'This Week' Transcript: Cardinal Timothy Dolan

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: – you face in so many different ways. Because as you just mentioned, not only do you have the rise of people who are spiritual but not religion – religious, but also here in the United States the fastest growing group are those with no religion at all.

CARDINAL DOLAN: Yeah.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you open your doors so people feel that they can have a pathway back to God?

CARDINAL DOLAN: That, too, is a challenge. Now, what I'm afraid is that that's afflicting society in general. That's afflicting families. That's afflicting – communities. People want privacy. People crave isolation. We're hearin' parents say that they can't even get their kids to talk anymore.

They're – they're tweeting one another. So, this – kinda this craving of individualism, being alone, be – aloofness, that's afflicting all of culture, all of society. We're feelin' it in the Church, too, because we're not about "me." We're about "us." We're about the "our." We say "Our Father." But society is saying, "It's me, myself and I." And we're saying, "Unh-uh (NEGATIVE). It's us. It's we." And that's a tough – that's a tough sell in – in society.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You have become one of the most prominent voices in American Catholicism –

CARDINAL DOLAN: Thanks.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: – right now.

CARDINAL DOLAN: Thank you.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And – no – no surprise you were mentioned often as a possible pope going in to the conclave. But I – the question I have about that is, did you find over the course of those discussions that this whole idea that having an American pope is simply out of the question because America is this great superpower? Is that receding?

CARDINAL DOLAN: I think it is. I think it is – George. Now, beforehand, you know, I – I said I thought that was still there.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Uh-huh (AFFIRM). Yeah.

CARDINAL DOLAN: And actually that there was some wisdom to that, that –

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And you thought you had no chance.

CARDINAL DOLAN: – that the, which I still believe, and obviously, that was – that was correct. (LAUGHTER) But I told ya so. So – but – but I did believe that – probably the wisdom that would say, "You shouldn't have the leader of the world's greatest spiritual power from a country that's the – the world's greatest earthly power."

I said, "You know, that – that's a wise thing." I don't think my brother cardinals believe that anymore. We're just looking for a good pastor, a good communicator.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So, maybe one day.

CARDINAL DOLAN: – a holy man. Maybe one day there would be a pope from the United States. So.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Nelson Mandela, also on our minds – this week. You know, back in the hospital right now. And there is a man who exemplified for millions around the globe – and especially in South Africa – the power of forgiveness.

CARDINAL DOLAN: You – you bet he did. I'm prayin' – with and for him. I had the honor of meeting him once. And what – the word that comes to mind when you speak of a giant like Nelson Mandela is reconciliation. And that's a good thing to remember about Easter.

We say that Jesus came to reconcile the world. He wanted to embrace the world and bring them to his Father. And the world took those hands and put 'em on a cross, because they don't like bein' reconciled. Nelson Mandela was one of those who could take his hands and embrace a nation. The world is in his debt, because he taught us the power of reconciliation and forgiveness.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Another powerful Easter message, the message of joy. And you exemplify that –

CARDINAL DOLAN: Thank you.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: – every day.

CARDINAL DOLAN: Thank you – thank you, George. It's good bein' with you.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks for coming in.

CARDINAL DOLAN: A blessed Easter.

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