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7 Things to Know about Cardinal Timothy Dolan

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1) Dolan, a Missouri native and avid baseball fan, became good friends with St. Louis Cardinals legend Stan Musial. As a young priest, Dolan often presided over Masses attended by Musial. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

In the late 1970s, after Dolan had become a priest, he would often celebrate a packed Sunday 5 p.m. Mass at the Church of the Immacolata in Richmond Heights. Musial, often on his way home from the ballpark, was usually there. “You’re standing there, and you’re trying not to notice that it’s Stan Musial coming up to get Holy Communion,” Dolan said. “And here comes one of the greatest ball players ever — he had the world by the tail — and yet the reverence with which he approached this sincere act of faith, this union with the Lord in church. That’s what it’s all about.”

2) Last time Cardinal Timothy Dolan appeared on “Meet the Press,” he said Pope Francis has reminded Catholics about the wide scope of beliefs within the church.

3) In a vote that took many by surprise, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops elected Dolan as their president in 2010. He finished in 2013 and was succeeded by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz. From The New York Times:

The vote makes Archbishop Dolan the most visible face of the church in the United States. It also suggested that the bishops were seeking a powerful and reliably orthodox voice to reassert the church’s teaching in the court of public opinion and to disarm critics who insist that the bishops have lost their moral authority as a result of their role in the sexual abuse scandals.

4) Pope Benedict XVI elevated Dolan from archbishop to cardinal in 2012, making him eligible to vote in papal conclaves. His first chance to cast a vote came with the election of Pope Francis. He talked about the experience hours after the conclave ended at a Press Conference.

5) When Pope Benedict XVI resigned last year, many speculated that Dolan was a dark horse candidate to become the next pontiff. Dolan laughed off the rumors. From The New York Times:

Through it all, the cardinal approached the speculation about “Pope Dolan” with his typical self-deprecating humor. Asked what he would do if he found himself among the finalists, he said, “I’ll tell them they have the wrong guy.” “Don’t bet your lunch money on that one,” he added of his steep odds. “Bet on the Mets.”

6) Dolan spent time in Rome last month to meet with other cardinals and the pope. He tweeted about his experience:

7) Dolan says he has been following the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. He posted on his blog in January:

We Catholics in the United States cannot let these brave Ukrainians, whose allegiance to their religious convictions has survived “dungeon, fire, and sword,” languish. They deserve our voices and our prayers. Nor can we as American citizens fail them, as we call for our government to stand with them.

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