Monday, February 23, 2009

Gotham Past, Gotham Future

So, what's changing in the Big Apple?

For all the words that could be said -- and already have -- one shot sums it up:

On a related note, while distributing Communion at this morning's St Patrick's Mass, Tim Dolan appeared to be mouthing out a "thank you" or two to folks who seemed to be whispering congrats alongside their amens.

Earlier in the liturgy, Cardinal Edward Egan took a parting tweak at the gathered press, saying that he already informed his successor that "the New York media always treats the archbishop so wonderfully."

And from the pews, one overheard murmur summed up the line's reception: "He's so angry."

Confirming reports first aired in May, Egan -- the first holder of the post to leave it alive -- said at the midday presser that he'll move to a former rectory, later identified as the long-buzzed choice on East 33rd Street, a quick hop from the cathedral, chancery and the city's airports.

Having greeted B16's choice with notable enthusiasm, the gifted canonist and pianist poked some fun at himself, too, adding that he'd be ready and willing to lend a hand if his successor "feels I know how to say Mass and have funerals and do confirmations."

Dolan slapped Egan on the back and, with a grin, readily said "You're hired." And the crowd ate the two-man show up.

A traditional courtesy given by the Holy See to retiring cardinal-archbishops, Egan now serves by papal appointment as apostolic administrator, enjoying the full powers of a diocesan bishop until Dolan's 15 April installation.

PHOTO: Yana Paskova/
The New York Times