I am a great fan of the Archbishop of the Diocese of New York, Archbishop Timothy Dolan. In January this year, the Pope announced that Archbishop Dolan is to be made a cardinal during the Consistory on 18 February 2012. I was very pleased to hear this news. Lately, however, I find myself having to resist a very strong urge to resent this decision to make Archbishop Dolan a cardinal.
The reason for my sentiment has nothing to do with anything Archbishop Dolan has done. It stems rather from the many comments that are surfacing, from a range of people and media sources in the USA, that Archbishop Dolan is the ‘American Pope’. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not profess to know whom God would call to be the next pope. It could well be an American. I am also quite certain that these comments are in no way the fault of Archbishop Dolan himself, so I do strongly resist my urge to dislike him. The issue is just that these comments make the election of a pope seem almost like a prize in some or other competition.
Consider the comment on Facebook by Raymond Arroyo, whose World Over Live program on EWTN I thoroughly enjoy, that this decision, to make cardinals of Archbishop’s Dolan and O’Brien of the USA, means that the US now has X number of votes in the next conclave. This comment, in my opinion, is distasteful. It degrades the whole matter of the College of Cardinals, and the election of the pope, into just another secular event, with people vying for the top spots, just like politicians do when running for office. I have visions of people trying to gain as many ‘seats’ in the College of Cardinals as possible, in order to be able to vote and sway decisions in their favour.
Come on Catholic brothers and sisters in the USA. This is not about having more nuclear weapons that the next country. You cannot approach this matter, as you do in the secular world, wanting to dominate and control. We don’t want you turning our Church into a playing field, wherein you compete to dominate the Church, as if somehow you are holier and better equipped than the rest of the world, to lead the Church. The Pope and the College of Cardinals is not about power and rule, it is about service!
Just a thought, use it or don’t.