Monday, December 22, 2014

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New Archbishop Re-Introduces Himself To The City

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After spending the morning settling into his new residence in Midtown, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who will be installed Wednesday as the church's new shepherd, spoke to the media Monday afternoon, where he addressed some controversial issues facing the Catholic Church.

In his first news conference since moving to the city, Dolan discussed both light-hearted topics like unpacking and baseball and weighty subjects like abortion.

Watch the complete news conference.

He said he would challenge any suggestion that Catholics who oppose gay marriage and abortion are unenlightened.

"I sometimes think Catholics are caricatured as being unenlightened or not 'with the times' when it comes to some controversial issues," Dolan said. "And I think we Catholics just need to stand up and say, 'we're above the times, we're timeless in our beliefs in our values and in our ethics and in our morality, and we don't take our cue from the winds and the trends of the day, but we kind of hold strong to the timeless trues of Christ and his church.'"

His predecessor, Edward Cardinal Egan, was known for skillfully financially managing the archdiocese. Today, Dolan admitted that administration is not his strength and he is looking forward to guidance from Egan on this matter.

"I would consider it a singular blessing to have Cardinal Egan here," Dolan said. "He's been extraordinarily considerate to me since we both learned of my appointment. His wisdom, his company, his humor, to me, he's been so well balanced."

Dolan said he is not planning on making any radical changes right away. He said he wants to spend the first year listening to church members as much as possible.

He said he would also like to improve his Spanish to better communicate with the city's large Hispanic population.

The 59-year-old former Milwaukee archbishop arrived in the city Sunday and went straight to his residence in Midtown.

"I walked out to go out to the hotel to see them this morning and there were a bunch of Italian people that were here visiting from Italy and it was so good to visit with them," said Dolan. "It was a good reminder of how universal New York is."

About two dozen family members and friends joined Dolan Monday night for dinner at St. Patrick's, ahead of his installation.

They say the Archbishop will make an easy transition into his new job and new home.

"He knew from the time that he could walk that he wanted to be a priest," said the archbishop's brother, Bob Dolan. "My grandma took him to Mass once, they sat in the front pew, and about halfway through Mass he pointed at the priest and said, 'I want to be him,' which was funny because about 10 years later, my grandma took me to Mass and I pointed to the guy with the collection basket and said, 'I want to be him.'"

"It's been very surreal," said niece Erin Dolan. "We've been very lucky to have him in Milwaukee. It's been great for our family as well as the archdiocese. So, it's definitely sad; it's bittersweet him leaving, but it's also so exciting and we're so proud of him. Milwaukee loved him so much; New York is going to love him as well."

Dolan celebrated his final Easter Mass in Milwaukee on Sunday before a packed house of nearly 1,000 worshippers. He served as archbishop in that city for nearly nine years.

He will succeed Edward Cardinal Egan as the head of the New York Archdiocese, being installed on Wednesday, with Egan expected to take part in the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the New York Police Department is prepared to make sure everyone attending the installation is safe.

"We'll have additional resources there," said Kelly. "After 9/11, we always make certain we put in a counterterrorism overlay anytime there's a significant gathering of people. So we're certainly going to have the appropriate resources in place to make certain it's a happy and safe event." ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP