TODAY   |  February 28, 2013

Cardinal Dolan has ‘mixed feelings’ about conclave

Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan talks about Pope Benedict XVI’s final meeting with the cardinals, calling it “a very tender moment” and “mixed feelings” among the cardinals about the upcoming conclave to select a new pope.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> dolan is president of the conference of catholic bishops and just took part in this morning's meeting. your em m your eminence, nice to meet you.

>> good morning. last time i was skuk wituck with al roker and matt lauer . it is a blessing.

>> and you had a chance to be with the pope in his final hours of his papacy. what was that like?

>> i don't mind telling you it was somber. we catholics call him our holy father and the papa, the daddy. to see this gentle loving holy man, to see him very fragile, see him made what i consider to be a remarkably humble and courageous decision, it was very moving. it was a very tender moment. i was honored when i went up. i only had a little while with him. i was honor he remembered my name. always good when the boss knows your name. i was glad he remembered gratefully his visit to the archdiocese in new york in 2008 . i said to him, holy father, i love you, thank you, praying with you and for you and so are the people of the archdiocese in new york and i meant it.

>> even as we say good-bye to this pope, thoughts inevitably turn to his successor. you've been here 24 hours and i know you have seen a bit of your fellow cardinals who will make this difficult choice. how much urgency do you and your fellow cardinals feel to gets the conclave started and moving?

>> there's kind of a mixed feeling if i'm detecting it right, savannah. i'm a rookie and never participated in a conclave before. you hear the cardinals say there's a strong desire to have a new pope as soon as possible. for that to happen in the most prudent enlightened way we need prayer and reflection to get to know each other. you did hear the dean of the college of cardinals said we would begin the general congregations, not the conclave, the meetings prior. we will begin those on monday. one of the items on the agenda for the congregation of cardinals , when will we begin the conclave?

>> are there any front runners for his successor and feel free to name names.

>> i'm not trying to dodge your question. i'm finding myself on two levels, first, the morning of the departure of pope benedict and celebrating what i say is his great leg gassy and only now i said, these are my brother cardinals i will be in conclave before too long. only now i would concentrate on the who. there are some names that come to my mind. you wouldn't be surprised i don't feel comfortable sharing with you. i say all the cardinals praying for guidance, looking closely to other cardinals and looking forward to reflection and apostolic eenterty.

>> i heard some say on a shocker scale, this is a 10 on a scale of 1-10. we have seen in the last few days some of the scandals of the catholic church laid bare. in some ways it seemed to have laid bare open wounds. do you think in that way the resignation is not a mistake?

>> i wouldn't say that. i would have such regard for the holy father's prayer and decision making that it isn't a mistake. you've got a point. there's always been sin and scandal and corruption in members of the church. at a time like this when the church is under such intense scrutiny. those will always come through. we call the church as the mystical body of christ. there are warts and scars. and st. agust stin says often the church limps because the church is in pain and sometimes wounded. we see that now. all that means, i would hope, we use this time for spiritual renewal, rededication to the valuable goals benedict the saxvi has put out and time for spiritual rededication for the church.

>> when you walk into the sistine chapel behind us as cardinal and come out as the next pope?

>> about the same for a me taking a-rod's place on the new york yankees.

>> i'm not a baseball affection aficionado. but i get your drift.

>> hope to see you.

>> thank you.