Pope Appointes Alumnus as Cardinal
On the twelfth and final day of Christmas, his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI announced to his congregation at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy, that twenty-two clergymen, including two members of the CU Board of Trustees in the U.S., will be elevated to the cardinalate on February 18th. The two from the U.S. who will travel to Vatican City in the coming month are his Excellency Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, New York, and his Excellency Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien of Baltimore, Maryland.
The Pope’s latest elevation of priests to the cardinalate brings the number of Cardinals in the United States to twenty-two. This move gives the U.S., which is home to 5.5 percent of the world’s Catholics, ten percent of the vote for the future pope in the event that a conclave is called.
“Yes, I am honored, humbled, and grateful…but, let’s be frank: this is not about Timothy Dolan; this is an honor from the Holy Father to the Archdiocese of New York,” Dolan said in a January 6th press release. “It is as if Pope Benedict is putting the red hat on top of the Empire State Building, or the Statue of Liberty, or on home plate at Yankee Stadium.”
Born on February 6th, 1950, Archbishop Dolan served as the Archbishop of Milwaukee until Pope John Paul II appointed him to the Archdiocese of New York in June of 2002, as a successor of Edward Cardinal Egan- the first Archbishop to ever retire rather than die in office.
Egan said about his tenure as Archbishop of one of the most important Archdioceses in the world, that it “was an honor to be the representative of the Archdiocese of New York in Vatican City.”
O’Brien, born on April 8th, 1939 has served as Archbishop of Baltimore since his appointment in 2007. He previously had roles in New York and did work for the United States Military.
Both appointees, Dolan and O’Brien, who was in Rome at the time, were greeted with great fanfare in their local archdioceses upon the news of their elevation in the ranks of the Roman Catholic Church.