John Allen on NY’s New Archbishop

The Vatican announced Monday (February 23) that Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan will become the next Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York. Dolan, 59, will succeed Cardinal Edward Egan, who is retiring after nearly nine years in the position. John Allen, longtime Vatican correspondent for National Catholic Reporter, talks about what Dolan brings to the position and the challenges he will face, including potential tensions with the Obama Administration.


  • Bob Schwiderski

    Now the Vatican wants to play the “can’t we all get along” PR spin. I do not believe for one second there is an about face with the current ulta-conservative leadership in the vatican.

  • Sister Maureen Paul Turlish


    Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan has an invaluable opportunity in the Archdiocese of New York just as our new bishop has in the state of Delaware which passed the broadest and most effective child abuse legislation in the United States with the passage of the Child Victims Law in 2007.

    The opportunities exist for both bishops to use their positions to make a difference, to take pro-active steps to restore some of the church’s lost credibility and tarnished integrity.

    Archbishop Dolan could begin by taking three rather painless steps but ones guaranteed to score high on the public relations meter:

    1. publicly list all known or credibly accused sexually abusive priests and religious serving in the Archdiocese of New York,

    2. recognizing the work of faithful, committed catholics belonging to legitimately formed groups like Voice of the Faithful,

    3. supporting child abuse legislation like that passed in Delaware in 2007 for the protection of all children and direct the state’s Catholic Conference to do the same.

    Such actions by an incoming bishop would go far in showing that it is possible that a bishop’s words and actions can agree.

    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
    Victims’ Advocate
    New Castle, Delaware

    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish is a member of the non-sectarian Delaware coalition Child Victims Voice who testified before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees in support of Delaware’s Child Victims Law.

    She can be reached at:

  • Paul Adams

    Dolan sounds promising. We need an archbishop in New York who will be a strong voice of the Church in the country, as Cardinal O’Connor was. He will need to counteract the continuing, corrosive impact of theological liberals in the Church, the anti-Catholic Catholics who routinely side with the opponents and critics of the Church and act as witnesses for the prosecution whenever she comes under attack. But we also need a strong public witness who will stand up for the Church in the public square. This is especially important when we have the most pro-abortion administration and president ever, supported and abetted by Catholic politicians who publicly defy the Church’s teaching every day.

  • Ann Turner

    Wow. Talk about corrosive. Paul Adams’ comments are divisive, corrosive, and so concernced with staking out a position and being “right” that he oversees many of the nuances of the present administration. President Obama has been clear that he is not “for abortion,” that he sees it as a “tragedy,” and he wants to work to lessen the need for abortions. This is, in fact, the ONLY social engineering which will make a difference in the rate of abortions. And to criticize the “liberals” in the Church as damaging is to ignore the massive errors and missteps of the Church since the ecandal broke in 2002 and going way back to the 1970′s. What about the Bishops who moved abusive priests around? What about the lies and secrecy? Good heavens, this has done far more damage to the Church (see moneys down, attendance down) than so-called “theological liberals.” I happen to love this Church, while also holding it accountable for its severe errors, its clericalism, and its refusal to engage more lay participation. I hope and pray that Bishop Nolan will partner openness to change with committment to the fundamental good of the Church. It remains to be seen.

  • Tony Adams

    I find it surprising that someone with John Allen’s experience would think that that the current edition of Vatican leadership actually put Tim Dolan in New York because of his winning ways. He has been groomed for higher leadership for many years. These kind of appointments have more to do with random acts of time. Deaths, crises, retirements, age and availability. This is Tim Dolan’s moment. Some potential cardinals and bishops are never elevated because opportunities did not match their moments. Having said that, I agree that he is an excellent choice. I think that Tim Broglio would also have been an excellent choice, and we will probably never know if he was under consideration. The connections, allegiances and friendships that brought about Tim Dolan’s elevation go back to the 1970s in Rome. The need for a “personality” in New York City probably had little to do with his selection. B16 does not deserve the tsunami of grace and good will that Tim Dolan will bring to New York.

  • Paul Adams

    Yes,the bishops failed in their responsibility to clean out the filth from the Church and to clean up the liberal seminaries that produced it. Those seminaries formed corrupt priests in a climate of moral laxity while keeping out good men who were orthodox and pious (see Rose’s Goodbye, Good Men for evidence). It is the theologically liberal religious orders and seminaries that are emptying out while orthodox ones thrive. It is the secularized universities “in the Jesuit tradition” that undermine the faith of countless young people, not orthodox ones, arguably doing as much harm as the cowardly bishops of recent times. But let us hope that Archbishop Dolan will speak out with confidence, courage, and authority on the issues of the day.

    As for the Obama administration and its pro-abortion Catholics, Obama’s own record speaks for itself. And to say you deplore abortion but support the right of mothers to kill their unborn children is like saying I personally oppose slavery but support your right to own slaves. The one is as much a pro-abortion stance as the other is pro-slavery. And there is not a shred of evidence that Obama’s “social engineering” will do anything to reduce what Ann Turner, shockingly for a Catholic, calls the “need for abortions.” Removing every modest restriction on abortion at any stage of the child’s development in the womb (or half out of it) can only increase the rate of abortions and further legitimize the practice.

  • Hugh (Bart) Vincelette

    A significant step in the right direction , towards establishing hope, peace, goodness, mercy, compassion and universal love , as per the directives of ‘Filium Dei’ , would be to stop demonizing the word “liberal”, and any of God’s children who may lean in that progressive direction. The original rebel and liberal , who drove the right wing leaders of his time NUTS , was …..Jesus of Nazareth.

  • Sister Maureen Paul Turlish

    Rapists of women or men, child molesters, and pedophiles of all stripes need to be arrested for their crimes against children. And if there are enabling individuals or institutions who knew and still facilitated their ghastly behavior, they too need to be held accountable.

    Children’s Rights ARE Human Rights after all.

    The people of New York should support Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey’s proposed child abuse legislation.

    In Delaware we have the 2007 Child Victims Law which removed all statutes of limitation in regard to the sexual abuse of children and provides a two year legislative window for previously time barred cases of abuse -BY ANYONE!