An embrace from the Pope capped this morning's investiture ceremony at the Vatican, and has elevated New York Archibishop Timothy Dolan to the rank of Cardinal. He now joins the elite group that will vote to choose the next Pope.
Dolan, who is already head of the US Bishop's Conference, is considered a rising star in the Catholic hierarchy, was also singled out for special honors at the ceremonies, chosen to speak on evangelizing for the Catholic Church. "At the end of it I'm going to say to them 'I'd like to thank you for your patience because I'm giving this in Italian and I speak Italian like a child' and then I'm going to say 'but you know what, that could be a great lesson on evangelization because we all have to begin to speak like a child and by that I mean with a simplicity and a sincerity'."
The new cardinal is also on the defense of New York City, where he's been archibishop for two years. "New York seems to have an innate interest and respect for religion and I'm going to bring that up because I don't like that caricature that New York is some neo-Sodom and Gomorra. We'll see how it goes over!"
At the end of the formal installation, the Pope announced that two of the seven new saints to be canonized on October 21st have Upstate connections(see related story)--
Dolan marveled that his first official act as a cardinal was to formally OK the New York-area saints. He quipped: "As grateful as I am for being a cardinal, I really want to be a saint."