February 23, 2009
FIGURES THE FIRST AMERICAN POPE WOULD PICK A BASEBALL FAN:
Dolan Seen as Genial Enforcer of Rome’s Doctrine (MICHAEL POWELL, 2/23/09, NY Times)
For a few deeply unpleasant days, the Rev. David Cooper found himself in the crosshairs of the Roman Catholic hierarchy.Posted by Orrin Judd at February 23, 2009 3:59 PM
It was 2003, and the priest had opined to a reporter that women should be ordained. Faraway bishops rumbled about censure. Then he picked up the telephone and heard the baritone of Milwaukee’s archbishop, Timothy Michael Dolan. Father Cooper immediately offered to resign.
No, no, the archbishop replied, we just need to repair the damage. “He was very pastoral and caring,” Father Cooper recalled.
And how was it resolved? “Oh, I agreed to recant,” he said. “He effectively silenced me.”
Archbishop Dolan, who Pope Benedict XVI named on Monday to lead the Archdiocese of New York, is a genial enforcer of Rome’s ever more conservative writ, a Falstaffian fellow who talks of his love of the Brewers baseball team and Miller beer, and who takes obvious joy in donning his bishop’s robes and pounding his bishop’s staff as he tromps into church. [...]
In Milwaukee, he proved a prodigious fund-raiser, staving off the bankruptcy that seemed to beckon as the priest sexual abuse scandal, and earlier efforts at a cover-up, led to lawsuits. He closed a $3 million budget deficit last year, and started a fund-raising campaign that he says is more than halfway to its goal, with $57.5 million in pledges. He has combined shrinking parishes and reached out to young people over beers, and recruited new seminarians — the Milwaukee archdiocese expects to ordain six men this year, as opposed to a single ordination a few years ago.
He has vigorously courted the booming exurban white Catholic churches and the Hispanic congregations of the city’s south side. Such experiences could serve him well in New York, where the church also has grown more suburban and Latino.