Dolan Talks Baseball, Theology and Church Pride

Incoming archbishop shows off his trademark warmth and wit

Displaying a diversity of personal style for which his predecessor was not known, New York's incoming archbishop stepped out to talk theology and baseball on Monday.

On the former, he said Catholics should "restore pride," especially when confronted with criticism over the Church's opposition on issues like gay marriage and abortion.

"Our views aren't timely and hip," incoming Archbishop Timothy Dolan said. "They're timeless."

A minute later, he was laughing about his love for Major League Baseball in one of the hottest sports towns in the world.

"I've got the Yankees Thursday and the Mets Friday," he said, voice rising with excitement. "But when the Cardinals and Brewers come to play, who I'm rooting for is between me and my confessor." Dolan's previous postings include St. Louis and more recently Milwaukee, homes to those other teams.

The new spiritual leader also demonstrated his fondness for impromptu conversation with the faithful. Walking through St. Patrick's Cathedral on his way to meet the media, he stopped to speak fluent Italian to an Italian family from the area hit last week by an earthquake.

Then there were hugs for children who'd attended Mass followed by conversation with their parents. Finally, he moved out to speak to reporters who didn't complain about the wait.

After Edward Cardinal Egan's famously frosty relationship with the press, the new Church Boss seems to be hitting a media relations home run during a welcoming period of mutual good cheer.

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