A First Conversation with the Cardinal

He may not officially have the title yet, but that didn’t stop Sirius XM radio’s Catholic Channel from airing its first episode of A Conversation with Cardinal Dolan on Thursday. New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan will be elevated to the office of cardinal on Saturday in Rome.

The weekly show hosted by Father Dave Dwyer and Cardinal-designate Dolan was renamed in honor of his elevation. And it was also a main topic of conversation in the hour long program.

Reflecting on what this elevation means to him, Dolan credited everyone who has supported his development personally and spiritually, saying the red biretta he will receive from the Pope on Saturday is an honor for him and the whole city of New York.

“It’s as if he would be the red hat on the Empire State building, or the Statue of Liberty, or the home plate at Yankee Stadium, and I mean that,” Dolan said. “It’s an affirmation of all the people who have been so good to me.”

The program also featured fellow Cardinal-designate Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, who talked about his efforts to communicate the faith among his city’s diverse immigrant community.

As part of the elevation, each new cardinal is also made bishop of a church in or around Rome. Dolan described it as becoming an “honorary parish priest.” The titular church announcements will be made by Saturday, but Dolan pressed his guest to share his church news.

“I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours,” Dolan teased Collins, adding that he hadn’t been able to find his new parish since it was not one of the well-known churches. “But I’m still honored to have it.”

The program also included a conversation with Archbishop Claudio Celli, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who talked about his efforts to spearhead the Vatican’s fledging foray into social media, including helping Pope Benedict XVI send his first tweet last June.

Dolan first started hosting his weekly Catholic Channel show on April 16, 2009, the day after he was officially installed as Archbishop of New York. The show has aired weekly on SiriusXM ever since.