New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan is a conservative with lots of humor. He could become the first American Pope. The U.S. magazine “Time” named him one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
“I can not remember a single moment when I did not want to be a priest,” Dolan once said. The 63-year-old is the Archbishop of New York since 2009, became chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference in 2010, and was appointed Cardinal in 2012. Of all American Cardinals he is said to have the best chance of becoming the next Pope.
In the view of the Vatican, the strongly-built, down-to-earth and dynamic Bishop of Irish descent, seemed to be the right man to jump-start the religious life of the “Big Apple” with its more than 2.5 million Catholics in 2009. Because of the special status of New York as a trendsetting, media and commercial capital, John Paul II. once named the New York Archbishop as the “Bishop of the capital of the world”. Among the Bishops, Dolan is considered a moderate conservative. His humor and his enthusiasm impressed the Vatican, which often lacks both. The Cardinals are however sceptical about a Pope from a “superpower”, also for some his pally appearance might be too “American”.
The, burdened by an abuse scandal, Ex-Archbishop of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, may in the opinion of Cardinal Velasio de Paolis attend the papal election, despite ecclesiastical sanctions.
Cardinal Roger Mahony
“According to the regulations, every Cardinal under 80 had the right and duty to appear at the Conclave”, said de Paolis, former Secretary of the Supreme Church Court of the Signature, to Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”.
The 76-year-old Mahony is under fire because of his handling of abuse cases in his time as a Diocesan director from 1985 to 2011. According to archive documents, published in January by the Archdiocese, Mahony specifically protected pädophile priests from the State prosecution. His successor Archbishop Jose Gomez called the acts “brutal and painful to read”. In an unprecedented act for the American Church, he relieved Mahony from all remaining positions and banned him from public work in Los Angeles.