Introducing Cardinal Cutup

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"Everybody loves a knock-knock joke." Photo: Getty Images

Last night, New York's incoming archbishop, Timothy Dolan, had his official introduction to his new flock — and new home. Arriving at St. Patrick's to start his two-day installation process, he took the opportunity to address the ongoing sex-abuse scandal the Church faces, make promises to the archdiocese, and also earn a few laughs. The first archbishop ever in the city's history to assume his post while his predecessor is still alive, Dolan is also the first to have to bang on the doors of St. Patrick's to be let in (diocesan experts can't remember a previous performance of this ritual here, though it is called for in the official installation procedures). After using a small hammer to knock three times, he paused, waiting a moment, and then banged three times quickly again, as though he hadn't been heard. The congregation inside the cathedral roared with laughter, and once he was let in he kept up the gags. "It sure beats sitting at home doing our last-minute tax returns, doesn't it?" he cracked, after the crowd watched his long, slow approach to the pulpit. When speaking of his invitation by the Pope to serve as "archbishop of the capital of the world," he said he told God to "go away." "I'm not your man!" he recounted. “My Spanish is lousy and my English not much better. I’m still angry at New York for taking Favre and Sabathia from us in Wisconsin!” This guy seems like he's going to be all right.

A Grand Entrance at St. Patrick’s Cathedral [NYT]