Cardinal Dolan Reflects on the True Meaning of Christmas

The archbishop of New York looks back on momentous year for faith and family.
3:00 | 12/25/13

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Transcript for Cardinal Dolan Reflects on the True Meaning of Christmas
We are back, now, on this christmas morning, with a very special guest. Timothy cardinal dolan, the archbishop of new york. Merry christmas to you and everybody. Good to be with you. What a year you had. I remember being with you in rome, as you joined for the choosing of pope francis. This is the first christmas for the new pope. Uh-huh. He's a gift. He is a gift to the world. And he is everything that I had hoped he could be and I think the college of cardinals hoped he would be. A week or so ago when "time" magazine named him the person of the year, no-brainer. I was picking that up on the sidewalks of new york. You have felt that excitement. You said a no-brainer. Could you have really have seen the kind of impact this man would have? No. I think nothing he does has surprised us. What has surprised us is he has done it more effectively than we thought. What we were after, as you and i chatted in rome, a good pastor with a track record of solid administration, the fatherly warm tender for the sheep, for his people. And we got that on steroids with pope francis. He's the world's parish priest. They used to call him father george. And the world is calling him father francis. He's our francis. And he's just a great, loving parish priest. I loved his reaction to being named "time's" person of the year. I'm not looking for fame or celebrity or more power. But if it can spread -- you got it. If it can be a vehicle. "Time" magazine, I'm more worried about timeless things. He shrugs and says, thanks. Who cares? I'm not looking for this. But if it helps people meet jesus, bring it on. And he seems to want to rebalance in ways. He holds to the church doctrine on things like abortion and gay marriage. But he says also, let's not just talk about this. You know what? I think on this christmas morning, it's good, the image john 23rd used. The italians say francis reminds THEM OF POPE JOHN THE 23rd. He said, the teaching of the church is a timeless gift. It's ours. We inherit it. But the way we gift wrap it, the way we make it more compelling to the world, that can always change. That's what francis is saying. I'm not changing the teaching. I might change the way we teach it. And part of that, and the way that this gospel is taught, could involve a greater role or a different role, enhanced role for women in the church. He's talking about that. He reminds us, he's once again a loyal son of the church. He said, women cannot be ordained priests. But he said the second council taught us you don't need a collar to have a leadership role in the church. And the way the church has given women leadership. University presidents. CEOs OF HOSPITALS. Most important people in parish is women, for centuries in the catholic church in the united states. He's reminded that we have a pretty good record. But he said, we need to do better. I would think that in this new year, we're probably going to see some women get some major positions within the holy see, the catholic church. I would anticipate that. Christmas today. Probably the most hopeful day of the year. What do you hope for in the coming year? Well, look. It's just like, what I'd love to see is that we continue to welcome the baby. Christmas is all about kids. Christmas is all about babies. And we are at our best when we tenderly love our kids. So, whether that be education. Whether that be health care. Whether that be nourishment. Whether that be international development. Whether that be the role of peace. It's kids that suffer. Let's take care of the babies. Let's take care of the kids. That's my hope for 2014. Amen to that. Cardin

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