“The new cardinals are entrusted with the service of love – love for God, love for his church, an absolute and unconditional love for his brothers and sisters, even unto shedding their blood, if necessary, as expressed in the words of placing the biretta and as indicated by the color of their robes,” the pope said.
In addition to leading an archdiocese that has 2.6 million Catholics, the 62-year-old Dolan is now also one of 125 cardinals responsible for electing a new pontiff. There are now a total of 213 members who are part of the College of Cardinals.
Asked about having to someday help choose the successor to St. Peter, Dolan said: “That will be my biggest job.”
Dolan’s predecessor, Edward Cardinal Egan, who was also in attendance, said all New Yorkers are pulling for the city’s newest cardinal.
“He has a big job ahead of him,” said Egan. “We are all here behind him.”
As a newly-minted prince of the church, Dolan joins an elite group of men who serve as close advisors to the pontiff.
The pope said the rings he placed on the finger of each cardinal bear the image of Saints Peter and Paul and a star standing for the Virgin Mary.
He said the symbols were a reminder “each day to remember the witness which these two Apostles gave to Christ even unto martyrdom in Rome, their blood making the church fruitful. The example of the Virgin Mother will always be for you an invitation to follow her who was strong in faith and a humble servant of God.”
For the next six weeks, New York will have the distinction of having two cardinals – Egan and Dolan – who can vote in a new pope. Egan, however, turns 80 on April 2 and will no longer be able to vote in a conclave after that date.
Dolan spent the night before the consistory ceremony having dinner with his family – including his 84-year-old mother, Shirley – and went to bed early in preparation for the big day.
The ceremony at the Vatican is the culmination of a week where Dolan was seen all around Rome, touring the sights and eating at restaurants. He greeted pilgrims at almost every stop and celebrated mass at several of the city’s famous basilicas, including St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major.
One of the highlights of Dolan’s trip came yesterday when he gave the keynote address for the pope and the College of Cardinals.
In his speech, Dolan called New York “a very religious city” and defended the city against the stereotype of it being a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah.
Dolan – who spoke on the “new evangelization” aimed at Catholics who have strayed in recent decades – said New York may be known for a lot of immoral things, but that people in the city are welcoming of faith and religion.
“There one finds, even among groups usually identified as materialistic – the media, entertainment, business, politics, artists, writers – an undeniable openness to the divine,” he said during a speech he delivered entirely in Italian.
With Egan and 100 other cardinals in attendance inside the Paul VI Hall, Dolan defended his adopted hometown – saying he’d been invited by the Holy See to give the address after church officials “hinted that my home archdiocese of New York might be the ‘capital of a secular culture.’”
“New York – without denying its dramatic evidence of graphic secularism – is also a very religious city,” Dolan proclaimed.
Dolan and the others joined the pope for a day of meetings, prayer and reflection ahead of this morning’s ceremony.
During his speech, Dolan called on the church to use a “creative strategy” in order to bring lapsed Roman Catholics back into the fold.
“The new evangelization is accomplished with a smile – not a frown,” he said.
Timothy Dolan’s elevation to cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI comes along with a number of new stylings. Here’s what they all mean:
* Title: Dolan will leave behind the title of “Your Excellency” that goes with being an archbishop for “Your Eminence,” the proper way to refer to a cardinal.
* Biretta: Roman Catholic cardinals wear square, three-peaked caps called birettas. They go along with robes known as cassocks and elbow-length capes known as mozzettas, all blood red as symbols of a cardinal’s willingness to die for his faith.
* Zucchetto: He will receive a red cap known as the zucchetto. All ordained members of the Roman Catholic Church can wear zucchettos, but only cardinals get to wear the red ones.
* Ring: New cardinals are given gold rings by the pope, who chooses the image on the outside. For Pope Benedict XVI, the symbol is a depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus, accompanied by his mother, Mary, and St. John, the youngest of the 12 apostles. The pope’s coat of arms goes inside the ring.
* Titular Parish: Dolan will be assigned the church Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Monte Mario, as his titular parish in Rome. He will assist the church, which will bear his coat of arms.