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 American cardinals have suspended daily press conferences in Rome during the General Congregations at the request of the entire College of Cardinals.
“A little less conversation, a little more action, please. All this aggravation ain’t satisfactionin’ me.”
According to the U.S. Conference of Bishops, the Cardinals thus followed a request of the College of Cardinals, which currently meets in Rome to discuss the situation of the Catholic Church and to prepare for the election. The College of Cardinals has thus highlighted the confidentiality of the interview content.
The Vatican did not comment on the decision. However, spokesman Federico Lombardi noted that Cardinals from other countries had not held such press conferences. Lombardi said that the decision of the Americans did not surprise him. There is a general need for “utmost restraint” in the run-up to the Conclave. Earlier, reports of discussions between Cardinals from the United States, Germany and Italy about the Conclave and the papal elections were surfaced in Italian media.