Dolan: ‘God Expects More Of Americans’
WHEELING – Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in Wheeling on Saturday evening, told a crowd of lawmakers, judges, attorneys and other public servants that “God expects more of us Americans.”
As principal celebrant and homilist, Dolan, archbishop of New York, celebrated the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. Members of “the Bench and Bar” participated in the Mass where they were asked to pray to the Holy Spirit to assist them in their service to the truth of justice. Dolan was asked to celebrate the Mass at the invitation of his personal friend, the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.
The Rev. Jeffrey M. Montforton, bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, and a host of diocesan priests and deacons, joined Dolan and Bransfield on the altar as an overflow crowd packed the church.
During his homily, Dolan urged the legal community to pray for wisdom and prudence and “not allow outside distractions such as polls, newspaper editorial pages, especially the New York Times, and rap music” to influence their decisions.
“God has blessed us (Americans) in extraordinary ways. … Look at the convictions our parents and grandparents were willing to die for. Our homes here are built only on sand if our laws are not grounded in family values.”
Dolan spent Saturday morning at the Eastern Correctional Facility in New York where he was asked to serve as the commencement speaker for inmates graduating with bachelor degrees. It was a humbling experience for Dolan, who said, “Human life is sacred and never to be wasted.”
On a lighter note, Dolan made mention of the phrase “almost Heaven, West Virginia,” saying in New York it is more like “almost purgatory.”
During a brief press conference after the Mass, Dolan touched on the need for clergy of all faiths to be vocal during volatile times in our country. He said when the recent death of the man at the hands of New York police incited unrest in the city, government officials came to him and reached out to other clergy. Dolan said despite a very diverse city, New Yorkers also are very religious.
“The remedy for crime comes from God. If we would treat all people with dignity, the crime, the violence would subside,” he offered.
Dolan also suggested that under the direction of Pope Francis, women may see stronger roles in the Catholic Church and said “you don’t need a cleric’s collar” to have a leadership role in the church.
Among those attending the Mass were Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., Chief U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey, local court judges, attorneys, magistrates and other elected officials.