St. Patrick's Faithful Celebrate New York's New Cardinal
For worshippers at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown, Sunday and the upcoming week bring plenty of opportunities to celebrate the elevation of Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
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Saturday's ceremony in the Vatican City was all the talk on Sunday morning at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown. The leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, Timothy Dolan, was one of two Americans among the 22 men elevated to cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.
"I think it's a wonderful thing. I think he's such a leader for the community of New York and the greater United States," said a worshipper. "To be a leader of so many Catholics here, it's a wonderful thing."
"Just the color, the spectacle of it all, it was beautiful," said another.
For American Catholics, it was a welcome change to be so strongly represented among the church's elite.
"It's always important that the world church, the Catholic church, recognizes how important the American Catholic church is, and specifically Archbishop, now Cardinal Dolan in the leadership that he has taken recently as president of the [U.S.] bishop's council. So I think it's very important to us," said a Catholic.
During his three years as archbishop of New York, Dolan has made an impression on the congregation. Members see him as a man close to both God and to the people.
"He's great, great guy. He's a down-to-earth guy and he relates to the people well," said a worshipper.
They also saw Dolan as the face of the future, perfectly suited to help shape the church in the years ahead.
"I think he will bring a different perspective to it, One that will be contemporary but with a flair of traditional. So I'm looking forward to it, well-deserved," said a Catholic.
While the pomp and circumstance of the occasion was impressive, what seemed to strike people most was Dolan's rapport with the pontiff.
"I loved his smile when he went up to receive his hat and the pope was smiling too. So I think they are both pleased with this elevation," said a worshipper.
"He told a few jokes to the pope, which went over well, and he's a people person, very outgoing. He should be perfect for here, and maybe as the next pope, who knows?" said another.
New Yorkers will have several chances to see the cardinal in his new vestments this week. He will be presiding over an Ash Wednesday service, as well as a special prayer service on Saturday.