By Will Edwards
This article was originally published in Issue 6, Fiftieth Year of The Minstrel (November 19, 2015). Click here to view the entire issue.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan set the tone for last week’s Furphy Lecture when he, approaching the podium, put his zucchetto on the heads of university President Rev. Bernard O’Connor, OSFS and the Bishop of Allentown, John Barres. It caused an audience of over 1,500 to erupt into laughter, a laughter that would carry on throughout the night.
Humor was such an integral and memorable part of Cardinal Dolan’s visit, and it largely plays into a charisma and genuineness that makes it plain to see just why he is the Archbishop of New York. Below, we’ve compiled from his visit some of the Cardinal’s wittiest utterances, which oft came between statements of theological brilliance, and which undoubtedly made the lecture what school officials say was the most successful in the series’s impressive history.
1) “Now, I was part of the conclave [that elected Pope Francis]. I can’t say much about that, although I did have a drink before supper.”
2) “I don’t like going to many musicals, but I do like “Les Miserables” because it’s one of the few times a bishop comes off looking halfway good.”
3) “It’s true they have this ‘Room of Tears,’ they call it, where the pope goes to change. And it’s true they have the three different size of cassocks: small, medium and large. I had no choice. There was no XXL there.”
4) In response to an audience member’s question: “She says, ‘What did you have to pay to ride in the Popemobile?’ Well, first I had to ride in that stupid Fiat! I had to put olive oil on my hips just to get in.”
5) “When [Pope Francis] sat down, I was sitting next to the Cardinal who’s the Archbishop of Vienna. He’s one of the great intellects of the Church, Christoph Schönborn, and he’s crying. And he turns to me and says, ‘Tim, he speaks like Jesus.’ And I said, ‘Chris, I think that’s the job description.’”