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Pope Names 22 New Cardinals Including Controversial NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan

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By Kris Coombs, Christian Post Contributor
January 6, 2012|3:20 pm

Pope Benedict XVI announced on Friday that he will hold a formal ceremony in February elevating 22 new cardinals he has named.

Soon-to-be cardinals include prelates from some notable Vatican offices, Hong Kong, Berlin, Toronto, Prague, Florence, and New York.

The Pope announced the names of the prelates during the last mass of the Vatican’s Christmas celebrations.

"Yes, I'm honored, humbled and grateful. But let's be frank. This is not about Timothy Dolan. This is an honor from the Holy Father to the archdiocese of New York," New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan said to a news conference following Friday morning Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Reuters reported.

"It's almost as if Pope Benedict XVI is putting the red hat of the cardinal on the top of the Empire State Building or upon the Statue of Liberty or home plate at Yankee Stadium or on the spires of this great St. Patrick's Cathedral," Dolan added.

But not everyone is satisfied with the Pope’s choice of Archbishop Dolan as a new cardinal.

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Mary Caplan, the New York leader of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, released a statement on Friday condemning the Pope’s decision to elevate Dolan to cardinal.

“As long as the Pope keeps promoting church officials who keep parishioners in doubt, victims in pain, and kids at risk, there will be more child sex crimes. Dolan is the Teflon prelate - through superb public relations, when he acts recklessly and callously with kids' safety, he's almost always able to deny and deflect blame. Dolan is by far the most media-savvy Catholic official on the planet, so we're not surprised the pope has promoted him.”

Caplan is referring to several accusations of molestation and sexual abuse from young children over the years that Archbishop Dolan has been accused of covering up or mishandling during his tenure.

“In Missouri, Wisconsin and New York, he's (Dolan) treated child sex victims and pedophile priests just like his brother bishops across the country have. Dolan's just more skilled at hiding his misdeeds. Don't be fooled by Dolan's glad-handing, self-effacing charm. Behind closed doors, he continues to be a shrewd manager who's determined and adept at keeping clergy sex crimes covered up,” Caplan added in her statement.

Members of the New York Archdiocese, however are happy for their fellow prelate.

"It's a great tribute to Archbishop Dolan himself obviously. He will now be a cardinal in the church. It is a sign of his status in the church and how he's looked upon, but at the same time it's a recognition of the importance of the church here in New York," New York Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling told NY1 News.

Cardinals are the Pope's key advisers and are members of the group that will eventually elect Benedict's successor.

Pope Benedict XVI’s ceremony will take place on February 18.

 

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