Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mass Chat: Cardinal Dolan a 'rockstar' - Really?

Cardinal Dolan the first American pope?  Really?

The affable, laughable, cuddly, teddy bear, cheese-head wearing Archbishop is so very popular that journalists are suggesting he is papabile - pope material.  Maybe?  Not likely?  Discussions such as these remind me of the disciples arguing amongst themselves who is the greatest - only to be rebuked by Christ.  The crucifix reminds us that we think as men think - not as God thinks.  If you're interested in how men think, this is how John Allen of NCR sees it:
"[T]he possibility of an American as the next Bishop of Rome has never been so strong Allen, whose latest book, "A People of Hope", is a lengthy interview with then Archbishop Dolan, says,

"With Timothy Dolan there is some of the JP II magic. This guy is a rock star in any room he walks into. He exudes charisma, it's almost as if its charisma on steroids. At a time when the Catholic Church is suffering from an image problem I think a lot of people see in Dolan someone who can put a positive face and voice on the Catholic message." - Source
I dunno.   He's very American...  but Benedict XVI is not even dead yet.  Personally, I don't want a rockstar for pope.  Popularity and celebrity are things to beware of:  "Woe to you when all men speak well of you..." - Luke 6:26


  1. I like Cardinal Dolan, an who knows, maybe he'd make a good pope. But not for the reasons cited. Mr. Allen seems to be falling into the trap of judging someone who could potentially be pope the same as they would for mayor, president, etc.

    I hope Pope Benedict XVI lives to be 120, myself.

  2. I think that Timothy Cardinal Dolan is a lovely priest and will do much good for the Church and those who are against Her. Whether he's a possibility as pope is up to the Holy Spirit, not man and certainly not journalists. If they were discussing the baseball hall of fame, different story.

    The one thing that bothered me about Bl. JPII's papacy was the people who focused on his personality, rather than on his office; he was Pope, not a rockstar. It's as though people think that the papacy is about the underlying man's personality, when it's about the underlying Holy Spirit's guidance and the Son of Man's mission. For me, this attitude diminishes the papacy and shows people's fundamental failure to understand that the pope is much more than a guy who wears white and stands in a car behind bulletproof glass.

    I also love Pope Benedict and wish him many years of good health. He's so beautiful and pure, sharing Christ with all. That's what we need to focus on with the papacy; it's the pope who sets the example for our bishops, sharing Christ with all, sharing Truth with all.

  3. Mercury and Nan, yeah, what you said. Cardinal Dolan has his work cut out for him, here and now.
    I just think the Holy Spirit laughs at us when we think we can predict the next pope. And it does seem a little rude to try and figure out the future pope when the present one, even though elderly, seems to be in good health. May he have many more years.

  4. Fr. Richard2:26 PM

    I think Cd Dolan overall is solid, but sometimes he strikes too much as a politican always smiling and yucking it up- and he has been known to back off when confronted by aggressive liberal types- e.g. some were disappointed that he didn't take a stronger role in fighting the push for gay marriage in NY esp. in the waning hours when all the back door manuevering was going on. He always is so positive- which may just be that he has a sanguine personality- but you can't always be "positive" when facing evil. A perfect example of this was when he had his big meeting as the president of the USCCB with President Obama in the white house and Obama "promised" him he would respect the Church's position on conscience rights- despite the fact that Obama gave no indication from his previous record that he would do this- it just seemed a bit naive on Dolan's part and the wishful thinking of the goodness of human nature of the sanguine personality. That being said he is a wonderful person to be the Cardinal of New York- with the charm to get the media to at least give him a hearing- but Pope that is a whole other matter. Thankfully the Holy Spirit is in charge of that!

  5. Anonymous3:30 PM

    "The whole world is filled with speculation
    The whole wide world which people say is round
    They will tear your mind away from contemplation
    They will jump on your misfortune when you're down"

    -Bob Dylan, "Ain't Talkin'," from the 2006 album "Modern Times"

  6. Cardinal Dolan grows on me. I think he would be easy to talk to. I think he is quintessentially American as you stated. I'm more of an introvert so i'm usually put off by people comparing Cardinals, Popes or other clerics to "Rock stars". That isn't what they are supposed to be. Americans like that kind of appeal for some reason. I have never figured out why. I like understatement and reserve. I'm uneasy with people who grab me to hug me or shake my hand and start to ask me personal questions. I'm not saying this is bad but it's not what I'm comfortable with anyway. Cardinal Burke is more to my taste. He is caring and warm but reserved in a dignified way. He is very wise, intelligent and has a keen sense of tradition and continuity. A wonderful speaker. Now, if I were to wish for an "American papabile" then he would be the one.

  7. Not only that, Cdl. Burke is funny.

  8. grumpy tonight8:43 PM

    I've been trying to not be offended by John Allen's article: It seemed to suggest that Pope Benedict is old, ineffectual, and that the Cardinals run around behind his back conspiring to be the next BMOC. While I find Cdl. Dolan a very inspiring church leader the fact is that the Church is NOT a democracy (I don't know why so many seem to think that maybe somehow it is). When it is time for a new Pope then we will all pray that the Cardinals will be fully open to the Will of God in selecting our new Pope. Until then may God bless Benedict and surround him with angels that he may serve our Father's will.

  9. "“As grateful as I am for being a cardinal, I really want to be a saint,” C.Dolan
    A Hugs

  10. It's so American to think that Dolan would be the next pope, LOL. JPII has nothing in common with Dolan. One grew up behind the iron curtain, and on grew up in the American midwest. It's hard for news junkies to understand that the papacy entails more than just being able to do an interview on TV. Nothing against Dolan, but people have to realize he's perfect where he's at. Start thinking Orthodox, Chinese or even Italian relations... the next pope will not be best known for his chumminess.

  11. Dear Terry - I have only been tuning in to your blog for about 6 mos - I cherish it and hope you re-consider closing it down. I find your insights and comments to be light-hearted, gentle, and spot-on.
    I am a 59 yr old woman, and have been taking care of my parents for ...well, many years. my 95 yr old mother just died last month. many years ago I was very drawn to the Trappistines - but upon inquiry, suddenly realized I could not be admitted as I had elders dependant upon me: it was the first realization of what I was to do. hard. now I am really at sea. How to start all over again, find a job, et al. Reading your blog has been enlightening to me, and encouraging. Please re-consider. Regards, Lou

  12. Lou - Thanks very much. I think I'll be around for awhile longer.

  13. gt, of course BXVI is surrounded by angels; every time he says Mass, angels are present, singing Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of hosts. Not only that, he's surrounded by the Communion of Saints; look at where he lives, how many of his predecessors are saints, although the Church on Earth hasn't caught up to Heaven in naming them as saints.


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