NY Archbishop Dolan is a joker

April 15, 2009

USA/The new Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan lived up to his reputation as an extrovert at his first news conference in New York, cracking a string of jokes at his own expense and telling reporters “You’re going to have to shut me up.” 

Even before he took the podium, while chatting to a monsignor about a visit to a New York food pantry later in the day, he glanced at his own moderate paunch and quipped: “I’m an expert in alleviating hunger.” 

When a reporter asked a question about overworked priests, Dolan said he thought he’d heard “overweight priests.” 

When another addressed him as “your excellency,” he said: “My Mom is the only one who calls me your excellency.” 

Asked if he was holding his breath to be named a cardinal — an appointment widely expected to follow his installation to the most high profile position in the U.S. Catholic Church — he made a joke about his hometown baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals: “I’m holding my breath for those Cardinals to come to town,” he said.  

At the end he said he hoped the reporters were all coming to Mass, adding: “I’ll see the collection basket doesn’t go to the press.” 

The Archdiocese of New York was streaming the Installation Mass live on its web site.

PICTURE: Archbishop Timothy Dolan participates in a Solemn Vespers ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York April 14, 2009. REUTERS/Kathy Willens/Pool

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