New York not today's Sodom and Gomorrah - N.Y.'s new cardinal

Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:14pm EST
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By Hanna Rantala and Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) - New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who will become a cardinal this weekend, said on Thursday that part of his new job will be to convince the Vatican that his city is not a modern-day version of the Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah.

"New York seems to have an innate interest and respect for religion and I'm going to bring that up because I don't like that caricature that New York is some neo-Sodom and Gomorrah" he told reporters after celebrating Mass in Rome's Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica.

Dolan was referring to the two cities which according to the

Old Testament were destroyed by God because their people were sinful and wicked.

Dolan, who also holds the powerful post of president of the U.S. Bishops Conference, will be made a cardinal by Pope Benedict on Saturday at a solemn Vatican ceremony known as a consistory.

After that, he and 17 other new cardinals under the age of 80 will be eligible to enter a secret conclave to elect the next leader of the world's some 1.3 billion Roman Catholics after Benedict's death.

One Friday, Dolan, who once served as rector of the North American College, a seminary in Rome for American men studying for the priesthood, will give a keynote address to the pope and cardinals on the theme of the New Evangelisation.

That is the term the Vatican has given to the effort to shore up the Church in modern secular societies, such as those in the United States and Western Europe.   Continued...

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan leads a mass at St. John Lateran's Basilica in Rome February 15, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Gentile