Friday, January 6, 2012

New York City sees red

I don't own the copyright.
Cardinal red.

It was bound to happen.  Although NYC is no longer the largest metropolitan area in the US, the Big Apple is still "America's first city" in a way that neither Washington nor LA can be; it's the iconic American city (sorry, Chicago!).  And when its Ordinary is also the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, you have double cause to expect that guy to get the red hat.

But Archbishop Tim Dolan is more than that.  He manages to combine straightforward leadership with coalition-building, straight talk with humor.  He takes his role and responsibilities seriously, but he doesn't take himself too seriously.  He's an attractive, charismatic figure whom many inside and outside the New York archdiocese love even when they disagree with him.  (In some ways, he reminds me of Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf ... not just in size, but in stature and appeal as well.)

Also appearing on Pope Benedict's list is Abp. Edwin O'Brien, the Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.  According to Wikipedia, the Order's principal mission is "to reinforce the practice of Christian life by its members in absolute fidelity to the Popes; to sustain and assist the religious, spiritual, charitable and social works of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land; and to conserve and propagate the faith in the Holy Land and the rights of the Catholic Church there."  (Alas, as is all too common, the article doesn't cite near enough sources.)  Abp. O'Brien's career includes stints as an auxiliary of New York, Archbishop for Military Services and Archbishop of Baltimore (of which see he is still apostolic administrator). He was an outspoken critic of the Legionaries of Christ even before the predations of its founder, Rev. Marcial Maciel, became public knowledge.

Separated at birth?
At this time, two names aren't present on the list that someone else might have expected to be there: Abps. Jose Gomez of LA and Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.  In defense, neither prelate has had time to really establish themselves in their current sees (although Abp. Chaput's work in Denver was exemplary).  Besides, today's nomination will fill up the number of cardinal electors; as John Allen reports, today's nominations brings the cardinals of voting age to 126, and that number won't drop to 120 until Cdl. James Stafford, archbishop emeritus of Denver and Major Penitentiary emeritus of the Apostolic Penitentiary, turns 80 on July 26.

I'd like to conclude by repeating the comment I left on Abp. Dolan's blog post announcing the nomination: