Decision near on new Archbishop

February 17, 2009 7:31:42 AM PST
Sources have told Eyewitness News that the Vatican is expected to name Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan to take over the Diocese of New York. The Italian newspaper Il Reformista reported over the weekend that Pope Benedict XVI has decided on Dolan, 59, to replace retiring Cardinal Edward Egan.

"I think it is imminent," Italian journalist Paolo Rodari said Monday night. "I think it, yes, that Dolan will be quickly new archbishop of New York."

Several sources have also confirmed to Eyewitness News that Dolan is the Pope's choice. The Vatican has not confirmed the reports, but Eyewitness News is told the announcement could come as early as this week.

Egan sent the pope a letter offering to retire as Roman Catholic archbishop of New York in 2007 after he turned 75. Every bishop is required to submit his resignation at age 75, but the pope does not have to accept it.

Pope John Paul II named Dolan the archbishop of Milwaukee in 2002. He was installed two months later.

In recent years, Dolan was rumored for positions in Baltimore and Washington, DC.

Dolan was born and raised in Missouri. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees at the Catholic University of America in Washington.

If Archbishop Dolan succeeds Cardinal Egan, he would continue a chain of Irish-Americans in the post that has been interrupted only once in the 19th century.

Archbishop Dolan talked to ABC affiliate WISN-TV in Milwaukee about the possible move just before going on vacation last week. At the time, he said he could not confirm any rumors -- and that he loves living in Milwaukee.

"I'm flattered. I have to say I find myself sort of saying, 'I don't know where all of this is coming from and there's sure not much I can say.' But all I do is just keep going to work each day and trusting in the Lord."


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