From the St. Louis Beacon today:
While the joyful, witty Dolan is a champion hugger, he is no light weight. Brilliant theologians including the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, a Jesuit, considered Dolan an intellectual with a special gift for relating realistically to modern life. Two years ago, the late Dulles told this reporter of his appreciation of Dolan’s ability to put crises and challenges into the context of church and American history.
Friends and associates cite Dolan’s qualities that serve his church well: his down-to-earth friendliness, keen intellect, his analytical powers, his joyful presence, his gifts of mediation and what more than a few call “holiness.”
Sending a fine communicator to media capitol of the world seems a natural, for Benedict whose recent appointments seem to show that he is adept at putting pastorally gifted men in dioceses where their talents can be used.
And for those who wonder about the Bishop's pastoral approach and how he is viewed by his brother priests:
This was Dolan’s way. Twice most years Dolan called Catholic Wisconsin public officials to a spiritual and intellectual discussion. He explained the theology behind church policy statements on capital punishment, immigration, poverty, abortion, war and embryonic stem cell research. Then, he took questions about the theological underpinnings. No fire and brimstone, just thoughtful give and take, elected officials have said.
Dolan is held in high regard by other U.S. bishops. At his very first meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, just three months after he was installed as St. Louis Archdiocese’s auxiliary bishop, the bishops elected him to head the committee on priestly life. Such a committee chairmanship is unheard of for a new bishop. However, in the midst of the sex abuse crisis American bishops expected that Dolan could be a spokesman for good priests, for the joy of the priesthood and could work on policies to improve discernment, even testing of men seeking to become priests. Even then, Dolan was a popular retreat master for priests.
The St. Louis native has given thought-provoking papers at several prestigious Catholic intellectual societies. No matter how deep the academic topic, he always paces them with a bit of his Irish wit. Now he is board chairman of Catholic Relief Services, which serves people of all faiths overseas. He has been a gifted fund-raiser in Milwaukee. He currently serves on the bishops’ conference budget and finance committee.
I have heard nothing but good things. God Bless Archbishop (undoubtedly soon to be Cardinal) Dolan on his new assignment here in Gotham. Read more here including his personal story.