Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, visited CBS’s Face the Nation on this Easter Sunday to discuss the joyful holiday with host Norah O’Donnell, praising Pope Francis for using his charisma to attract people to the Church and even putting in a good word for Jeb Bush.
Cardinal Dolan noted the number of tragedies occurring on such a holy week: the crisis in Ukraine, the anniversary of the Boston Marathon terror attack, “the darkness, the dreariness, the reasons to be sad,” and noted what an antithesis to that the Easter message is. That message, “the victory of good over people,” is one he noted that both Christians and Jews celebrating Passover can share, and in response to why it appears more people are flocking to religion now than they have in the past, Cardinal Dolan replied that, for Catholics, much has to do with Pope Francis.
“People want the Church to succeed; people want faith, religion, and spirituality to work,” he noted, a message that Pope Francis has made the cornerstone of his tenure. “When you see somebody like Pope Francis tap into that,” he argued, “people take a second look at religion and say, ‘maybe belief is worth it.'” Archbishop Dolan attributed this both to Pope Francis’s natural sincerity and his Jesuit teachings, which require a stronger focus on individual experiences, leading him to confessions such as the one this Thursday that he can feel lonely and sad during mass. To emphasize the change such an attitude brings to the Church, Cardinal Dolan asked, “When was the last time we heard the Pope talk about himself?”
As for the difficulties of many of the written demands of Catholic faith, Cardinal Dolan tried to pivot away from political and social issues to what he described as “the real tough teachings,” such as Jesus’s zero-tolerance policy on forgiving others for their failings. “There are people I would rather not forgive,” the Cardinal noted, but “I cannot change that teaching.”
O’Donnell asked about Cardinal Dolan’s relationship with Jeb Bush, who, despite not being in office for many years and having little popular following, is a perennial presidential candidate in the minds of the Republican establishment. As a clergyman, Cardinal Dolan did not weigh in on his presidential potential, but he did appreciate Bush as a person and agreed with his stances on education and immigration.
Watch the interview via CBS below: