Friday, February 13, 2009

Riformista on Big One: "It's Tim"

Earlier today, Paolo Rodari -- the well-sourced Vatican correspondent for the Italian daily Il Riformista -- called the New York appointment for the archbishop of Milwaukee, 59 year-old Timothy Dolan.

Given Rodari's keen reputation for accuracy, the report is significant; following in full is an English translation of the scribe's (Roman) noontime dispatch:
The announcement should arrive shortly. And it regards the name of the successor of the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York, Edward Michael Egan. According to leaks collected by Il Riformista, Benedict XVI has decided on Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee. Among other names who could've been chosen are the archbishop of Hartford, Henry Mansell, the archbishop of Atlanta Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Newark John Myers and that of San Juan, Roberto Gonzalez Nieves.

Dolan, 59, a Missouri native, has been in Milwaukee since 2002. Part of the American episcopate would've preferred a prelate of greater impact, to counter the new team in the White House, seen by many as unfavorable to Catholics. But the Vatican has preferred to maintain the type adopted previously in other similar cases: a bishop of a very pastoral profile with a soft touch.
In his headline, Rodari led with his close, writing that the reported choice would signal a "soft line against Obama" on Rome's part.

Nine days after the initial report from Rome sent up a veiled tip pointing to the highly-regarded Milwaukee prelate -- a media star, priesthood guru and former rector of the Pontifical North American College -- Dolan faced the cameras last weekend, telling the Packerland press that "anytime there's kind of a major see that opens, what have we seen Washington, Baltimore, Detroit, now New York, my name for some reason comes up. I'm flattered.

"I have to say," he added, "I find myself sort of saying, ‘I don't know where all of this is coming from, and there's sure not much I can say.’ But all I do is just keep going to work each day and trusting in the Lord."

For all the rest, as always, stay tuned.