MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan was named a cardinal Friday by Pope Benedict XVI, something the Rev. David DeSimone of St. Vito's Church said isn't a surprise.
"It's to be expected, and he's certainly a popular guy," DeSimone said.
Dolan, one of 22 high-ranking clergymen who will be elevated to cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church on Feb. 18, is the 10th Archbishop of New York. The previous archbishop was Edward Egan, who also served as a cardinal.
"I think Archbishop Dolan being named cardinal is in conjunction with Egan having his 80th birthday, when cardinals retire," DeSimone said. "It's an honor for him, but it shows the Pope's respect and how he views New York. Not every diocese naturally has a cardinal."
Of the 22, the pope named two from America, 16 from Europe, and one from Canada, Brazil, China and India each.
Cardinal is an honorary title, and Dolan will continue to serve as archbishop. A cardinal plays an advisory role to the Pope and becomes part of his inner circle. The big thing, DeSimone said, is they vote on, and elect, the next pope. When cardinals turn 80, they can no longer vote in papal elections -- 18 of the 22 named cardinal are under the age of 80.
"I am honored, humbled, and grateful," Dolan said in a statement Friday. "This is an honor from the Holy Father to the Archdiocese of New York. Its as if Pope Benedict is putting the red hat on top of the Empire State Building, or the Statue of Liberty, or on home plate at Yankee Stadium; or on the spires of Saint Patricks Cathedral or any of our other parish churches."
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