And now, (Pope Benedict) lets us know that, he, too, is a marked man, closer to death, slowed down and frail, more and more in need of God’s grace and mercy, humbly admitting his mortality, his own sinfulness, eager to prepare to be united with His Lord and Savior in His dying and rising.

Behold two great signs for us: the ashes of Lent, the example of Pope Benedict.

—  Cardinal Timothy Dolan (New York)
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Sunday Afternoon Matinee: Meet the new prince

With all due respect to the other 21 bishops and priests elevated to the College of Cardinals in the consistory held yesterday by Pope Benedict XVI, it is thought by many that one man stole the show.  That person being His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York.  With his charm and smile, Cardinal Dolan is known for rallying the faithful and disarming critics.  

In this 60 Minutes interview, Cardinal Dolan talks with Morley Safer about being the Archbishop of New York and the challenges that face the American Church.

Newly-appointed cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, of the United States, is greeted by a nun after being elevated in St. Peter’s basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI is bringing 22 new Catholic churchmen into the elite club of cardinals who will elect his successor amid signs the 84-year-old pontiff is slowing down. Benedict was presiding over a ceremony Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica to formally create the 22 cardinals, who include the archbishops of New York, Prague, Hong Kong and Toronto as well as the heads of several Vatican offices.

A Comedian and a Cardinal Open Up on Spirituality

By Laurie Goodstein, NY Times, September 15, 2012
The comedian Stephen Colbert and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York bantered onstage Friday night before 3,000 cheering, stomping, chanting students at Fordham University, in what might have been the most successful Roman Catholic youth evangelization event since Pope John Paul II last appeared at World Youth Day.

The evening was billed as an opportunity to hear two Catholic celebrities discuss how joy and humor infuse their spiritual lives. They both delivered, with surprises and zingers that began the moment the two walked onstage. Mr. Colbert went to shake Cardinal Dolan’s hand, but the cardinal took Mr. Colbert’s hand and kissed it–a disarming role reversal for a big prelate with a big job and a big ring.

Cardinal Dolan was introduced as a man who might one day be elected pope, to which he said, “If I am elected pope, which is probably the greatest gag all evening, I’ll be Stephen III.”

The event would not have happened without its moderator, the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and prolific author who has made it his mission to remind Catholics that there is no contradiction between faithful and funny. His latest book is “Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life.”

Father Martin said in an interview earlier this week that the idea came from two young theology professors at Fordham. The university’s president, the Rev. Joseph M. McShane, invited Cardinal Dolan to participate, and he readily accepted. Father Martin, who has made enough appearances on “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central to earn the title “official chaplain,” invited Mr. Colbert.

Three thousand students and faculty members filled the Rose Hill Gymnasium, stomping on the bleachers, doing the wave and chanting “Ste-PHEN” like the revved-up audiences for Mr. Colbert’s studio show.

Mr. Colbert shed his character for the evening and offered several sincere insights into how he manages to remain a faithful Catholic while making fun of his own religion and most others.

“Are there flaws in the church?” Mr. Colbert said, “Absolutely. But is there great beauty in the church? Absolutely.”

He said he did not make jokes about the sacraments, or put a picture of the crucifixion on screen. But he said he liked to poke fun at the use and misuse of religion, especially in politics. “Then I’m not talking about Christ,” he said, “I’m talking about Christ as cudgel.”

Mr. Colbert is the youngest of 11 children, raised by Catholic parents who both attended Catholic colleges. His father and two of his brothers died in a plane crash when Mr. Colbert was 10. He said that after the funeral, in the limousine on the way home, one of his sisters made another sister laugh so hard that she fell on the floor. At that moment, Mr. Colbert said he resolved that he wanted to be able to make someone laugh that hard.

He is raising his children as Catholics, and he teaches Sunday school at his parish in New Jersey. “The real reason I remain a Catholic is what the church gives me, which is love,” he said.

Cardinal Dolan introduced Mr. Colbert’s wife, Evelyn, who was sitting in the audience, and brought her up to the stage. The cardinal put his arm around her and gave her a kiss on the cheek, and when Mr. Colbert feigned offense, the cardinal said, in a remark that brought down the house, “I can kiss your wife. You can’t kiss mine.”

Mr. Colbert used his time onstage with the cardinal to air his complaints about the new English translation of the Mass, which was just introduced in American parishes this year.

“Consubstantial!” Mr. Colbert exclaimed, using a particularly cumbersome word that is now recited in the Nicene Creed. “It’s the creed! It’s not the SAT prep.”

The audience sent in questions by Twitter and e-mail, which Father Martin pitched to the two men. Among them: “I am considering the priesthood. Would it be prudent to avoid dating?”

Cardinal Dolan responded that, on the contrary, “it’s good” to date, partly to discern whether the celibate life of a priest is what you want. Then he added, “By the way, let me give you the phone numbers of my nieces.”

Mr. Colbert said, “It’s actually a great pickup line: I’m seriously considering the priesthood. You can change my mind.”

New York City pays tribute to fallen officers

Mashable: The NYPD, New York City residents and city officials continued Sunday to mourn the loss of two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were killed Saturday in Brooklyn.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton attended mass led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, while Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams asked protesters to hold off on all marches and protests until Liu and Ramos are buried.

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