Timothy Dolan was named this morning the future head of the Archdiocese of New York. Dolan will replace Cardinal Edward M. Egan, who served for nine years. It is the first time in the 200-year history of the bishopric that a prelate has been replaced before his death. Last year New York looked at the top six candidates to replace Egan, and even at that time Dolan topped the list. He was popular in Milwaukee, choosing to marshal his troops using persuasion and gregariousness rather than censure and imperiousness.
From what we read this morning, it seems like Dolan's a good match for New York, and will be more accessible than the sometimes imperious Egan. Still, we can't help but wonder when we'll next have a non–Irish Catholic leader presiding from St. Patrick's. Roughly one-third of Catholics in the archdiocese are Spanish-speaking — and Dolan's mastery of the language ends at "hola" and "como estas.
Timothy Dolan, widely seen as an affable and media-friendly priest, succeeds 76-year-old Cardinal Edward Egan, who is retiring after nearly nine years in the job. Well known in Vatican circles, the St. Louis native was long considered a front-runner for Egan's post. He is a former rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, an elite seminary which counts prominent U.S. Church leaders, including Egan, among its alumni.