Friday, January 14, 2011

Archbishop Dolan Is Becoming More Important In the Worldwide Catholic Church

John Allen has a wonderful fun article here Warning labels for Vatican stories, especially on exorcism

At the end though he talks about some unrelated matters and I found this of great interest

Soon enough, the genre of book-length interviews with major ecclesiastic figures will not belong exclusively to German journalist Peter Seewald and his chats with Pope Benedict XVI. This fall, Doubleday will publish my own book-length interview with Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, titled Faith, Hope and Credibility: Archbishop Timothy Dolan in Conversation with John L. Allen Jr.

I spent part of this week in New York with Dolan, completing the final set of interviews for the project, just before Dolan leaves for Ireland to help lead a Vatican-sponsored Apostolic Visitation prompted by the sexual abuse crisis.

As if additional proof were needed that Dolan is a rising star in the Catholic firmament, consider that Pope Benedict XVI named him on Jan. 5 as a member of the recently created Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Quite apart from the still-unsettled question of what exactly that office will do, Benedict obviously thinks it's a big deal. Look at who else he named as members: Cardinals Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Angelo Scola of Venice, George Pell of Sydney, Mark Ouellet of the Congregation for Bishops, William Levada of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Gianfranco Ravasi of the Council for Culture, as well as Archbishops Robert Zollitsch of Germany and Bruno Forte of Italy.

With at least three consensus papabili, or strong papal candidates, in that set (Scola, Ravasi and Ouellet) and a number of other heavy-hitters, Dolan's inclusion is the clearest possible signal that it's not just the U.S. bishops, who recently elected Dolan their president, who think highly of the New York prelate; in Rome, too, Dolan is clearly now on the "A list."

Finally, I wasn't the only journalist sniffing around the Dolan story this week. Morley Safer of "60 Minutes" also filmed an interview with Dolan for a segment scheduled to air in February. In the interests of full disclosure, I was also interviewed for the segment to offer a journalistic take on Dolan's significance in the church, both in the States and universally.

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