Dolan to address College of Cardinals

February 16, 2012 3:13:01 PM PST
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan celebrated his second Mass in Rome on Thursday.

His day started on the radio.

"They're not a problem with the church. They are a gift! We're thrilled with them," he said.

Archbishop Dolan hosted his hour-long satellite radio talk show, and then admitted to reporters, his mind on this Thursday is really focused on Friday.

"To tell you the truth, I'm little pre-occupied about that talk tomorrow with the consistory. So... and that I'll put to bed tonight and hope it doesn't put them to bed tomorrow," he said.

On Friday, he will address the College of Cardinals before he is elevated to Cardinal on Saturday.

After lunch with hundreds of pilgrims here for the consistory, the food-loving cardinal-to-be emerged from a gelateria to celebrate mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where jet-lagged New Yorkers explained what they hoped to gain from their Roman pilgrimage.

"Personally, I think that Archbishop Dolan, soon to be Cardinal Dolan, really enhances my faith. He is of the people, for the people," Bronxville resident Nancy Waters said.

"I always get something out of everything and this is a really special event. So, you know, it will always be deeply inside me," Betty Kimura of Staten Island added.

Despite that jovial nature and charming demeanor, the 62-year-old Catholic leader is a staunch defender of the faith and a defender of New Yorkers.

During his speech to the pope and the cardinals on Friday he plans to re-shape the secular image he believes many Vatican leaders have about the city.

"New York seems to have an innate interest in and respect for religion. And I'm going to bring that up, cause I don't like that caricature, that New York is some neo-Sodom and Gomorrah. We'll see how it goes over. I'll let you know," Dolan said.

Stay with 7online and Eyewitness News for complete coverage of Archbishop Dolan's elevation to Cardinal. Joe Torres will be reporting from Rome all week, and you can watch the elevation ceremony live, beginning at 4:30 a.m. Saturday.

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