Monday, February 23, 2009

Timothy Dolan....Wish I got to know him.

In case you didn't know, the Pope just selected the archbishop of my city to become the new Archbishop of New York, the most high profile position in the U.S. Catholic Church. This is huge.

Why do I care? Because I grew up in a city that's 60 percent Catholic. And you don't get that large of a number with a bit of this Catholic influence to marinating into the culture of the city itself. There's a lot about Milwaukee, a lot, that's owed to it's Catholic heritage, and it doesn't start or end with fish fries. You know there are so many churches, cathedrals, and basilicas, that 35 percent of the property in the city of Milwaukee is tax exempt? Do you realize what a number like that means? I digress.

Anyway, it's a bittersweet thing. We are all so proud, but it's quite a loss. He had his detractors, but two things were very clear, he had a zero tolerance, no nonsense approach to the clergy sex scandal. Not to mention he was the first high ranking Church member to convene groups of victims with mental health professionals, law enforcement, and Church members. In short, he was the first to realize that it may be a good idea for victims of sex abuse to seek mental help. And of course, he was a good, strong friend to the Jews. He never denied a request to appear or speak at synagogues throughout Milwaukee, and he also managed to show up at a couple Bar-Mitzvah. This is kinda a big deal. We Jews have a thing about Catholics, and other religions too, specifically, that these people that aren't Jews are always trying to kill us. So, it was good to know we, like Catholic fellow Milwaukeans, were in good hands under the Dolan's leadership. Let's hope we don't get stuck with another Rembert Weakland..


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