Monday, April 13, 2009

The Blitz Continues

In his first major interview since arriving in New York yesterday, the Big Apple's archbishop-designate sat down with the Associated Press earlier on this Installation Eve... and the wire's first headline runs thus: "Dolan to fight anti-Catholic bias" --
The incoming archbishop of New York says he will challenge any suggestion that Roman Catholics are unenlightened because they oppose gay marriage and abortion.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan also tells The Associated Press that he wants to restore pride in being a Catholic....

In his sermons this week, he says he will ask Catholics not to be so consumed by their own problems in these difficult times that they neglect to help others.
Meanwhile, WABC's header is more fitting to the town, and the moment: "NY Prepares for Archbishop Dolan."

The station reported that boxes of Cardinal Edward Egan's were seen leaving 452 Madison at mid-morning.

As always, more as it happens.

SVILUPPO: More from the session with the wire's senior religion writer, Rachel Zoll....
He said Catholics also must defend themselves against bias, which he said was still deeply ingrained in American culture.

"Periodically, we Catholics have to stand up and say, `Enough,'" he said. "The church as a whole still calls out to what is noble in us."...

Dolan said he struggles with how best to convey Catholic teaching. Among his heroes is New York [sic] Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who was a 20th century pioneer in TV and radio evangelism.

Dolan was given a rosary used by Sheen and said he prays with it every day. He plans to talk about the church "as our spiritual family," which people need despite its flaws.

"We need you. We love you. The church is your family," he plans to tell alienated Catholics.

"Please come back. We miss you. We're sorry if we hurt you. We'll listen to you. It's not the same without you."

The archbishop is taking the New York job at a time when same-sex couples need only drive over the state border to be married — in Connecticut, Massachusetts and later this year, Vermont. New York Gov. David Paterson ordered state agencies last May to respect out-of-state gay marriages.

Dolan said he would challenge any efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, but insisted that his position was not anti-gay.

"We love them," he said of gays and lesbians. "We would defend their rights."

However, marriage must remain as it always has been, between one man and one woman, he said.

"If we let that definition of marriage go and begin to include other relationships, it will be to a detriment to the civilization," he said.

Regarding the fight against abortion, Dolan said that the University of Notre Dame had made a mistake by inviting President Barack Obama to give this year's commencement address, in light of Obama's support for abortion rights.

Dolan said that the invitation and the honorary degree the president will receive sent the wrong signal to students that "we hold him up as a model to you."

But the archbishop said it would also be wrong to freeze out abortion rights supporters and that Catholics should instead engage them. He said Obama could have been invited to Notre Dame to speak without honoring him.

"The word we have to keep using is engagement," said Dolan. He does not deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who break with church teaching. Obama called Dolan on the day of his appointment and the archbishop says he prays for the president daily.

Dolan joked that he had crows instead of butterflies in his stomach at the prospect of taking over the New York archdiocese, which serves 2.5 million parishioners and is the nation's second-largest diocese after Los Angeles.

But he said, "I hope at my core, I hear Jesus say, `Timothy, be not afraid,'" he said.

"Then I take a deep breath and say, `Let's go,'" he said, "and I'm going to enjoy it and I'm going to give it my best."