As previously reported here with many hat tips to Rocco Palmo, there's no time like today to blog as Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Edward Cardinal Egan of New York and has appointed Archbishop Timothy Dolan the new head of the huge Archdiocese of New York.
Archbishop Dolan is a fine choice to head up Gotham's Chancery. He's by all means a moderate, a voice of reason, a practical and pastoral man who will bring a much-needed public face and good humor back to St Patrick's Cathedral.
Set your calendars for April 15th, as Archbishop Dolan will be installed at St Patrick's Cathedral then. I always find it funny that they say "installed." It's like we just bought a toaster and we're going to plug it in and make sure it works. The only difference is if we don't like this model we can't exchange it for another one!
I've had limited experience with the new Archbishop. Some members of my wife's family live in Milwaukee, so I've had a chance to be there often. During his time in Milwaukee Archbishop Dolan replaced the fairly liberal Archbishop Rembert Weakland . Weakland had been mired by a scandal in which he paid off a man with Archdiocesan funds who alleged that he had an affair with him. So Archbishop Dolan had quite a few fences to mend and he did so fairly quickly and he'd be the first to say, with the help of a great lay staff.
"He appreciates the laity," say sources in Milwaukee. "He knows he needs good lay people with a good sense for business around him so that he can administrate the diocese well."
I would also say that the new Archbishop Dolan will quickly become a media favorite. He's great with a one-liner and friendly and answers questions thoughtfully.
Prayers today for both the new Archbishop Dolan and for Cardinal Egan who will be moving on after cleaning up quite a financial mess in the NY Archdiocese.