In an interview with America, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan expressed his joy with Pope Francis’ interview which was recently published in 16 Jesuit journals around the world. The in-depth interview highlighted the Holy Father’s thoughts on the mission of the Church in today’s world.
Saying that his reaction made him want “to sing out a loud “Alleluia!”, Cardinal Dolan said that he was “exhilarated” that the Holy Father would have such a personal interview. “All of us take risks in doing this […] but it’s worth the risk,” the Cardinal said regarding giving interviews.
When asked for the reactions of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Dolan, who serves as the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), stated that the bishops applauded the Pope’s words. The Holy Father’s emphasis on the new evangelization, he said, is also a top priority of the U.S. Bishops.
“If the church is perceived as crabby, nagging, hung-up on a few ‘pet peeves,’ or judgmental, as unjust and inaccurate as that perception might be, we can’t evangelize very well,” Cardinal Dolan said. “What Pope Francis has done is popped the blister of that perception, and we bishops cheer him on. We are about a yes, not about a no.”
While the Holy Father’s interview gave hope to many who have felt at times marginalized by the Church, others were caught off guard with his words. Cardinal Dolan told America magazine that both sides of the argument are missing something “or rather, someone.”
“Pope Francis is probably frustrated that all the attention is on him, his interview, his statements. He wants the attention on Jesus,” the Cardinal said.
“If we emphasize Jesus, His Person, teaching, salvation, invitation, death and resurrection, everything else works out.”
Concluding the interview, the Cardinal of New York, said that the Holy Father’s words regarding discernment and the presence of God in one’s life moved him, especially when it comes to facing tough decisions within his Archdiocese.
“Where is [God] as I decide to merge a parish? Where is He as I mull over the budget? Where is He as I worry about dwindling Mass attendance. Pope Francis claims He’s there! In all those neuralgic areas where we think He’s sleeping…No. He’s there. I better discern that presence and that direction,” Cardinal Dolan said.
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On the NET:
For America Magazine’s interview with Cardinal Dolan, go to: http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/cardinal-dolan-frankly-speaking