Cardinal Dolan on Curia Reform Meeting: An Opportunity to Learn From Those “On the Front Line”


In an interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, calls Pope Francis’ meeting of world cardinals to study the reform of the Roman curia “extraordinarily edifying” and, as the war continues in Ukraine, praises it as an opportunity to learn from the service of these frontline cardinals.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

As war continues in Ukraine, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, says another benefit of this meeting called by Pope Francis among world cardinals is to be with cardinals who are on the front line , to hear the challenges and learn from their services.

In an interview with Vatican Radio on Monday, the New York Cardinal, who chairs the Catholic Association for the Welfare of the Near East (CNEWA), spoke about the first day of the two-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the reform of the Roman Church. curie, and specifically underlined the solidarity of the cardinals in the fight against war and helping those in need.

Pope Francis has called for cardinals from around the world to meet at the Vatican from August 27-29 to reflect together on the newly released Apostolic Constitution. Evangelium Predicate on the reform of the Roman curia.

According to UN statistics in July, at least 12 million people have been forced to flee their homes since the start of the war, of whom at least 5 million have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries and at least 7 million have displaced inside the war-torn country. .

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, some 2 million Ukrainians have been received in Poland, and many more in Hungary, Slovakia and other neighboring countries. Some Ukrainians have started to return to their country.

Listen to the cardinals on the “front lines”

Cardinal Dolan told Vatican Radio that after his own visit to Ukraine and neighboring countries, being among the other cardinals of the universal Church and closest to the conflict was particularly significant.

“It’s another great advantage to be here,” the cardinal said.

“Cardinals, by their very nature, reflect the universal Church, the catholicity of the Church.”

“To be with them now to speak to Cardinal Péter Erdő from Budapest, that they have been so extraordinarily generous and welcoming, to be with Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz in Krakow, where they have been welcomed by the Polish people, almost 4 million refugees .”

“To be with these cardinals who are on the front line and hear the challenges, but also to see how uplifting it is to be in service and to hear them so grateful, for the concern of the world. That’s very good.”

During his trip to Rome in April, for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, he sat down with Vatican News, to discuss his upcoming visit to meet suffering Ukrainian refugees and bring them and those who welcome them, help.

The New York Cardinal also gave his impressions of the discussions taking place among the cardinals and in their small groups, calling it a “beautiful experience.”

“Extraordinarily edifying” meeting at the Vatican

“We speak as friends, as brothers, with immense charity and a deep love for the Church on very concrete questions. It was extraordinarily uplifting.

He expressed his appreciation for the meeting.

“I’m glad it happened. You’re looking forward to it,” but, to some extent, he suggested, out of a sense of duty.

“But I said, wow, duty is rewarded because it’s a very good thing.”

Boots on the ground, wanting to help

Cardinal Dolan’s visit to Ukraine and neighboring countries earlier this year was due to the fact that the Archbishop of New York was ex officio Chairman of the Board of Directors of CNEWA.

CNEWA was founded a century ago by Pope Pius XI to help Eastern Rite Catholics, who very often live in persecuted areas and are often under great stress.

There are many Eastern Rite Catholics in the Middle East, India, Ukraine, and Central and Eastern Europe.

On this occasion, he told Vatican News: “We are very active, having boots on the ground, and wish to bring them alms, the gifts that Catholics have given us to help these people. We just want to hug them. and tell them, we I love you. We have not forgotten you. We want to pray with you, encourage you and help you.


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